Cheap Inground Pools: The Cost of Cutting Corners

100 dollar bill underwater in a swimming pool

People naturally look for ways to save money on a new swimming pool, especially after they learn what the full cost of an inground pool can come to when all the different options are factored in. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to make your inground pool more affordable, or better yet, squeeze more features out of your budget. However, not all cheap inground pools are created equal. Saving money by cutting corners rarely pays off in the long run.

Cheap Inground Pools – The Wrong Way

Here are some shortcuts to getting a cheap inground pool that can come back to bite you.

1. Hiring a cut-rate contractor. One seemingly easy way to get cheap inground pool is by hiring a contractor that’s willing to work for less than the going rate. Comparing prices is an important part of contracting pool work, but you also have to factor in reputation and reliability. A contractor that misses deadlines could cost you a summer of relaxing by your new pool. An unscrupulous or incompetent one could force you to remodel sooner than you planned.

2. Using substandard materials. Whether you’re doing the work yourself or working with a contractor, cutting costs on pool materials will only save you in the short run. The pool may look great, but sooner rather than later, it’s going to need repairs.

3. Getting a pool you don’t like. If you’ve always dreamed of having an inground pool, you may not be satisfied with an above ground or semi inground pool. Similarly, if what you want is concrete, going with vinyl liner isn’t going to be the same. There are always compromises between what you want and what you can afford, but if you end up with a pool you’re unhappy with, you’re not getting your money’s worth – no matter how little you paid.

Cheap Inground Pools – The Right Way

Here are some ways you can save money on an inground pool that aren’t as likely to lead to regrets down the road.

1. Do it yourself. File this one under “bad ideas” if you’re not good at home improvement. However, if you have the ability to do some or all of the work yourself, you will save a ton of money. Inground pool kits and numerous pool construction guides can help you along if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing. Just make sure you don’t take on more than you can handle.

2. Shop around. You should contact at least three pool contractors for quotes. You may be surprised at the difference between them. And while reputation is a big plus (see #2 above), that doesn’t mean a smaller startup pool company can’t do a great job on your pool.

3. Consider a smaller pool. The best way to save money on an inground pool is to go smaller. Not only will it cost less to install, but you will save on maintenance costs because small pools are cheaper to heat and keep clean. Of course you shouldn’t settle for less than you really want, but if a smaller pool fits your needs, then why not save the money?