Inground Pool Prices: Top 5 Factors

Little girl floating in an inflatable ring in a swimming pool

When you ask about inground pool prices, you rarely get a straight answer. That’s because there are so many different variables involved. It’s hard to come up with a meaningful answer without getting into the weeds of what you’re looking for. Here are some of the major factors that determine inground pool cost:

1. Pool Size

Inground pools come in a lot of different sizes, and while bigger isn’t always better, it is always more expensive. Obviously, the larger your pool is, the more of everything you’re going to need – construction materials, labor, landscaping work, chemicals, and so on. All of these things cost money, which is why many people decide to go with small pools in order to cut costs or spend their budget on other priorities.

It’s somewhat obvious but nevertheless important to remember that inground pool size includes depth. So if you’re planning to install a diving board, you may need a deeper pool to accommodate it – and that will cost more.

2. Materials

Whether you choose vinyl, concrete, or fiberglass is another key variable. Vinyl is the cheapest option of the three (though it will need to be replaced more frequently). Concrete and fiberglass are considerably more expensive. Fiberglass pools might be the most expensive of all, though in the scheme of things, the cost difference between them and concrete (gunite) pools isn’t usually that big. Pools made of these “premium” materials tend to require fewer repairs, though it’s not necessarily enough to pay for the price difference.

3. Customization and Extras

One of the great advantages of inground pools is that you have a lot of control over their design. You can get them in different shapes depending on the space you have available and how you plan to use the pool. For example, if your pool is primarily for entertaining, you can get a decorative shape that complements your backyard decor. On the other hand, if you’re planning to use the pool for laps, you can get a long, rectangular design. However, getting nonstandard shapes like this will no doubt cost extra.

Even more important are extra features you may want for your pool. From pool slides to waterfalls, to spas, there’s no limit to the possibilities. But with each one, you add to the cost of the pool – often significantly.

4. Geography

What part of the country you live in also plays a role in determining inground pool prices. The main issue is labor. In areas where the cost of living is high, it’s generally more expensive to hire workers to do the labor-intensive job of installing a pool.

That said, materials may also be more or less expensive depending on where you are. And finally, different cities and states have different regulations for pool construction that could impact installation cost.

5. Contractor Differences

Finally, some pool contractors are simply more expensive than others – and the difference can be huge. Sometimes a higher price corresponds to better quality work, but not always. Make sure you get a quote from at least three contractors and choose the one that offers the best combination of price and reputation. Also, before signing a contract with any pool company, be sure to look it over carefully and understand what costs you’re on the hook for. Sometimes a so-called cheap inground pool can end up being very expensive.

Inground Pool Prices – Getting a Straight Answer

If you really want an accurate indication of how much you’ll have to pay for an inground pool, you need to contact some local contractors and get a quote. While most backyard pools cost around $50,000, that’s just a ballpark figure. The only way to find out for sure is to make a list of exactly what you want and find out what pool companies are charging for it.