Everything You Need to Know About Concrete Pools
A concrete, in-ground pool is considered by many to be the best pool your money can buy. Pools made of concrete tend to be the most durable and long-lasting. Unfortunately, they are also the most expensive.
The exact cost of a concrete pool depends on the size, its features and your geographic location. Generally, budget anywhere from about $20,000 to $45,000.
Concrete vs. Fiberglass and Vinyl Pools
Concrete swimming pools are custom-built to your specifications. The design, size and depth options are practically limitless because the pool is built entirely on site. If you want an Olympic-sized pool, a pool with a beach entry or a pool shaped like a palm tree, you can have it. You can leave the concrete surface as is, or you can cover it with tiles.
The two other types of in-ground pools are fiberglass and vinyl, and both are less expensive. Fiberglass requires less maintenance than concrete and the surface is smoother to the touch, but the size and design options are limited because fiberglass shells are pre-assembled in a factory. Also, fiberglass is a newer material, so the lifespan is not well understood. Vinyl is the cheapest of the three options, and the size and design are customizable. But vinyl pools are the least durable, requiring replacement of the liner at least every 10 or 15 years, which can get expensive.
There’s no one material that is best for everyone. The best choice depends on your budget and personal preferences.
Cost of an In-Ground Concrete Pool
Concrete pools are expensive because they are custom-built. A small pool with a traditional shape might fall on the low end of that $20,000 to $45,000 price range, while a larger pool with more custom features might fall on the high end.
- An average-sized pool of about 30 to 35 feet in length and 5 feet deep might cost $25,000 to $30,000. That does not include any extra features or decking.
- A pool of the same length but 6 feet deep with standard concrete decking, upgraded lighting and a diving board might cost $30,000 to $35,000.
- A large pool – say 40 inches long and 6 feet deep – with a spa and heater, upgraded stamped concrete decking, upgraded lighting and a diving board might cost $50,000 or more.
The more custom features you add, the more expensive your pool will be. You could spend $100,000 on an Olympic-sized infinity pool with all the bells and whistles, although that price is certainly not standard. Keep in mind that features such as lights, heaters, slides and automatic pool covers almost always cost extra.
In-Ground Concrete Pool Installation
In most areas, you’ll need a building permit before installing an in-ground pool. Check with your local building, planning or zoning department to be clear on the rules. In most areas, pools must be set back a certain number of feet from property lines, roads, sewer lines, etc. Often, a pool fence or gate is required for safety.
It is possible but not probable to have a concrete pool built in a matter of weeks. In most cases, expect the process to take two or three months.
Concrete Pool Maintenance
Keep in mind that you will incur some maintenance costs. The surface of concrete pools tends to crack and chip with age, particularly in cold climates. Resurfacing can cost as much as $5,000-$10,000, and it could be necessary every 10 or 15 years if you live in area where the ground freezes in the winter.
Also, concrete pools require more chemicals than other types because the surface of the pool is porous. Budget anywhere from $200 to $600 per year for chemicals, depending on the length of your swimming season and how often the pool is used.
Of course, parts and components are bound to break from time to time, requiring repair or replacement. A gas pool heater, for example, might cost $250 to $400 to repair and $1,000 to $2,500 to replace.