How Much Does a Pool Cost?

According to Money magazine, the average cost to have an inground pool installed is about $22,000, but the total costs vary widely depending on the type of pool you install, the materials used and how much work you do yourself. Even the reported average cost of a residential pool is a contested statistic: PK Data disagrees with the Money number, reporting instead an average of $39,084. Before you decide whether or not a pool fits in with your financial plans, take the time to understand how various factors impact cost.


How Much Does an Inground Pool Cost?

Of the two major pool types -- inground and above ground -- inground pools come with the most upfront cost. Not only do inground pools require materials such as concrete, fiberglass or tile to create a functional pool setting, but they also require the excavation of a great deal of earth. Homeowners willing to dig dirt themselves might be able to save a bit of money, but if you don't know exactly what you are doing, you add risks to the pool installation process.

Estimates on a no-frills, basic inground pool that features a vinyl liner are between $19,000 and $24,000, depending on size and whether you want additions, such as pavered patio space around the pool. Vinyl liner pools are often the least expensive options for a residential pool, partly because they are less expensive to ship and require fewer materials to install than fiberglass or concrete do.

Fiberglass pools come pre-shaped, making them bulky and expensive to ship. The cost of a fiberglass pool liner, including shipping to a residence, can range between $12,000 to $25,000. When adding professional installation and material costs, the price of a fiberglass pool can increase to as high as $40,000 even without adding additional features, such as a patio or lighting. Depending on the size of the pool you intend to install, concrete can be more or less expensive than fiberglass. Concrete pools tend to range from $20,000 to $45,000 depending on the type of materials.


How Much Does an Above Ground Pool Cost?

Above ground pools usually cost a fraction of what below ground pools do. While you can purchase discount above ground kits that let you set up smaller pools with a couple feet of water each season, you can also purchase kits to install larger above ground pools. These pools typically hold water at depths of four foot or more and can be as big as many inground pools. Average kit costs range between $1,500 and $4,500. The quality of the product and size of the pool are the biggest impacts to price. Once you purchase a kit, you'll need to install the pool yourself or pay someone to do it. Either way, costs for materials and installations add an additional $1,000 to $3,000, and oval pools are usually more expensive overall.


How Much Does a Saltwater Pool Cost?

Choosing a saltwater installation over a freshwater installation doesn't add a great deal to the cost of a pool originally. If you want to convert an existing freshwater pool to a saltwater pool, the cost is usually between $1,500 and $2,500.


How Much Does a Pool Cost to Build and Maintain?

Depending on the type of pool you opt for, total upfront costs to build a pool range from $20,000 to over $80,000. Pools also require maintenance. Outside of the costs of chemicals and filtration, you'll have to pay for upkeep on your pool. Damage to pool liners has to be patched and lose tiles in patio areas fixed to ensure safety and functionality in your pool. Upkeep requirements are more frequent when you opt for lesser quality pool materials, often making higher upfront costs for concrete or fiberglass worth it in the long run.
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