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How Much Does an Inground Pool Cost?

on 08/22/2023 | Reading time: 11 minutes
Inground pool
Image by lifeforstock on Freepik

Inground pools have become a symbol of luxury and leisure in many households. Apart from offering a private oasis for relaxation, they can also increase the value of a property. But before diving in, one must understand the costs of installing one.

Factors Influencing Inground Pool Costs

1. Size & Depth

As the pool's size and depth increase, so does its cost. Here's a rough breakdown:

Size (Length x Width) Average Cost
12' x 24' $10,000 - $25,000
14' x 28' $14,000 - $30,000
16' x 32' $18,000 - $35,000
20' x 40' $25,000 - $50,000

2. Shape & Design

While standard rectangular pools tend to be less expensive, custom shapes and designs can significantly increase costs. Features like waterfalls can add between $1,000 and $15,000, depending on their complexity.

3. Materials Used

Different materials have different price points:

Material Average Cost
Concrete $30,000 - $70,000
Vinyl Liner $20,000 - $45,000
Fiberglass $20,000 - $60,000

4. Location & Terrain

Excavation can range from $500 to $10,000 depending on the soil type, existing landscaping, and accessibility. Some regions might also have higher prices due to increased demand or labor costs.

5. Pool Equipment & Features

A basic filter system starts at around $1,500, while more advanced systems can go up to $10,000. Additional features like heaters ($1,500 - $4,000) and LED lighting ($50 - $300 per light) also contribute to costs.

6. Labor Costs

Professional installation varies but generally ranges from $5,000 to $20,000, depending on the complexity and region.

Additional Costs to Consider

1. Permits & Regulations

Depending on local regulations, permit costs can range from $100 to $1,000.

2. Landscaping & Decking

Landscaping adjustments cost anywhere from $500 to $10,000. Depending on the material, pool decking can range from $3,000 to $12,000.

3. Maintenance & Upkeep

Monthly chemical maintenance averages $20-$60, while annual cleaning services range from $500 to $2,000.

4. Pool Safety Features

Installing fencing might cost between $1,500 and $10,000, while alarms range from $100 to $300. Pool covers vary widely based on type, averaging between $100 and $2,000.

Financing & Budgeting

1. Financing Options

Many banks offer personal loans for pool installations. You can consider home equity or specific pool loans, which usually have interest rates between 4% and 12%.

2. Return on Investment (ROI)

Inground pools can increase property value by 7% to 15%, depending on the region and the quality of the installation. When considering this, weigh the ongoing maintenance costs and personal enjoyment value.

How to Calculate Inground Pool Cost: A Formulaic Approach

Incorporating a formulaic approach to calculating the cost of an inground pool will help potential owners get a clearer picture of their expected expenses. Below is a basic formula, followed by a breakdown of each component:

Total Cost = (Base Material Cost + Size & Depth Cost + Design Cost + Excavation Cost + Equipment Cost + Labor Cost + Permit Cost + Landscaping & Decking Cost + Safety Features Cost + Additional Features Cost) × (1 + Contingency)

1. Base Material Cost:

Cost of the primary material (concrete, vinyl liner, fiberglass)

Example: For a vinyl liner pool, this might be $25,000.

2. Size & Depth Cost:

The size and depth of the pool determine additional costs.

Example: For every added foot of depth, the cost might increase by $1,000.

3. Design Cost:

Custom designs or unique shapes might carry additional costs.

Example: A custom shape might add $3,000 to your base cost.

4. Excavation Cost:

Costs associated with preparing the land. It varies based on soil type, existing landscaping, and accessibility.

Example: Rocky terrain might increase costs by $2,500.

5. Equipment Cost:

Costs of filters, pumps, heaters, and other equipment.

Example: An advanced filtration system might add $2,000.

6. Labor Cost:

The cost to pay the professionals installing the pool.

Example: Labor for a vinyl liner pool might be $8,000.

7. Permit Cost:

Fees for local permits and regulations.

Example: $500 for a residential permit.

8. Landscaping & Decking Cost:

Costs for surrounding the pool with decking or landscaping.

Example: A simple concrete deck might add $5,000.

9. Safety Features Cost:

Costs for fences, alarms, and other safety features.

Example: A fence might cost $3,000.

10. Additional Features Cost:

Waterfalls, lights, slides, etc.

Example: LED lights might add $1,000.

11. Contingency:

A percentage (usually 10-20%) added to cover unforeseen expenses.

If you set a 10% contingency, use 0.10 for the formula.

Example Calculation:

Let's say you have the following costs for a vinyl liner pool:

  • Base Material Cost: $25,000
  • Size & Depth Cost: $2,000
  • Design Cost: $3,000
  • Excavation Cost: $2,500
  • Equipment Cost: $2,000
  • Labor Cost: $8,000
  • Permit Cost: $500
  • Landscaping & Decking Cost: $5,000
  • Safety Features Cost: $3,000
  • Additional Features Cost: $1,000
  • Contingency: 10%

Total Cost = ($25,000 + $2,000 + $3,000 + $2,500 + $2,000 + $8,000 + $500 + $5,000 + $3,000 + $1,000) x 1.10 Total Cost = $52,000 x 1.10 = $57,200

Your estimated total cost for the inground pool, including contingencies, is $57,200.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Inground Pool Costs

How much does an average inground pool cost?

Typically, an inground pool's price falls between $20,000 and $70,000, though it can exceed this range, depending on factors like size, material, location, and added features. It does not include ongoing maintenance costs.

Is a concrete, vinyl liner, or fiberglass pool more expensive?

Concrete pools tend to be the most expensive, followed by fiberglass and vinyl liner pools. However, costs vary depending on region, design, and additional features.

Are there ongoing costs associated with owning a pool?

Yes. Pool owners should budget for regular maintenance, which includes chemicals, cleaning, and potential equipment repairs or replacements. Annually, this can range from $500 to $2,000 or more.

Does installing a pool increase the value of my home?

In many cases, yes. A well-maintained inground pool can increase a home's value by 7% to 15%. However, this varies by region and the pool's quality.

Can I install an inground pool myself to save costs?

While it's technically possible to DIY an inground pool installation, it's a complex process that requires specific expertise. Mistakes can lead to significantly higher costs in the long run. Hiring professionals is recommended.

How long does it take to install an inground pool?

Depending on the type of pool, design complexity, and weather conditions, the installation typically takes 6 to 12 weeks.

Do I need a permit to install a pool?

In most regions, yes. Checking local regulations and obtaining the necessary permits before installing is essential. These permits ensure that the pool meets safety and construction standards.

How much should I set aside for unforeseen expenses during installation?

A common practice is to set aside a contingency of 10-20% of the estimated pool cost to cover unexpected expenses.

Are there financing options available for inground pools?

Yes, many lenders offer personal loans, home equity loans, or specialized pool loans to help finance an inground pool installation. It's advisable to shop around and compare interest rates and terms.

How do I estimate the cost of adding unique features like waterfalls or slides?

Costs for special features vary widely. A ballpark figure for waterfalls is usually between $1,000 and $15,000 and $500 to $5,000 for slides, depending on design and complexity. Always consult with pool companies for detailed quotes.

This FAQ should provide a quick overview for those considering an inground pool. For a deeper dive, consult professionals and gather multiple quotes to make an informed decision.

Questions to Ask When Evaluating Inground Pool Companies

1. Experience & Background

  • How many years have you been in the pool installation business?
  • Can you provide references from previous customers?

2. Licensing & Insurance

  • Are you licensed to install pools in this area?
  • Are you insured for both liability and workers' compensation?

3. Design & Customization

  • Do you offer custom pool designs or primarily work with set templates?
  • Could you show me examples of your past projects?

4. Materials & Equipment

  • What type of pools (concrete, vinyl liner, fiberglass) do you specialize in?
  • What brands or quality of equipment and materials do you use?

5. Contract & Warranty

  • Can I see a sample contract before we proceed?
  • What does your warranty cover, and for how long?

6. Cost & Payment

  • Do you provide a detailed breakdown of costs in your quotes?
  • What is the payment schedule? Is there a deposit required?

7. Timeline & Process

  • How long does a typical installation take?
  • How do you handle delays or unforeseen challenges?

8. Maintenance & Aftercare

  • Do you offer maintenance or servicing packages post-installation?
  • Are there any maintenance tips or best practices you'd recommend for the type of pool I'm interested in?

9. Safety & Regulations

  • Do you handle obtaining the necessary permits for pool installation?
  • How do you ensure the pool meets all local safety regulations?

10. Team & Subcontractors

  • Who will be the primary point of contact during the installation?
  • Do you use subcontractors for any part of the process? If so, how do you vet them?

11. Environment & Sustainability

  • Do you offer energy-efficient equipment options?
  • How do you handle waste and materials during the construction process?

12. Additional Features & Services

  • Do you provide additional decking, lighting, or water features?
  • If I want to add features in the future, do you offer those services?

These questions will help you gauge a pool company's credibility, expertise, and suitability for your specific needs. Always take the time to research and compare multiple companies before making a decision.


When considering an inground pool, it's vital to factor in all the associated costs, not just the initial installation price. Understanding these aspects positions you to make a knowledgeable choice suited to your budget and lifestyle.

The opinions articulated in this piece are the guest author's and may not necessarily align with those of Crackerjack. Find more about staff authors of Crackerjack

About the author
Fancy House LLC
Fancy House LLC is a seasoned contractor and a prolific writer in the field of home improvement. With their extensive experience and expertise, they have earned a reputation for delivering exceptional results in construction projects of all scales. As a writer, they share their knowledge through well-researched articles that offer practical tips, advice, and inspiration to homeowners and DIY enthusiasts. With a friendly demeanor and a commitment to quality, Fancy House LLC is a trusted contractor who consistently delivers outstanding home improvement services and informative content.

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At Crackerjack, we assist many people each year with their projects. Our process involves collecting estimates from local professionals and conducting our own research, which we use to provide you with valuable price information. Please note that the prices provided in the current article are for informational purposes only and may change at any time. To receive a personalized cost estimate for your specific project, we recommend contacting a professional in your area.

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