First, there’s no easy one-size-fits-all answer. There used to be just a few types of pools available. Maybe you’d choose a 16×32 pool, an 18×36 or a kidney-shaped pool. But there’s no such thing as standard anymore. And that’s a good thing. These days, pools come in all sorts of custom sizes and shapes, with all sorts of price tags.
The other important factor to consider is that typically, you’re not just buying a swimming pool. You’re buying a backyard. Our typical customer wants a pool, but they also want a patio, and maybe an adjacent fire pit. And usually, some landscaping.
So you can see why plunking a price tag on that question is a tough thing to do.
That said, let’s take a look at some of the typical costs, to give you a starting point.
First, A Word About Cars
It helps to think of a pool purchase in terms of a car purchase. There are $25,000 cars out there and $250,000 cars out there. Same thing with pools.
A customer looking for a Maserati is not looking for the same features as the customer shopping for a Kia. Just like you can buy a $25,000 Kia, you can buy a $25,000 pool. It would be a basic pool, with sidewalk style paving around it.
You expect more features if you shop for a $70,000 car. And even more for a $500,000 car. Same with a pool — it starts to get fancier with more amenities. And there’s a huge array of amenities, which makes offering up a price for a pool a real challenge.
So the figures we share here are guidelines to give you a starting point.
The Starting Cost To Install An Inground Pool
For a vinyl-lined pool, the basic project cost is between $50,000 and $75,000 and includes the pool, a basic patio, utilities, modest landscaping, and a fence. Pumps, filters and operating equipment is included.
For a gunite pool, that project cost starts at $75,000 and goes up, depending on added features.
Need a quick primer on the difference between a vinyl-lined pool and a gunite pool?
Gunite pools are made of concrete covered in plaster and are completely customizable in shape and size. They tend to have longer construction times compared to vinyl pools but are also considered a more permanent structure.
Vinyl liner pools are constructed using a steel frame that is molded to fit the design you choose. The steel frame acts as the foundation for the concrete floor and vinyl liner that covers it.
Vinyl costs less up front, but there are more maintenance and repair costs down the road. Some prefer vinyl liner pools for their fast installation and their soft underfoot feel.
So, there’s the starting cost. But wait a minute, you say. For what size pool? Here’s the interesting thing. It doesn’t really matter. It costs a lot less than you think to bump up from, say, a 16×40 pool to a 20×40 pool.
You’d only need a couple of extra 4-foot steel wall panels — out of 100 total.
And you’d need about 20 more bolts — out of 1,000 total. And a couple extra braces.
You’d still need the same number of pool construction experts to come out and work on the pool. They’d basically just be scooping out some extra dirt to make your pool bigger.
Pool Features — Here’s Where It Gets Fun
Where the cost for a pool goes up is not in its size, but in added features. And this is where it gets fun. It’s where you make your pool uniquely your own.
The most expensive, but most valuable feature is an automatic pool cover.
It adds between $10,000 and $20,000 to the cost. But it means your pool is covered daily when not in use. It keeps the heat in, which saves money. It keeps debris out, which saves cleaning time. And it provides safety, which you can’t put a price tag on if you have a toddler at your house. It’s a really smart investment.
The Cost For Popular Add-Ons
Automation system. $2,000 to $6,000. With pool automation, many of your pesky pool needs will be taken care of automatically. Pool automation systems can control everything from sanitizing to heating to turning on lights and water features.
Hot tub. $10,000 to $20,000, depending on how it’s configured.
Water features. From $5,000 for a simple rock waterfall to $50,000 for a cave or infinity edge
Sun shelves, a custom bench, steps. $2,000 to $10,000, depending on complexity. And what’s a sun shelf, you ask? It’s an over-sized step in the shallow or deep area of your pool that allows space for lounging, play or a spot to enjoy the sun without overheating.
Features For A Gunite Pool
Note there are things you can do with a gunite pool that you can’t do with a vinyl pool. Do you want a cave or a grotto? That can only be done in gunite. Dreaming of bar stools for in-pool drinks? They would damage a vinyl liner, but you can do that with gunite.
Unexpected Installation Cost Considerations
The thing homeowners in the midst of a pool construction job fear most: hearing about unexpected added costs. It can happen. The three most common such things happen on excavation day:
- The crew hit rock while excavating — now they need to hammer through the rock.
- The crew hit high ground water. Maybe they dug down four feet and see water collecting. Their goal was to dig down eight feet, but now they have to dig down nine feet, spread a layer of gravel and pump out the water.
- The crew hit unexpected tree stumps or construction debris buried by the home builder — now it has to be excavated. And more gravel may need to be hauled in to fill in the resulting space.
When It Comes To Pools — And Your Landscape — Neave Does It All
As we said before, there’s more to a typical pool project than just the pool. That’s why working with Neave Pools is a perfect choice. You also have immediate access to our sister divisions, from Neave Landscaping to Neave Irrigation to Neave Carpentry and Neave Masonry.
Neave Group Outdoor Solutions offers just that — solutions. Together, we can meet all of your outdoor project needs.
We begin by exploring your ideas while offering material suggestions and layout options that will help give your new pool shape and form. The pool design process is the most important step because it lays the foundation for your new pool.
Once the layout, pool design, and materials for your new pool have been decided, your contractor will discuss with you accessory options and special features to make your pool your own.
Your Neave Pools specialist will give you an estimated construction timetable and end date and work with you through the entire process to make sure everything is to your precise specifications.
Then, grab your suit and towel!
If you’re in Hudson Valley, call (845) 463-0592. Westchester, call (914) 271-7996. Cold Spring, call (845) 463-0592, and in Connecticut, call (203) 212-4800. Or fill out the handy web form on this page, and we’ll get in touch with you to schedule a complimentary swimming pool consultation.