While a backyard swimming pool can be expensive, it also allows for privacy and ready access at times when a community or membership pool is likely to be closed. Avid swimmers might find a home in-ground lap pool advantageous, because they can enjoy a quality workout whenever they like. Pool installation costs vary by region and by company, but tend to run within a specific range.
According to Cost Helper.com, vinyl-lined in-ground pools are the least expensive, running approximately $7,000 to $16,000. Not all vinyl-lined in-ground models are suitable for lap pools, however, since these pools need to be large enough to complete a full swimming lap in. Vinyl-lined pools are also easier to damage than more expensive types, because the vinyl liners can develop snags or leaks.
Fiberglass in-ground pools tend to be in the middle price range, with most models running between $15,000 and $25,000. The fiberglass shell can stand up to more rough handling and abrasion than a vinyl-lined pool. However, like their cheaper cousins, most of these pools are pre-constructed and may not be large enough for laps. Fiberglass pools do perform better in climates where the ground freezes in the winter than traditional concrete pool installations.
Concrete is the most expensive option for an in-ground lap pool, but also the most adaptable. Concrete pools are also very durable, though they may crack in areas with harsh freeze-and-thaw weather. A concrete or gunite pool generally costs between $17,000 and $45,000, but custom pools can be significantly more expensive. According to This Old House.com, a custom concrete lap pool with included heat can cost as much as $80,000 to install.
In-ground pools can also incur unexpected costs during installation. Since space for these pools must be excavated before they can be installed, rocks and other obstacles can increase the price of building a pool significantly. This Old House.com cites an example in which contractors encountered a rock ledge during excavation, which added an extra $1,000 and several days' work to the installation process.
G.D. Palmer is a freelance writer and illustrator living in Milwaukee, Wis. She has been producing print and Web content for various organizations since 1998 and has been freelancing full-time since 2007. Palmer holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in writing and studio art from Beloit College in Beloit, Wis.