Inground Pool Estimates: What’s NOT Included

Woman furrowing her brow as she looks at bills

Once you’ve decided what kind of swimming pool you want, it’s time to get in touch with some pool builders to talk money. The price estimates you get from contractors include a lot of different items that probably add up to something in the range of $20,000-40,000. However, what they don’t include could cost you as much or even more. Inground pool estimates often leave out expenses that aren’t directly related to the pool’s construction, but are required just the same.

Some of these additional costs are obvious. You wouldn’t expect a pool company to pay for your pool toys. However, you will want to keep in mind some of the more significant costs you might have to pay. Here are some of the big ones.

Fencing and Other Safety Features

Where you live, it’s likely that a pool enclosure is required by law. Even if you already have a fenced backyard, you may not be in compliance. For example, some areas require you to have a mechanism on your gate that automatically closes it if left open. Other safety features that may be required in your area include pool alarms and safety pool covers. The law varies a lot from place to place, so make sure you understand what you need to be in compliance – and what it’s going to cost.


An inground pool isn’t something you can just plop down in your yard. You’re going to need extra landscaping to make it look nice and blend in seamlessly. This could mean adding trees for privacy, bushes to keep debris out, or stone walkways to get to and from the pool. Any meaningful pool estimate will include the decking around your pool as well, but there are likely many other features you’ll want to add at some point to complement your pool.

Extra Pool Gadgets

There are a lot of different gadgets you can buy for your pool to make maintenance easier. For example, robotic pool cleaners do a lot of the work you would otherwise have to do yourself (or hire a pool cleaning service to do). You may also need a gadget or kit for testing pool chemistry if you plan to add chlorine to the pool yourself. At some point, you will also probably feel the need to buy a pool thermometer, and possibly other products to help keep your pool the right temperature. This is really just a sample of the types of gadgets you might eventually end up buying for your pool – and they can range from a few bucks to thousands.

Pool Maintenance, Insurance Increases, and other Ongoing Costs

In addition to the initial price tag, there are many, many ongoing costs of pool ownership that are not included in inground pool estimates. There are cleaning costs – namely chemicals, and possibly a pool service to keep your pool sparkling blue (if you don’t use gadgets to do the job). There are heating expenses, which can be very high depending on what type of heater you use. And finally, you may be surprised to find your homeowners insurance go up with the addition of a swimming pool.

Estimating the True Cost of an Inground Pool

Ultimately, the job of estimating the bottom line price of installing and owning a swimming pool falls to you. One huge piece of the puzzle comes from the pool builder, who provides you with the cost of building the pool itself. However, there are a lot of additional expenses you need to consider before taking the plunge on a new inground pool.