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    How Much Does it Cost to Build Your Own Pool?

    April 28, 2012


    A commonly asked question is how much does it cost to build my own pool - my usual answer is another question, what size and shape are you interested in?

    After some discussion on pool size and shape, I can always say that, as a rule of thumb you will typically save half of what it would cost to have the pool installed by a local pool contractor.

    Cost Ranges for Inground Vinyl Pool Kits

    The cost of the inground pool kit will vary depending on the size, shape and style of pool you choose. We offer a 14 gauge Steel wall pool kit and also Polymer wall pool kit. New this season is our Basic Pool Kit - a stripped-down version of our regular pool kits, which includes Steel or Polymer walls, pool step, liner, ladder, skimmer, main drains, returns, 1hp pump and a 24” sand filter.  The Deluxe and Deluxe Plus pool kits are much more inclusive and include everything needed to build your own inground pool.

    Cost Ranges for Pool Kits: We have 20 pool shapes and within each shape there are approximately 4 to 5 pool sizes. Smaller size pool kit prices are shown below in red. Upgrading from a smaller size to the largest in a particular pool shape will generally add 20-30% to the pool kit price. Price range for pool kits, depending on model, size and package selected, ranges from $5500-$9900.





    excavator-2Cost Ranges for Excavation: Excavation costs vary around the country, call some local excavators to find out how much they charge, and ask how they charge - as a flat fee or a charge per hour. The average cost for excavation to dig and backfill around the pool (after the pool is built) is approximately $1000 - $1500.

    truck-smallCost Ranges for Dirt Hauling: Most of the time the dirt you are taking out of the hole can be used for backfilling around the pool as long as the material is something that can be compacted. When you have too much material, like when Larry built his pool, he had 5 loads of leftover fill dirt hauled to a nearby location, at an extra cost. Everyone’s backyard is different, and many DIY pool builders can just grade the dirt back into the terrain around the property.

    Removing dirt is a cost to load the truck, and haul it somewhere that it can be legally dumped. Larry found neighborhood construction sites that were close by and willing to take clean fill dirt. The cost to remove extra fill dirt could be $300-$900.

    free-fill-firtFree Fill Dirt: When I built my pool I had to have backfill hauled into my yard and none was taken out. Either way - extra dirt hauled in or hauled out, it's a potential and sometimes unexpected added expense that can be estimated and budgeted. There are many places to find Free fill dirt, and some will even deliver it to you, if you can take over 10 yards. You can find them on craigslist.

    Cost Ranges for Labor: Whether you install your own inground pool, or use Rent-A-Randy – to pass your pool inspections, you will need to hire an electrician to ground the equipment and bond the swimming pool to local codes used where you live. There is no universal pool electrical code so check with your local building inspector on the exact requirements. If you are building the pool yourself, the labor cost depends on how many helpers you hire, 2-4 people is recommended, for about 120-140 man hours. Your local electrician can give you an estimate - electrical and labor costs to build your own pool can range from $500-$2500.

    randy-roundWhen using Randy you still have the same expenses but he will assist you in getting the entire pool built and when he leaves you have water in the pool and you are all set to start swimming. Randy will have the pool built for you in 4 to 5 days so when using Randy you have definite time frame of how long it will take to build the pool.  Randy charges a range of $5000-$6500 for our very popular pool installation assistance program.

    Materials Cost: Let's also add the cost for concrete, gravel and the material along the floor of the pool such as vermiculite or a mix of sand and cement, or just sand. Some of the other total costs involved would be your pool deck installation and pool fence.

    concrete-collar-yardage-chartCost ranges for Concrete Delivery: The amount of concrete needed varies depending on the size and shape pool you are installing. When pouring the concrete collar you need to have at least 8-10 inches of concrete around the outside of the panels and up underneath the stair. When ordering the concrete from your local concrete company you want the cheapest concrete mix that is available normally a 2500 mix. The cost for this concrete will vary around the country but what I see as an average is about $100 per yard. Here is a chart to help you estimate concrete needs for a rectangular shaped pool. Gravel and concrete delivery price ranges from $800-$1200.

    Cost Ranges for Floor Material: Along the bottom of the pool you need to put down at least 2” of finished material along the bottom of the pool before installing the pool liner. The least expensive way to do a hard bottom would be a mix of Portland cement with masonry sand a 4 to 1 ratio of sand to cement. This is a great option if you have no ground water and less expensive than vermiculite. vermiculite-pool-floor-costs-The other option for the floor material is vermiculite which is your best option if you have ground water in your backyard. When using the vermiculite it is porous so it acts like a sponge.

    Here is a chart on the cost to use Vermiculite on a rectangle pool kit. The cost to use a sand/cement mixture would be approximately 50 percent less expensive. So, the range for floor materials is about $400-$1800.

    Cost Ranges for Pool Deck: The costs for installing your deck will depend on the size of the deck you install and what material you use for your patio around the swimming pool. Typically the least expensive patio would be brushed concrete; if you want a nice design to the concrete you could do stamped concrete. Some pool deck ideas are brick pavers, tile, or travertine but they are quite a bit more expensive. I would suggest contacting a local mason or concrete deck installer in your area. When talking to your local concrete contractor you will need to tell them how many square feet of deck area you want installed and they will give you a quote per square foot which includes the installation cost. Prices for pool decks vary from $4 per sq. ft. to over $20 per sq. ft. - depending on the type of pool deck installed. Price range for pool decks run $500-$5000, or more...

    DIY-INGROUND-POOL-CONSTRUCTION-COSTS-CHARTOverall Pool Construction Costs: The overall cost will obviously vary depending on the size and shape of the pool and whatever other accessories you add to your swimming pool kit.  A small pool can be built for under $10K, and a large freeform pool and deck can be built for under $25K. Price the same pool with a local pool builder, and you'll get back quotes in the range of $25-$50K!

    DIY pool installation is hard work but not difficult; and after the job is complete you can be proud to say you built your own inground pool.

    All of your family and friends can now enjoy your hard work in the backyard escape you designed and built.

    Chris Low
    SPP Pool Expert  

    Blog Author
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