A swimming pool costs anywhere from $5,000 to over $100,000, depending on what kind of pool you want. Inground pool prices start from $35,000, above ground pool prices start at around $7,000, while plunge pool prices start around $8,000.
1. Above Ground vs Inground
There are four things to consider when weighing up between an above ground swimming pool and an inground swimming pool:
1. COST – in most cases your inground pool will be the most expensive choice, whether it is a vinyl pool, concrete or fibreglass. On top of the cost of the pool itself you need to consider all the extras – electrical hook-up for lights, landscaping around the pool, decking or concreting around the pool, extra costs including a cover, pool heating, filters etc. When buying an above ground pool there are 3 main costs involved – the price of the pool – or kit itself, the price of installation. And the price of any pool surroundings you may want to add – such as decking. Your above ground pool is the cheaper option and in some cases the pool is cheaper than the decking or landscaping you choose to put around it.
2. SIZE – An above ground pool can actually be every bit as large – if not larger than an inground pool! However, with an above ground pool you are generally limited to one uniform depth. With an inground pool you get the choice of depths from shallow to deep which is perfect for anyone with a young family, children can move from depth to depth as they grow older and more confident.
3. MAINTENANCE – when you compare the two styles of pool, there really isn’t a lot of difference when it comes to maintenance. Although if you don’t have a deck around your above ground pool it can make it a lot harder to get around the pool to vacuum it properly. Both styles of pool need filters and water still must be tested and treated, surface water has to be skimmed of leaves and other debris. You need to care for both styles of pools in a similar way, although the trend for inground pools is more automation for cleaning and chemical balance.
4. LIFE SPAN – the average above ground pool, when cared for properly will last anywhere from 7 to 15 years before the structure of the pool becomes vulnerable. Pool liners have a shorter life span – generally 5 to 9 years before you will need to replace them. When it comes to inground pools how long they last is often down to the type of pool. For example, a fibreglass pool should last well over 20 years, while a vinyl pool has a structure that lasts well, the liner will need to be replaced every 8 to 11 years on average. Concrete pools should last a long time, but even they may need to be resurfaced after 10 – 15 years.
2. Concrete vs Fibreglass
One of the hottest topics of pool debate is over installing a fibreglass or concrete pool. Because pool suppliers will always push their products, it’s hard to get objective answers from them. Pool owners have their preferences, but a satisfied concrete owner will be as passionate about concrete as a satisfied fibreglass swimming pool is about fibreglass.
The fact is, there are pros and cons to both fibreglass and concrete pools. If you know both sides of the story, you’ll be in a better position to choose the right one for you.
Overall construction costs
Common fibreglass pools cost $35,000–$85,000 this is for the pool shell, delivery of the shell onsite, a crane to lift into position and all the relevant approvals and labour required to complete the job. Jobs can also be much more depending on how fancy you get with landscaping, accessories, and water features.
We don’t think DIY-ing a fibreglass pool is a good idea. You could save up to $5000 – $10,000 although the risk of problems is much greater and can cost you more to fix than what you saved!
Tip: Always ensure ALL aspects of the completed project are clear and noted in the tender and contract!
Concrete pool construction usually costs between $40,000 and $100,000. The higher costs mainly come from the specific shape, size and requirements needed to complete the job. Additional materials are needed for any changes, but you have a much more robust, and timeless design!
Pros and Cons of Fibreglass Pools
Two of the biggest attractions of fibreglass pools are their lower price and ease of installation. The price difference between a high quality fibreglass pool and a concrete pool is not as great as some believe it to be, but a fibreglass pool can be installed within a week, while a concrete pool can take months to install.
Another advantage of a fibreglass pool is that fibreglass has enough flex in it that it won’t crack in unstable soil. In some areas where soil subsidence or unstable soil is a problem, many homeowners who have installed concrete pools have regretted it. If you’re leaning towards concrete, find out about soil conditions in your backyard first.
The biggest drawback to a fibreglass pool is that you are limited in your design and colour options. Fibreglass pools are factory-made in a variety of sizes and shapes, but if you can’t find exactly what you want, you are better off having a concrete pool custom designed for you.
Another often overlooked drawback to fibreglass is that the pool shell has to be installed with a crane. Getting the crane into the back yard can be a problem, so ask pool builders about this before you decide.
Pros and Cons of Concrete Pools
Concrete swimming pools give you complete control over the design of your pool. If you want a freeform or natural pool, concrete is your best option. You can make the pool look like a natural lake or pond, complete with natural stones lining the side of the pool and a waterfall pouring down from a verdant hillside. For an ultra-modern appearance, your pool can run the length of your backyard, ending with an infinity edge.
Have the soil in your yard tested before you install a concrete swimming pool. More than one homeowner has paid $40,000 or more for the pool of their dreams, only to have to spend $10,000 or more on repairs just a year or two later, when cracks in the pool appear and the pool leaks. In most cases, it has nothing to do with the workmanship and everything to do with the soil.
Opinions are divided, but many homeowners who have had both concrete and fibreglass pools say fibreglass is easier to maintain than concrete. Some say concrete is colder than fibreglass, too, but others don’t notice a difference.
What’s the verdict? Explore your design options, check any access issues and find out about your local soil conditions before you decide between fibreglass and concrete. If all things are equal, you will be happy with either one. Otherwise, choose the pool that works best in your location and rest assured you’ve made the right choice for your backyard pool.
3. Getting best value for money
In fairly answering the question ‘how much does a pool cost?’ we first have to say that a pool will vary in price greatly depending on the size, complexity of construction and amount of features and finishes selected.
Educated buyers understand and appreciate that a pool is a very large investment and quality and support for product, installation and support are critical for a successful outcome. You need to consider the pool structure, durable Australian made materials, craftsmanship and high performance, durable equipment as part of your swimming pool investment. We strongly recommend talking to owners that have had a pool built by your chosen builder of their experience in maintaining costs from start to finish and how the whole process went from council approvals, permits to installation and hand-over of their new pool.
Be sure when calculating the cost of any pool that the pool company you’re talking to explains ALL of the costs involved up front. This may mean asking them about things that are not on their quote. That way you’ll know what has been quoted and what may also arise during construction.
Apart from an initial deposit, you only need to pay for work once each stage is completed like most large building projects. Be sure to make sure these are clearly outlined in the builders contract to avoid unexpected additional charges throughout the build.