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By all means the word pool mostly associated with the swimming pools, place to swim, place to do laps, diving, aqua therapy, water exercise, recreation activity.

Depending on the size and the designated use of the pool it can be called lap pool, swim spa, therapy pool, kiddy pool, Olympic pool, sports pool.

Three types of pools

Each pool type offers different materials and construction methods. Each pool type offers the basics of swimming, therapeutic and recreation activity.

  1. In-ground pool
  2. Semi-Inground (half in-ground)
  3. Above ground

Construction cost variables

The cost of any pool type is proportionate to how deep it is in a ground, size, complexity of the shape, features selected, labor intensity, reliance on the heavy machinery, ground conditions, material used, geographical location of the project and homeowner’s involvement in construction process.

How deep the pool is in a ground

Deeper your pool is in a ground

  • More excavation: longer machinery use, more labor cost
  • More dirt: more hauling the dirt off the site, more trucking time, more labor cost
  • More backfill material: more quarry material to haul in, more trucking, machinery time, labor cost
  • More water goes to the pool to fill it
  • More construction material (concrete) or deeper pool (fiberglass) or extended kit (vinyl)
  • More delivery cost (concrete) or freighting cost (fiberglass)

Complexity of the shape, features selected, labor intensity

Mostly related to Concrete Poolss / Gunite Poolss or Vinyl Liner Poolss. Fiberglass Poolss are pre-formed at the factory and cannot be customized to change the shape or size. More complex shape of the pool and more constructional features are in the pool will result in more materials, possible machinery, trucking and labor cost.

Reliance on the heavy machinery

Mostly related to Fiberglass Poolss since each pool could weight 4,000+ lb (1800 kg+). Fiberglass Poolss required heavy machinery to load the pool on the truck to deliver it to the project site, unload the pool from the truck at the project site, take pool to the place of installation and load it to the ground. Depending on the site obstacles the cost of machinery and machinery operation can be double in comparison to the normal project complexity.

Ground conditions

By looking at the site sometimes the pool builder will be unable to determine whether or not the ground will have any unexpected obstacles, such as monolith rocks, shells, boulders, or water. Sometime no machine is able to break the ground and the choice is for the homeowner to stop the project or to hire the special crew to blow the rock. If the ground is rocky it might require to bring the hammer machine to break it. Another ground obstacle is a high water table or ground water. It might require to bring another crew to dewater the whole by installing special system around the while. In any case the ground conditions can seriously expand the cost and time of the project.

Materials used

Each pool type offers different construction material and methods.

The cost of materials from highest to lowest

  1. In-ground: fiberglass pools
  2. In-ground: concrete or gunite pools (shotcrete)
  3. In-ground: vinyl liner pools
  4. Above ground: composite frames
  5. Above ground: PVS frames
  6. Above ground: vinyl inflated

Geographical location

Geographical location is very important factor in driving the cost of pool construction or installation. Is there a quarry nearby? Where to dispose the excavation material? Is there any requirements to dispose the material such as contamination test? Is there local trucking company to haul the material? How much is the quarry material cost? The cost of material can triple within 50 miles radius depending on location. Sometimes local pool builders charge more for the construction or installation versus some builder that is 50 miles away. Geographical location is absolutely a big factor in budgeting for your project.

Homeowner’s involvement in construction process

The turnkey pool project (complete A to Z) will always cost more versus the homeowner taking some part in it. There are several known approaches to the pool construction process.

  1. Homeowner as a full GC (General Contractor) – supplying every trade to the construction puzzle
  2. Partial GC – Taking over part of the project, commonly electrical, masonry and landscaping
  3. DIY Assisted (Do It Yourself) (related to Fiberglass Poolss) – Hire pool builder to assist with pool installation, providing the labor and machinery.
  4. DIY (Do It Yourself) (related to fiberglass or vinyl pools)– Completing the project completely on your own

Quick Facts

  • Project cost formula: machinery + trucking + labor + cost of supplies and materials + company’s profit margin
  • The cost of trucking, hauling, dirt disposal and labor depends on geographical location
  • Pre-construction cost of the fiberglass pools is much higher than concrete or gunite.
  • The highest profit margin is for the concrete, guniteand [[vinyl liner pool[[ construction in the same order
  • Assisted DIY can save the consumer between $5,000 - $10,000+ for the average size pool (depending on the pool type)
  • The fastest pool construction is for fiberglass pools over concrete, gunite or vinyl liner pools

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WDS Editorial Contacts

  • Michelle Angela Blank

    Co-Founder & Lead Editor

  • Igor Golovach

    Co-Founder & Lead Editor