Swimming pool planning, budgeting and purchase process. How to buy a custom swimming pool The key points to consider when getting ready to buy a
“HOW MUCH DOES A CUSTOM IN-GROUND POOL COST?”
Table of Contents
For Home Owners:
A Guide to Custom Swimming Pool Construction Cost
This article is a guide for homeowners to the costs associated with installing an inground (concrete) swimming pool in the USA.
There are many factors involved when accurately estimating a swimming pool construction project. There are challenges, and a range of considerations based on the design, features, accessories, and maybe even certain products or even installation challenges.
SWIMMING POOL PRICES WILL VARY
As one fiberglass pool contractor has said explaining the swimming pool purchasing process;
“The purchase of a swimming pool is much like the purchase of a vehicle or even a home. With so many options available, price ranges can vary drastically. Just as a Ford F150 can start around $20k with just a basic package, it can quickly cost over $40k once a shopper adds such items as power windows, CD player, all-leather interior, chrome finishes, extended cab, 4-wheel drive, 4 doors versus two, upgraded wheels, dual exhaust, spray-on bedliner, built-in GPS system, etc.”
– Jason Hughes
To a certain extent we agree with Jason, however, our sales process and culture is much different than what you may find in the typical car dealership or another swimming pool company office.
A truck is made in the perfect conditions, in a factory where the environment can be controlled. Swimming pools are not built in those types of environments, and each project is different in many ways.
We can sell you a pool package, but your pool will always be custom.
The purchase price of swimming pools also range depending on geographical location or region, building requirements, local code enforcement & permitting, limited access, and any other variables or construction considerations of your property (where the pool will be installed).
Generally speaking when a swimming pool contractor is advertising a price (online or offline) it usually is the base price (basic pool model) and based on the perfect conditions for installation (such as the elevation, grade, zoning, or access) to the property.
I bet you like spending time outdoors. If you are going to see and enjoy this new pool everyday it needs to be done right the first time! Some aspiring pool owners tend to focus more attention to the end results (must-have items & features) and others may focus strictly on price alone.
Those who focus on the price tag of a new custom pool tend to suffer from buyer’s remorse when the awarded lowest bidding pool contractor may have been forced to (or may have offered) inferior equipment, specifications, materials or even the omission of details to arrive at the lowest cost estimate.
Don’t you want your pool builder to be around when you want or need them 2 years later?
In terms of swimming pool prices; “you get what you pay for” & “we tried to tell you!” are phrases we hear often.
But how would you know?
“Unlike a vehicle, an inground swimming pool cannot be sold or traded in if you are unhappy with the results.”
GET YOUR NEW POOL PRICE GUIDE HERE
In all cases whether your project was under-bid or not “it costs what it costs to build your pool”.
POOL OF DESIGN OPTIONS
Let’s face it, at it’s most simplest form a swimming pool is a predefined hole in the ground that can hold water with a pump system to circulate it. Really simple stuff, right?
Simple until you’ve seen the vast designs we can achieve with concrete, and that’s what makes it so awesome to own a custom swimming pool.
The cost of such things are optional for those who just want to float in their backyards, and there’s nothing wrong with that. For others, the swimming pool is more about a total backyard experience.
There is no shortage of optional swimming pool features, equipment, gadgets, and accessories one could consider when planning a new pool.
- Tanning Ledge (Bathing Shelf / Sun Shelf)
- Water Features (Waterfalls, Water-Walls, Sheer Falls, Spouts, Fountains, Etc)
- Color LED Lighting
- Single Speed Pump vs Variable Speed Pool Pump
- Interior Finish Material (Quartz, Pebble, Colored)
- Waterline Tiles (Glass, Ceramic, Natural Stone)
- Decking Surfaces (Stamped Concrete, Composite, Spray Deck, Pea Gravel)
- Salt Pool Chlorine Systems
- Diving Boards, Safety Rails, Step-Out
- Infinity Edge, Grotto Cave, Raised Walls
- Safety Fencing, Automatic Pool Covers
We seriously can’t name them all here, but you can get the idea – sky is the limit. Here’s the catch, each item comes with a price.
A swimming pool contractor should deliver an estimate that includes a breakdown of what the base price for the swimming pool (and or spa) is without all of the extra stuff. This way you know the price of the pool, and room in the budget to add or eliminate any other extras.
“Remember, there are going to be minimum requirements affecting the price associated with even a “basic” swimming pool.”
FACTORS AFFECTING COST
No matter what optional extras you may add to your pool design, there will be some (hopefully few) hard-line cost items associated with the construction of a swimming pool no matter the size, shape, or otherwise if not by the virtue of installing a pool period.
Certain landscape features such as extreme elevation changes, or tight spaces, large easements or etc may create an initial budget hurtle that will need to be overcome.
For example, in our current Market, Texas, swimming pools in the city limits of San Antonio may cost more on average than the same pool just north of Houston in Montgomery County Texas. The reasons for this extend from the types of soil, hillside vs flat terrain. Texas has a vast diverse landscape and this is how swimming pool prices can change within a region or even by state in the US.
For your consideration, here are the top factors that affect the cost of installing a new swimming pool;
- Type of Pool: In this article we speak to concrete pools, but there are also less expensive alternatives that offer less options. The pros and cons of different swimming pool types is a lengthy discussion.
- Size: The overall size of the swimming pool structure is what makes up the bulk of cost, second to that would be the plumbing and equipment and decking surface.
- Decking: Concrete flat-work or other surrounding surfaces designed properly and especially in expansive designs can add considerable costs to the base amount of the pool.
- Location: By nature of engineering & application, a swimming pool on the lake-front will cost more for the same pool built in a flat field.
- Optional Extras: This is where all of the little things can add up, as mentioned above there is a very long list of pool lighting, wireless devices, design customization, fire & water features, or accessories but you may find them to be very affordable.
- Local Requirements: City permitting and code enforcement (if applicable) costs will be passed down to the homeowner, although even when outside of the city permitting zones we follow all specs as if they were to be inspected, because at some point in the future you may sell the house and if the pool contractor skimmed on the building codes you will find out the hard way.
- After Effects: Many times homeowners may need to re-zone or add new sprinkler zones, or landscape lighting for the new backyard design. Repairs to the landscaping and fencing could be a potential added expense once the pool is completed.
A swimming pool is a major purchase. Much like when purchasing a new vehicle or home, you want to know you are receiving a fair deal. After-all, you expect that a reputable company will make a margin of profit on the transaction but in all fairness, would you expect to be shown what those numbers are? Don’t you want them to be around when you need or want them in a few years?
To help establish a reference point of the cost of a new concrete swimming pool we have created several “packages” that give you the option to upgrade, interchange materials, equipment or specs.
PACKAGE VS CUSTOM POOLS
There are no 2 swimming pools exactly the same, in terms of what it cost to overcome the unique construction challenges.
To even the smallest degree there can be certain challenges just to get a pool into a backyard. Offering you a standard package pool is just one simple way to build up to your maximum budget with customization options while considering the structural costs first, and adding the extras later.
Customized design features are added to the top of a base construction total, by line, allowing you to understand how the total cost for construction is achieved.
ONGOING COST POOL OWNERSHIP
In the distant past owning a swimming pool was sort of luxury, but in today’s time swimming pools are affordable and cost effective to own in the long term. With most pool maintenance plans being not much more than what you normally pay the lawn guy, you can get professional routine service at good rates.
Here are a few basic tips on saving money when running your swimming pool:
- Run your Single Speed pool pump as little as possible.
- Upgrade your pool pump to a Variable Speed version.
When it is time to decide on who you feel most comfortable building your new swimming pool, consider who gave you the most educational information.
- Which pool designer was more focused on your needs, desires and goals rather than up-sales or extras?
- Were any of the sales representatives that you met with focused on making your pool easy to service when it is completed?
Questions like these are the ones you should be asking yourself, because the type of swimming pool contractor that sells from this angle actually has a passion and drive for the best possible outcome of your project.
Gunite Pool Buying Guide
Get your FREE copy of our in-ground gunite pool package & pricing guide.
No. Even if a pool contractor is offering a lower price for the winter season, it does NOT cost them any less to build your pool.
Although we have covered mostly gunite pools in this article, the answer to this question is subjective. With so many options the best pool for your money is the one that fits your budget.
If you prefer top quality & unlimited design options – go with gunite.
If you know your budget, now is a good time to get a pool design quote.