12 March 2022

Deep Diving - How Much Will a Pool Installation Cost?

Danielle Redford
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Summer may be on its way out, but if you’ve been considering installing a pool, now is the perfect time to do so.

Many homeowners don’t think about installing a pool until the summer heat has them wanting to cool off without sitting in traffic on the way to the beach!

But what of the cost? If you’ve had friends or family install a pool before, you may have heard them mention how much it costs, and they usually don’t come cheap.

The cost of installing a pool is determined by many different factors, with one of the biggest costs being how accessible your yard is for installation and how much prep work needs to be done.

When planning your pool install, it is also important to consider the ongoing costs after your pool is installed. These costs will include chemicals, maintenance, cleaning, and electricity. It is crucial to choose a pool that won’t affect your budget in the future - for example, a chlorinated pool may be cheaper to install initially. Still, a natural pool has very minimal ongoing costs when managed correctly.

Budget Pool Installation

Your Budget: $20,000 - $30,000

Your Options: Above ground, plunge, vinyl-lined, fibreglass, swim spas

Installing a pool isn’t a cheap exercise, and while you may find someone able to do it for a low cost, $20,000 is around the minimum you should expect to pay. This would generally cover an above ground pool, a plunge pool or swim spa. Above ground pools are great for sloping blocks, and with the proper landscaping around them, they can look outstanding.

Landscaping can get expensive when dealing with above-ground pools, but you could install a deck with a smaller budget if planned well. This type of install may become part of an overall plan for an outdoor entertaining area, with a deck extending from your back door to the pool area.

The downside to above ground pools is that you tend to be locked into certain shapes and sizes - they aren’t free form, so you need to have the space to install. If you have a smaller backyard but still want a pool, a precast concrete plunge pool or swim spa is a budget-friendly option. There are a lot of designs that can be achieved with these two options that won’t require excavation of your yard.

Mid-Range Pool Installation

Your Budget: $30,000 - $60,000

Your Options: In-ground, fibreglass, concrete, standard pools

A mid-range pool is where most homeowners tend to sit when deciding what to install. Options regarding materials and sizing are more open, and you can get the classic Aussie backyard pool in this price range. Most people tend to spend around $45,000 when installing a pool.

With both fibreglass and concrete in-ground pools starting from $30,000 all the way up to $100,000+, there is undoubtedly room for customisation. Pricing in this range often covers excavation, concrete or the fibreglass body, interior materials, filtration, and sanitisation. Some pool installers will have tiling, heating and lighting available in this price range, while for others, it may be an additional cost.

So what bumps the cost up in the mid-range pool installation? The two most significant costs are the material you use and the interior finishing. For a standard fibreglass pool, the cost can be less, as it is pre-fabricated and ready to go. For those looking for a custom design, having a concrete pool may be more expensive, depending on the style and the amount of concrete needing to be used. Interior finishing can be almost anything you like. Glass beading is one of the cheaper finishes, while a fully tiled pool can be quite expensive.

Again, landscaping can be a considerable cost when installing a pool. However, your landscaping can often be done over time, allowing you to do it as your budget allows. It is not unusual for homeowners to spend just as much on landscaping as they have done on the pool build.

Luxury Pool Installation

Your Budget: $60,000+

Your Options: Larger in-ground pools, natural pools, complex sites, water features, expansive landscaping, interior tiling, pool rooms

If you have a large budget, you have almost free rein on design and landscaping. If you are looking for a custom-designed pool, this is the budget range you will need to be sitting in. It is also the budget range that those with a sloping backyard may need to consider.

The luxury pool budget range will allow for free-form concrete pools to match your backyard landscaping plans and allow for feature walls, in-pool spas, water features, and elevated structures. Glass fencing is another area that will often push you into this price range, as well as pool houses, cabanas, and extensive landscaping.

Natural Pool Trend

There is a growing trend of natural pools in Australian backyards, and it’s not hard to see why. These pools work biologically, and, with well thought out landscaping, they remind you of the days of swimming in a creek, lagoon or pond, rather than a standard pool.

These pools work biologically rather than using chlorine, making for a much cleaner and more gentle swimming experience.

A natural pool is more expensive to install due to the filtration system required (in the $70,000+ range), but they can save you money on maintenance and chlorine costs in the long run. These are certainly pools for the luxury end of the market.

The physical and mental benefits of being able to pop out for a swim at the end of the day is enormous, and there aren’t too many homeowners who regret installing a pool. Ensuring you do your research and settle on a pool that sits within your budget will make for a smoother pool installation.

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