Let’s address, “The elephant in the room”: How much does an inground pool cost in Connecticut?
It seems like a simple enough question, right? Yet “all of us” in this wonderful industry hesitate to throw around numbers prices due to the number of factors that affect the price of a pool (like site conditions, options, design, etc. etc.). And then there are the different types of pools one can choose from. So let’s start there.
There are three types of pools to choose from:
- Liner Pool
- Fiberglass Pool
- Gunite pool (also called a Shotcrete pool)
Here’s more detail on each of these types:
Liner pools are the least expensive. Imagine an above-ground pool, dropped into a hole dug in your back yard. That’s it. There is not a whole lot more to them except for a cement-like base (vermiculite) and some reinforced walls. It is a “baggy” pool that has come a long way in recent years in terms of designs, colors, and options. But it is still a plastic bag holding all the water in the pool. When built correctly, it will give your family years of enjoyment and will start in the area of $25,000.00. Because the size and shapes are limited by what the manufacturer offers, the “high” side for a liner pool can go up to $100,000 (note: one can get a custom liner pool but the price jumps quickly and then when the time comes for a replacement liner, you are limited as to who can get you a replacement and affordability goes out the window is the main reason to buy a liner pool).
Fiberglass pools (again, when done correctly) will start in the $30,000 range and max out around $65,000 or so. A fiberglass pool is just like a bathtub. It is manufactured in an off-site facility and shipped on a truck to your home. This type of pool will be close to the price of a gunite pool but with limited options and features.
Gunite pools are custom-made and hand-crafted in your back yard. Made from raw materials like sand, cement, steel and masonry products, these pools will start in the $35,000 range. It is not uncommon to see a gunite pool cost $100,000 or more. There are almost unlimited options with a gunite pool (attached spas, waterfalls/features, retaining walls built into the pool, built in cleaning systems), thus we see the more “expensive” pools or “high end” ones.
No professional pool builder in CT will be able to honestly “quote” you a price on a pool, whether it’s gunite or not, without seeing the property. There are just too many variables that can change the price. Things like access (we WILL have to get an excavator into your back yard!), tree removal, slopes (grade changes) and underground issues (ledge, water, unstable soil) can add costs to a pool project and it would be unfair to give a quote without knowing more.
Options (everyone should know what is possible, even if they choose to not invest in those options) change the price as well. A quality CT pool designer will do a whole lot more than “give you a price.” The design process should be an EDUCATION process so that you know what FEATURES are available and what BENEFITS come with those features. For example, did you know that ALL three types of pools have the option of an in-floor pool cleaning system? However, most CT pool builders will not offer it because it is “difficult” to install and their staff is just not prepared to install them (or they are not ready to make the educational commitment to teaching their staff to do it)? Yup, liner or fiberglass can install these too.
Estimates for some of the more typical features on a gunite pool:
- Attached Spa: $7,000 - $10,000
- In-floor cleaning/circulating systems: $4,000 - $12,000
- Pool Automation (your computer or phone becomes a remote from ANYWHERE): $2000 - $4000
- Saltwater pool: $1500 - $3500
- LED Lighting: $400 – $2000
- Pebble interior finishes: $6000 - $13,000
Other than the pebble interior finishes, all types of pools “could” offer such options, but many do not (those of us that have the ability to include such wonderful features find it unfathomable that everyone doesn’t offer such features due to the wonderful benefits). These are just a small number of pool options available. Speak to a true Connecticut pool professional to learn more. When comparing the difference in cost between the three types of pools, consider the difference in price on the TOTAL job, adding in the fence, patio, landscape walls, site work, tree work, electrical, even patio furniture. That’s the total cost of what you will be investing over time and then compare the difference between the three. It is an investment in your family, your quality of life and time. The pool will be a wonderful addition to your family and can be an asset. However, when not done correctly or when corners are cut and quality is not a priority, a poorly built pool/backyard becomes a liability. Do your homework and choose the best product for your family and home.