how much does an inground pool cost

Inground Pool Installed Cost

The average installed cost of a 12 x 24 inground pool is around $39,500, when a minimum amount of site work is needed, and you have the pool put in by a local pool installer. While doing it yourself is an option, it’s not recommended.

Professional pool installation will generally include all yard and site preparation, heavy equipment fees used for excavation, the labor and manpower to install the pool, filter and accessories like a pool cover, ladders, diving board is requested, etc. Refinishing the landscaping and removing the extra dirt once done may or may not be included.

Average Do It Yourself Cost

$14,200 to $19,950

Average Contractor Installed Cost

$24,500 to $52,000

Typical Cost Average


Overview of Inground Pools

Pools provide a welcome retreat for yourself and family during the hot summer months. While pools are quite an investment, an inground pool can also bring a good return on investment, if you live in an area that has extended summers. If an ingound pool is too far out of your budget, above ground pools offer nearly the same convenience, at a fraction of the cost.

The costs in this guide include the process from excavating the hole to finishing the pool with common accessories and a concrete walk around the pool. Those we discuss in this Cost estimate are built using steel or polymer shells or gunite concrete walls.

We’ll share all the factors involved with installation as well as how they affect price. We’ll also share itemized costs for shells and accessories. There’s a survey of swimming pool costs from other sites and reader-submitted prices. You’re welcome to share your own cost at the bottom of the page with other homeowners who have had an inground pool installed.

Inground Swimming Pool Cost Details

Factors are listed starting with those that have the greatest impact on cost.

The process of determining your cost includes selecting your pool size, shape and material and choosing the accessories you want such as steps, a bench, lighting, pool heater, cover, diving board, slide, etc.

  • DIY vs Professional Installation: You’ll save 40% to 60% on a DIY pool, but doing the work yourself is a daunting job – and it takes a crew. See our DIY or No section below for a discussion and recommendation.
  • Pool Material – Narrow steel panels, 36”-42” wide cost the least. Polymer shells cost about 10% more. Wide steel panels, 48”-60” wide, cost about 25% more than narrow steel panels. Gunite, or dry-shot concrete, is the method used for construction concrete swimming pools. Its cost is 50%-75% higher than swimming pools made from steel and polymer shells.
  • Pool Size – Common shell sizes start at 12’x20’ and range to 30’x60’. Of course, custom concrete pools can be larger too.
  • Where you Live – There are more swimming pool contractors in warm states, so competition tends to drive down costs. Homeowners in those states pay 10% to 20% less than homeowners where pools and contractors are less common.
  • Excavation Difficulty – Hard clay, an abundance of large rocks, slope in the terrain, trees and their roots drive up excavating costs.
  • Liner Features – Liners that are thicker (27 mils vs 20 mils) and more decorative cost more.
  • Accessories – See the list of common accessories and their cost in the next section.
  • Pool Shape – Rectangular pools give you the most area for the money. Other common shapes are oval, Roman (one rounded and one squared end), kidney, L-shaped, T-shaped and round. Not all shapes are available in all materials. Prices for non-symmetrical inground pools are higher.
  • Whether a Fence Must be Installed – Pools require fencing. If your yard isn’t fenced, that will be an additional cost not covered in this guide.

Retail Cost Range (Pool Only)

Here are sample swimming pool shell costs for common sizes in small, medium and large. The range accounts for the various shell materials available.

Pools costs for accessories, contractors and labor are below.

Rectangular Shells

  • $4,200 – $6,800 | 12’x20’
  • $6,600 – $9,200 | 20’x44’
  • $9,000 – $11,200 | 30’x60’

Oval Shells

  • $4,900 – $6.900 | 14’x28’
  • $5,600 – $8,700 | 18’x34’
  • $6,400 – $9,700 | 24’x40’

Lap Pool Shells

  • $5,000 – $7,800 | 8’x36’
  • $5,700 – $8,500 | 10’x50’
  • $6,000 – $9,800 | 12’x60’

Lagoon Pool Shells

  • $6,500 – $8,700 | 16′ x 34′ x 25′
  • $7,600 – $10,000 | 20′ x 40′ x 30′
  • $8,400 – $12,500 | 18′ x 42′ x 35′

Cost of Installation Accessories

  • $150 – $500 | Pool Filter with Pump
  • $125 – $400 | Pool Cleaner/Skimmer
  • $350 – $1,200 | Steps
  • $1,500 – $2,800 | In-pool Bench
  • $500 – $1,500 | Diving Board
  • $900 – $4,800+ | Slide
  • $1,200 – $5,000+ | Waterfall
  • $800 – $2,400 | In-pool Lighting
  • $200 – $800 | Standard Cover
  • $2,800 – $4,500 | Electric/Automatic Cover
  • $700 – $1,200 | Tankless Gas Heater
  • $1,200 – $2,200 | Electric Heater
  • $2,200 – $4,000 | Heat Pump Heater
  • $900 – $3,000 | Solar Heater and Pump
  • $2,000 – $3,000 | Pool Chiller (hot climates)

Permits, Inspection, and Installation Costs

Permits and/or Inspection Cost

  • $600 – $1,800 | You’ll need a building permit and permits for electrical and plumbing. Costs vary by community and the scope of the work.

Installation Time

Expect the project to take 7-14 working days. It is common for projects to last 3 or more weeks with weekends and days waiting for contractors. Here is a typical timeframe for a pool of average size and difficulty.

  • 2 Days| Prepare the site, excavate the hole and install appropriate base material
  • 3-6 Days | Assemble the pool from a kit or build the frames and install concrete walls
  • 1-2 Days | Install underground features – wiring, drain and pipe, lighting, etc.
  • 1 Day | Backfill the pool
  • 1-3 Days | Complete concrete work around the pool

Cost of Contractor Installation Services

These are itemized for DIY pool installers. These costs will be included in estimates for “turn-key” pool installation. The site must be excavated and appropriate base material added to the bottom of the hole. The pool is assembled or constructed with plumbing, wiring, a pump and your chosen accessories. Then, the area is backfilled and graded, and the surrounding concrete is poured and finished.

  • $200 – $1,000 | Site plan and engineering drawing, if required in your community
  • $1,200 – $2,000 | Excavator contractor to clear topsoil, dig hole and backfill after pool installation
  • $500 – $800 per day | Excavator rental (DIY)
  • $700 – $1,500 | (Optional) Electrician to wire lighting, pumps and an electric heater
  • $600 – $1,200 | (Optional) Plumber to install a gas heater or spa jets

We’ve found the projects listed below to be commonly researched when having an inground pool put in your yard. If you don’t see a specific page on the topic you’re interested in learning about, please suggest a Costimate for us to review.

DIY or Hire a Pro

The most common DIY pool installation scenario is a partial approach. Homeowners get the permits, hire and schedule contractors – an excavator, electrician, plumber and concrete contractor – for those parts of the work.

The homeowner then gathers a crew of hard-working family or friends to assemble or install the pool kit over 3-6 days. Paid laborers at $100-$200 per day per person is another option. It’s a lot of work, and very few homeowners have the time or can assemble the crew to complete the project.

In short, while it’s possible, we don’t recommend DIY inground pool installation. It’s more work than most homeowners are prepared for.

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Author S Krone

A lawyer never retires. So I would just say that I am not as active as I used to be. Now I simply dedicate myself to fishing, my hobby, and my grandchildren. For Business Finance News I write about legal aspects of mortgage policies, mostly regarding the rights of policyholders. I also have articles about personal injuries.

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