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How To Establish Your Pool Budget

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably decided that you’re finally ready to purchase and install an inground swimming pool on your property. We’re sure that this is an exciting time for you and your family for several reasons! It can bring so much joy and fun to your life for years to come, but keep in mind that this is a pretty hefty investment–one that you need to be prepared to make.

Like everything, an inground pool costs money–and quite a lot of it. So, you should take some time to create a budget that you are comfortable with and that will allow you to install a quality pool that will last many years. Your budget will be a direct result of your wants and needs, but we want you to be aware that smaller budgets may need to sacrifice some features for the inclusion of others because as much as you’d probably like to have everything under the sun, that’s not always what you can get.

So, during our time in the pool industry, we’ve helped clients all over the spectrum with many different budgets–both initial and future for maintenance. That’s right, you’ll also have to factor in the cost to own and maintain an inground pool when working with a builder to create your pool project. Expenses don’t just stop after you cut the big check for installation. They continue, albeit much less, for years to come and you must be prepared to accommodate for those and that’s exactly what we’re here to help with!

Below you’ll find some of the most important aspects of building a budget for an inground pool–both for the initial purchase and the expenses you’ll have to account for in the future. Obviously, this won’t tell you your exact budget, but it will get you started on the path to configuring a comfortable budget that you’re content with spending!

Initial Cost

As we’ve already mentioned, the initial cost of an inground swimming pool is what you’ll pay at the point of installation.

The initial cost will fall in a certain range that is dependent on the type of pool; such ranges are as follows:

  • Concrete: $75,000 — $125,000
  • Fiberglass: $60,000 — $90,000
  • Vinyl Liner: $60,000 — $85,000

These are pretty wide price ranges, which is due in large part to the size of the pool, materials used, excavation, installation, delivery, and customizable features. All of these elements can vary in their own right, making the price fluctuate on a pool-by-pool basis.

During the design process, you should work with your pool builder to include as many features as possible within your budget and before you even continue to plan construction, you should have the majority of the initial cost set in stone.

Maintenance Cost

In addition to the initial cost of your pool project, you’ll need to factor in the cost of maintenance to create a budget.

This will vary per pool type because a concrete pool requires different maintenance practices than a vinyl liner pool which will require different maintenance practices than a fiberglass pool. Due to the materials, each pool is constructed of, you’ll be expected to complete different forms of maintenance to preserve those specific materials.

The expenses can vary greatly between each type of pool as you can see in the chart below:


Additional Features

We know that features and add-ons can be some of the best aesthetically-pleasing elements of an inground pool, but you may have to prioritize some over others depending on where your budget lies.

There is a wide range of features you can add to your inground pool, like:

  • Spa
  • Pool Lights
  • Decking
  • Waterfall
  • Bubbler
  • Tanning Ledge
  • Pool Games
  • Pool Heater
  • And More!

These may all sound enticing and you may want all of them included in your pool project at first, but depending on what your budget is, that may not be possible. You may have to prioritize some features over others to stay within the price range you’re willing to spend.

What’s nice about pools, though, is that you can add some of these features in the future if you can’t fit them into your initial budget. For example, you can add on to the patio in the future since the materials are easy to replicate. You can also install a heater and pool games or purchase new equipment in the future to give your pool that extra “something.”

This is something that you should discuss with your pool builder in the early stages of creating your pool project. Not only will this help set your initial budget, but it will allow you to work around it and decide where your priorities lie.

Improvements and upgrades are always an option; some just may have to wait a few years before they can become part of your backyard oasis.

Paying for Your Pool

Once you’ve worked out a budget that you’re comfortable with, you can choose between a few options to pay for your inground pool project:

  • Paying in full (uncommon, but still an option)
  • Pool Loan (available from an online lender, bank, or credit union)
  • Home Equity Loan (loan equal to the portion of equity built in the home)

Payment in full pretty much speaks for itself as you would pay the entire initial cost at the time of purchase. However, it’s not common for the average person to have the funds to purchase a pool in such a manner.

The more common option is to pay for an inground pool project through either of the loan options listed above. Think of them in relation to a car loan. You receive a loan of a specific dollar amount that must be repaid over a fixed payment period with a specific interest rate. The only difference is that a home equity loan allows you to receive a loan equivalent to a portion of the equity you hold in your home.

Each of these options are adequate for paying for your pool project and once you have a better understanding of what your budget is, you’ll be able to decide which payment method is the most appropriate.

We hope that we’ve given you some basic knowledge that will help you begin the configuration of both the initial and long-term budget for your inground pool project!

For further information, check out our Learning Center where we post new articles each week to keep you informed about all things inground swimming pools!