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Why Are Pools So Expensive?

Jan 09, 2024
image of a beautiful backyard pool from one of our customers

Many people want their own inground pool, but the pricing tends to give most homeowners pause. 

I was just talking to a pool builder in the Midwest, and they hardly ever build pools for less than $80,000. That price point is bound to give you pause. Yeah, the kids want a backyard pool, but at that price point, most homeowners have to pass. 

Those of us at DIY Pools and Spas know better. You see, we've seen the market, we've seen the need, and we've taken our many decades of pool experience to come up with a solution that fits everyone.

Before we share this solution with you, it's important to understand how the pool market got to be where it is now.

Why Are Pools So Expensive Right Now?

Since the start of 2021, prices for labor and materials have gone up past the point of maintaining the original prices. Additionally, since material prices have gone up, pool equipment has only gotten more expensive. Manufacturers and distributors are upping their prices, forcing pool construction companies to raise theirs. It's a vicious cycle that is incredibly hard to break.

How Did Covid Impact Swimming Pool Prices?

The demand for swimming pools skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic. People were spending a lot more time at home and found themselves wanting a way to safely enjoy their time without contributing to the spread or risking contamination. Inground swimming pools were the obvious answer.

The large uptick in demand led to pool companies getting backed up with jobs and a shortage of supplies.

When Will the Cost of Swimming Pools Go Down?

Since we're coming up on a brand new year, it's impossible to make accurate pricing predictions with any amount of confidence, but it's reasonable to conclude that the farther we move from the pandemic, the fewer supply chain issues we should have, and the less strain on pool companies we will see.

One of the big questions we shouldn't neglect to consider is whether pool companies will reduce their prices after things cool off. It's not uncommon in situations such as these for the prices to go up to match the need and then never come back down because people have become accustomed to paying the new prices, and the companies are quite comfortable with the new profit margins.

What is the Inground Pool Cost?

On average an inground pool ranges from anywhere from $40,000 to $120,000. It's difficult to say because there are lots of variables such as the square foot count, material being used, landscaping, and so on. Sometimes, the price will fall as low as $25,000 and peak as high as $135,000 (the pool builder I talked to this week was doing an extremely custom build for around $250,000 that included a waterfall and diving section).

What is the Above Ground Pool Cost?

Above-ground pools usually cost around $800 to $5,000 depending on size. Although above-ground pools are cheaper than inground pools and more appealing to a lot of people, they won't ever match inground pools for durability, beauty, or customizability. Above-ground pools are made cheaper largely because they're made from cheaper materials that won't last long.

Most people use them for a few seasons, leaving them behind for the next homeowner to tear out. 

Cost of Pool by Material

It makes sense that using different materials would change the cost of your inground pool installation project, so let's take a closer look.

Concrete Pools

On average, a concrete pool will run homeowners approximately $52,990. The range is anywhere from $31,000 to $71,665, changing based on size and the interior finish.

Keep in mind that there are extremes for every demographic. For example, a high-end project that calls for a large pool and an expensive interior finish could cost as much as $231,665.

Vinyl Liner Pools

Any inground vinyl pool will likely range between $65,000 and $150,000, Yes, that's a large range, but once again, you're looking at a different cost for each different size, shape, liner type, and feature you choose to go with. Part of the beauty of vinyl pools is their versatility, but it does make it hard to calculate cost.

Fiberglass Pools

The cost of fiberglass inground pools depends heavily on the installation and how much work the pool company will be required to do. Turn-key installation costs associated with fiberglass inground pools range from $45,000 to $85,000.

What Factors Affect the Cost of a Swimming Pool?

As mentioned above, there are several reasons that your inground swimming pool project could be more or less expensive.

Size and Shape

One of the most incredible things about inground pools is that they can fit to any backyard layout. The design of the pool and size will have a massive bearing on the overall cost. Larger pools with complicated shapes cost more than smaller pools in simple shapes.


This factor is true of everything ever sold. Different companies charge more or less depending on how competitive they are, what area you live in, how far they'll have to travel, and so many other things. It's important to search all the companies in your area for the best price if you're going with a traditional pool company. Sometimes it is worth it to pay a little more for a reputable company. 

When you work with us, we connect you to the most reputable subcontractors in your area to help you save money on your build.


Rocky terrain and uneven plots are some of the worst enemies of your price tag. These things make landscaping and excavation more difficult, which will always drive up the cost.

How Do You Reduce the Cost of Installing a Swimming Pool?

With such a large purchase as a pool, it's nice to save money where we can.

You may be able to put off some of your purchases (pool heater, cover, patio, landscaping) to keep the initial cost down. These purchases are only items that can easily wait until later. You never want to skip out on something you truly need.

Another way to save money is to set aside a few more elaborate features you were thinking of. Each feature is a bump up on the cost, so maybe pick your one or two favorites and do without the others. You may also speak with your pool company and see what (if any) features could be installed later and include that in your list of things to purchase a little further down the road.

Above all, purchase quality. Don't ever sacrifice the quality of your pool for a lower initial cost. It will cost you more in the future and leave you suffering through the meantime with a mediocre product. A large part of succeeding with this step is finding a reputable company to work with you rather than trying to get as much profit as they can. Signing a deal with the first local company you find is easy, but we cannot stress enough the importance of vetting who you'll be working with. The last thing you want is to find yourself with lazy workers, half-finished jobs, and unprofessional work.

Of course, the best way to save money on your dream pool is to avoid a pool company all together. By hiring subcontractors directly you can save an easy $20-30k on your project. This is what our company, DIY Pools and Spas, does for families throughout the nation. It is our mission to change the way families build swimming pools. In 2023 our company saved American families a total of $20 million dollars.  

How Do You Find a Reliable Swimming Pool Company?

Check ratings and customer reviews. Listen to the words of those who have already worked with the company. When reading those reviews, look for mentions of customer service and availability. You don't want a company that checks out the moment a deal is signed, but instead, you want people who are there for you when you need them. Also, be weary of deposits and payment schedules. If between your deposit and first check due at dig you have paid more than 30% of the project, that is a red flag. Typically by dig reputable pool companies have only collected 10-20% of the project total. 

Why Should You Choose Us?

Our reason for starting this company was to find a way for families to afford beautiful, durable inground pools. We know that pools are the perfect way to make lasting memories with your family, because we've seen it time and time again. Inground pools are unmatched for deepening familial connections and bringing people together.

We make inground pools accessible to everyone by saving customers $20,000+ on their pool projects. For us, it's all about family. If you want to learn more about how we can save your family thousands of dollars and by building your dream pool wholesale, check out one of our weekly online events by clicking here.