How Much Does It Cost to Build a Pool?

Published Categorized as Building a Pool, Pool Design

Having your own private pool at home is almost everyone’s dream.

A pool can be a symbol of fun family times or an escape from the warm summer.

Pools are perfect for RELAXING even on the not-so-hot days. But, having a pool does not only bring everyone together.

Pools encourage kids to learn to swim earlier. It also makes it easier for adults to clock in some much-needed workout or to play games in the pool as a family.

Pools also elevate your house. Pretty, right?

But, as much as we love pools, they can symbolize LUXURY.

A swimming pool isn’t cheap. But it might just be WORTH IT. Check the sections below to learn more about how much money you’ll need to build a pool.

Want to Build a Pool? Here’s How Much It’s Going to Cost you

Many families are getting more and more interested in having their own swimming pool (for good reasons!).

Pools offer tons of benefits for almost everyone.

  • Way to get your kids off of their gadgets
  • Way to bond with family
  • Way to burn calories and relax at the same time
  • Way to strengthen your heart and lungs
  • Way to increase your home’s value

The benefits are wonderful! But, all advantages come with a cost.

The REAL QUESTION is not about whether or not you want a pool. Of course, you do; we all do! Even if you don’t use a pool, it adds a lot of value to your space.

Now, the only issue is if the benefits make the pool cost worth it.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Pool: The Short Answer

If you want your own swimming pool, be ready to shell out an average of $30,000.

Getting a pool will require you anywhere from $15,000 to $55,000.

The pool cost we just gave is just the national average cost.

We’ll be honest and say that the value varies too much.

Too many factors affect how much a swimming pool will cost you. Here are some more specific estimates for the average costs.

  • Inground pools: $30,000 – $70,000
  • Above-ground pools: $1,000 – $8,000

Pool Costs: The Specific Factors

The thought process and planning involved in pool installation can get pretty CONFUSING and CHAOTIC.

This is MORE SO if you’re JUST STARTING to entertain the idea of having a swimming pool.

Don’t let it stop you from making your dreams come true, though!

With the right approach, you can get a basic pool for the right price.

Here are the different factors that can contribute to higher costs. Check each and every factor to find out the perfect pool for you and your family.

Factors to Consider in Pool Costs

The best pool for you depends on your specific NEED, BUDGET, and PREFERENCE.

Here are the most important aspects to consider for your new swimming pool.

  • Pool size
  • Pool shape
  • Pool materials
  • Pool type
  • Area or location

Don’t forget these other cost factors as well. They’re not as obvious and can easily be left out in planning and budget management.

  • Labor and permits
  • Excavation
  • Landscaping
  • Filtration
  • Heating
  • Pool enclosure
  • Maintenance

A specific size, type, shape, and material can easily slide your expenses away from the average cost. Having extra features will inflate the project cost as well.

Additional Costs

POOL EXTRAS are great for making the most out of your swimming pool.

Slides and diving boards are popular additional features. They can EASILY SPICE UP a basic pool. They are must-haves for those who love pool gatherings and parties.

But remember that every extra feature will increase the total cost.

Here are some additional features you might want to get:

  • Waterfalls
  • Diving board
  • Slide
  • Pool fence
  • Pool covers
  • Pool house
  • Outdoor kitchen

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Pool: By Size, Shape, and Material

Pool size and shape are usually the first considerations for most.

The swimming pool’s size and shape will almost unilaterally affect the final look of your new pool. That’s why it’s so important! It is also the most obvious source of costs.

How do we know the RIGHT POOL SIZE AND SHAPE for us? Follow this short guide:

  • Analyze the available space in your home
  • Decide if you want to dedicate it solely to the pool or if you want to incorporate other areas as well (barbecue area, alfresco, etc.)
  • Research the ideal pool shape to maximize your specific area
  • Be honest with your budget constraints

Pool Size

We’ll always want the biggest pool we can fit in our backyard. But, we have to remember that swimming pool size is one of the most important cost factors.

THE BIGGER THE POOL, THE MORE EXPENSIVE IT WILL BE. A larger pool will take more time, equipment, materials, and labor.

The average cost per square foot for an inground pool is around $50 – $125.

For easier visualization, here are the average costs for different pool sizes.

SizeAbove-ground pool costIn-ground pool cost
12 x 24 or 288 square foot$1300 – $2500$25,000 – $38,000
15 x 30 or 450 square foot$1500 – $6500$40,000 – $60,000
16 x 32 or 512 square foot$1600 – $5000$45,000 – $70,000
18 x 33 or 594 square foot$1700 – $8000$50,000 – $70,000
Average costs for different pool sizes and types of swimming pools

Pool Shape

The pool shape is important in building a custom pool. You want a pool that can MAXIMIZE THE SPACE you dedicated for it.

Swimming pools are usually round, square, or rectangular.

But, the possibilities are really ENDLESS. Pools can be L-shaped, kidney-shaped, free-form, Grecian, Roman, or geometric.

The MORE COMPLEX the pool shape, the MORE EXPENSIVE it will be.

The shape doesn’t depend solely on your preference and budget. It also depends on the materials available to you.

Concrete pools and vinyl pools can assume almost any shape. If you’re more adventurous, this material is the better choice for your custom pool installation project.

For a simpler pool, the preformed shapes in fiberglass pools will do.

Pool Material

The type of material usually follows only after pool shape and size.


Other pool cost considerations are related to the materials your pool builder will use.

It’s better to get a sitdown, one-on-one talk with your trusted swimming pool builders to get exact pool cost estimates.

Concrete can be the more expensive option versus vinyl when comparing same-sized swimming pools.

But, in general, concrete pools are also resilient to damage. It will last you longer. Other materials like porcelain tiles can inflate the pool costs.

Here is the average cost to build a pool per type of material:

Vinyl pool


Fiberglass pool


Concrete pool


How Much Does It Cost to Build a Pool: By Area or Location

Pool installation in RURAL areas will cost much LESS. After all, pool materials and labor costs are both affected by market prices.

If you live in the URBAN areas in the northern states, your budget might be MORE LIMITED than you initially thought. The average cost can increase by up to 30% in modernized zones.

Here are some locations where you won’t break the bank:

  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • Miami, Florida
  • Texas

Pool builders in less populated states will usually charge you anywhere from $10,000 – $50,000.

It still varies from city to city, so make sure to ask about the rates in your place.

Think twice before planning for a big pool in these states:

  • California
  • Chicago
  • New York
  • Las Vegas

The prices can dramatically increase in highly populated urbanized areas. The usual average cost runs from $20,000 – $150,000.

A pool in California like this one, is much more expensive than building and/or installing a pool in Texas

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Pool: By Pool Type

Aside from the size and shape of your pool, the POOL TYPE is the other major factor in your decision. It affects the overall look of your backyard oasis.

The cost to build a pool differs significantly between pool types. So, it’s a BIG DECISION!

Inground Pool

An inground pool is a swimming pool built directly into the ground. This is the one most common and familiar to us.

Inground pools are permanent fixtures.

An inground pool is usually made of long-lasting materials like concrete (NOTE: This is the case for a gunite pool or a shotcrete pool.).

Inground pools can also be made using vinyl or fiberglass.

The traditional inground pool LOOKS AMAZING in your home.

But, the additional costs of yearly maintenance in outdoor pools can make it even more expensive.

Inground concrete pools can cost anywhere between $35,000 and $65,000. It’s expensive, but it’s a LONG-TERM INVESTMENT for most.

For a vinyl and fiberglass pool, the inground pool cost is a bit less ($20,000 to $60,000).

An inground fiberglass pool is more durable, and the maintenance costs are low.

On the other hand, an inground vinyl pool can assume any size or shape but is not as long-lasting.

Above-Ground Pool

Above-ground pools are semi-permanent. These pools are between 4 and 6 ft in depth and around 12 and 30 ft in diameter.

An above-ground pool uses a pump to force water through the filter and circulate through the pool area.

Above-ground pools are EASIER TO INSTALL.

An above-ground pool is A LOT LESS EXPENSIVE than inground pool ranges. It can cost you $800 – $15,000.

It is much less than inground pool costs because excavation will not be done.

However, note that an above-ground pool can be less satisfying in aesthetics and feels.

An above-ground pool is the BETTER CHOICE if you want less debris and dirt on your pool water. The yearly maintenance won’t give you much of a headache.

Spool or Cocktail Pool

Spa + pool = Spool

Spools or cocktail pools are called so because they are small, compact, and scaled-down. They are usually less than 400 square feet in size.

A cocktail pool is PERFECT when you want an inground pool but don’t have all the space (or the money) for it!

Not many people want the idea of a massive pool either. Opt for a spool TO SAVE MONEY if your primary purpose of getting a pool is relaxation.

Cocktail pools can be LESS EXPENSIVE size-wise.

But! Spools usually incorporate extra features like heaters, jets, and benches. These can drive the total cost up.

Typically, a spool will cost you around $25,000 (or about $125 per square foot).

Lap Pool

A lap pool is a long, narrow, and rectangular in-ground pool. Lap pools are designed as such for DEDICATED SWIMMING LAPS.

A lap pool can sometimes be called a competition swimming pool.

But don’t feel limited by it. A lap pool can just be a narrow regular pool. Friends and families will love lunging in this long pool.

Including labor costs, a lap pool can cost you $45000.

Here are the situations where a lap pool is best:

  • You have a long, narrow area in your home
  • You want to clock in lots of exercises
  • You want to swim professionally

Endless Pool

An endless pool is PERFECT FOR SMALL SPACES. Endless pools are designed so you can keep swimming without turning.

An endless pool is meant specifically for STATIONARY SWIMMING.

To swim “endlessly,” high-volume propulsive pool equipment keeps the water moving. It’s great for exercise!

Building an endless pool is not as high because they’re usually small.

SAVE MONEY by opting for smaller pools. If you talk to a pool builder, an endless pool (indoor pool) costs $20,000 – $40,000.

Infinity Pool

An infinity pool is something we know well! It’s so popular.

Infinity pools are regular pools with one edge overflowing with water. This gives the ILLUSION that it’s not a box full of water.

The effect of a waterfall illusion does so much for RELAXATION. The current to keep water flowing also reduces the need for constant maintenance.

Swimming pools add a lot of beauty to a place. In particular, infinity pools do this PERFECTLY.

But, beauty always comes with a cost. To build a pool as impressive as an infinity pool, be prepared to pay $100,000 or more.

If you have the money for an infinity pool, a POOL HOUSE will complete the perfect pool experience. A pool house can store all your swimming essentials.

Hot Tub or Spa

A hot tub pool is a small, heated, and jetted pool. It is perfect for relaxation but is NOT IDEAL for big families.

A hot tub can be an ADDITIONAL FEATURE to your regular inground swimming pool. But, it CAN BE A STANDALONE as well. The tub is versatile.

  • above ground pool
  • indoor swimming pool
  • in-ground pool

How much does it cost to build a spa pool? $4,000 – $15,000.

But, again, that’s just the average.

Hot tubs can quickly increase in cost per square foot. This is because of the endless additions you can get for your new swimming pool.

A hot tub works by circulating water through a pump.

The water passes through the filter, then through the plumbing, and then through the spa Ozonator and jets.

Backyard jacuzzi in Michigan

Plunge Pool

Plunge pools are HIGHLY-COMPACT, but they are not as small as the previously mentioned small pools.

They are typically 6.5-10 ft wide and 10-22 ft long.

A plunge pool saves a lot of space without taking the joy out of a swimming pool. After a tiring day, you can still wade, lounge, or just dip in it.

You won’t have as much space to swim around as a regular inground pool.

But, the maintenance costs will be much less too.

To build a pool the size of plunge pools, be ready to pay $12,000 – $25,000.

For an in-ground pool, a plunge pool is a great MONEY-SAVER. It is also a smart SPACE-SAVER option. If you want an outdoor kitchen, you might want to opt for a smaller ground pool.

Saltwater Pool

A saltwater pool is an in-ground pool used as an alternative to the more common chlorine pool.

Saltwater pool uses minimal amounts of chlorine supplemented by salt (no, it’s not as much salt as there is in seas and oceans).

Saltwater pools are getting more and more popular.

It is less irritating on the skin compared to a chlorine pool. The chlorine smell won’t bother you anymore either. The water in a saltwater pool tends to be softer.

Saltwater pool costs are similar to inground pool (sizes comparable) costs. It is slightly more expensive because of the saltwater chlorine generator.


The ongoing costs of a saltwater pool are much lower.

Lagoon Pool

Lagoon pools are ground pools that are perfect for homes with lots of landscapes. When you have trees, plants, and shrubs in your backyard, this pool type will fit right in.

A lagoon pool is a FREEFORM SWIMMING POOL.

Its goal is to look like a natural body of water, like a lake or a pond.

River pools are usually supplemented with rock waterfalls, cave-like grottos, lighting fixtures, and landscaping. It makes your outdoor living space so much better!

The pool installation can be TRICKY because of its free-form nature.

A ground pool this tricky can cost you $40,000 – $110,000. Ground pools are already expensive. Add to that the customized nature of this project, and the price will be really high.

Walk-in Pool

A walk-in pool is another pool type that serves your eyes. This pool is also called the ZERO-ENTRY POOL or the BEACH-ENTRY POOL.

Walk-in pools have a GRADUAL SLOPE that lets you literally walk to the swimming pool.

The smart idea of a low slope gives your new pool a similar feel to being on the beach!

Typically, a regular pool will have steps on one side to enter the pool. Walk-in pools opt for a slope to seamlessly transition from land to pool.

As with all ground pools, a walk-in pool will be quite heavy on the pocket.

It has an average cost of $40,000 – $115,000.

Olympic-Size Pool

Okay, you probably won’t get this one.

But if you have the need and the money for it, here are some things about Olympic-sized pools.

An Olympic-size pool is an in-ground pool that runs 50 meters long and at least 8 lanes wide (usually 10 lanes wide).

Aside from the sheer size of the pool, additional items also contribute to the price of this pool type.

  • Diving board (different heights)
  • Lane markers
  • Pool cover

Olympic-size pools are usually made of concrete. The material isn’t hard to maintain. But, large-sized pools are inherently hard to maintain.

This pool type will cost you $240 – $400 per square foot, or a WHOPPING $300,000 – $500,000.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Pool: Own vs. Pro Builder

Not a lot of people opt to build their own pools.

It’s because pools REQUIRE A LOT OF TECHNICAL SKILLS to build. There are also important equipment and materials that aren’t as readily available for do-it-yourself projects.

Delegating the pool building to professionals can save you time, money (potentially), and stress.


We understand that labor costs are very high. If you have anyone in the family WITH CONSTRUCTION EXPERIENCE, you can always try to build your own pool.

Just remember that making mistakes can lead to extra costs and a lot of stress.

Money-Saving Tips

Thinking about getting your own pool means you probably have some cash stashed away.

Still, it DOES NOT MEAN you don’t want to save money.

More often than not, our budget is smaller than what is needed for the end product we want. So, what now?

How do we reconcile our budget and our wants?

Here are some insights on saving money on pool construction.

Pool on a Budget: Is It Possible?

A pool on a budget is DEFINITELY POSSIBLE.

There are a lot of factors that go into pool building. As such, there are a lot of areas you can skimp on. There are also features you can sacrifice.

Wherever it is you decide to cut costs, remember that you can get that much-wanted pool EVEN ON A TIGHT BUDGET.


A pool on a budget is possible. But, there is a fine line between having a low budget and not being able to afford one.

Tips and Tricks to Cut on Pool Cost

Here are some tips you can try to lower your pool cost estimates:

  • Opt for an above-ground pool
  • Settle for a smaller pool size
  • Skimp on the additional features

Frequently Asked Questions

If you still have some questions on pool building, this section on FAQs can help.

Asking questions helps you manage your expectations. We don’t want unnecessary stress and costs on you.

After all, a pool is meant for you to relax.

How Long Does Pool Building Take on the Average?

Pool building doesn’t just involve pool building itself. Here are some additional aspects that go into building a swimming pool.

– Designing the pool
– Securing necessary permits
– Excavation, Plumbing, and Landscaping
– Pool installation
– Installing extra features

In general, you’ll need about 5 TO 12 WEEKS to complete your project.

Are the Costs of Building a Swimming Pool Relatively Similar Between States?

Pool costs between states vary a lot. This is because materials and labor both conform to the living standards in a particular city or state. Like how food is more expensive in high-end cities like New York and Las Vegas, other commodities are too.

How Long Does Built Pools Last?

In-ground pools will last the longest. It can remain faultless for more than 30 years. Just remember that within those 30 years, necessary maintenance works must be done to preserve it. Otherwise, no pool will last long. Above-ground pools are more cost-efficient, but they don’t last as long with only 15 years in usage.


Thinking about getting your own pool can be INTIMIDATING at first.

It costs money, time, and stress. But, with the right pool type and size, all with be worth the benefits.

We hope this article helped you find the right pool type for your needs given your limited budget.

Now, get on to that pool project!

By Kate Conlan

Hi! I’m Kate and I love spending time in the pool. In fact, I’ve never really been talented at anything, a part from finding ways of spending as much time as possible on inflatable things in a pool. So I guess that’s a talent? Swimming is one of my favorite mother-daughter activities. We can both get some exercise and spend some quality time together!


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