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How To Make Your Swimming Pool Project More Affordable

Money is what makes the world go ‘round, right? Unfortunately, that’s the hard truth. Everything revolves around finances whether it’s being able to afford something, saving money to afford a specific item, allocating finances properly, etc., and inground swimming pools are no exception to this way of the world.

We know that no matter what item you’re looking to purchase, you want a good deal. And the reason we know that? Well, it’s because we want a good deal on whatever we’re looking to purchase, too!

And since we have many years of experience selling, building, and installing inground swimming pools, we’ve seen all kinds of budgets—low, high, in the middle—you name it, we’ve seen it. And we’ve worked with each customer to configure their pool project around their budget, but the one question we get asked the most is this: “How do I save money?”

Well, that’s just what we’re going to cover in this article!

There are so many options to choose from when it comes to inground swimming pools—pool type, equipment, accessories, water features, etc., and what you choose to include in your pool project will create the final price.

You can configure your pool project however you want, which is great, and we’re here to help you get your pool project to a price that you are comfortable with. So, let’s get into some of the ways you can make your swimming pool project more affordable!

Choosing a Pool Type

There are three types of pools to choose from: concrete, vinyl liner, and fiberglass. At Royal Pools and More, we only offer the installation of vinyl liners and fiberglass, but other pool builders may offer the installation of concrete pools.

Each pool project will have a price unique to itself because of the type of pool, its size, and its accessories, but below you’ll find ballpark estimates for each pool type.

Concrete Pools

The initial cost of a concrete pool can range anywhere from $75,000 — $125,000, but here’s a more specific breakdown:

  • Small Concrete Pools (10’ x 20’ – 12’ x 24’): $60,000 — $75,000
  • Medium Concrete Pools (14’ x 28’ – 16’ x 32’): $75,000 — $85,000
  • Large Concrete Pools (18’ x 36’ – 20’ x 40’): $95,000 — $115,000

We know this is a pretty steep price and after all, concrete pools are the most expensive of the three. But you can get creative with sizing if a concrete pool is your top choice and want to attempt to make it fit your budget.


However, you’ll need to factor in the cost of maintenance to keep the pool in good shape as the years go on. The 10-year maintenance cost for a concrete pool is in the ballpark of $27,000, which includes:

  • Weekly maintenance
  • Resurfacing
  • Addition of chemicals

So, not only is the initial cost of a concrete pool pretty high, the maintenance cost is up there as well. These are both important to take into account during your decision-making process as they can make or break your budget.

Vinyl Liner Pools

You can expect the initial cost of a vinyl liner pool to be somewhere in the range of $60,000 — $85,000, which is a much smaller price range (and cheaper) than a concrete pool. This is how price is broken down by size:

  • Small Vinyl Liner Pool (10’ x 20’ – 14’ x 32’): $60,000 — $66,000
  • Medium Vinyl Liner Pool (15’ x 30’ – 16’ x 36’): $67,000 — $75,000
  • Large Vinyl Liner Pool (18’ x 36’ – 20’ x 44’): $76,000 — $85,000

As you can see, these prices are significantly lower than those of concrete pools. And they are also the lowest prices out of the three types of pools. However, there’s still a pretty hefty 10-year maintenance cost of around $11,500, which is heavily influenced by a replacement liner.


You see, one of the biggest disadvantages of a vinyl liner pool is that you’ll have to replace the liner every 4-9 years. The liner can tear, wrinkle, and float over time, which can either be fixed by repairing the existing liner or purchasing a whole new one. Repairs can be beneficial if they are small, but in the end, doing so may just prolong the inevitable of spending $6,000 — $6,500 on a new liner.

There is no telling how frequent tears/wrinkles may arise or how often you’ll have to replace your liner, so the maintenance costs could be even higher than the estimate given above. So, this is definitely something to keep in mind if you’re looking to get a pool on a small initial budget.

Fiberglass Pools

Fiberglass pools have become increasingly popular in recent years—and for good reason. The structure of a fiberglass pool is an extremely durable product that can last decades with minimal maintenance costs and an initial cost right in the middle of the price spectrum between vinyl liners and concrete.

You can expect pricing to look something like this:

  • Small Fiberglass Pools (10’ x 20’ – 13’ x 27’): $60,000 — $70,000
  • Medium Fiberglass Pools (13’ x 28’ – 16’ x 32’): $70,000 — $80,000
  • Large Fiberglass Pools (16’ x 33’ – 16’ x 41’): $80,000 — $90,000

While the initial price of a fiberglass pool may be more than that of a vinyl liner pool, it is less than that of a concrete pool. So, it’s right in the middle of the pack.

Furthermore, the maintenance cost is the lowest of the three pool types because of the aforementioned durability of the fiberglass pool shell. Such cost is estimated to be around $3,700 per 10 years, which really just includes regular addition of chemicals, equipment maintenance, and cleaning the pool.


Truth be told, fiberglass pools are the best value since they last so long without intense maintenance requirements. They may have a higher initial cost but if you own the pool for multiple decades, you’ll likely end up saving money in the long run as opposed to spending money to restore a vinyl liner or concrete pool.

Therefore, if you’re looking for a more affordable pool in the long term, fiberglass is the way to go.

Install a Heater at a Later Date

Those of us who live in the Midwest know firsthand how much temperatures can fluctuate during the pool season. One day it can be in the upper 90s and the next it can drop down into the 70s. So, a heater can be a useful piece of equipment to get the temperature of the pool water up to a comfortable degree on those cooler days.

However, heaters can come at a pretty penny, which may not fit all budgets. If that is the situation for you, perhaps a heater isn’t in play in your initial budget. And that’s okay!

The great thing is that heaters can be installed at a later time. Plumbing can be rearranged and a heater can be added to the pump/filter system by a pool builder in the future if you so choose to install one.

Heaters generally cost anywhere between $3,500 – $4,000, so you can shave that expense off the initial price of your pool project by not including it in your package.

Add Accessories in the Future

Accessorizing your pool project can be one of the more fun and enjoyable aspects of the design process because there are so many options available from water features to pool games to equipment, firepits, slides, and so much more. However, you can rack up the cost quickly with just a few accessories, which is why we suggest holding off on accessorizing your pool during the initial purchasing process.

Obviously, accessories aren’t essential to your pool project and you can create a beautiful and functional inground pool without any of the bells and whistles. Plus, without the inclusion of accessories, the initial cost will be cheaper. And if you decide you want to install some additional features in the future, you can!

The only thing you’d have to do during installation is include plumbing for slides or water features even if you don’t plan to install them initially.

Install a Smaller Pool

This probably goes without saying, but as you can tell by the prices listed above, you can cut costs greatly by choosing a smaller pool regardless of the type.

The structure itself makes up the bulk of the cost of a pool project, so if you can sacrifice size, you can save a considerable amount of money. However, unlike the features, we listed above, adding size isn’t a real possibility unless you want a new pool which is a whole other discussion in itself.

Add More Patios in the Future

Another great way to decrease the initial price of your pool project is to install the minimum required amount of patio around the pool itself. You don’t need an elaborate patio design even though it can provide a great amount of detail. It’s expensive to create an elaborate patio so it’s completely okay if you don’t want to allocate your financial resources to this aspect of your pool.


The great thing about patios is that you can always add to them in the future. So, if you’re trying to save money on the initial cost, you can install more patios in the future.

Will You Pay More in the Future?

There’s always the possibility of inflation, especially since we’re in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. So, if you do wait to install a heater, more patio, or other accessories, you run the risk of paying more for those products than you would have at the time of installation of your pool because that’s just the way the world works.

These suggestions are more geared toward decreasing the initial cost of your pool project if you don’t have a large budget to begin with.

Perhaps in the future if you have more financial resources available you can purchase some of those accessories you really wanted when you first bought your pool or maybe there will be new features available in the future. You never know!

For any more questions about inground pool pricing, check out some of our other articles below or give us a call at (219) 322-2797!