How Much Does an Inground Pool Installation Really Cost?

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Having an inground pool is a lot of fun and is something that your whole family can enjoy. However, before you rush off to your nearest pool store, you need to think about the cost to install an inground pool.

The average cost to install an inground pool in Texas is between $12,000 and $44,400.  However, that is a wide range.

We will see how there are a lot of choices to make once you decide to install an inground pool.  Each choice will affect the cost of installing your inground pool.

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Factors that Affect Indoor Pool Costs

First, there are a number of factors that will affect how much it will cost to install your pool.  They are:

  • The size of your inground pool
  • The material that is used for your inground pool
  • The area where your pool is installed
  • The design of your inground pool
  • The accessories and features that you choose to add
  • The labor involved and how much that you can do yourself
  • The landscaping around your pool

Size

Size is the single largest factor in figuring out the cost of an inground pool installation.  The average size of an inground pool is 14 ft x 28 ft, but you could go larger or smaller.

Let’s start with the obvious.  A large pool is more expensive than a smaller pool.

Size doesn’t just affect the cost for materials.  The equipment used and labor required are more expensive for a large pool than for a smaller pool.

Pool are basically grouped into three size categories:

  • Small: 27 ft. long or less
  • Medium: Between 28-34 ft. long
  • Large: More than 35 ft long

When we talk about size, we also need to consider the depth of the pool.  A pool with a deep end of 9 – 12 ft will be more expensive.

On average, an inground pool costs about $50 to $125 per square foot.  We will see that it can be much more or less, based on other factors.

Materials

In-ground pools are generally made of three materials, fiberglass, concrete and vinyl. Each material has different costs, both to install and to maintain.

There are different benefits to each, so you will need to give it some thought.  Talk to your pool installation professional about which material is best for you.

Fiberglass

Fiberglass pools have shells made of firerglass topped with a gelcoat.  They are great options for quick installation and easy maintenance.

Pros:

  • Quicker to install – it can be done in less than a week
  • Don’t require as many chemicals
  • Easy-to-clean and smooth surfaces
  • Very durable – gelcoat can last for a number of decades
  • Very efficient
  • You can buy prefab options

Cons:

  • Fewer options for pool size and design

Concrete

To install a concrete pool, a shell is made from rebar, filled with concrete and then finished in a process called gunite.  Many pool owners prefer the stability and strength of concrete.

Concrete may not look as fancy as some of the other options. One way to create a polished look without high costs is using stamped concrete.

Pros:

  • Possible to customize shape and size

Cons:

  • Usually the costliest option
  • Surface collects algae
  • More maintenance
  • Requires extensive resurfacing every 10 to 15 years
  • Takes three to four months to install

Vinyl

Vinyl is popular for two reasons.  One is that it is the least expensive option and that there are lots of choices of liners to choose from.

Pros:

  • Easy to build
  • Less expensive
  • Possible to customize shape and size
  • Less maintenance than concrete
  • Can DIY – vinyl liner kits are available online

Cons:

  • Can be cut or torn by sharp objects
  • Liner needs to be replaced every 5 to 9 years

Pool Site

The location of your inground pool affects the cost to install it.  There are many reasons for this.

Firstly, it will depend on how far your pool needs to be delivered.  If you live more than 50 miles from the pool company, there will be higher delivery charges.

Secondly, think about where the pool will be on your property.  Take a look at where you want to install your inground pool and ask yourself:

  • How accessible is the property?
  • Do I need to do any grading to install an inground pool?
  • Are there large rocks that need to be removed or excavated?
  • What kind of soil is on my property?
  • Is my soil sandy, and easy to dig, or rocky, and more difficult?

Pool Design

The type of pool design will affect how much it costs.  Obviously, a simple rectangle is easier to build than something a bit more complex.

Will your inground pool have steps?  These run at a cost up to $2,500.

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Pool Accessories & Features

A pool is great but adding some accessories will make your inground pool more fun!  For example, have you thought about adding a diving board, water slide, waterfall or other fun features?

Of course, the more features you add, the higher your cost will be.  Diving boards can be between $300 and $800.

Don’t forget the pool toys – no pool is complete without them!

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Labor

Of course, the more complex your pool is and the more features that you add, the more it will cost to install your inground pool.

Some in-ground pools can be self-installed which would lower your labor costs.  However, it is better to have a professional install your pool since they have the experience to do it correctly.

If self-installing your inground pool, make sure that the delivery cost is included in the purchase of the pool.  Delivery charges can be up to $2,500.

There are also other options available that would allow professional installers to do some of the difficult work, if you are able to handle the excavation and deck work.

Equipment

Of course, there are many pieces of equipment needed to keep your pool running and safe.

For example, your pool will need a heater. The cost of the pool heater is between $500 to $10,000 and it will cost around $500 to install.

The cost of your inground pool heater depends on how large your pool is and what kind of temperature ranges your area sees.  Pool heaters can either be electrical or solar powered.

You will also need other equipment, such as a pump, a pool cover, and cleaning equipment like a vacuum and pool hoses.

Landscaping

You will need to pay attention to the area around your pool. For example, when digging the site for your pool, you probably damaged the landscaping in that area.

The area around your pool will need a deck.  That can be built with concrete, pavers, engineered wood, or something else.

The type of material that you use, and the size of your pool area will determine the cost of the surrounding deck.   This will affect how much it costs to build your backyard oasis.

You can keep this area very simple or can make it very complex.  The more elaborate a design you choose for landscaping means a more expensive project.

Depending on what you want to use, you may want to look into hiring a landscaping designer.  To set a benchmark, budget around $4 to $12 per square foot for landscaping.

Your local municipality will also require that you build a safety fence around your inground pool.  This is to protect children from falling in by accident and hurting themselves.

A pool fence will cost between $600 and $4,000 to install, depending on the size, material, and type of gate that you choose.

Other Costs

There are other costs that we have not included here.  These include:

  • Higher home insurance
  • Permits
  • Warranties
  • Higher property taxes
  • Electrician to connect your pool to the pump and filter
  • Lighting around your pool
  • Inspections

How to find the right pool installation professional

Regardless of what pool you want to install, you want to find the right person to take care of this project.  What sort of things should you look for?

It is a good idea to talk to a few contractors before deciding.  When interviewing pool installation professionals, ask:

  • Do you provide a warranty?
  • What does that warranty cover?
  • Can you provide some references?
  • Can I see any of your finished projects?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • Are you insured and bonded?

Do your homework!  Find out how your contractors are rated and look for any reviews from previous customers.

Don’t Forget About Maintenance!

No matter what kind of pool you install, it will need to be maintained.  This includes cleaning, checking your water’s chemical levels, and making sure your equipment is in top shape.

That is a lot of work and it is a big responsibility – you don’t want to make mistakes on your new pool!  That is why many people use the services of a pool maintenance company to handle those chores.

In conclusion, you should expect to spend at least $25,000 to install an inground pool.  However, that final cost will depend on what you can do yourself and what your pool project will involve.

There is no better way to beat the heat this summer than to install an inground pool.  Hopefully, this article has given you some ideas as to what kind of pool you want to install before you take the plunge!

What if you want to install an above-ground pool? Our next article will cover that topic.

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