An inground pool represents the ultimate in summer fun for kids and parents alike, but all that fun in the sun doesn't come cheap. The price for a backyard pool can easily exceed the cost of a new car, and some high-end models can cost more than the average house in some areas. Before you invest in a new pool, take the time to understand both short-term and long-term costs, as well as how your new pool can impact the value of your home.
Pool Price Range
Estimate the cost of your new pool by size or construction style to get an idea of base price. Small pools costs between $20,000 and $30,000, while medium pools are priced between $30,000 and $40,000, according to BobVila.com. The largest pools start at $40,000, but the price can soar much higher, depending on size and options. The cheapest pools are made using a vinyl liner stretched over a wood or metal frame, and cost between $20,000 and $30,000 on average, according to River Pools and Spas. Fiberglass pools represent a mid-range option, with prices ranging from $20,000 to $40,000. Concrete or gunite pools are the most expensive, with a price tag typically between $20,000 and $45,000.
The Cost of Maintenance
Budget between $1,000 and $3,000 per year for maintenance and electricity for your in-ground pool, suggests BobVila.com. Prepare to pay even more if you plan to use the pool year round. If you choose fiberglass, you'll need to shell out around $4,000 every five to 10 years for a new liner. Concrete pools also require major maintenance, with resurfacing needed roughly once each decade. Fiberglass pools last 25 years on average, and may be the best pool option in terms of long-term value.
The High Cost of Extras
Tack on an extra 10 to 20 percent to your base pool price to pay for decking, lighting, cleaning systems, slides and diving boards, suggests BobVila.com. You'll also need to pay for permits and water delivery, which can vary significantly in cost, depending on where you live and the requirements in your area. Many municipalities also require a fence to surround backyard pools for safety. While costs can vary, the "Arizona Daily Star" estimates the cost of a mesh pool fence at $1,350 to $1,500, or roughly 15 to 20 percent less than a similar iron model. Budget $9 to $15 per foot for a wood fence, $20 to $30 per foot for iron, $20 for vinyl, or $6 to $8 per foot for chain link, according to Landscape Network. Also consider the extra cost of liability insurance and property taxes when adding a new pool.
Swimming Pools and Home Value
You may be tempted to splurge on a new pool regardless of cost, hoping that the high price tag will be offset by an increase in home value from adding a pool. MSN suggests that backyard pools can be more of a negative than a positive for buyers, who might view them as a liability and a nuisance. Pools may help attract buyers only in warm climates and in high-end neighborhoods where pools are common. The National Association of Realtors estimates that under perfect circumstances, a pool could potentially increase home value by as much as 7 percent, but only if certain conditions are met. These include living in a high-end neighborhood where pools are common and living in a warm climate where the pool can be used year-round. In other areas and under other conditions, a pool can actually make your home less desirable to buyers.