Pool Price: How Much Does It Cost To Add a Pool to Your Backyard?

Aerial view of a three friends relaxing by the pool.
AleksandarNakic / Getty Images

Recent heat waves might be leaving you wishing you could jump into a pool for a refreshing cooldown. If you’re thinking of installing a pool this fall, be prepared for some high upfront costs, but also many opportunities to customize your pool to your budget and liking.

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To gain some insight into the true cost of installing a pool and the most budget-friendly — and luxurious — ways to add a body of water to your yard, let’s take a look at some cost breakdowns and expenses you will need to think about.

Inground Pools Could Cost You Over $55,000

The cost of a pool varies greatly, and whether you’re looking for a “spool” — a small hot tub or pool rolled into one — or a fully customized infinity pool complete with waterfalls and fancy features, you can create the pool of your dreams for the price point that works for you.

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“The cost of inground pools depends on their size, shape and the material used,” said Victoria Baeker, a pool warranty expert at HomeWarrantyReviews.com. “The cost ranges from $28,000 to $55,000, or about $50 to $125 per square foot.”

The size of the pool is the biggest factor when it comes to the difference between a $10,000 pool and a $55,000 one. Consider opting for a smaller pool if you’re hoping to install a pool in your yard for less.

“A small inground pool of 26 by 13 feet will cost you between $10,000 and $15,000,” Baeker said. “And as the size of the pool increases, the price will go up.”

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Price Breakdown for Installment Fees

Pool installment costs can add up quickly when estimating the overall pool cost.

The first costs you need to be aware of are project equipment costs and permit fees, which are between $200 to $300. To prepare your pool’s base you will need to budget for dirt removal, which is approximately $13,000, and pool shell base fees, which cost between $500 and $5,000, according to Baeker.

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Landscaping costs vary greatly by the yard and how much work needs to be done in order to install the pool. This fee might be as little as $100 or as high as $45,000. Equipment rentals and cranes required for construction can cost between $2,400 and $2,800. Yard excavation to create a hole for the pool can cost between $400 and $1,500. In especially rocky soil or areas with high water tables, prepare for a higher excavation cost.

Pool equipment such as drains, vacuums, lights, chlorine and filters will cost between $700 and $1,200.

Vinyl, Fiberglass or Concrete? Here’s the Cost Breakdown of the Most Popular Pool Base Options

Picking the base of your pool can easily take up a large chunk of your pool budget. If you’re thinking of opting for a fiberglass base, prepare to pay between $28,000 and $60,000, according to Baeker. For a concrete base, be prepared to pay a similar fee as a fiberglass base, with the average fee falling between $28,000 and $60,000. If you’re hoping to save on base costs, you might want to consider choosing vinyl, as this material falls between $28,000 and $40,000, depending on your pool’s size.

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Be sure to be aware of the longevity and quality of different types of base materials. While glass is more expensive than vinyl lining, glass is more durable and requires less chemical treatment.

Looking for Luxury? Prepare To Pay for It

No matter what type of pool you’re looking for, the costs to install a pool add up quickly and will only increase if you’re looking to add a little extra pizazz to your water feature.

The most affordable pools are made up of classic, simple shapes such as a rectangle or ovals. Pools with special features are going to cost extra, but will feature jaw-dropping elements sure to bring your outdoor experiences to the next level.

Some extravagant pool options include rooftop or infinity pools that are built over the ground floors extending the roof. Pools with acrylic or glass walls are also on the pricy end due to the cost of the material and the fact that they typically have a side or two attached to the home, making construction more complicated. Finally, if a simple shape pool is not up your alley, prepare for some extra costs. Freeform pools are designed in an irregular shape and allow you the freedom to transform your pool into the shape of your dreams.

The Bubble Bill: Adding a Hot Tub Might Cost as Much as $15,000

If relaxing in a warm jacuzzi complete with plenty of jets, bubbles and mood lighting is up your alley, prepare for additional costs. Incorporating a jacuzzi within your pool will take extra time and materials, costing between $6,000 and $15,000 depending on the features and size you are looking for, according to Baeker.

Good Lighting Comes at a Price: Adding LED Lights to Your Pool Might Cost Up To $1,800

For safety reasons, it’s important to have some lighting in order to be able to see the bottom of the pool and where the pool steps are. However, if you’re looking to go above and beyond and have the full luxury pool experience with LED color-changing lights, prepare for some extra fees.

Adding fiberoptic lighting to your pool for a more deluxe experience will cost between $700 and $1,800 depending on your pool size, according to Baeker.

Glass or Porcelain Tile Will Enhance Your Pool for a Fee: Be Prepared To Pay as Much as $50 Per Tile

The size of the pool is not the only factor that affects the overall installation cost. The next major expense comes from the pool material costs.

If you’re looking to save on pool tile, you might want to opt for stone tile, as this material will cost you between $5 and $30 per tile. Conversely, opting for glass or porcelain will take a bigger hit on your budget, as porcelain tile ranges from $1.60 to $50 per tile, and glass ranges from $7 to $50 per tile.

Keep Your Water Warm Year Round: Add a Water Heater to Your Pool for a Couple Thousand Dollars

If you’re hoping to be able to take a dip in the pool during the colder months of the year without being uncomfortably freezing, you might want to consider adding a pool heater. This touch of luxury will allow you to customize your pool’s temperature to your liking and be able to enjoy your water feature comfortably year-round.

According to Popular Mechanics, one of the best pool heaters for inground pools is the W3H250FDN Universal H-Series Pool Heater by Hayward. This heater makes a low environmental impact, has a 4.5-star rating and retails for $2,299 on Amazon.

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About the Author

Maddie Duley is a content intern for ConsumerTrack writing about finances for GOBankingRates. She is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in communication and design from the University of California Davis.
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