Can't stand the thought of listening to the kids (or grandkids) say “I’m bored” for one more summer? Dreaming of your own private backyard retreat? Want to be the host with the most for summer entertaining? A backyard pool is a natural choice—but the cost of installation can be more than a little daunting. When money counts (and when doesn’t it?) here are our top 8 ways to save money on pool installation.
1. Buy vinyl
If you don’t want to settle for anything less than an inground pool—and that’s most of us, let’s be honest—a vinyl pool will be less expensive than fiberglass or concrete. You will have to replace the vinyl liner after about 10 years, but both fiberglass and concrete pools generally require a significant overhaul around the decade-mark, too.
Potential cost savings of vinyl over fiberglass: $20,000
Potential cost savings of vinyl over concrete: $100,000
2. Keep your footprint small
A smaller pool costs less money, because you’re saving on labour and materials for both the pool and the landscaping. You’ll also save money on maintenance once the pool is installed. The size of a pool is determined by both the perimeter and the square footage. A 12’ x 24’ rectangle is bigger than a 12’ x 24’ kidney pool, for example, thus the rectangle will be more expensive. There is a point at which going smaller won’t save you money, however. An inground pool has base construction costs for excavation, electrical, plumbing and landscaping that won’t shrink if you put in pool much smaller than 10’ x 20’.
Potential savings of a 10’ x 20’ over a 20’ x 40’: $30,000 to $50,000
Keep your design simple and avoid purchasing fancy extras like fountains, lights, sound systems, extravagant steps, an attached hot tub and a slide. (Hint: If you think you might want a fountain later, have the plumbing installed when the pool is built.)
Potential savings of a simple pool over a fancy pool: $15,000
4. Buy a swim spa
A swim spa (aka endless pool or plunge pool) is a more economical alternative to an inground pool, particularly if you have a small yard. It costs less to install a swim spa (unless you want to sink it in the ground), you can use it year-round, and it offers you a hot tub, too! Check out our blog post for a more detailed comparison of the cost of a swim spa versus a small inground pool.
Potential savings of a swim spa over a small inground pool: $10,000 to $25,000
5. Landscape later
The fancy deck or patio doesn’t have to be installed at the same time as your pool. A side benefit to waiting is that you’ll have had some time to see how people use the pool and what features you’d like in your landscaping.
6. Order ahead
If you order your pool in the fall or winter of the year before you’ll have it installed, you’re likely to avoid the inevitable price increases from our suppliers.
Potential cost savings of ordering the year before: $10,000
7. Postpone some equipment purchases
Do you need a heater right away? How about a safety cover? If you can postpone these purchases until after the first season of pool use, you’ll save some money on the initial installation.
Potential cost savings of postponing the purchase of a heater and safety cover: $10,000
8. Buy quality
An inground pool is a major construction project with many moving parts executed by a number of different professionals. Reduce costly mistakes and expensive regrets by working with a pool company you can trust: one that works with quality manufacturers and does quality work. Ask for references from two or three companies that you like the look of before making a pool purchase.
Potential cost savings of quality installation over the lifetime of the pool: Priceless