Nothing’s more inviting than a pool full of cold, glistening H2O on a hot summer day. The national average cost to install a concrete in-ground swimming pool is $60,390. Most homeowners pay an average range of $35,145 to $62,500. Extreme low-end costs are about $25,250, but it can cost as much as $250,000 on the high end.
If you’re looking to develop a budget for your concrete pool, keep reading. This cost guide gives price determinants to help you get started on your concrete pool project. Let’s dive right in!
- Average Costs
- Cost Estimator by Size
- Cost Estimator by Pool Type
- Other Factors That Affect Cost
- Related Services
- Pro Cost vs. DIY Cost
- Cost by Location
Average Costs for a Concrete Pool in 2023
|National Average Cost||$60,390|
|Typical Price Range||$35,145 – $62,500|
|Extreme Low-End Cost||$25,250|
|Extreme High-End Cost||$250,000|
Installing a swimming pool is one of the more costly home improvement projects. Concrete pools are also at the expensive end in comparison to other types of pools, like vinyl or fiberglass pools.
The size of the pool is the main cost factor. Other factors that affect price are the pool’s interior surface, whether the pool is an in-ground swimming pool, above-ground, or semi-inground, materials, the type of pool, and add-ons.
Although concrete pools are more expensive to install and maintain than vinyl or fiberglass pools, they’re more durable. They can last around 50 years or more.
Concrete pools are also called shotcrete or gunite. Concrete comes already mixed with water and is ready to be poured when it arrives at the site. The cement is mixed at the installation site, so it’s more labor-intensive and time-consuming than installing a vinyl or fiberglass pool, resulting in higher costs.
Concrete Pool Cost Estimator by Size
The larger the pool, the more it will cost. Bigger pools take more time, which means more labor and more materials. A concrete pool typically costs between $68 and $170 per square foot to install.
|Pool size||Typical Range|
|10 ft x 16 ft||$10,880 – $27,200|
|12 ft x 30 ft||$24,480 – $61,200|
|15 ft x 30 ft||$30,600 – $76,500|
|16 ft x 36 ft||$39,170 – $97,920|
|20 ft x 40 ft||$54,400 – $136,000|
Concrete Pool Cost Estimator by Pool Type
Although in-ground pools are the most common, above-ground and semi-inground pools are viable options that come with their own pros and cons.
One disadvantage of above-ground and semi-inground pools is that the water may have to be heated or cooled more often, which costs more in the long run. Being underground means less of the pool is affected by the open air, so in-ground pools regulate water temperatures better.
In-Ground Concrete Pool
Most backyard pools are in-ground. A concrete in-ground pool costs an average of $60,390. Although they are the most expensive, they have many benefits. They can be designed in any shape or size, restricted only by the limitations of the pool owner’s yard and wallet.
- Aesthetically appealing
- Can add more special features or add-ons
- Regulates water temperature better than above- and semi-inground pools
- Less maintenance than above-ground pools
- Takes longer to build than above- and semi-inground pools
- More expensive than above- and semi-inground pools
Above-Ground Concrete Pool
Most homeowners spend between $25,750 and $75,000 for an above-ground concrete pool. This pool type requires retaining walls to withstand the pressure of the water, which affects the pool price. But unlike the other two pool choices, above-ground pools require no digging. Of the three types of pools, above-ground is the least expensive.
If you’re looking for a really deep pool, an above-ground pool may not be for you. It doesn’t measure as deep as an in-ground pool, and it’s usually smaller than an in-ground or semi-inground pool. Another disadvantage is that the walls of an above-ground pool must be maintained, and you have to climb a ladder to maintain the interior.
On the other hand, rocky terrain and sloped property may be a challenge for the other two pools, but not for an above-ground pool, which is one of its advantages. Although concrete pools in general take longer to build than fiberglass and vinyl pools, above-ground pools take less time to build than in-ground pools.
A big advantage of above-ground pools is that they are considered safer than the other two options. Unlike semi- and in-ground pools, the walls around an above-ground pool make it hard for children to climb into unless they use the ladder. And the ladder can be removed. These features can reduce the chances of children accidentally drowning.
- No digging
- Least expensive option
- Fastest to install
- Safer than above and semi-inground pools
- Fewer size options
- Shapes and designs limited to oval, rectangle, or circle
- Don’t last as long as in-ground pools
- Water temperature regulation may be more costly than in-ground pools
- Requires more maintenance than in-ground or semi-inground pools
- Usually smaller than in-ground or semi-inground pools
Semi-Inground Concrete Pool
Semi-inground pools give you the best of both worlds. They can have similar beauty as an in-ground pool while also being significantly less expensive. However, expect to pay more for a concrete semi-inground pool than you would a concrete above-ground pool.
Just like its price tag is in between that of an in-ground and above-ground pool, so is the time it takes to build it. A semi-inground pool takes less time to install than an in-ground pool, but a little longer than an above-ground pool.
- Can adjust the height to be the same as an existing deck or patio
- Faster to install than in-ground pools
- Cheaper to build than in-ground pools
- Deeper depth than above-ground pools
- More options for shape designs than above-ground pools
- Higher cost to regulate the water temperature
- Costs more than above-ground pools
- Takes longer to build than above-ground pools
Other Factors That Affect Cost
The size of the pool and whether its in-ground or semi-inground are more obvious cost determinants, but it is important to consider these additional factors to get a complete picture of total costs.
Concrete is porous, so the interior of the pool must be made from other materials. Painting the concrete interior is an option, but it’s more of an old-school approach. The most common finishes for pool interiors are pool materials like plaster, tile, or aggregate.
Plaster costs an average of $3.90 per square foot. Plaster is the least expensive and the most commonly used. The finish is usually white and can make the water look bright and clean. If you’re looking for more color, you’ll love that plaster can be dyed different colors.
But if you want something more durable, plaster is not the best choice. It doesn’t last as long as other surfaces. It also needs more maintenance than aggregate and tile.
Expect to pay about $4.95 per square foot for aggregate. When you step into a pool and see a bottom with specs of color, you’re probably in an exposed aggregate surfaced pool. One of the benefits is that aggregate is made from natural materials. Another advantage is that it doesn’t need maintenance to retain its smooth appearance. Aggregate is also a non-slip surface, and unlike plaster, aggregate is stain resistant.
Aggregate can be exposed or polished. Polished aggregate gives your pool a smoother surface that’s easier on the feet. Aggregate finishes are more durable and last longer than plaster finishes.
Tile is the most expensive interior surface, typically costing between $2 and $25 per square foot for the most common pool tiles. It’s also the most labor-intensive. If you’re going for an upscale look, such as an elaborate mosaic design in your pool, it could set you back as much as $100 per square foot.
Tile comes in many colors and gives your pool a shimmery appearance as it reflects the sun.
It has many advantages. Glass tile is corrosion-resistant, so it withstands the effects of the chemicals concrete pools require. It doesn’t fade or stain, and unlike plaster and aggregate, it can maintain its original look and feel for decades.
Tile comes in different designs and textures. Here are a few types of tile you can choose from:
The pool surround, also referred to as a pool deck, is the surface that frames and leads up to your in-ground pool. You’ll want a smooth, cool surface that is not slippery. Here are some different types of surround materials:
|Deck Materials||Average Cost Range Per Square Foot|
|Standard concrete||$2 – $5|
|Stamped concrete||$6.65 – $14.35|
|Pavers||$6.35 – $32.50|
|Tile||$8 – $30|
|Natural stone||$13.35 – $33.35|
|Decking||$14.80 – $28.40|
|Composite||$16.85 – $25.35|
On average, the cost for a concrete saltwater pool starts around $47,785. In comparison, the cost for a concrete chlorinated pool usually starts around $35,145.
Although saltwater pool installation won’t save you money initially, it can over time. You don’t need to buy chlorine, only salt. Salt tends to be a lot less expensive than chlorine, and you can buy salt in bulk. If you need to convert an existing chlorinated pool into a saltwater pool, expect to pay between $500 and $2,110.
Keep in mind that saltwater causes a concrete pool to deteriorate faster, shortening its lifespan. To reduce the negative effects, you can replaster the pool when you see signs of corrosion, or opt for a tile surface. Plaster and aggregate both erode in a saltwater pool. Tile is not as adversely affected.
Equipment costs are based on how simple or advanced the equipment system is. A simple pump and filtration system will cost a lot less than a more advanced, automated system that can be run from your phone. On average, pool pump installation ranges between $775 and $1,675.
If you’re building an in-ground pool, a hole will have to be dug and then backfilled around the pool. Where you live affects how much the excavation will cost. Some other things, in addition to region, that affect excavation costs are the size of the yard, the shape of the pool, and the time of year.
The more complicated the curves, the more you’ll be charged. If excavation is done when the ground is frozen, contractors will have to work harder, so expect to pay more for the overall swimming pool installation cost.
If you need a truck to haul away the dirt that builds up from the excavation, this will further increase costs.
Adding features like a diving board, pool heater, and pool lighting will add to your expenses. But they will help you enjoy your new pool even more.
|Pool lighting||$617 – $1,567|
|Pool cover||$392 – $2,400|
|Pool diving board||$366 – $5,000|
|Pool heater||$1,833 – $6,483|
|Pool fencing||$1,700 – $8,133|
|Pool slide||$883 – $16,000|
|Pool enclosure||$6,333 – $19,666|
You may need a permit to install a pool. Check with your local authorities so you can factor this expense into your budget. A permit usually ranges between $475 and $1,900 for an in-ground pool.
Although pool maintenance is not included in initial swimming pool installation costs, because concrete pools take so much maintenance, it’s important to factor it into your budget.
Concrete pools require acid washing every three to five years, which can lead to the need to replaster the pool. Acid washing costs between $290 to $400. Replastering costs between $2,500 and $13,000.
An above-ground concrete pool takes more to maintain, as its walls must be maintained, too. Algae, cracks, and other damages to the wall could cause structural problems. If you’re getting an above-ground pool, factor into your budget a higher maintenance cost.
Now that you have turned your backyard into a vacation getaway with your swimming pool, here are some additional home improvement projects that can help you optimize your pleasure.
A pool house gives you additional storage space as well as a place for guests to change into their swimwear. Most homeowners pay $100 to $600 per square foot to build a pool house.
Depending on how much you want to spend, the pool house can be large enough to serve as a guest house. Even if you just wanted to have a shower or a powder room, a pool house is a functional addition to your pool area.
Getting into a hot tub is a great way to relax those muscles after a day of play or exercise in the pool. On average, hot tub installation ranges between $4,500 and $10,000.
It typically costs between $8 to $46 per linear foot for fence installation, or an average of $27 per linear foot. If you don’t install a pool fence, adding a fence around your property can keep animals from wandering into your pool. It can also be a deterrent for small children.
Pro Cost vs. DIY Cost
Installing a concrete pool is not a DIY project. It requires heavy machinery and the proper training and expertise, like having experience in excavation and concreting. Even if you saved money, you could injure yourself or damage your property. The costs of mistakes and the repairs that would be needed in the short and long run would probably not be worth any savings. Leave this heavy-duty project to professionals.
Cost of a Concrete Pool by Location
Like most home improvement projects that involve labor, materials, and construction, where you live affects the cost of installing a pool. Contractors will charge more the farther they must drive to get to you. Here are some things that can impact total costs:
- Pools tend to cost less in southern states than in northern states.
- If labor costs are higher in your region, it will raise the cost of pool construction.
- Excavation costs could be more because of the soil type in your area.
- A steep slope can make clearing the land more difficult or cause installation to take longer.
FAQ about concrete pools
A concrete pool that is well maintained has a life expectancy of 50 years. A well-maintained in-ground concrete pool can potentially last even longer, depending on the quality of construction. Both the quality of the work of the pool builder and the pool owner’s upkeep determine longevity.
Fall and winter are when the most deals and discounts are offered. But be sure to get started before the New Year, because manufacturers typically increase prices in January.
Installing in the winter can have its drawbacks, however, especially if you live in a colder climate. Frozen ground can make the excavation process difficult. Concrete can crack if it’s poured when it’s too cold outside.
Pool builders usually charge less for regular-shaped pools than for irregular-shaped ones. Complicated or intricate curves require contractors with a lot of experience, and they charge more. A rectangular concrete in-ground pool is the cheapest shape. Keep in mind that size affects cost, so a very large rectangular pool may cost more than a very small curved pool.
If you live in a warmer climate you may be able to enjoy your pool year-round, especially with the help of a pool heater. Even in colder areas, a swimming pool can bring immeasurable joy from the relaxation, exercise, and fun it adds. Installing a concrete pool can give you the durability and longevity, along with the aesthetic appeal, that adds value to your property and your life.
Ready to jump right in? Contact a professional for quotes. And to ensure your lawn is soft and green for your upcoming pool party, connect with a lawn care professional in your area.
Note: LawnStarter may get a referral fee for matching you with contractors in your area.
Main Image Credit: Decorative Concrete Kingdom / Flickr / CC BY 2.0