The national average cost to install a traditional in-ground pool is $31,873. However, construction costs aren't the only expenses associated with installing a swimming pool. You'll also have to pay for pool inspection, which averages $75 nationally. After you've installed your swimming pool, regular maintenance costs, which vary, pool cleaning, which averages $86 per session, and annual winterization, which averages $95 will all add to your pool costs.
Installing a swimming pool on your property can increase your home's value, especially in regions where pools stay in use year-round. Just be aware that it doesn't always add value, especially if the costs to buy a pool, install it, and maintain it are more than the value it adds to your home.
Either way, a backyard pool can elevate your outdoor entertaining to levels of fun in the water that a hot tub just can't match. It's a great way to spend time with family and friends and stay cool during hot summer months. Before you install a swimming pool on your property, get an estimate on how much this will cost, and whether it's worth the investment.
What's in this cost guide?
- Cost of in-ground vs. above-ground vs. semi-inground pools
- Pool construction and installation cost factors
- Additional construction and installation costs
- Pool maintenance costs
- Tips to hire a professional pool installer
While many homeowners dream of having a traditional in-ground pools, they're also the most expensive pool type to construct and install. Above-ground pools or semi-inground pools and do-it-yourself kits provide more economical options, but costs still vary significantly, depending on the pool size and material. In this section, we'll break down three popular pool types to help you choose.
In-ground pools construction costs typically start near $20,000 on average nationwide, but factors such as size, design, heating and filtration systems, materials, and extra features -- from a custom waterfall to extra lights -- add to the total price. National averages for standard pool and saltwater pool installation range fro m $25,000 and $80,000.
U.S. Pools in Roswell, Georgia, estimates $50,000 for their standard 18x36-foot pool. Their inground pool construction costs include minimal groundwork, a vinyl liner, and a concrete deck surround with decorative coping around the pool edge. Standard equipment, such as an automated sweep system and a standard heat pump, come included in that price.
For a permanent pool, an in-ground installation is your best option, but it also requires the highest investment and commitment.
Installed professionally, above-ground pools range from $2,500 to $8,500 for a basic pool, including a filtration system and pump. Some experts also recommend treating the new pool area with a fungicide before installation, which can add up to $200 or more to your costs. The initial installation costs for an above-ground pool are much less than in-ground options, but they typically need repairs, such as new liners, more frequently.
Do-it-yourself pool kits provide another option. These above-ground pool kits come in various shapes, sizes and materials. Some kits are simple, set-and-fill vinyl-lined models that start at less than $100. Above-ground options that use plastic resin interiors and need heavy-duty metal framing run much higher. Below are some example prices for a do-it-yourself, above-ground swimming pool kit:
- A standard round pool kit can range from $1,000 for a 12-foot model to $3,000 for an 18-foot model.
- Oval or rectangular kits range from $2,400 up to $4,400 or more.
Most do-it-yourself pool kits include the pool liner, a filter and pump, and a ladder. Extras such as a heater, pool lights, or small water features are available as add-ons.
Inflatable pool kits provide the most economical options. Pools made by Intex, for example, run as low as $49.99 for a 10-foot by 30-inch pool. High-end, heavy-duty Intex pools, such as a 24-foot by 52-inch model, run $1199.99 with a sand filter included. This, of course, won't add any value to your home -- just a little fun in the sun.
A pool that's partially submerged can provide the best of both inground and aboveground pools. But they also carry some of an inground pool's added expense. These pools are sturdier than above-ground options, but require some excavation.
While they often come as kits, you may need a professional to install a semi-inground swimming pool. Costs are very dependent on the site, materials and the depth involved.
The type of swimming pool you choose to install will be your largest cost factor. However, several additional factors can influence your final pool prices. Before you hire, ask for free estimates that take the following into account:
Areas with warm climates typically have more demand for pools, and more pool contractors to choose from. That can mean more competitive pricing than in areas where contractors are in short supply — just ask any non-resident pool-lover. Know that many in-demand pros schedule pool constructions up to a year in advance.
When your pool requires excavation and concrete work, poor weather and overly wet ground can complicate construction and lead to extra labor and cost overruns. You also won't be able to excavate during certain times of the year, like when the ground is frozen in the winter. Make sure your construction contract addresses weather-related delays and the added expense.
In-ground pools may be constructed with vinyl, fiberglass, traditional poured concrete, or “gunite," which is a sprayed concrete-like material that eliminates seams. A vinyl liner pool is typically the least expensive option, but even then, base prices vary depending on the thickness and durability. The price for fiberglass liners average $9,000 to $24,000, depending on the pool size and shape. Concrete liner prices generally average around $30,000, while gunite starts near $50,000.
Site preparation and excavation costs
The more preparation your pool site needs, the higher your costs. Unlevel ground, nearby septic tanks, and tree stumps or roots all complicate site prep and increase costs. Excavation and ground preparation for in-ground pools can add $20,000 or more to your project.
Labor costs and rates
Costs to have professionals level the ground for an above-ground pool vary with the work involved. Pros generally charge hourly fees, which can range from $50 to $100 per hour or more, or a flat price for the job.
If your site requires a concrete retaining wall, that type of specialty work can add $2,000 to $15,000 or more to your project.
Depending on the type of pool installation and what your pool contractor lumps in their fee, you may need to consider additional expenses like the following:
Hardscaping and landscaping
Adding a hardscape, such as a concrete walkway or deck-like stone, around your in-ground pool give the project a finished look. A landscaper who specializes in hardscapes can help. Depending on the area involved and the materials you choose, a hardscape walkway could cost $200 to $2,000 or more. If you'd like additional landscaping, expect to pay about $50 to $75 per hour for a landscape designer. Other costs, such as extensive outdoor lighting systems, may run $1,500 to $8,000.
Installing new or additional fencing
You may also need to install a fence around your swimming pool or backyard -- either because you want it or because zoning laws require it. Many municipalities require child-proof pool fencing and a self-closing gate for safety, but you'll also enjoy the privacy a fence and gate add.
If you don't already have one, the price to install a new fence averages between $13 - $50 per linear square foot nationally. Most homeowners spend $500 - $4,500 on new fences, depending on the size and material.
Luke Beerman of Freedom Fence Builders in Raleigh, North Carolina, says that pool fences typically range from 200 to 350 feet, for a cost of $4,000 to $7,000 for a standard home pool fence. Some homeowners fit above-ground resin pool rims with DIY safety fencing for $200 to $300.
Adding a deck surround to an above-ground pool can help reinforce the walls, strengthen your pool and prolong its life. Depending on the size of your pool and the decking materials you chose, expect to pay an additional $2,500 to $4,000 or more in deck construction costs.
Filtration and heat systems
Your pool will need a filtration system with pump to filter out debris. If you plan to swim during cooler weather, you'll want a pool heater, too. Many pool contractors include these pool essentials, but not all do. Your costs vary depending on the system size. Some installation professionals charge by the hour for installation, while other charge a flat installed fee. A pump and installation may run $100 to $400, while a heater may add $120 to $1,000 or more in costs.
Here are some national average costs for installation:
- Pump: $100–$400
- Heater: $120–$1,000
- Lights: $30–$120
Nationally, pool maintenance costs average $80 to $120 per month for full-service maintenance. Chemical-only maintenance averages $65 to $80 per month. If you don't hire a pro, the average monthly cost for chlorine treatment, pH testing strips, and related supplies averages about $80.
Annual pool cleaning and servicing of filtration systems averages $80 to $100, with higher costs for larger pools. Certain materials, such as gunite, are more prone to algae buildup, so you'll need to clean more frequently. And, don't forget, you'll want a pool skimmer for daily pool upkeep, too.
Last, but not least, you'll also have additional water and utility expenses to keep your pool ready for fun. Depending on rates in your area, your pool size, your water temperature preferences, and whether you use a heat-conserving pool cover, utility costs for pool heating may range from $70 to $1,845 per year.
Having a pool in your backyard doesn't always add value to your home, but it will add value to the time you spend outdoors and poolside with family and friends. By working with a pool professional who knows all the ins and out of construction — and the related expenses you might not expect — you and your family can rest easy and get ready to swim.
- Read reviews. Installing a swimming pool in your backyard is a huge time and cost investment. Read reviews to make sure you hire someone you can trust to do the job well.
- Ask for an estimate. Many pool installers will give you an estimate for free before they start construction. Be sure to ask what the total price includes (rates, pool costs, installation, extras) before your pro gets started.