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    Build an Inground Pool - DIY Pool Packages

    June 18, 2012

    inground pools installed by homeowners, 4 shown

    Can we Build it? Yes, we Can!

    Are you thinking of buying an inground swimming pool? If so, you have a choice to make. Do you hire a local contractor and just write a check, or build the pool yourself and save thousands of dollars? I think the answer is simple - build it yourself - you'll be happier with the results, proud as a peacock.  The homeowner pool builder pays more attention than the contractor. Measurements are more accurate and the builder [you] really puts his or her heart into it.

    SPP Is There for You!

    If you are a handy homeowner familiar with household projects or even if you have no mechanical experience at all - we have a way for you to build your own inground pool at an affordable price. During the installation process our team of Pool Experts are with you from start to completion. We can answer any question or concern that you can throw at us. Our hands-on customer service - after the sale; helping you get that pool kit in the ground, is what sets us apart from websites that also sell pool kits, but know very little about them.


    If you like the idea of building your own pool, but are still feeling less than confident - we have an intermediate solution. SPP's exclusive Rent-a-Randy program allows our pool customers to book a week on Randy's schedule, and he will come to your house for 3-5 days, to help you install your own inground pool. You do scheduling and arranging for some earth moving equipment and concrete delivery, and of course order your pool kit, and some other supplies. Plan to take the week off of work, and provide another helper. When the week comes, Randy and his son will fly or drive to your town and when they leave at the end of the week, your pool has water in it.

    Choose a Size for your Inground Pool Kit

    Our inground pool kits are available in many different sizes from 12'x24' to 20'x42', and lap pools up to 60' long. In order to find out what pool sizes would fit best in your yard, head outside with a measuring tape and make a sketch of the available space. Most cities have at least a 10' setback from the property line, check with your local building permit office or local government website. On your sketch, try to pin down the maximum width and maximum length pool that could be installed.

    When choosing the right size swimming pool and it's placement, also consider visibility of the pool from the house, while restricting access from too many sources. Consider where you might put the pump and filter. Closer to the main house electrical panel will be cheaper. If you are installing a gas heater, closer to the meter will be cheaper, and if you would like to mount solar heating panels, having the equipment closer to a southern facing roof will make the installation cheaper and easier.

    Choose a Shape for your Inground Pool Kit

    Our most popular pool shapes change from year to year, but the biggest seller is usually rectangle, grecian or roman. We also have a number of free-form shapes, and ovals to choose from. Once you know the maximum width and length that your backyard can accommodate, think about what shape pool would best complement the house shape, the landscaping or the terrain.

    inground pool kit shapes

    From a difficulty standpoint, installation of one of the shapes shown above is about the same as a freeform shape. Freeform pool shapes, such as our Lagoon, Tahiti or Oasis style, will take a little more time leveling the walls and installing the pool liner, but no more than a few hours difference. Some costs are higher with freeform pools, such as a winter safety cover, solar blanket or liner replacement, all of which can be much cheaper for rectangular pools. Rectangular pool shapes are also the best shape if you are considering an automatic pool cover. If you are looking for the least costly style to build, look to the rectangular or Grecian pool shapes.

    Choose a Wall Type for your Inground Pool Kit

    We offer steel walls that are 14 gauge galvanized wall and also polymer walls.  Steel outsells polymer walls in most parts of the country. You may consider polymer if you are in a salty ocean environment, or are in an area with very wet ground, close to sea level. For more information on the differences between steel vs. polymer walls, we let them fight it out in a previous blog post.

    Choose your Inground Pool Kit

    We have 2 different Pool Kits that are available to choose from our Deluxe kit and or Deluxe-Plus kit.  Both kits include everything you need to build the pool. Not just a pool and liner, but the complete equipment package, with Jandy valves, PVC piping, skimmers, lights. We even include cleaning tools and chemicals to start you off. It's so complete that the only materials you may need to purchase is concrete delivery when you pour the collar and the floor.

    The two kits are quite similar, in fact the only difference between the Deluxe and the Deluxe-Plus is an upgraded pool liner, robotic pool cleaner and a salt chlorine generator. Both of our pool kits are completely customizable however. If you'd like to add dramatic effects such as water features, LED lighting, sliding or diving equipment or even an attached slide, our internal software makes it easy to create an instant custom quote for your inground pool kit.

    How Much Does it Cost to Build an Inground Pool?

    OK, now that we've asked the question, let's talk about pricing. A lot of websites don't want to talk about pricing for an inground pool kit. We think it's a valid question, and we will help you budget out every line item of cost in your pool installation project.

    Pool Cost: Once you choose your shape and size of pool we can easily figure out your exact costs. For this example, let's take a medium size pool - a 16’x32' Rectangle pool. The price for our Rectangle Deluxe kit with 2ft radius corners would cost $5,850.00. Our Deluxe Kit has everything you need to install the pool. Shipping? Free.

    Concrete Collar Cost: Most cities have at least one local concrete delivery company. You can purchase the cheapest concrete mix you can find - normally this is called 2500 lb. mix.  This is installed around the outside of the panels about 8-10 inches deep and 2 ½ feet wide, all the way up to the over dig. For our 16’x32’ size example pool, you would need 7-9 yards of concrete and the approximate delivered cost would be $900.00.

    Pool Floor Material: Next would be the material you will need for the bottom of the pool floor. There are a few options you can use - a mixture of Sand with Portland cement, Vermiculite or just a Sand bottom. Cost for this size pool, to install a hard base of Sand/Portland Mix or Vermiculite would be about $1150.00 in materials. Sand would be about half as much, but is I believe the benefits of a hard pool bottom is worth the additional money spent.

    Earth Moving Expense: If you own your own excavator or trac hoe - you are all set for the digging of the pool, but most homeowners do not. You can either rent the equipment or hire someone to dig the pool for you. Renting may be cheaper, but not always. In either case, the rough cost for excavation and backfill should be in the neighborhood of $1250.00. When you are checking prices, keep in mind that you will need the equipment twice. First to dig the pool, and move the piles of dirt out of the way. Then a second time, as soon as 2-3 days later, to back fill the dirt up against the walls, after the concrete collar has been poured around the pool footers.

    Concrete Deck Expense: You can put the standard 3' concrete slab around the pool, with crack joints every 8 feet or so, or you can integrate to an existing pool deck. Having a contrasting pool deck  - half wood / half concrete is a nice design. Some of our customers keep it natural on one side, and incorporate planter areas or waterfalls on part of the available deck area. Pouring and finishing your own standard size pool deck, for our 16'x32' pool can cost around $1000.00 in concrete cost, or you can obtain quotes from experienced finishers to come and set up the forms, on a gravel base, with wire mesh for strength. A broom finish deck is standard. Options include stamping, coloring or exposed aggregate finishes.

    Electrical Expense: You also need to have an electrician to ground the pool and all metal equipment. The electrician will also be required to bring power out to the equipment pad. They will connect to the main electrical panel (breaker box) of the house, and run a trench to where the pool pump and filter will be located. At the pad they will install a sub-panel, with at least 50 amps of power to run the pool pump, pool light and a GFCI electrical outlet. Electrical cost will vary by area and by how far of a run it is from the main panel to the sub-panel, but assuming a 50 ft run, and an average cost contractor, we can expect a bill of around $1100 for time and materials. When checking prices, tell them that you need to have the pool bonded, and a sub-panel installed at a location XX feet away from the main house panel.

    The total cost for the Rectangle 16'x32' pool kit, with a 3' concrete deck would cost $11250.00. And that's everything - except for the water of course.

    How much does it cost to build an inground pool?

    After reviewing the actual costs above, this should give you a good idea of what the pool kit would cost along with the extra expenses of building your own swimming pool.  You can review your quotes from the local installer and you will see the price of our pool is half the cost of what it would cost for a local pool dealer to install your pool. Now it is your decision to make - do you pay someone to install it for you or do you do it yourself? I built my own pool and I saved about $10,000.00. You can do the same, and with the extra money you save, you can afford to add some fun options to your pool, and still have money left over for landscaping and outdoor furniture.

    Give us a call - we love to talk about building inground pools!  

    Chris Lowe
    SPP Pool Expert

    Blog Author
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