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swimming pool costs

Updated on March 6, 2010

Why are pools so expensive?

You have probably already searched the internet looking for pool prices and found out that in ground pool kits can be bought for a fraction of the cost a pool builder has quoted you. Now you are wondering exactly why they are so expensive. For one thing the kit on the internet doesn't include any labor. Even at that a pool can be installed for considerably less than most pool companies charge for an in ground pool installation.

pool construction photos

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So why do pool companies charge so much?

Pool companies rarely have the workforce in house to build swimming pools from start to finish. As such they rely on sub contractors to handle such jobs as forming, digging, setting pool walls, shooting gunite/shotcrete, plastering, plumbing and other tasks involved in building a swimming pool. Since they usually have several jobs going on at once it is highly unlikely they can afford the time to be on every job while each sub contractor is performing their duties. There are any number of conditions that arise during pool construction that can make the end product undesirable. Being what it is every pool company must on a business view point look at the job like it will need repairs, whether it does or not is irrelevant. so they must procure enough funds initially to be able to duplicate the job in it's entirety to afford being able to assume responsibility for the finished product.
Basically the exorbitant amount a pool company is charging you is for a warranty. Think of them as insurance company you pay up front.

Does that mean if I build or have my own pool built I am going to have problems?

Absolutely not. As I mentioned the responsible party (ie. the pool company) cannot be present at all times during construction, therefore he has to rely on someone a lot less concerned that the finished product is satisfactory.
By acting as GC  (general contractor) you have control over the work done by the subs you hire. The key to success here is knowing if they have done a good job. If you know very little about what the job should look like then what good is it doing you to oversee it?
This is where a pool consultant can help you with your pool project and still allow you to save a substantial amount of money over having a pool company build your pool.
Even though I know of very few pool consultants that will actually warrant the finished product, they still have knowledge of how everything should be, making it much less likely that you will have problems down the road.

Building my own pool

What if I want to do some of the work myself to save money?
If you don't have any experience in building a swimming pool there are still a few stages that a Do It Yourself er can handle. If the the pool is going to be gunite/shotcrete,forming, tieing steel and stub plumbing are a few of the things I can think of right off that with a  little knowledge , you should be able to handle. Albeit these are fairly inexpensive stages of pool building anyhow, so you may want to reconsider. If it's going to be a vinyl liner pool you shouldn't have much trouble assembling the panels. I highly recommend you let someone with experience dig a vinyl liner pool. This is the most critical part and a bad dig can end up costing you more than actually having someone do it.


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