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When you visualize the perfect backyard, does a pool come to mind? If so, you’re not alone—a backyard pool is a common dream for many homeowners. But what’s the reality of owning a pool? For starters, let’s dispel the myth that all pools cost a fortune. While in-ground pools tend to be more expensive than above-ground pools, there are plenty of affordable options for both.
So, how much does a backyard pool cost? The average cost of installing an in-ground pool is between $45,500 and $66,800, depending on the type of pool you want. Meanwhile, the average cost of installing an above-ground pool is $5,150, with most people spending between $3,000 and $10,000. Of course, these are just averages—the actual cost of your pool will depend on several factors, including size, shape, type of pool (in-ground or above ground), features, location, and installation costs.
This post discusses everything you need to know about the cost of setting up a backyard pool. Read on o find out everything you need to know.
Cost Estimator by Pool Type
Generally, the type of pool you want to install in your backyard will significantly affect the overall cost. The three common types of backyard pools are vinyl liner, concrete, and fiberglass.
Each type of pool has its own pros and cons. Therefore, you need to figure out your needs and go for a pool type that suits your needs and your budget. Here is a quick breakdown of the likely costs for each type of pool:
1. Vinyl Liner Pool
A vinyl liner pool is the most budget-friendly option for many property owners. On average, homeowners spend between $25,000 to $45,000 to install a vinyl-liner pool in their backyards.
This pool is smooth on your feet, and you can easily customize it to any shape you want. However, the pool needs to be replaced every ten years, but the replacement cost is relatively low. Most people spend between $3,000 and $5,000 to replace their vinyl-liner pools.
2. Fiberglass Pool
A fiberglass pool is basically a pre-made shell that is dropped into an excavated hole in your backyard. The hole must match the pool’s size and shape.
The installation cost ranges between $25,000 and $75,000, with the average homeowner spending about $40,000.
The main advantage of this type of pool is that it’s low-maintenance. In addition, fiberglass pools are resistant to staining and can last for decades with proper care.
Most homeowners with this type of pool say they don’t have to resurface their pools. However, if you purchase a low-quality pool shell, you may be forced to resurface it, which might cost anything between $4,000 and $10,000.
3. Concrete Pool
A concrete pool is the most expensive type of backyard pool, with the average homeowner spending between $35,500 and $72,800 to install one. The main advantage of a concrete pool is that it’s highly customizable. You can have any shape or size you want.
In addition, concrete pools can be stained or textured to match your home’s exterior. They also last longer than other types of pools—with proper care, a concrete pool can last for decades.
However, these pools are also the most high-maintenance type of pool. They require regular resurfacing (every 5 to 7 years) and can be susceptible to staining and cracking.
The cost of resurfacing a concrete pool range from $4,000 to $10,000. Meanwhile, the cost of repairing a cracked concrete pool ranges from $2,500 to $5,000.
Saltwater vs. Chlorine Water Pools
Some backyard pools use chlorine to kill germs and bacteria, while others use saltwater. There are pros and cons to each type of pool.
Saltwater pools are becoming increasingly popular because they’re less harsh on your skin and eyes than chlorine pools. In addition, saltwater pools don’t require you to add chlorine regularly—the salt is converted into chlorine by a process called electrolysis.
However, saltwater pools are more expensive to maintain than chlorine pools. Typical saltwater pools require a saltwater generator that costs between $400 and $1,800 to buy and about $500 to install.
The salt itself usually costs anything between $50 and $150. It means that the total initial cost of setting up a saltwater pool is between $950 and $2,450. This is a fairly small amount of money relative to the overall cost of installing the pool.
However, in terms of ongoing maintenance costs, saltwater pools tend to have fewer chemical expenses compared to their chlorine counterparts. Typically, a chlorine pool will set you back up to $1,000 in chemical expenses yearly.
In-Ground Pool Costs vs. Above-Ground Pool Costs
There are two main types of backyard pools: in-ground pools and above-ground pools. As the name suggests, in-ground pools are built into the ground, while above-ground pools are built on top of the ground.
In-ground pools are more expensive than above-ground pools, with the average homeowner spending between $35,000 and $72,800 to install one. The main advantage of in-ground pools is that they’re highly customizable—you can have any shape or size you want.
In addition, in-ground pools can be stained or textured to match your home’s exterior. They also last longer than above-ground pools—with proper care, an in-ground pool can last for decades.
However, in-ground pools are also the most high-maintenance type of pool. They require regular resurfacing (every 5 to 7 years) and can be susceptible to staining and cracking.
The cost of resurfacing an in-ground pool ranges from $4,000 to $10,000. Meanwhile, the cost of repairing a cracked in-ground pool ranges from $2,500 to $5,000.
Above-ground pools are less expensive than in-ground pools, with the average homeowner spending between $1,500 and $5,000 to install one. The main advantage of above-ground pools is that they’re much easier to install—you can often set one up in a matter of hours.
In addition, above-ground pools are less likely to leak than in-ground pools. They also last for about ten years with proper care, which makes them a more cost-effective choice in the long run.
However, above-ground pools are also less customizable than in-ground pools. They come in set sizes and shapes, so you’ll have to find one that fits your needs. Furthermore, above-ground pools can be more difficult to clean than in-ground pools.
Pool Size and Shape
Large pools measure approximately 18 by 36 feet, and most have deep ends of at least nine feet. Typically, the cost of this pool size starts at about $35,000.
Relatively smaller pools and cocktail pools cost between $10,000 and $25,000. Most of these pools usually measure about ten feet wide, 20 feet long, and are only five feet deep.
Most of them are only used for cooling off and lounging but can also be fitted with standard jets for swimming laps.
Regardless of the pool size and customization, a standard pool plan costs between $50 and $150 per square foot.
Cost of Labor
The labor cost will depend on the size and type of pool you want to install. In general, the cost of labor for an above-ground pool is between $500 and $1,500, while the cost of labor for an in-ground pool is between $5,000 and $15,000.
The cost of labor for a saltwater pool is usually the same as the cost of labor for a chlorine pool. However, you need to remember that the cost of labor may vary greatly depending on the geographic location.
If you live in an area with a higher cost of living, you should also expect to pay more in labor costs. These costs can also skyrocket if the installation involves excavating and clearing large trees with massive root systems.
Additional Pool Features
If you want to add additional features to your pool, such as a waterfall or a fountain, expect to pay between $500 and $5,000 for these upgrades.
If you want to install a pool heater, the average cost is between $1,500 and $3,000. Meanwhile, the average cost of installing a pool cover is between $600 and $2,000. Finally, if you want to add a deck around your pool, the average cost is between $2,000 and $7,000.
DIY vs. Hiring a Pool Professional
The truth is that you can save up to 50% of the costs if you decide to do everything by yourself. However, you need to remember that constructing a pool is a huge task that requires advanced skills and knowledge.
In addition, it’s important to note that most pool companies offer a warranty on their products and services. It means that if you encounter any problems with your pool in the future, you can have it repaired or replaced without spending any additional money.
On the other hand, if you decide to do it by yourself, you’ll have to shoulder all the costs of repairs and replacements.
Therefore, it’s best to hire a professional if you don’t have the time, skills, and knowledge to construct a pool. Ultimately, it will save you a lot of money and headaches.
Permits and Inspections
Finally, you need to factor in the costs of permits and inspections when installing a pool. The cost of permits varies greatly depending on your location. In general, the cost of a permit is between $100 and $500.
Meanwhile, the cost of inspections is usually between $100 and $200. Keep in mind that you need to get a permit before you can start constructing your pool. Failure to do so may result in costly fines.
It’s also important to note that most pool companies include the cost of permits and inspections in their quotation. However, it’s still best to ask about it to be sure.
Now that you know the average costs of installing a pool, you can start planning your budget. Remember to factor in the cost of labor, the size and shape of the pool, as well, as any additional features you want to add. With careful planning, you can enjoy your very own pool without breaking the bank.
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