An in-ground swimming pool can be one of the best investments you make in the value of your property. It will also add an unlimited amount of pleasure and enjoyment to your lifestyle. The downside of a pool is the price tag. The cost of building an in-ground pool can range from under $15,000 to more than $100,000. Nationwide, the average cost of pool construction is about $50 per square foot, but this varies widely by location.
Many things can increase or decrease the cost of your pool aside from your location. The most important of these factors are the type of pool you choose, the size and shape of the pool, the water depth, and any extra features that you want to add on.
While it is true that construction costs vary across the country and will help determine your total cost, the location of your house will play a big role in another way as well. An in-ground pool must be excavated, and if you have unstable soil, a high water table, or any other problem with your soil, then you will have to pay much more for the construction.
Type of Pool
There are three types of in-ground pools in widespread use: vinyl-lined pools, preformed fiberglass shell pools and gunite pools. A vinyl-lined pool is made by draping a vinyl liner over a stabilized hole in the ground. It is the cheapest and quickest way to get a pool. These types of pools have a short life, however.
Fiberglass ponds are made by putting a fiberglass shell into an external structure. These shells resemble a larger version of the ones hardware stores sell for garden ponds. They cost a bit more than the vinyl-lined pools and will last a lot longer. Finally, gunite pools are made from a concrete-like material. They are the most expensive option and the most popular. A pool made from gunite will also last longer than any other kind.
Size and Shape of the Pool
Obviously, larger pools are more expensive than smaller ones. The good news is that the price per square foot declines as the size of the pool increases. So while you may have to pay a greater overall cost for a larger pool because of the extra excavation and so forth, your final cost per square foot will be less.
Surprisingly, the shape of the pool also matters. The price per square foot will be a combination of the size and the shape. Pools with a complex shape are much harder to build, and while it is true that gunite can be formed into any shape, it does take much more work. If you want to lower your total cost, stick to a simple rectangle, circle, or oval.
How deep your pool will be also plays a role in the total costs. A shallow pool will be cheaper than a deep one. This is because it won’t require as much excavation or as many materials. The cost of labor and overhead is also less. Likewise, if you choose to build a pool with both a deep end and a shallow end, the shallow end will end up costing you less than the deep end.
Finally, while you may not believe it, the extra features so many people love about pools can cost more than the pool itself! These extra features include lights, waterfalls, fountains, special pumps and anything else you want to include that doesn’t come as part of the basic pool package.
In addition, the price quote you get from a contractor will not include fencing or landscaping. Many cities now require you to put a special fence and an alarm around your pool even if you don’t have small children. You may not want to pay a lot of money for landscaping, but you will at least have to replace the sod that was destroyed in the excavation. Otherwise, your pool and the floors in your home will turn into a muddy mess.
A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that finishing a pool usually doubles the cost of the project. You can reduce these extra costs by refusing to add in any unnecessary frills, but you will probably not be able to get around the cost of landscaping and fencing.