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It’s a hot summer’s day and you’re lounging in your garden. You’d love to cool down with a dip in a refreshing outdoor pool but your home doesn’t have one and your neighbours haven’t extended an invitation.

In that instant, you declare that you’re having a new swimming pool built and installed on your property so you’ll never be left sweltering in the heat again.

It’s a common scenario pool experts hear all too often. But as tempting as it sounds, you need to do your research first, and work out what you can afford, what type of pool is right for your home and who is going to install your new pool.

How Much Does a Pool Cost?

Before you get swept away in the excitement of a pool, sticking to a budget when talking with your professional pool builder is important. A designer with a clear understanding of your budgetary constraints can work to your requirements and give you the best value for money.

A pool is a lifestyle asset many people envy and it can also increase the value of your home, but understanding what you’re committing to before you dive in is crucial.

Key questions to ask yourself when gauging pool costs

Knowing the answers to a few key questions will help you understand how much a pool costs:

  • Is it a new pool or a renovation of an old pool?
  • Who is going to use the pool?
  • What will you use it for: fitness, relaxation, kids to play in?
  • Where will it be situated?
  • Will it be a salt-water, freshwater pool, chlorinated or mineral pool?
  • What size and shape will the pool be?

When weighing up how much a pool is going to set you back, you should also consider the following factors:

  • Installation
  • Ongoing maintenance

Average prices based on pool type

The most common types of pools in Australia are in-ground concrete and fibreglass, followed by in-ground vinyl-liner and above-ground pools. The cost of installing these can vary considerably, but generally come in around the following prices:

Above ground pool – $2,000 – $7,000

Vinyl-liner pool – $20,000 – $30,000

Fibreglass pool – $25,000 – $75,000

Concrete pool – $70,000 – $100,000+

Finishing touches that can add to the overall cost

Depending on the location, size and style of the pool, other factors that can add to the total cost of a pool installation include excavation, paving and fencing. The costs to finish off the pool area should also be calculated. You may require dip sealing around the pool coping and other surfaces exposed to high levels of moisture. You may want to plant soft landscape around the pool to help integrate it into the surrounding landscape or lighting to create a visual element at night. These are just some of the finishing touches that people tend to overlook when budgeting for a pool.

Beyond designing a pool, there are strict safety guidelines when it comes to pool fencing in Australia varying from state to state. To avoid any complications and additional financial outlay, make sure your pool and pool fence is installed to regulations.

According to Matt Cantwell of Secret Gardens, a Sydney landscape architecture and construction company:

A modest sized pool with simple finishes including pool fence and the landscaping required between pool and fence, starts at $150,000 including preliminaries like design, development application and engineering. This Figure can quickly Move north and well over $200k.

Prices vary based on each individual job but regardless of the budget, it’s wise to address the total costs of a pool prior to install to ensure no hidden costs crop up during the process.

Cobb & Co split stone bullnose coping used as contemporary pool border
Cobb & Co split stone bullnose coping used as contemporary pool border

Before you commit to a pool on a whim, the best advice is to get at least three quotes from certified, professional pool builders. Compare these quotes carefully and ask for references or to see completed projects.

When consulting with your pool install expert about calculating the cost of any pool, make sure that they explain all costs involved up front – including those that may not have been quoted.

For more pool advice, take a look at our pool section in the Learning Library.

 

TRANSCRIPT

Dean: Some of the critical elements you need to consider when you’re building a pool and designing a pool is just understanding what you want. You know, how is your family going to use this? How are you going to entertain? And just really customize this swimming pool for you. Some people…you might like to actually have a swim lane, you might want to have a spa. What do you want in a swimming pool and design that’s suitable for you and your family.

Matt Cantwell: Certainly, the placement of the pool, understanding where the sun is going to be at different times of the year.

Raoul: Usage, position in the garden.

Matt Bramley: Getting the scale right. So if you do have a small residential backyard, you don’t want to have a pool that’s too big. But reversely so, if it’s a large backyard, you just want to get the scale right.

Raoul: Do you have kids? Do you want to swim in a pool or is it just a lap pool or a plunge pool?

Matt Bramley: Budget is very important when considering a backyard pool. Not everybody has unlimited budgets.

Raoul: Is it a feature in the garden, that’s also very important. Like, do you look down at it or is it on same level or is it above you?

Matt Leacy: You gotta design around the pool fence. That’s probably the key thing for me, almost starting with the pool fence, trying to make that disappear and not break up the spaces, or at least not line or define the edge of the pool to the rest of the landscape.