Pool Cleaning 101: Understanding and Choosing Pool Cleaners

Backyard upgrades have exploded in popularity with buyers from every corner of the nation on a mission to turn their backyard into their own personal oasis.  Everything from outdoor luxury kitchens to towering natural stone fireplaces have caught the eye of homeowners.  One backyard upgrade, the swimming pool, has become so popular that there are long waiting lists to get one installed.  Pools are so popular that their estimated value has increased nationally by 113%. With everyone diving into the swimming pool craze, you may be considering adding one to your backyard.  But before you do, take the time to do your research.  Investing in a swimming pool is not to be taken lightly.  Pools have a large upfront cost, require constant maintenance, and will need repairs down the line.  Here is what it costs to install a swimming pool.

Overall Cost

While all swimming pools are really just a place to relax, splash around, and cool off on a hot humid day, there are many varieties and price ranges.  The average cost of an inground pool is $28,000-$55,000.  However, that is an average range.  Upscale pools can cost over $150,000.  The price range to add an inground pool is so vast due to two basic factors: the size of the pool and the material to construct it.

Size of the pool

The average size of a backyard swimming pool is 12’x24’.  Of course you can have your swimming pool installed at any size but do not allow it to take up too much room in your backyard.  This will be a major turnoff to future buyers.  Consider what you will use your pool for, who will use the pool, and how much space is available.  Also, in relation to size, consider the shape of your pool.  Rectangular pools are the most common, but some homeowners prefer round, oval, freeform, kidney, or a custom shape.  The last three options cost more than others simply because they are harder to construct.

Material of the pool


Vinyl is the lowest cost material, with a price of $37,000 for an average size pool. It is also the least durable and prone to tears from dog claws, broken branches, pool toys. It requires quite a bit of maintenance and the liner needs to be replaced every seven years on average.  Because it requires so much maintenance vinyl is the least likely to enhance your property or provide a good return on investment.


You can also use fiberglass to make your pool.  Fiberglass is a mid-range material that can last up to 25 years.  It is much easier to maintain than vinyl and it is resistant to algae so keeping your pool clean will be easier.  Fiberglass is limited in the shapes that can be made since there are only so many molds that can be poured and the overall cost to install an average size fiberglass pool is around $50,000.  The average cost to maintain a fiberglass pool over a 10-year period is between $5,000 and $15,000.  They are the easiest to clean and are perfect for homeowners in colder areas since fiberglass does not crack in cold weather.


The final material you can use is concrete.  This is by far the most expensive material to use but is also the longest lasting.  Concrete is durable and allows for the most flexibility in size, shape, appearance, and depth.  A standard sized concrete pool will cost between $50,000 and $60,000. Keep in mind that concrete is one of the most difficult types of material to upkeep because it requires replastering every 10 years and an acid wash every three to five years to prevent mold growth.


In addition to material choice and size, pool installation costs can increase if there is quite a bit of yard prep that needs to be done.  In order to install a pool the area needs to be excavated.  This will require an excavation company who will have a final quote for you.  In general the cost to excavate is between $400 and $1,500.  However, if you live in an area with rough terrain, if trees need to be removed, or if the area is hard to access the cost can quickly climb closer to $20,000.

Necessary parts

An inground pool will need accessory parts to keep it running smoothly.  A water pump is a necessity to keep your pool clean and sparkling. An average cost for a pool water pump is between $700 and $1,300 for installation.  If you live in a cool climate you want a pool heater.  These cost between $1,000 and $8,5000.  In general these parts will be factored into your total cost, but ensure that your pool installation company uses the correct size and type.

Extra Costs

Pool decking

Even if your pool water is clear you can’t enjoy your time in the water if you can’t get to the pool.  You will need to keep your pool decking clean and maintained.  The most common decking material is concrete or tile but some people use wood.  On average, a pool deck size ranges from 600 to 700 square feet.  Basic concrete will cost approximately $10 per square foot while travertine or natural stone will cost closer to $24 per square feet.  Depending upon your design choice, material choice, and size the pool deck can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000.

Safety barriers

Whether you have small children or not, a safety barrier around the pool is a must.  Not only is it smart to prevent accidental drownings, it is often an insurance requirement for homeowners.  Installing a pool fence can cost as little as $1,500 or as much as $10,000.  Material is the main cause of price fluctuation with mesh fencing being the most budget-friendly option and higher-end materials such as wrought iron and vinyl which cost substantially more per foot.  In addition to the structure itself you can add alarms, lights, and locks on the gate to completely secure the area.


While you’re installing your pool you may decide to add a bit more excitement to the area with a diving board, waterfall or slide.  A diving board will cost anywhere from $300 to over $1,000 while a slide will be closer to $10,000.  That fancy waterfall will cost anywhere from $1,500 to $10,000 depending on the intricacy and size you choose. When it comes to extras, remember that not every future buyer is going to be as excited about a 10-foot high waterslide as you.  In fact, such an unnecessary addition could deter buyers and result in your home sitting on the market.  To make matters worse, if in a few years you are no longer excited about your pool extras they could fall into disarray if left unattended.  This would lead to long, costly necessary repairs that could hurt your chances of selling or create an unsellable situation.


You will need a variety of chemicals to maintain clean sparkling water.  These include, test strips, alkalinity increasers and decreasers, calcium hardness increaser, pool stabilizer, chlorine or bromine tablets, pool shock, algaecide, and pool clarifier.  A skimmer kit will be necessary to remove debris from your pool and a pool vacuum will also be needed to remove dirt and debris from the bottom of the pool.

Installing a swimming pool is at the top of quite a few homeowner’s lists which means if you are interested in installing one in your backyard you should call a local pool expert soon.  You can discuss cost and timeline with them as well as how to create a backyard space that you will love.

Leave a Reply