How Much Does A Pool Cost In 2023?

backyard pool on a hot sunny day with a beige deck surrounding the blue water

If you’ve been thinking of putting in a pool there are numerous questions which pop up in the research process.  Oftentimes you will be led in this direction and that while you choose your swimming pool.  Which type do you want, above ground, in ground, gunite, fiberglass, vinyl, and so on.  It can be paralysis by analysis if you’re not careful.  What the choice comes down to in most cases is pretty simple.  How much does a pool cost?  This question is one we will answer below, with a few additional tips to help you control costs in your pool project.

How Do We Know How Much Does A Pool Cost?

For over 20 years, I have been designing and selling a wide variety of swimming pools. I’ve also been a homeowner and pool owner myself. Therefore, I have a large sample to draw from when considering how much a pool costs.

In this article, I will detail the price range for 4 common types of pools. You’ll see that these prices vary widely from one pool type to another. I will also let you know the common exclusions pool salesmen make when selling a pool. These exclusions lead to homeowners being told a firm price upfront and then ultimately paying 20 – 50% more to complete their pool project.

7 Common Exclusions For How Much Does A Pool Cost?

First, one aspect of pool construction to remember is the often ‘not included’ or ‘exclusions’ lists in pool company contracts.  Just because the pool company excludes something, doesn’t mean you don’t need it.  Unfortunately, many homeowners who build a swimming pool wind up spending thousands more than expected because they miss the excluded work you will need.  So what are the typical exclusions?

yellow and green chart showing 7 exclusions that impact how much does a pool cost as plumbing, electrical, water delivery, excavation, decking, perimeter fence and landscape/irrigation

Electrical Work

Believe it or not, many pool builders will not include the electrical connection of your pool equipment and lights.  Because this can be highly variable from project to project and house to house, they will often exclude this and put the variable risk back on you, the homeowner.

Plumbing Costs

Yes, the pool company will connect the plumbing, from the pool and the pool equipment, but if you have an automatic water leveler, they will often exclude the connection to your domestic water system, which requires a licensed plumber.  This can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to couple thousand depending on the existing conditions and whether or not you have an approved ‘back flow prevention’ device installed already.

Pool Water/Delivery

It sounds insane, but nearly every pool builder will exclude water to fill the pool from their contract.  If you live somewhere with inexpensive city water, this isn’t a huge issue.  However, if you live in a rural area where you need to pay to truck in water this can be significant.  If you have a large pool it can easily cost into the thousands for the initial fill water.

Excavation Process

Like water, this one seems ridiculous, but often what a builder will do is include a ‘basic’ excavation price then tack on additional costs as they come up.  The theory here from the pool builder’s point of view is the best case scenario is the lowest price, and this will help get the contract in the first place.  If you need a change order part way through excavation to finish the job, you’re virtually guaranteed to be paid because you’ve already destroyed the property and your customer has very little recourse.  

Decking Build

Yes, often pool builders in the northeast especially will sell a pool without a deck and ‘figure it out later’.  Much like the imaginary excavation included in many contracts, this is a method to get the pool construction started with a smaller price, then add on the decking costs later down the road.

Pool Perimeter Fencing

Even though fencing is a code requirement, still to this day many builders will push compliance with this requirement back onto the homeowner.

Landscaping and Irrigation

Remember you will need to clean up the construction site when the construction is over.  Talk to a landscaper early in the process and tell them what you are doing to get some pricing put together so you’re prepared for what’s coming.

How Much Does A Pool Cost In 2023?

There are many more bits and pieces here and there, but those are the big ones.  When calculating how much does a pool cost, the above information is important to keep in mind.  The variation between one pool and another can be huge. However, the basics of how much does a pool cost first depends on pool type.

How Much Does A Pool Cost Above Ground?

Above ground pools can vary from a few hundred dollars for an inflatable, to a thousand or two for an Intex you build yourself. You may be surprised how much an above ground pool can cost. It’s possible to spend $35,000+ for a nicely constructed above ground with aluminum or polymer walls.  These will have a vinyl liner and a small deck space for you and your family.  It all depends on how much you want to spend, and what you are looking for long term.

Above ground pools are often a great way to get a pool put into your yard, then you can see how much you use it, and whether or not you want to spend the money on an inground pool.  In my experience building in-ground pools there were numerous times we removed an above ground in order to build the inground.

How Much Do Vinyl Inground Pools Cost?

Like the above ground pools, vinyl pools have a huge variation from one to the next.  In some parts of the country you can still build a vinyl pool for somewhere around $50,000. However, it’s not uncommon for a vinyl in-ground pool to cost well over $100,000.  Site variation, materials, and size of the pool and the deck will have a huge impact.

How Much Do Fiberglass Inground Pools Cost?

Fiberglass pools are priced much like small gunite pools.  Expect to spend at least $75,000 on a fiberglass pool installation, with the average being closer to the $100,000 to $125,000 range for a completed project.

How Much Does A Gunite Pool Cost?

Gunite pools are well known as the longest lasting and most expensive.  A gunite pool can cost as little as $100,000, but the average is closer to $150,000 for a complete project including the patio work, fencing, and all utility connections.  That said, it’s not uncommon for a gunite pool to cost well over $200,000 depending on what you are including.

5 Factors That Determine How Much Does A Pool Cost

A lot of homeowners ask when or if pool prices will go down. The answer is likely not, or at least not by a sizable amount. This is because of the factors that determine a pool’s price. 5 common expenses are material cost, labor, regulation fees, overhead and profit. Most or all of these factors are essential to a pool business. Therefore, they are only likely to increase each year rather than shrink.

How Much Does A Pool Cost Summary

All these prices can fluctuate anywhere from 15-20 percent depending on where you are in the country and your site conditions.  How much does a pool cost will be impacted by a number of factors.  What we recommend is getting on the phone and starting the process with some reputable pool builders in your area.  Do not buy anything without doing your research first.