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    Budgeting for your DIY Inground Pool Kit Project

    February 18, 2013


    For most people that build their own pool, at least part of the reason they do so, is to save money. Building an inground pool in your own backyard, and acting as the General Contractor on the job - essentially building your own pool - can cost as much as half of what local pool builders may charge.

    It's a fact - you can save a lot of money when you take on a DIY inground pool kit project Nonetheless, building your own inground pool can still cost a pretty penny.

    Planning for the expenses related to a DIY inground pool project is one of the primary jobs of the do it yourself pool builder. Any good pool project has to have a budget, whether it's a line by line detailed budget, or a more general budget covering materials, supplies, labor and subcontractors. A range of prices is given, which varies according to pool size and pool design differences.

    Inground Pool Planning and Design

    The costs during this phase of pool construction are low. This is the stage where plans are drawn up and permits are obtained. Start with a plat of your property, and begin to sketch out plans for the pool location, including pool decking, as well as other improvements you would like to add to the backyard. In most cases, a designer or engineer is not necessary, unless your plans are very elaborate or there are extreme location or site challenges.

    Visit the website of your local government, and search the site for inground swimming pools. You will usually find good information on requirements for building a swimming pool. If necessary, find the setback distance for pools - or how far from the property line it must be. There are also setbacks between other structures on the lot (your house), and to septic systems.

    Submitting your application for an inground pool permit may be possible online, or you may need to visit the government building to speak with a building permit agent about your project. The process is usually a simple and fast, and after a rubber stamp on your application, you can pay the fee and be issued your inground pool permit.

    Cost: $50-$500

    Inground Pool Kit Costs

    Shopping for your inground pool kit is the next step. We offer two inground pool kits, the Deluxe and the Deluxe Plus - and both are complete inground pool kits, containing everything you need to build an inground pool. We can add items to the pool kit package, such as slides, spas and in-pool seats. Custom shapes or custom printed vinyl liners are no problem. Automatic pool covers, pool heaters and water feature equipment can also be put together quickly into a personal pool kit package.

    We do not charge anything to help you design or create this personal pool kit, it's part of our extra level of service that we provide to SPP customers. There may be some less expensive pool kits online, but the quality can be questionable, and so may be their service and support. If you value having a team of pool builders available to you during all phases of your inground pool construction project, the cost of an SPP pool kit is not much higher.

    Cost: $6000-$8000

    Pool Construction Materials


    A local concrete company can deliver you enough pre-mixed #2500 concrete to pour the "concrete collar" around the base of the pool walls, and have enough left over to lay a nice pool equipment pad. Vermiculite can also be delivered, in large bags, for use as the floor of the pool, applied before installing the vinyl liner.

    Cost: $1500-$2000

    Pool Construction Tools


    For tools, a good set of various hand tools and power tools will be necessary to assemble the pool walls and pool equipment. Plumbing the pool will require a good hacksaw, and a measuring tape. Fresh primer and PVC glue, and possibly more plumbing supplies, depending on how far away the equipment pad is located. Wheelbarrows or buckets are needed to finish the floor, as are 2-4 good trowels.

    Rentals may include a transit level to level the pool walls, a cement mixer to mix the floor material, and a powerful wet/dry vac or vac/blower to help set the liner. A plate style tamper may be used to tamp the backfill around the pool.

    Cost: $100-$500

    Financing your DIY Pool Project


    Of importance to your budgeting and completion of your inground pool project is funds availability. Before you smash the piggy bank open, decide how much of a hit your savings will take. Leaving a cushion of savings is a good idea. To soften the hit to your savings, you may look into one of our pool payment plans. We offer a 0% financing plan for 18 months, as well as a very low rate on traditional swimming pool loans, up to 60 months. Or, we can split the pool kit cost into 6 equal monthly payments, again at no cost to you.

    For more ideas about budgeting for a DIY pool, see our earlier post on Phased in Pool Construction - Spread out the Cost.

    Swimming Pool Deck Prices


    This is an expense that can be very affordable, or could be more expensive than the pool, it just depends on what you are planning. A simple 3 foot pool deck and a small walkway can usually be subcontracted for around $4 per square foot. Your deck need not be a ribbon of concrete around the pool, however. Areas of wood deck, grass or planters, or large pavers can also be used around your inground pool. Concrete can be stained, stamped or salted - to create something unique, or if you have a larger budget, natural stone can be used for an elegant look. Here's more information on inground swimming pool deck options.

    Cost: $500-$5000

    Pool Fencing Prices


    In most cases, you will be required to have a 3-sided or 4-sided fence built around your pool to specific requirements. If you already have a suitable fence around 3 sides of the backyard (with the fourth side being the house), then your fence costs will be low. You may only have to ensure the gates are self-closing and self-latching, and door alarms may be required on the doors connecting the house to the pool area. Otherwise, pool fencing prices range from $10-$15 per linear foot, and there are many swimming pool fence options that will meet the safety requirements.

    Cost: $100-$3000

    Pool Construction Labor Costs

    Labor costs - assuming that you are providing a large part of your own personal labor, with perhaps some underpaid friends and family members, a large part of the cost of building an inground pool is defrayed.


    The cost for hiring an Excavator to dig the pool and then return to backfill the pool should be a budget line item. You may also end up with extra dirt that you need hauled away, if you can't grade it elsewhere on your property. Excavation costs vary by region, but the range of $500-$1500 will cover most situations.

    Electricians are not cheap to hire, but it's an expense that may be required in your area, and if not, is recommended for your safety. Depending on the scope of the project and the distance involved, having an electrician install a sub-panel on your equipment pad, and connect your underwater lights can run $500-$1000.

    Cost: $1000-$3000

    Adding up all of these various costs, I come up with a range of just under $10,000 to just over $20,000. Depending on the variables mentioned above, you may be somewhere in between. If you want some help nailing down costs even further, please give us a call to discuss a budget for your DIY pool installation.  

    Bob Arnold
    SPP Pool Expert

    Blog Author
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