Ballpark Estimate: $20,000 to $40,000
The best way to keep your cool during the summer months is to dive into your own in-the-ground pool. In the past, having an in ground pool was a luxury reserved only for the wealthy. But advances in the engineering and construction in recent years have made them much more commonplace today for many homeowners.
Keep Your Cool
Of course you can drive to the beach or trek to the country club if you want to swim, but imagine the convenience of having an in ground pool right in your own backyard. Just keep in mind that along with the pleasure you’ll get from lounging in your in ground pool on the hottest days also comes some responsibility.
You may think that once the in ground pool is built and filled with water that the hard work is over, but actually, it’s just beginning. In-the-ground pools require ongoing maintenance to keep the water clean and safe.
Different Pool Styles
While any type of in ground pools can provide a welcome summer haven, there are many different styles and designs to select from. All of them consist of the same basic structure, which is to have a hole dug in the ground that holds a basin filled with water. However, the construction of the basin itself can be quite different. The most common in ground pool options include:
Steel Walls And Vinyl Lining
A in ground pool made with steel walls and vinyl lining is similar to an above-the-ground pool, except that the frame is built right into a hole in the ground, which is then covered with sand before inserting a vinyl lining. This is one of the more cost-effective types of pools, but the liner is less permanent and needs to be replaced every 10 years or even sooner.
A in ground pool made from fiberglass consists of a plastic basin shape that’s molded to fit in the hole. The basin is usually inserted on top of a sand foundation that also contains the plumbing.
Concrete or Gunite Pool
A concrete or gunite pool is one of the most popular styles today and it can be built in several different ways, but usually the concrete is poured over a frame formed by rods and wire and plumbing elements and then sprayed with a mixture of sand and cement. Once this finish dries, it can be covered with plaster, tile, or even a fiberglass coating. (This style has taken the place of the older poured-concrete methods.)
The Pressure Is On
Regardless of the type of in ground pool you decide on, there are some basic logistics you will need to consider. The average size of an in ground pool today is about 18 feet by 36 feet. It will also need to have a plumbing and filtering system. If you plan to lounge in the in ground pool but don’t plan to do serious swimming, you may want to stick with a depth of about five feet or less. But if you want to use the in ground pool for diving, you’ll need to have depth of 8.5 feet and include a diving board or diving platform. If you go this route, you’ll need to be sure to follow the safety guidelines provided by the American National Standards Institute. You can also decide to have a freeform in ground pool, which is designed to have an organic shape (rather than a simple square or rectangular) and is meant that blend more seamlessly into the backdrop of your yard. This type of in ground pool often incorporates rock features and other natural elements. If a modern-style in ground pool attracts you, you can also consider a negative edge pool or infinity pool, which is designed to look like it is exists without boundaries. This optical illusion gives the sense the in ground pool flows right into the horizon.
Owning an in ground pool is a serious responsibility. It also requires much upkeep and maintenance, although the amount of work involved has gone down in recent years as more systems have become automated. To help minimize your time commitment, you can also add special features including an in-floor cleaning system. Many people spend two or three days a week doing routine pool maintenance. For instance, you’ll need to monitor the water quality and filter out the germs and bacteria. You’ll also need to check the chlorine levels regularly. If you can afford to install an in ground pool, you may also be able to afford to hire a company to help you take care of it and perform routine repairs as needed. You’ll also need to pay for the water to fill the pool. Maintenance for an in ground pool can cost as much as $1,000 to $2,000 a year or more. If you have a heated in ground pool, the expense will be even higher. The cost of electricity for an in ground pool can cost another $50 or more a month on top of what you’re already paying. If the pool is heated, this can increase the price to $100 a month and up.
Return on Your Investment
When you install an in ground pool in your yard, you can instantly improve your home’s value. The part of the country in which you live makes a difference as to how much return you’ll get on your investment. Real estate experts say that you can expect to increase your value by between 5 and 15%, depending on your climate. Cooler areas are on the lower side, while hotter areas are on the higher end, since having an in ground pool becomes much more important. So if your home is worth $500,000, you can expect an increase in value by another $25,000 to $75,000. Just keep in mind that not all potential buyers will see the advantage of having an in ground pool. For some, this can be a deterrent if they have young children and worry about the safety challenges inherent to a pool. Others simply might not want to handle the maintenance.
For Safety Sake
On the matter of safety, it’s also important to note that when you have an in ground pool, you’ll need to take precautions to prevent any accidents from occurring. Some cities and towns will require pool owners to install fencing, pool covers and door alarms. You should check with your local clerk’s office and also find out what zoning requirements exist and what permits you’ll need before constructing an in ground pool on your property. In addition, you should also talk to a representative from your home insurance company about what increases in coverage they recommend you add as a precaution, since it’s always better safe than sorry.
Where to Shop
When shopping for an in ground pool, you can check with local pool companies that do installation and maintenance. You can usually find these online or in your yellow pages. You can also check with seasonal stores that sell pools and other seasonal merchandise. In addition, you can check with the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals and search their database of members to find trained professionals working in your area. Or, use the wealth of other online resources you can find including Service Magic, Swimmingpool.com, Mydreampool.com, and Freepoolquotes.com.
What It Costs
What you will spend on an in ground pool depends on where you live, what type of pool you want, and how big it is.
The most affordable type of in ground pool is usually one that has a vinyl lining. This can cost between $10,000 and $15,000 for a very basic model and go up from there. It’s worth noting that the maintenance on this type of pool can quickly eat away the savings. A liner replacement will cost between $2,000 and $4,000 and will be needed within the first 10 years or so, sooner if the original liner becomes damaged. (However, some small tears can be fixed with a do-it-yourself kit for $20.)
A fiberglass in ground pool will cost between $15,000 and $30,000 or more to install, while concrete or gunite pools can cost between $20,000 and $50,000 and up.
If money is no object, you can consider investing in a custom-designed in ground pool, which can cost between $50,000 and $100,000+.
Adding extras like a waterfall or infinity edges to an in ground pool can double the cost of installation. Other special effects including lighting, a hot tub, rocks, and a deck can also add a great deal to what you will spend.
Most in ground pools come with a warranty but it’s important to read the fine print carefully, as many common problems won’t be covered in most cases.
Although less expensive options exist, the average cost of installing an in ground pool in your yard is $20,000 to $40,000. Maintenance costs are additional.
Do It Yourself
Some homeowners decide to purchase do-it-yourself in ground pool kits. While these can save a little money, they can cost between $5,000 and $15,000 or more for all of the elements and in most cases, they still need to be professionally installed.