How Much Does an Inground Swimming Pool Cost?

Would you love to turn your ordinary backyard into a breathtaking backyard oasis but aren’t sure what an inground swimming pool costs? You’re not alone. Many homeowners dream of adding a pool to their backyard but are unsure if they have the budget to get what they really want.  

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, more people than ever are staying close to home. The swimming pool business is booming as homeowners are rethinking their outdoor space as an opportunity to offer in-home entertainment that lasts year-round. Nearly 65% of U.S. adults say they take staycations, and now, they can do it in their own backyards.

A swimming pool with a breath taking mountain view

When you consider that a typical vacation for a family of four costs nearly $5,000, you can put the inground swimming pool cost into perspective. You can invest in the ultimate staycation for you and your family by transforming your outdoor living space with the addition of all kinds of amenities your family and friends will love. 

As you look at your current backyard, does it call you outdoors? Does it inspire you to host guests for a BBQ, a happy hour, or a special occasion? Can you picture yourself spending hours there, enjoying the view without ever getting bored?

Now, imagine your space with a beautiful swimming pool and spa, an outdoor kitchen, fireplace, patio cover or trellis, patio seating area, water and fire features, and beautiful lighting and landscaping. How much more would you and your family use that space? What memories could you be making?

Sounds pretty nice, doesn’t it? So, how much does an inground swimming pool with all the bells and whistles cost? The easiest answer is: that it depends. 

A swimming pool with a breath taking mountain view

How Do You Determine Cost?

Inground pools are a favorite choice for homeowners because they create a backyard with beauty and tranquility, while at the same time, recreation and near endless activities. If they aren’t right, they are easy to maintain, convenient for your outdoor fitness regime, and built to last. The best part? They are super fun for people of all ages, whether you are solo, have friends visiting, or hosting a party. There’s something for everyone.

Related: Cost Variations in Swimming Pools

The number one question asked about a pool is how much it will cost. The inground swimming pool cost varies greatly, as it is dependent on many factors, many of which are up to you. For instance, the types of materials used, the size and depth of the pool, the add-on features, the location of the building site, and what part of the country you live in all play a role in determining the final cost. 

A swimming pool with a breath taking mountain view and a landscape

Similar to building a custom home, the price of building a swimming pool ultimately depends on the choices you make with regard to the size and scope of the project. Besides the types of materials used, the qualities of the materials used matter as well. So does the craftsmanship of the building, and the reputation and working relations of the builder.

Generally speaking, a basic custom inground pool costs on average around $50,000. However, the more enhancements you add, the higher the cost goes. Extra amenities, such as spas, water and fire features, outdoor living areas, backyard kitchens, landscaping, lighting, waterslides, and high-end interior finishes can drive up costs quickly. 

It’s fairly common to see inground pool costs in the $75,000 to $100,000 range, with many exceeding $150,000. In fact, some homeowners will invest as much as $500,000 into their yards, although this is obviously not the norm.

A tropical landscape and a pool

How to Choose The Best Pool Builder

Choosing the right pool builder can be stressful. You’re investing a lot of money and months of construction into the project, and you want to be certain you’re working with the best pool builder in town. Asking friends and family for referrals is a start, as is online research. Ultimately, you will want to reach out to your final contenders to ask questions about their experience, process, costs, capabilities, and timeframe. Ask to see gallery pictures and for references.

It is important for the pool builder to meet with you at your home to look at your property. It is difficult to get an accurate estimate or an optimal design if the builder hasn’t walked your property and talked through all of the possibilities. The best builders will have software that takes their design and brings it to life in a digital format so you can visualize exactly what the finished product will look like. 

Depending on who you choose, you can be as involved in the design process as you want to be. Pool builders with decades of experience will be realistic with what can be done with your space and your budget. Lean on them for advice and guidance, but be sure you express your wants and needs clearly so they can incorporate them into your customized backyard design.

As you pursue the right design and company to provide a detailed estimate and design, be aware of companies that advertise prices that are too good to be true. For example, if someone advertises a new custom inground gunite pool and spa for $19,999, pay close attention to what is included in the price. Oftentimes, these low prices are simply marketing hooks to get you to commit to a purchase of the most basic pool, only to then upsell you into more necessary purchases to finish the project correctly.

Additionally, with these types of marketing gimmicks, product quality is typically not up to industry standards. This is an important element because a low-quality product will end up costing you more in maintenance and repair costs over time. You can bet that the workmanship and pool equipment will not stand the test of time. 

You can definitely apply the old saying, “You get what you pay for,” to the swimming pool industry. No matter what you pay for a pool or who you pay to build it for you, putting in a swimming pool is expensive. So are outdoor kitchens, decks, and entertainment areas. What you’re really purchasing is value. You want to get value out of your investment, and working with a reputable pool builder ensures that you get the most bang for your buck.

Swimming pool with mountain view

Related: Swimming Pools: Price vs. Value

When you invest in a backyard that becomes your personal paradise, you need to be sure that construction standards and craftsmanship are nothing less than excellent. Your backyard oasis will be an extension of your beautiful home, and the last thing you want is any sort of headache or issue with your pool after the construction is complete. Make sure you go over the pool builder’s warranty and discuss it with the builder before you sign any contract.

Finally, you should feel comfortable with how the builder is respecting your budget. If they continually try to convince you to add on items outside of your budget, even if they say it is worth the investment, think twice before committing. Of course, all pool builders are in the business of earning a living, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of your livelihood. Work with a builder who understands you have a limit and works with you to customize your design to fit within that budget.

Good times guaranteed.
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