Swimming Pool Prices Untangled

Advice on Pool PricesWhen deciding whether to purchase a pool, naturally cost is the first thing most customers need to consider. The answer to how much your new pool will cost is twofold:

  1. What will the installation of a pool cost?
  2. How much will it cost to maintain a pool on an ongoing basis?

The most common in-ground pools available in Australia are fibreglass, concrete and vinyl liner.

The following information covers all the basics you need to make a wise decision regarding your new pool and budget accordingly.

Inground Pool Prices Part One: What are the upfront costs of a new pool?

What will the installation cost be for my fibreglass pool?

Advice on Pool Prices - Chosing between concrete fibreglass and vinyl-liner pool - comparing pool quotesOf course, all pools are not equal and have varying price points in the market. There are fibreglass pool DIY kits on the market pricing around $15,000, however unless you are a DIY dynamo and are fully aware of the installation costs, associated risks and hidden costs of doing it yourself, it’s a whole lot easier, safer and more cost-effective to have your pool supplied and installed by a licensed pool supplier.
The cost for a professionally installed fibreglass inground pool starts from an entry level point of $25,000 to $35,000 and can range up to $70,000 and more. Your personal choices, site conditions and the manufacturer’s pool shell technology will all influence the overall cost, plus factors such as:

  • Ease of access to your site
  • The soil conditions on your property
  • The size of pool selected
  • Factors such as superior circulation and automated cleaning systems
  • Additional features such as water features and lighting
  • The quality of product, including the manufacturing method of the pool shell

Advice on Pool Prices - Options and Pool Costs ConsiderationWhen comparing pool quotes it pays dividends to be clued up. For example, you will need to know the differences between a traditional fibreglass pool and a fibreglass ceramic pool. Carefully consider the key benefits of each product you are considering. Ask yourself:

  • Does it have unique features?
  • What operating system is being offered (eg filtration only, enhanced circulation, superior in-floor cleaning systems etc)?
  • What on-going protection including written guarantees are provided in the manufacturer’s defect warranty document?
  • How long will it take to build my new pool?

One of the big benefits of choosing a fibreglass pool is the dramatically reduced installation time. A fibreglass pool can be installed within days, while a concrete pool can take months.

How much does a vinyl-liner pool cost?

If the kids are pestering you for a pool, but you don’t want to invest in an in-ground pool, a prefabricated above-ground vinyl-liner pool is a cost-effective option. You can also have an in-ground vinyl-liner pool professionally installed for around the same price as a fibreglass pool. While the price of a DIY in-ground kit starts at around $10,000, excluding installation costs which include pouring a concrete floor, once again you need to know what you are doing and take into account the costs for excavation and concrete works.

Additionally, vinyl-liner pools require a higher level of regular maintenance than fibreglass or concrete pools, a factor covered in Part Two of this article. Be sure to ask about this if you already have a pool quote for a vinyl-liner pool.

How much does a concrete pool cost?

Advice on Pool Prices - Concrete Pool BuildingA concrete pool allows you almost limitless options as to size and shape, dependent on your budget and site, and enables more organic designs for a natural look in the landscape. In general, inground concrete pools start at a similar price-point to fibreglass pools but can have a much higher upper end point.

Many people choose concrete for its strength and durability, however fibreglass technology has come ahead in leaps and bounds and these days a quality fibreglass product can have the same or superior warranty than that offered by concrete pool manufacturers.

For example, with the Bi-luminite Fibreglass Ceramic pool range, Compass Pools offer a lifetime structural warranty. This lasts for the original owner’s entire time at the property and can be transferred to new owners within a 25-year limit.

Inground Pool Prices Part Two: What are the ongoing costs of pool care and maintenance?

As well as the installation costs for your new inground pool it’s important to consider the ongoing costs of pool care and maintenance, as well as the time needed to care for your new pool so that it remains clean and healthy.

The following factors will influence the ongoing maintenance costs of your new pool:

  • The filtration system you choose (ie the cost of running and servicing pool pumps and filters)
  • The sanitation system you choose (ie the cost of chemicals and salt water chlorinators)
  • How your pool is cleaned (ie robot cleaners, self-cleaning units or suction cleaners)
  • Added extras such as heat pumps or water features

What are the ongoing costs of a concrete pool?

Concrete pools generally require more ongoing maintenance and attention than fibreglass pools as concrete is more porous, providing a breeding ground for algae and bacteria. This means that concrete pools require more time to care for and more money spent on chemicals to keep them safe and healthy for your family to swim in.

The more porous the concrete, the more susceptible it will be to black algae, which can be difficult and costly to remove.

With concrete pools, it’s also important to consider the aesthetic maintenance as acid washing is recommended every three to five years and resurfacing is recommended after 10-15 years. Both these essential maintenance tasks can be costly.

What are the ongoing costs for a vinyl lined pool?

Vinyl-liner pools also require more maintenance than fibreglass pools. The lining generally has a life expectancy of 5 to 10 years, so you need to keep in mind that over a 10-year period your pool will require relining at least once, at a cost of over $4000 for a good quality liner for an average-sized pool. Vinyl pools are also readily damaged by sharp objects which can mean spending additional money on repairs if care is not taken.

What are the ongoing costs for a fibreglass pool?

Advice on Pool Prices - Fibreglass Pools Ongoing CostsOn balance, fibreglass pools tend to be a low cost and low effort option. At Compass, we recommend hand-polishing the gelcoat surface above the waterline periodically. Other than that, if you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and maintain balanced water and correct chlorine levels you should never need to resurface, repaint or reline your pool.

The gelcoat surface of your fibreglass pool is smooth, preventing growth of algae and bacteria therefore requiring less chemicals. You may even save money on power as well, as your filtration system may work effectively when run over a shorter period of time than would be required for a concrete or vinyl-liner pool.

With a Compass fibreglass ceramic pool, you can also choose to include the Vantage self-cleaning and circulation system which boosts the circulation in your pool and makes it even more difficult for algae and bacteria to grow. This system also eliminates the need for manual or robotic cleaners, saving you significant time on cleaning your pool and money on items such as power, chemicals and cleaning equipment.

Will a pool add value to my home?

Advice on Pool Prices - Pool InvestmentAdding a pool is an investment, but will it add value to your property when it comes time for you to sell?

Home buyers can be in two minds when it comes to buying a property with a pool – they are either delighted at the prospect of having a pool and quite prepared to care for it or they are apprehensive about the time and cost of ongoing maintenance and possibly having to pay someone to maintain the pool regularly.

A Compass fibreglass ceramic pool with Vantage self-cleaning and circulation system offers virtually hands-free pool care, thereby alleviating the concerns of the latter type of buyer and making your home appealing to a wider range of buyers who will see the pool as a value-add and will only think of the pleasures of taking a morning dip rather than the drudgery or cost of cleaning and maintaining the pool.