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5 Ways to Make Your Pool Project More Affordable in 2021

5 Ways to Make Your Pool Project More Affordable in 2021

Patio and Coping  |  Options and Accessories  |  Cost and Pricing  |  Pool Design Guides

Every pool shopper has a budget. As a pool guy, I get this. And that's what this article is all about.

I've personally assisted thousands of people in their inground pool purchase. The concept of meeting a budget but also being happy with one's decisions can be a fine balance.

To start you off, our cost and pricing guide for inground swimming pools compares the pricing for concrete, vinyl liner, and fiberglass pools.

On top of that, I have 5 suggestions for how you can stay within your pool budget.


How to save money with your swimming pool purchase in 2021

  1. Wait on the heater
  2. Add more patio later
  3. Size isn't everything
  4. Plumb for the slide or water feature
  5. Install the cover at the end of the season

1. Wait on the Heater

A heater is the most common option I've seen homeowners add over the years after having bought their pool.

Adding a heater after having owned the swimming pool a season or more can be a great idea because pool owners can get a true gauge on just how much they need a heater, as well as what type of heater will suit them best.

For example, most of our heater customers get heat pumps instead of a gas or propane heater. But they come in two options: with and without chillers. (A chiller is a component that will cool the water as well.)

After having owned a pool for a period of time, most people can determine which one of the two types of heat pumps is the better fit for their needs. Also, because heat pumps cost $4,000 or more, such a wait can save quite a bit of money initially.

2. Add More Patio Later

In most cases, the most expensive option of a swimming pool project is the patio. This is why, when someone is on a very strict budget, getting only 3' of a concrete apron initially and then adding additional patio later is a great idea.

When adding patio later, pavers tend to be the best option as they integrate well with older patio structures and offer unlimited flexibility.

3. Size Isn't Everything

I've seen this over and over again. People (Dads in most cases) can get so caught up in the size of the pool that they end up not being able to afford the swimming pool at all.

Such logic makes little sense considering most parents are getting the pool for their kids, and as we all know, children will use a swimming pool for hours upon hours no matter what size it is.

4. Plumb for the Slide or Water Feature

Just like adding a heater later, slides and water features are easy to add to a pool down the road as long as the plumbing for these units is done during the pool's construction.

Adding such options makes a lot of sense for those persons on a budget because a slide alone will usually cost $2,000 or higher installed. Same with certain water features.

By having the forethought to install simple plumbing at the beginning of the project, pool owners can save thousands initially while enjoying the water feature or slide they always dreamed of down the road.

5. Install the Cover at the End of the Season

This mainly applies to persons who purchase security covers (the ones that look like a trampoline).

Because many people have their pool installed during the first part of the year, it makes sense in some cases to wait until the end of the season to have their security cover installed, as there is no use for the cover during the summer months.

Considering that most security style covers cost over $1,000 installed, this expense can be delayed 3–7 months in most cases.

Although there are many more ways to make your pool project more affordable and budget friendly, this article hopefully has given you some helpful pointers in the right direction.

To close, I want to reiterate one other point that I've made in other blog posts regarding pools, wants, and budgets.

Which would your children prefer to enjoy: a simplistic pool in the back yard or a dream pool that's in your head?


As always, happy swimming, and don't forget to subscribe to the blog to receive future articles just like this one. You can also check out our pool pricing calculator tool or visit our video library for more educational information on inground pools. 

Questions? Comments? We'd love to hear your thoughts!

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Up Next:

How Much Is My Fiberglass Pool Really Going to Cost?

A Guide to Inground Swimming Pool Size, Costs, and Prices: Everything You Should Know

7 Pool Extras That Won't Break the Budget

Editor's note: This blog article was updated on January 2, 2021.

Editor’s note (5/3/24):  
This article was written by Marcus Sheridan, (Partner, River Pools Virginia). The opinions expressed are those of the author. Any pricing information is based on information that was readily available at the time of publication.

River Pools is a brand of inground fiberglass pools produced via the River Pools division of the manufacturing facility in Fortville, IN. While our expertise is in fiberglass pool manufacturing, we are part of an extensive network of experts relating to all things inground pools. Our own collective experience from over the years spans manufacturing, project design, installation, and pool service. We often tap into this knowledge base and share information freely with homeowners, just like you, who are considering having a swimming pool installed in your backyard.