How Much Does It Cost To Build A Pool?

The cost to build a pool ranges from $17,000 to $45,000 or more. Some people may build a pool at their property for as low as $10,000, while some may spend more than $100,000 to include luxury add-ons, temperature systems, and custom features.

The national average ranges from $28,000 to $30,000 for most homeowners who build a pool at their homes. The per-square feet cost for the in-ground pool ranges from $50 to $130.


Factors That Affect Pool Building Costs

Pool Size

The size of the pool is a major determinant of the overall cost. For instance, if we consider a cost of $115 per square foot, a small-sized pool (10×20 feet or 200 square feet) would cost around $23,000. A medium-sized pool (16×32 feet or 512 square feet) would cost around $58,880. A large pool (20×40 feet or 800 square feet) would cost around $92,000. The larger the pool, the more materials, labor, and time are needed, increasing the overall cost.

Pool Shape

Pool shapes can vary from basic rectangles and ovals to more complex shapes like kidney, L-shaped, figure 8, or custom designs. Simple shapes like rectangles and ovals generally cost less as they are easier to build and require less complex construction methods. More complex shapes like kidney or custom designs can increase the cost due to additional labor and materials required.

Pool Shape

Pool Type

The type of pool also significantly affects the cost. Above-ground pools are typically the cheapest, followed by vinyl liner in-ground pools. Fiberglass pools come at a middle price range, and concrete or gunite pools are usually the most expensive. The type affects the cost due to differences in installation complexity, material costs, and maintenance requirements.


Location can significantly influence pool installation costs due to variations in labor costs, permit fees, and the cost of living. For instance, California, New York, and Massachusetts have higher pool installation costs, while states like Florida, Texas, and Arizona are generally cheaper.

Labor Costs

Labor usually accounts for a significant portion of the overall pool cost, often around 20-30%. Labor costs can vary based on location, with urban areas typically having higher rates than rural ones due to the higher cost of living.

Labor Costs


Most municipalities require permits for pool installation, which can vary greatly in cost depending on local regulations. On average, permit costs can range from $200 to over $1,000.


Excavation costs for a standard-sized pool can range between $500 and $2,000, depending on the ground conditions and the amount of soil that needs to be removed. Areas with rocky soil or other difficult conditions can increase these costs.


Landscaping around a pool can vary widely in cost depending on the complexity of the design and the types of plants or materials used. On average, pool landscaping can cost anywhere from $1,500 to over $5,000.


Material costs can greatly affect the total pool cost. Concrete pools are typically the most expensive due to the cost of materials and the labor-intensive installation process. Vinyl liner pools are usually cheaper in terms of material costs, but require more frequent liner replacements.


The filtration system is a crucial part of any pool. Basic sand filter systems are the least expensive, while cartridge and DE (Diatomaceous Earth) filters are pricier but provide better filtration. A standard pool filtration system can cost between $500 and $2,000, with higher-end systems costing more.


Heating Systems

Heating systems allow for an extended swimming season and more comfortable water temperatures. The three main types are gas heaters, heat pumps, and solar heaters. Gas heaters are typically the least expensive to install but more costly to run, ranging from $1,500 to $3,500. Heat pumps cost more upfront (around $2,000 to $5,000) but are more energy-efficient. Solar heaters have the highest initial cost (around $3,000 to $4,000) but virtually zero operating costs.

Pool Covers and Water Features

Pool covers can cost anywhere from $50 for a basic cover to $1,000 or more for an automatic safety cover. They help to reduce evaporation, keep the pool clean, and increase safety. Depending on the complexity, water features like waterfalls and fountains can add $1,000 to $5,000 each. They enhance the aesthetics and can also assist with pool aeration.

Fence/Enclosure Installation

Safety fences or enclosures are often required by law for in-ground pools. The cost can vary based on materials and size, but on average, you can expect to pay between $1,500 and $10,000. Factors affecting the cost include the fence material (vinyl, metal, glass, etc.), the fenced area size, and local labor costs.


Maintenance costs depend on the pool size and type. A small pool might cost around $500 per year to maintain, a standard-sized pool around $1,200, and a large pool could be over $2,000. These costs include regular cleaning, chemical treatments, and minor repairs.


Luxury and Advanced Features

Luxury features can significantly increase the cost of a pool but also add value and enjoyment. A diving board might cost $300-$500, while a waterfall or fountain could be $1,000-$5,000. A deck can range from $3,000 to $12,000, a hot tub might add $3,000 to $10,000, and an outdoor kitchen can range from $5,000 to $50,000, depending on complexity.


Customizing your pool can make it uniquely yours but will add to the cost. Options include custom shapes ($2,000-$10,000), mosaic tile designs ($20-$100 per square foot), LED lighting ($700-$900 per light), swim-up bars ($10,000-$20,000), and infinity edges ($15,000-$20,000). A beach entry, which creates a gentle slope into the pool mimicking a beach, can cost an additional $7,000-$15,000.

Also Read: How Much Does It Cost To Pump A Septic Tank?

Building a Pool Costs: Explained with Pool Types

Inground Fiberglass

Fiberglass pools are pre-manufactured and installed in various shapes and sizes in the excavated site. They are known for their durability and low maintenance needs. The cost for these pools typically ranges from $20,000 to $60,000, including the shell and installation price.

Inground Concrete

Concrete pools, also known as gunite pools, offer the most flexibility in terms of design and size. However, they are also the most expensive to build and maintain. The cost of a concrete pool can range from $50,000 to over $100,000, depending on size, shape, and any custom features.

Inground Vinyl

Vinyl liner pools have a lower upfront cost than other in-ground pool types. They consist of a reinforced steel or polymer frame and a custom-made vinyl liner. The cost for these pools typically ranges from $20,000 to $50,000, though the liners need replacement every 7-10 years at a cost of $3,000 to $5,000.

Inground Vinyl

Above-Ground Pool

Above-ground pools are the least expensive option and can be installed more quickly than in-ground pools. These pools can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000 for basic models and up to $15,000 for higher-end models with larger dimensions and more durable materials.

Cocktail Pools

Cocktail pools are smaller than standard pools, designed for lounging and cooling off rather than swimming laps. Because of their smaller size, they’re cheaper to install and maintain. The cost of a cocktail pool can range from $10,000 to $30,000, depending on materials and any added features.

Endless or Lap Pools

Endless pools, also known as lap pools, are compact and feature a water current for swimming in place. They are typically more expensive than standard pools due to the additional equipment required. The cost can range from $20,000 to $60,000.

Hot Tub or Spa

Hot tubs or spas can be installed independently or integrated with a pool. Standalone hot tubs can range from $3,000 to $10,000, while a spa integrated with a pool can add $8,000 to $15,000 to the overall pool cost.

Related Guide: How Much Does It Cost To Build A Barndominium?

Hot Tub or Spa

Can I DIY build a pool? How much does it Cost, and is it a Better Decision?

Yes, it is possible to DIY-build a pool, which can significantly reduce the overall cost. A DIY above-ground pool could cost as little as $1,000 to $3,000, while a DIY in-ground pool might range from $10,000 to $30,000, depending on materials and size. However, building a pool is a complex project that requires specific skills and tools. Mistakes can lead to significant repair costs down the line. For safety, longevity, and quality, hiring professionals is generally recommended, especially for in-ground pools.

Tips to Save Money While Building a Pool

Opt for a Simpler Design: The more complex your pool design, the higher the cost. Choosing a simple, rectangular pool can help save money.

Choose a Vinyl or Above-Ground Pool: These types of pools are typically less expensive than concrete or fiberglass options.

Do Some Work Yourself: While building the entire pool yourself may be too big, you might be able to handle some aspects like landscaping or fencing.

Skip the Extras: While features like waterfalls, hot tubs, and custom lighting are nice, they can significantly increase the cost. Consider adding them later on.

Regular Maintenance: Keeping up with regular pool maintenance can help prevent costly repairs in the future.

Shop Around for Contractors: Don’t just go with the first pool builder you find. Get multiple quotes to ensure you’re getting a fair price.

Opt for Energy-Efficient Equipment: While they may cost more upfront, energy-efficient pumps and heaters can save you money in the long run.

Install in the Off-Season: Some pool builders may offer discounts for off-season installations when they are less busy.

Use a Pool Cover: A pool cover can save money by reducing water evaporation, keeping the pool cleaner, and maintaining warmer water temperatures.

Tips to Save Money While Building a Pool

Above Ground vs. Inground Pool: Which is Better for Me?

The decision between an above-ground and in-ground pool depends on several factors: budget, space, aesthetics, and personal preferences.

Above-Ground Pool

These are generally the most cost-effective option, ranging from $1,500 to $15,000, depending on size and quality. Above-ground pools are easier to install and can be disassembled and moved. However, they’re often less durable than in-ground options, and some people prefer the look of an in-ground pool.

In-Ground Pool

These are more expensive, typically $20,000 to $100,000+, based on materials (vinyl, fiberglass, or concrete), size, and additional features. In-ground pools can add value to your home, offer more depth for diving, and allow for more design flexibility. However, they require more time to install and more maintenance.

To decide which is best for you, consider your budget, how you plan to use the pool (for fun, exercise, improving your property’s value), how much yard space you have, and the look you prefer. An above-ground pool could be the best choice if budget is a primary concern. If you’re looking for a long-term investment that offers more design flexibility, an in-ground pool might be the better option.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to install an above-ground pool?

Installing an above-ground pool can range from $1,500 to $15,000, depending on the size, quality, and whether it includes a surrounding deck or other features.

What is the cost of making a 12-foot by 24-foot inground pool?

The cost of a 12×24 foot inground pool can vary significantly based on the material. Vinyl pools might cost $20,000 to $40,000, fiberglass pools can range from $25,000 to $60,000, and concrete pools can cost anywhere from $30,000 to $70,000.

How much does it cost to winterize an inground pool?

Winterizing an inground pool, which involves balancing the water, cleaning, covering, and adjusting water levels, can cost between $150 and $300, depending on the pool size and local labor costs.

How much does it cost to maintain an inground pool?

Annual maintenance costs for an inground pool can range from $1,200 to $1,800. This includes regular cleaning, chemical treatments, and minor repairs.

How long does it take to build a pool?

The time to build a pool can vary based on its type and complexity. Above-ground pools can often be installed in a few days, while inground pools typically take 6-12 weeks to build.

What is the average life of an inground swimming pool?

The lifespan of an inground pool depends on the material. Vinyl liners usually last 7-10 years, fiberglass pools can last 20-25 years, and concrete pools can last over 50 years with proper maintenance.

What’s the best material for building an inground pool?

The best material for an inground pool depends on your priorities. Vinyl is cost-effective, fiberglass requires less maintenance, and concrete offers the most design flexibility. Each has its pros and cons.

Can I get loans to build a pool at my home?

Yes, various financial institutions provide home improvement loans specifically for pool construction. You can also consider a home equity loan or line of credit. It’s important to compare options to find the best rates and terms.

Do inground pools increase my home value?

In many cases, yes. An inground pool can increase your home’s value, especially in warmer climates where pools are in high demand. However, the value added will likely be less than the cost of the pool itself.

What is a saltwater pool, and how much does it cost to build?

A saltwater pool uses a salt chlorine generator to create chlorine, reducing the need for traditional chlorine tablets or liquid. The cost to build a saltwater pool is similar to a regular pool, with an additional $1,500 to $2,500 for the salt chlorine generator.

Leave a Comment