How To Build A Swimming Pool On A Budget

Tilly HarrisTilly Harris

How To Build A Swimming Pool On A Budget

Having your own private pool at your home is truly fantastic. It is something that most homeowners that don’t have one often dream about. However, adding a swimming pool to your home is probably one of the biggest and most expensive home improvement projects you can take on. The average cost of getting an inground swimming pool is around $35,000. They can also get into the $100,000 range depending on the size, design and features. No matter how you deal with it, there is really no way to build a pool for “cheap”. However, there are certain factors and choices you should be aware of, that can at least keep the costs down as much as possible. Before we discuss those, you should be aware of some things that will affect your cost no matter what choices you make: – Zoning and Permits: Almost all localities have rules regarding building a pool on your property. These often not only have requirements and restrictions, but permit costs as well. – Geologic considerations: The more rock and sand content on the land, will make it harder to build the pool and thus add to the cost. – Access: If the land for the pool is in a tight area, the construction will be more difficult and thus increase the cost. – Competition: In areas with not many swimming pool contractors, the cost will usually be higher. The following are factors and things that you can decide that can help you keep the costs of building a pool as low as possible.

Do It Yourself (DIY) vs a Pool Contractor

The labor costs of installing an inground pool are usually quite high, due to the nature of this kind of work. If you skip the contractor, you can easily save many thousands of dollars. However, going the DIY route is not recommended for most people unless you have a prior experience in such a project. If a licensed pool contractor is not used, usually any warranties that come with the pool will be severely reduced or even void. Also, you still will need to have a crew of people and obtain appropriate equipment – so the total effective savings will be reduced. Finally, your upfront savings can be totally erased through costs later incurred from faulty installation.

Size and Shape Of the Pool

No matter what type of pool you decide on (as discussed below), the general rule of thumb is the bigger the pool, the more expensive it will be. This goes not only for length and width, but also depth. A good way to save money is to build as small a pool as possible that still fits your basic needs. You don’t need an Olympic pool just for casual dips and relaxation.

The shape also affects cost. The simpler the shape, the lower the cost. A simple rectangle or square is less expensive than a pool with many angles or separate areas.

Timing and Landscaping

Building a pool in the off season (which is typically the fall for most of the country) should allow you to get a lower cost. You will have to wait to use your finished pool, but the savings can make it worth it. Also, building the pool before you add or even have any landscaping in the area will reduce the costs.

Vinyl Pools

This type of pool is one of the least expensive ones to build. Average cost is between $25,000 – $40,000. This type of pool is also the best candidate for a DIY installation. The following are factors to be considered regarding a vinyl pool:

• While upfront cost is relatively less, the costs of ongoing maintenance will offset some of those initial cost savings.

• Vinyl liner pools attract algae, so you must clean the pool often. Expect to spend (or pay someone to spend) around four to eight hours per week on
vinyl liner pool maintenance.

• You could estimate around $13,000 in maintenance expenses over a ten year span, excluding liner replacement costs.

• Vinyl liners usually need to be replaced about every seven years (or fewer if the pool hasn’t been properly maintained), costing about $5,000 to

Fiberglass Pools

These pools usually cost between $30,000 – $60,000. They are also usually not suitable as a DIY project. However, while the upfront cost of a fiberglass pool is somewhat more than a vinyl one, its ongoing maintenance costs are lower and its quality is higher. Total fiberglass pool maintenance will be between $5,000 and $15,000 over a 10-year period (and there is no liner to replace), plus fiberglass pools are easier to clean than other pools especially because their smooth surface prevents algae growth. Also, this type of pool will usually add more value to your property than a vinyl pool.

Eliminate Extras

A plain simple pool is not as appealing as one with nice extra amenities, such as decking, pool lights, diving boards and things like Jacuzzis and showers. However, all of these things will increase your total cost for the pool. So, when making such decisions, always decide what you need versus what you want. The less extra wants, the lower your final cost will be.