A Guide to Inground Swimming Pool Size, Costs, and Prices: Everything You Should Know
Thinking about getting a new inground swimming pool for your backyard?
You’re probably wondering what it's going to cost. If you're reading this, you might have already done some digging, but you just haven't found it easy to get some straight, direct answers to your questions about the all-in price tag for such a major home improvement project.
At River Pools, we've been installing and manufacturing pools throughout North America for over 20 years, so we've fielded and answered price-related questions from many thousands of swimming pool buyers. We believe an informed buyer is the best customer, so we've made every effort to be upfront and transparent about all costs you might encounter as a pool buyer, and as a pool owner for years to come.
We've already published a few pricing guides, which you can check out at the links below:
How Much Do Above Ground and Inground Swimming Pools Cost?
But what we've realized is that these articles are a great start... but most folks want more. You want specificity, based on the exact size of swimming pool you want, and including any custom options, add-ons, and accessories.
Here, we'll drill down into pool pricing by cost range, and by pool sizes. You can jump to your preferred choice with one of the links below. We've also got a few great options and accessories guides, which you'll find linked at the end of the price-range section of this article.
12' x 24' inground pool cost
15' x 30' inground pool cost
16' x 32' inground pool cost
20' x 40' inground pool cost
Inground pools by price
Some people pay for their pools out of available savings, but many pool buyers choose to use one of several easily available financing routes.
Regardless of how you plan to pay for it, your budget will be the largest factor determining what type and size of pool you're able to install in your backyard.
Let's take a look at what type and size of swimming pool you might expect to get within certain budget ranges, so you'll have a clearer understanding of your available options.
Inground pools under $20,000
Let's be perfectly honest here... there aren't a lot of inground pool options in this price range, especially if you’re looking at the all-in turnkey cost to install an inground swimming pool, which includes decking, electrical hookups, security or privacy fencing, and other common add-ons.
However, some small inground pool can be had around $20,000.
Your best (and in some places, only) option in this budget range is to build your own vinyl liner pool -- assuming you know how to build an inground pool, which is a lot more complicated than simply digging a hole in the ground and filling it with water.
You might be able to purchase a fiberglass pool shell and install it yourself to save some money, but you'll still need to pay for labor, equipment, and materials, at least to the point of getting your pool shell from the factory to your backyard.
If you have experience building vinyl liner pools, you might be able to build your own for less than $20,000. Alternatively, you might be able to get a small but trendy above-ground pool, such as a shipping container pool.
Inground pools under $25,000
Adding $5,000 to your pool budget won't really give you a many more options, if you really want an inground pool for less than $25,000.
If you don't know how to build a vinyl liner pool yourself, you might be able to find a builder who will do it for about $25,000, but in today's pool-buying environment, you'll probably wind up with a brand-new or very inexperienced contractor providing a true “bare bones” build, with minimal features and only as much decking around the pool as is technically required.
Insufficient decking is often a pool buyer's biggest regret, so you may want to increase your price range for an improvement project you'll want to enjoy for many years to come.
We can say with almost complete certainty that you won't be able to find quality full-sized inground concrete or fiberglass pool packages for this price. This statement was true when we first wrote this article, and it's even truer in 2021, as the combination of sky-high demand and restricted supplies of key pool-building materials has made pool projects as pricey as we've seen.
If you want a smaller pool for small-group lounging and socializing, you might want to consider a cocktail pool, which is also known as a compact pool. Cocktail pools can sometimes be built within a $25,000 price range.
However, you should know cocktail pools are, in many cases, oversized spas -- they're typically only about four feet deep and are 12 feet wide by 14 feet long at the most. Standard swimming pools tend to be at least twice as large. You may also be interested in plunge pools, which typically have less square footage, but are deeper, than cocktail pools. Click here to learn about the differences between cocktail pools and plunge pools.
Inground pools under $40,000
If you've got a budget of $40,000 for your inground pool project, you might be able to find a good vinyl liner pool builder willing to work with you within this price range. You may also be able to explore a few small fiberglass and concrete pool options within this budget range as well.
For your reference, most high-quality concrete pool packages start at around $50,000, and most high-quality fiberglass pool packages start at about $40,000.
Inground Pools for Under $50,000
If you increase your budget to $50,000, you'll have many more options.
There are vinyl liner pools, fiberglass pools, and concrete pools available within this price limit. However, the current pool-buying climate will probably restrict you to smaller pools with minimal customization. This may change in the future, and we'll update this article to reflect any changes to pool price ranges, but right now, most pool buyers are spending more than $50,000 for turnkey installation packages, even with just a few must-have options and accessories.
Want to know the difference between fiberglass, vinyl liner, and concrete pools? Check out our complete guide to these three popular pool types.
You can also try our new interactive Pool Type Selector tool to figure out what type of pool you really want in your backyard. Check it out below:
Concrete and fiberglass pool packages tend to start in the $45,000 to $50,000 range. This will typically include the bare necessities, but it probably won't come with fencing, landscaping, spas, and/or other optional high-end features.
Inground pools for $50,000 and more
The sky's the limit if your budget is, too. Dedicating at least $50,000 to your swimming pool project will open up many options and opportunities, but you can (and very well might) spend more if you're committed to getting the pool of your dreams.
Many people spend $100,000 or more on customized pool projects, which typically include premium upgrades such as water features, custom tiling, landscaping, spa add-ons, fencing, and so on. Past $50,000, most swimming pool shoppers choose either a concrete or fiberglass swimming pools, because these tend to offer the most value and flexibility over the long run.
There are pros and cons to both types, and you can get plenty of details about them here.
Want to know what to expect when getting add-ons and options? Check out these resources:
- The Ultimate Swimming Pool Accessories Cost and Comparison Guide
- 5 Fiberglass Pool Accessories to Consider in 2021
- The Best Salt Water Systems
- Swimming Pool Covers: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
- Best Pool Heater Options
- Everything You Need to Know About Pool Waterfalls
- 16 Pool Fence Ideas to Upgrade Your Yard
Inground pool costs by size (quick estimates)
Pool shoppers will always see a rather wide range of prices, particularly at the lower and upper ends of the pool-buying spectrum.
On one end, you've got DIYers who'd rather save money by using their existing skill sets to take on most (or all) of the project themselves.
On the other end, some folks simply must have the newest and the best stuff for their pool, no matter the cost -- including all the best add-ons like those we mentioned earlier.
Of course, most pool buyers end up closer to the middle of the price range for a standard pool package with the essentials and (maybe) a few key extras.
Standard vinyl liner pool packages typically include the dig, construction of pool walls and a floor, installing and connecting the pool pump and filter system, installation of the vinyl liner, and adding in other optional (but useful) pool parts, like skimmers, ladders, and handrails.
Standard fiberglass pool packages typically include purchasing, delivering, and installing a fiberglass pool shell, installing and connecting pump and filter systems, any necessary gravel for backfill (read more about backfill material here), however much water is needed to fill the pool, any necessary (or requested) maintenance and cleaning equipment, the costs and labor involved in securing building permits, and the addition of some concrete (a mini-patio) around the pool.
Want to know how we price your pool project? Get in touch with us today and we'll gladly walk through all the critical (and optional) elements of a successful pool installation:
Concrete pool packages often include the cost of design services (most concrete pools have customized shapes, sizes, and features based on what the customer wants), excavation of backyard dirt so the pool can be installed, the actual construction (typically done using the gunite process to spray concrete at high pressure onto the walls and floor of the pool interior), installation and connection of pumps, filters, skimmers, and other maintenance equipment, a basic pool interior, and (sometimes) the addition of waterline tile and patio coping. The options available always depend on your builder and your budget, like any other pool package.
Remember, everything here is only a rough estimate. You can only get a precise and accurate quote by communicating directly with a builder, who'll know how much work and materials will be needed to install the pool you want.
However, the rates in the next section should provide a somewhat reasonable starting point for the price ranges for fiberglass, vinyl liner, and concrete pools of dimensions, with standard installation packages. There are almost always exceptions...
How much does a 12' by 24' inground pool cost?
A small vinyl liner pool, about 12 feet wide and 24 feet long. might cost between $25,000 (just the basics) and $35,000 (with additional features like heaters and fencing).
Small fiberglass pools of this size typically start in the $40,000 to $45,000 range, depending on the features you want and the needs of your backyard.
For example, retaining walls will always increase the price of your project by at least several thousand dollars, no matter what type of pool they're installed with. Concrete pools in these dimensions often cost at least $40,000, but you'll probably wind up with a final price tag closer to $50,000, if not higher.
How much does a 15' by 30' inground pool cost?
A 15 foot wide by 30 foot long vinyl liner swimming pool can cost at least $30,000 and often runs $40,000 or more depending on the options you choose.
For fiberglass pools of similar dimensions, you can expect to pay $45,000 or more for basic packages. Concrete pools of this size can easily cost at least $55,000, just for the basics.
How much does a 16' by 32' inground pool cost?
A vinyl liner pool that's 16 feet wide and 32 feet long typically costs more than $45,000, just for basic packages. It may be possible -- but it's probably unlikely -- that you'll be able to find lower prices. Vinyl liner pools are often the most affordable inground pools to install, but all pool types have become more costly in 2021.
Please keep in mind that the upfront cost of a vinyl liner pool installation might be more affordable than other pool types, but the lifetime costs are another story. You can expect to spend nearly $12,000 to maintain a vinyl liner pool every ten years.
Fiberglass swimming pools with dimensions of roughly 16' x 32' will likely cost over $55,000 for the most basic packages. You will, of course, need to pay more for any upgrades, optional add-ons, and other additional features.
Concrete pools of this size typically start at $65,000 for the most basic packages.
How much does a 20' by 40' inground pool cost?
A 20 foot by 40 foot inground pool is by no means the largest swimming pool you can build or install. However, it is a very popular size for larger pools.
If you want a vinyl liner pool with these dimensions, expect to pay at least $60,000, and potentially $70,000 or more, depending on how much customization and add-ons you want for your pool project. This may or may not include fencing, landscaping, water features, and more.
Fiberglass pools of similar dimensions (fiberglass pools typically can’t be wider than 16 feet, for shipping purposes -- read more about these shipping restrictions here) can cost at least $50,000 for the most basic packages.
A 20' x 40' concrete pool often costs over $100,000 to install, but this can vary widely based on the nature and extent of your project.
Keep in mind, these are only ballpark estimates.
The only way to know the true cost of a new pool is to get a quote from a dealer or pool builder. You can use our pool pricing calculator widget to get your initial estimate: click here to try it!
Every backyard is different, and every pool buyer has different priorities, so every swimming pool project ends up with its own unique different price.
The numbers we've provided here should help you move in the right direction towards buying the pool of your dreams. but ultimately, you will need to get a custom quote to find out how much you will spend on your pool.
At River Pools, we manufacture world-class fiberglass swimming pools and have a wide selection of shapes and sizes to choose from. See our inground pool pricing guide today or contact us directly to get a custom quote for your project... or click the button below!
To compare the pros and cons of the different types of inground swimming pools, download a copy of our free ebook by clicking below: