Adding a swimming pool to your property can give you years of enjoyment, keep you cool in the summer and make you the toast of the neighborhood. There is a wide variety of swimming pools on the market, from above ground pools to in-ground pools with slides, fountains, and lights. How much you will spend for your swimming pool depends on many factors, so it helps to know the approximate costs when planning your project.
In-Ground Pools vs. Above-Ground Pools
This is one of the major factors that determines how much a swimming pool will cost. Both in-ground and above ground pools can be fun and refreshing, but there are fundamental differences in how much they will cost for the installation and maintenance. Above ground pools are typically more affordable than in-ground pools as they don’t require digging into the yard and installing plumbing hardware in the ground. On the low end, an above ground pool with installation can cost as little as $2,000 and all the way up to $11,000 or more depending on the brand, size, and features. In-ground pools and installation typically cost anywhere from $30,000-$100,000 depending on your specifications and options.
Above-ground pools are durable and reliable but can be installed quickly–in as little as one day. In-ground pools require construction and can take days to weeks to install. They typically last longer—up to 10 years or longer with proper maintenance.
The shape of your pool can also contribute to the cost of the installation. Round and rectangular pools are standard, but you can also choose from special shapes like kidney beans, lazy rivers, or L-shapes. The simpler the shape, the less expensive the pool. Installing a pool in a special shape can also increase the time it takes to have the pool built, which can add to the costs as well.
Every pool will require ongoing maintenance, but in-ground pools typically require more maintenance than above-ground pools. With in-ground pools, you will need to figure in the costs of chemical treatments, pool opening and closing, electricity, repairs, and cleaning. Most people spend between $3,500 and $4,000 annually on in-ground pool maintenance. For above-ground pools, you will still need to perform some of the same tasks, but the scale is usually smaller and thus the costs are generally lower, at around $1,000 per year. Another factor that adds into the maintenance cost is whether you perform the work yourself or hire a contractor to maintain your pool.
Pool Add-Ons and Accessories
While the base price for the pool and installation is fairly predictable, introducing accessories and add-ons to the equation means the price of your pool is a bit more unpredictable. Adding on extra features can mean additional installation and maintenance costs, so it helps to understand these to get a clearer picture of what to expect.
If you live in a residential area with an open backyard, you will need a fence. Fences will act as barriers, keeping young children and pets safe. Depending on your pool’s orientation, you may need a tall, chain-link fence. These fences will guard against animal invasions (you don’t want to see a bear swimming in your pool) and are excellent at keeping out curious neighborhood kids. Expect to pay up to a few thousand dollars for an eight-foot-tall chain link fence.
Adding in beautiful stone walls, greenery and natural accents can accentuate the aesthetic of your pool. Landscaping can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be, so costs will vary. In general, the average cost of landscaping around a pool will be about $13,000, depending on the size of your yard.
If you want to enjoy the pool when the weather is cooler, you will need to install a heater for comfort. Typically, this will cost between $1,800 and $2,400 for a heater, its components and installation.
Waterfalls can enhance the look of any pool and add a bit of spa-like luxury to your outdoor oasis. Waterfalls are both aesthetic and functional. They look great and keep the water circulating in the pool. Waterfalls range in size, so the price can vary widely. Most standard waterfalls cost about $1,500.
Nothing is more relaxing than lounging by the pool at night with just the pool’s underwater lights for ambience. Adding in a few simple lights can cost as little as $450 for the lights and installation, while more intricate lighting set-ups can cost $1,200 or more.
Diving Boards and Slides
Diving and sliding into the pool enhances the fun. Diving boards are pretty standard additions for pools that are at least 12′ deep, so it pays to factor in this cost. Expect to pay about $500 for a diving board and installation. Most simple pool slides cost between $1,500 and $3,000, while the taller, more elaborate slides can cost as much as $10,000.
Pool Steps and Railings
If you’re not installing a zero-entry pool, you will need to install steps to help you get in and out easily and safely. Steps are an absolute must if children or dogs will be using the pool. You can have stone steps built into the side of the pool or buy pre-made steps that hook onto the side. The average cost of steps is about $1,400- $1,900. When installing steps, you’ll also likely need to install a railing, which will add a couple hundred more dollars onto your total pool price. Ladders, for either above ground or inground pools, will also add anywhere from $100 to around $300 each to your total.
If you are installing a permanent above ground pool or an in-ground pool, you will need a permit from your town or city for the construction. Permits will range from $80 to $100, depending on where you live. In some cases, your pool installation company will add this fee into the cost of their service.
Where to Buy Swimming Pools
Most people buy pools from companies that specialize in swimming pools and installation. In addition, most landscaping companies can give you referrals to the best places to buy swimming pools in your area. If you are looking for above ground pools, home improvement stores and online retailers are a good place to start.
When it comes to enhancing your backyard enjoyment, there is no better way than with a swimming pool. Whether you are looking for a permanent above ground pool or a custom-built in-ground pool, there are great options that can fit just about any budget.