Expert Advice from Pool Industry insiders

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How Much Does It Cost To Own A Pool? A Comprehensive Guide

how much does it cost to own a pool

Owning a swimming pool is one of those things that most people dream about doing.

But, there are a lot of factors involved in owning a pool that can add up.

So, what exactly do you need to consider before buying a pool?

Here are some of the costs associated with owning a pool.

Cost Of Building A Pool

how much does it cost to own a pool

Building a pool is an expensive project. But, it doesn’t have to break the bank.

Several companies specialize in building pools. And these companies offer various packages that include everything from the initial construction to the final touches.

A typical work package for installing an inground pool will include the following items:

  • Excavation
  • Foundation
  • Concrete slab
  • Poured concrete walls
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical wiring
  • Fencing
  • Decking
  • Landscaping
  • Painting
  • Finishing touches

Depending on the size of the pool, the price of the package may vary.

However, the average cost of a basic inground pool is between $20,000 and $50,000.

Types of Pools

how much does it cost to own a pool

Once you’ve decided to buy a pool, you’ll need to decide what type of pool you want.

There are many different types of pools available. Some of them include:

  • Inground pools
  • Above ground pools
  • Swimming pools
  • Jacuzzi tubs
  • Hot tubs
  • Waterfalls
  • Saunas
  • Spas

Each type has its advantages and disadvantages.

For example, an in-ground pool is generally better-looking and better-insulated than an above-ground pool. However, they’re also more costly and more difficult to install.

An above-ground pool is usually cheaper to buy and to install than an in-ground pool, but they often require the addition of a containing structure and a raised safety deck. And don’t last as long.

The type of pool you choose depends on your budget, needs, and preferences.

Cost Of Maintenance

how much does it cost to own a pool

Keeping a pool clean requires regular inspection and maintenance.

Once a year you’ll need to hire a professional to come out every month or two to inspect the pool. They’ll check the water quality, the filters, and the pumps. In addition, they’ll also check the electrical system and any leaks.

If you don’t maintain your pool properly, it could become damaged. This could lead to costly repairs.

It’s important to note that keeping a pool clean and well-maintained isn’t cheap. On average, it costs around $100 per month to maintain a pool.

Add another $50-100/month for utilities plus $200-$500 per year for unplanned maintenance.

Cost of Insurance

how much does it cost to own a pool

Most homeowner insurance policies cover the cost of repairing damage caused by natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods.

However, this coverage won’t apply to damage caused by human negligence.

Therefore, you should always take extra precautions when installing a pool.

This includes hiring a professional to build the pool.

Also, you should ensure that you have adequate insurance to recover the cost of damages caused by human negligence. Otherwise, you could be liable for the loss.

Cost Of Labor

how much does it cost to own a pool

You might think that hiring someone to help you install and maintain a pool would be very expensive.

However, the truth is that labor rates aren’t too high. Most professionals charge about $25-$35 per hour.

That said, skilled pool workers are hard to find in most cities these days. Which can mean long delays without the use of your pool when it fails.

Pool Installation: Cost Of Tools & Equipment

how much does it cost to own a pool

Equipment used to build a pool includes tools, having lifting and moving equipment, and materials.

More specifically, the most common kinds of equipment and supplies required include:

  • Shovels
  • Wheelbarrows
  • Rakes
  • Hand trowels
  • Trenches
  • Hoses
  • Gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Scaffolding
  • Power saws
  • Chlorine tablets
  • Sandpaper
  • Dumpster
  • Stilts
  • Drain pipes
  • Pump
  • Skimmers
  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Pumps
  • Filters
  • Filtration systems
  • Cleaning chemicals
  • Debris bags
  • Bags
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Plumbing supplies
  • Electrical supplies
  • Tools
  • Ladders
  • Cement mixers
  • Mixing bowls
  • Mortar
  • Concrete
  • Edging material
  • Landscaping supplies

As you can see, building a pool requires a LOT of equipment, tools and supplies. 

For homeowners who don’t normally fix things themselves, this is a large 1-time expense they won’t benefit from later on – which is another great reason to hire a professional instead.

Pool Installation: Cost Of Materials

how much does it cost to own a pool

Building a pool involves purchasing many different types of materials.

These include:


Concrete is the most common material used in swimming pools.

Concrete is durable and easy to work with.

It comes in various colors and finishes.

However, concrete is also heavy. Therefore, it takes up a lot of space.

It’s also hard to transport.

Masonry blocks

Masonry blocks are another popular choice for pool builders.

They’re made from stone.

This makes them strong and durable.

However, they’re not as light as concrete.

Therefore, they require more space than concrete.

Other materials

Other materials that can be used to make a pool include:

  • Stone

Stone is often used to create an attractive look for a pool.

It can come in many different shapes and sizes.

  • Metal

Metal is also commonly used to make a pool.

Metal is lightweight and easy to transport.

  • Wood

Wood is another option for making a pool.

It’s usually used to make decks and railings.

  • Fiberglass

Fiberglass is a type of plastic that can be used to build a pool.

Fiberglass is lightweight and easy to use.

However, it has limited applications.

Pool Installation: Other Factors

how much does it cost to own a pool

In addition to labor, materials, and equipment, a few other factors determine how much your installation costs.

The first factor is location.

If you live in an area with no restrictions on building a pool, you can save yourself a lot of money.

If you live in an area that requires permits, you’ll need to pay extra fees.

Another important factor is the size of your pool.

A smaller pool will always cost less to build less to maintain, and less to operate and clean than a larger pool with the same design and features.

How to Save Money On Your Next Pool

how much does it cost to own a pool

Now that we’ve covered some of the things that will help you lower the cost of installing a pool let’s talk about ways to save even more money.

1. Use Recycled Material

Recycling is one way to cut down on the amount of material in a pool.

For example, if you plan to purchase polyethylene liners, you could opt for recycled liners instead.

2. Buy Used Equipment

Buying secondhand equipment can save you a lot of money. For example, you might find that you can buy a used pump for half the price of a new one.

3. Build It Yourself

If you know how to do construction projects, you can build your pool at home.

You can quickly get free estimates from local contractors specializing in this kind of project.

4. Hire Skilled Professionals & Manage It Yourself

Hiring professionals can also save you money. For instance, you can choose to be the project manager and hire the specialty skills and equipment as you go.  This approach will save you approximately 20-30% on the total installation cost. 

But don’t even try this unless you have some experience managing outdoor projects of this complexity.

5. Ask Around

Even though you can save money by hiring a professional, you shouldn’t hesitate to ask friends and family members for their opinions.

They might know people who work with contractors who would charge less than you’d expect.

6. Do Your Research

Before you start looking for a pool builder, you should research online.

Check out reviews and testimonials from previous customers.

7. Ask Bidders Questions

When you meet with potential builders, you should always ask questions.

Ask them about the materials they use, the warranties they offer, and the quality of their work.

8. Compare Prices

When comparing prices, look at the total cost of ownership.

This includes everything from initial construction costs to maintenance costs.

9. Get Multiple Quotes

It’s not uncommon for homeowners to only receive one quote when planning to build a pool. However, getting multiple quotes can give you a good idea of how much different companies charge.

Always get 3 bids at a minimum.  Not only will this push prices down, you’ll get a lot more good ideas on how to save money by avoiding certain expensive features, materials, and options.

10. Consider Insurance Implications

It’s a good idea to check with your insurance provider before you decide to install a pool.

Some policies cover damage caused by faulty plumbing or electrical wiring.

11. Find Out About Rebates

Most states offer rebates for building pools.

These rebates can reduce the overall cost of installation.

12. Invest In Quality Materials

Quality materials are often cheaper than cheap ones over the long haul.

For instance, you could invest in high-quality vinyl liners rather than low-cost plastic liners.

13. Choose The Right Size

Choosing a size that’s too large than you really need is a very costly mistake that will last the life of your pool. 

We recommend the 80% rule: choose a pool size that will support 80% of the features and activities and party sizes you expect. 

Usually, you will not entertain nearly as much as you think – and not as many people will show up.  This will save you a lot of money upfront and down the line.

14. Look Into Financing Options

Financing options can make it easier to afford a pool.

Many lenders offer zero-interest loans.

15. Think About Maintenance Costs

Pools require regular maintenance.

However, many homeowners don’t realize that these costs add up quickly.

16. Plan Ahead

Planning will help you avoid surprises later on.

For example, you can order your pool liner early so that you won’t have to pay extra shipping fees.


1. What is the best time to install a swimming pool?

The best time to install a pool is during the summer months.

During this season, water temperatures tend to be higher.

As a result, you’ll need to run your pump longer.

2. How long does it take to install a swimming pool in my backyard?

Depending on the size of the pool, installing a pool can take anywhere between two weeks to three months.

3. Can I install a swimming pool myself?

Yes, but you’ll need to hire an expert to do the job.

4. Is it possible to install a swimming pool without digging a hole?

Yes, there are several ways to install a pool without digging a hole.

5. How much does it cost to install a swimming pool if I’m not a professional?

Installing a pool yourself can be very expensive.

You’ll likely end up spending thousands of dollars just on getting started.

6. How big can a swimming pool be?

Swimming pools come in all sizes.

You can find pools as small as 3 feet wide and 30 feet deep.

Or you can also find pools that are 60 feet wide and 100 feet deep.

7. Do I need a permit to install a swimming pool on my property?

No, you don’t need a permit to install any outdoor structure.

However, you may want to contact your local government to see what regulations apply to your area.

8. How much does it typically cost to install a swimming pond?

Swimming ponds are similar to swimming pools.

They differ in that they’re usually smaller.

9. How much does it generally cost to build a swimming pool?

Building a swimming pool can range from $10,000 to $100,000, but most inground pools can be installed for $20,000 to $50,000.

This price depends on how elaborate you’d like your pool to look, the optional features, and how large the pool will be.

10. Can I use concrete blocks instead of cement when building a swimming pool?

Concrete blocks are great because they’re inexpensive.

However, you should only use them if you plan to cover the entire surface of your pool with concrete.

11. How long does it typically take to build a swimming pool in my backyard?

It takes about six hours to build a swimming pool.

12. Will I need permits to build a swimming pool or a pond?

You may need a permit to build a swimming pool in some areas, but not a swimming pond.


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