Cost of a swimming pool: materials, installation, and more
While having a swimming pool installed at your home offers tremendous recreational benefits, it’s not something to rush into. Keep reading as we explore the short and long-term costs of swimming pool installation and maintenance.
We’ll also discuss how Alpine Credits has been helping homeowners finance improvements – including swimming pool additions – for more than 50 years.
How much does a swimming pool cost in Canada?
A typical inground swimming pool costs between $20,000 and $30,000 to install in Canada. Additionally, homeowners spend between 10% and 15% of this initial cost on annual pool maintenance. In other words, a $20,000 inground pool would typically cost between $2,000 and $3,000 to maintain each year.
An above-ground pool, meanwhile, costs between $1,000 and $5,000 to install in Canada. On the maintenance side, above-ground pool owners can expect to spend within the ballpark of $1,000 and $1,200 on maintenance each year.
Lastly, an indoor swimming pool costs upwards of $160,000 to install. Owners subsequently spend between $3,000 and $5,000 on maintenance every year.
These are pretty big ranges. To paint a more accurate picture, let’s look at the factors that influence a pool’s installation and maintenance costs – starting with size.
Swimming pool costs by size
The costs we provide throughout this article are based on the typical residential pool size in Canada, which is 10 feet by 20 feet. However, if you plan on going with a larger swimming pool, the installation costs will increase per the numbers in the charts below.
Inground pool cost per square foot
|Material||Parts and installation cost per sq. foot|
Indoor pool cost per square foot
|Material||Parts and installation cost per sq. foot|
Swimming pool costs by material
|Type of pool||Cheapest material||Mid-tier material||Premium material|
Here are the installation and maintenance costs associated with the most common pool materials in Canada, sorted by construction type.
Above-ground pool materials
Above-ground swimming pools sit – yup, you guessed it – above the ground. Note that above-ground pools typically come in kits that you’ll need to set up yourself, which is part of why purchase and installation costs are so low.
Purchase and installation: < $1,000
Lasts: 1-2 seasons
Inflatable pools are about as cheap as it gets, costing well under $1,000. There are also very little maintenance costs involved since most people just throw inflatable pools away and buy new ones whenever they notice a tear or other issue.
That said, these aren’t really ‘serious’ pools that people view as investments. Inflatable pools rarely last more than a couple of summers and aren’t large enough for any meaningful swimming.
Purchase and installation: $1,000
Maintenance: $1,200 per year
Lasts: 8 years
Steel is among the cheapest above-ground pool materials, costing an average of $1,000 to purchase. The typical annual maintenance cost of $1,200 goes towards cleaning the pool, including vacuuming and purchasing chemicals such as chlorine.
Purchase and installation: $5,000
Lasts: 10-15 years
Resin above-ground pools offer a premium experience, which is reflected in their higher price tag of about $5,000. The typical annual maintenance cost of $1,200 is still in line with what you’d expect from a cheaper pool material like steel.
Resin swimming pools don’t dent or heat up in the sun as stainless steel does, which contributes to their longevity.
Inground pool materials
Inground pools are permanent installations that – as the name suggests – rest in the ground. They’re relatively expensive to install.
Purchase and installation: $20,000
Maintenance: $1,300 per year
Lasts: Liner needs to be replaced roughly every four years
If you’re looking to keep inground swimming pool installation costs low, it’s hard to beat vinyl. You can generally purchase a vinyl swimming pool and have it installed for roughly $20,000.
However, it’s important to note that vinyl pools are most commonly rectangular. If you’d like an irregularly-shaped pool, the cost of vinyl will creep towards some of the more expensive options. This may defeat the purpose if you’re going with vinyl as a budget option.
Additionally, vinyl swimming pool maintenance costs are higher than you might expect since you’ll need to replace the lining roughly every four years, which comes at an average cost of $4,500. That’s in addition to the roughly $700 you’ll spend on other types of annual maintenance.
Altogether, this means you’ll spend an average of $1,300 per year on maintaining a vinyl swimming pool.
Purchase and installation: $30,000
Maintenance: $3,000 per year
Lasts: Needs to be resurfaced roughly every 10 years
As far as inground swimming pool installation costs go, concrete lies somewhere in between vinyl and fiberglass. Expect to spend at least $30,000 installing a concrete pool.
They’re not cheap on the maintenance side either. Because concrete is rough, it’s very hospitable to algae growth, necessitating frequent acid washes at an average cost of about $70 per square foot. Additionally, you’ll need to resurface a concrete pool roughly every 10 years at a cost of at least $10,000.
When you combine these costs with other forms of maintenance, you can expect to pay at least $3,000 per year on maintenance for a concrete pool.
Purchase and installation: $45,000+
Maintenance: $600 per year
Lasts: 25 years
Fiberglass is widely considered to be the best inground swimming pool material. You can expect installation costs upwards of $45,000 for that higher quality. However, fiberglass does offer the benefit of much lower swimming pool maintenance costs; expect to spend roughly $600 each year.
The low maintenance costs and higher quality associated with fiberglass pools make them very popular among those able to secure financing at favourable rates.
Indoor pool cost
|Material||Material cost||Renovation cost||Total|
While you’ll find the same material options as with an inground pool (vinyl, concrete, and fiberglass), the higher cost is associated with the complexity of making such a substantial renovation to your home.
Crews will need to rework your home’s interior plumbing and construct the pool in such a way that it doesn’t interfere with the building’s structural integrity.
In other words, it’s a major construction project, which is why the costs are so much higher than you’d find with an outdoor inground pool.
Swimming pool costs by type of water
One factor people commonly overlook when calculating swimming pool maintenance costs is the type of water used. There are two main options – saltwater and chlorine. Here’s what to expect for each when it comes to maintenance.
Saltwater pools are much cheaper to maintain than their chlorine counterparts, costing roughly $100 annually. Keep in mind, however, that saltwater pools require salt chlorine generators that last roughly seven years and cost an average of $2,500.
Still, this added cost is typically worth it if you use your pool often as saltwater would be cheaper than continually purchasing chlorine. This is especially true in Canada, the colder climate of which means a salt chlorine generator doesn’t have to work as hard as it would in a warmer environment.
A pool filled with chlorine typically costs about $800 to maintain annually. That cost goes towards purchasing cleaning chemicals.
Swimming pool cost by additional features
While the costs we’ve referenced so far are for relatively bare-bones swimming pools, many homeowners go the extra mile and install additional features. Here’s what the most common features will cost you.
Adding tiles around your pool can drastically enhance its look. For the average pool, sized at 10 feet by 20 feet, this will cost you about $3,500 with no additional maintenance concerns.
Cost: $1,500 to $5,000 upfront, $1,000 yearly
Heaters are another common addition among Canadians looking to squeeze as much pool time out of the year as possible. A natural gas heater will cost you roughly $1,500 while an electric unit will run about $5,000.
Of course, your electricity bill will increase as a result of a heated pool. Expect to pay roughly $1,000 each year.
Cost: $100 to $8,000
A pool cover of some kind or another is essential in Canada. However, while the most basic covers cost just about $100, you can easily find automatic safety covers costing as much as $8,000. This may be worth it if you’d like to round out a luxurious pool installation while keeping your children safe.
Automatic pool cleaners
Cost: $700 to $1,500
Maintaining a pool is undoubtedly hard work. Some homeowners choose to purchase automatic cleaners that handle much of the work. These cost between $700 and $1,500 depending on the exact features you’re looking for.
Installing lights in your pool can give it a luxurious look while also offering safety for late-night swims. LED pool lights are relatively affordable at just about $500 to purchase and install.
Cost: $200 to $15,000
Waterfalls are another luxurious addition to any swimming pool. At the cheaper end, you’ll pay about $200 for a waterfall. However, the sky’s the limit on price, with fancier options costing upwards of $15,000.
Installing steps in your pool can increase its safety dramatically. While you can find cheaper DIY options for about $200, installing permanent stairs will cost roughly $2,000.
Homeowners looking for the convenience of an indoor pool without the exorbitant cost will often spring for an outdoor pool enclosure. These typically cost roughly $100 per square foot, which works out to $20,000 for the average 10 foot by 20 foot pool.
However, you can easily find swimming pool enclosures costing upwards of $50,000. These premium options are essentially permanent structures built around your pool.
Cost: Varies depending on what you’re looking for
Landscaping is another added cost many homeowners incur when installing a pool. Here’s what you can expect to pay for common landscaping features.
- Drainage: $3,500
- Sloping Your Yard: $2,000
- Retaining Wall Installation: $5,000
- Sod Installation: $2 per square foot
Adding a hot tub to your pool can make it more luxurious, especially on chillier days. You’ll pay roughly $15,000 on top of your pool installation cost to do this. However, this may be cheaper if you’re going for fewer jets than normal. At a bare minimum, expect to pay $2,000 for installing a hot tub with your inground pool.
Cost: $10,000 to $23,000
A pool deck typically costs between $25 and $60 per square foot to install depending on the materials and size you choose.
Pools typically come in the following shapes:
If you go with a freeform (irregular) shape, you can expect to pay more depending on your pool’s size and the materials you’re using for its exterior (stone, for example, is traditionally the most expensive).
Swimming pool financing options
By now, you can probably tell that swimming pools are expensive. Here are some of the popular options Canadians have for covering these costs.
Home equity loans
Home equity loans are an increasingly popular option for covering the cost of a swimming pool. They’re remarkably easy to get; anyone with equity in their home qualifies, regardless of their income level.
This makes home equity loans one of the few financing options available for retirees looking to finance a pool installation without withdrawing massive amounts of money from their retirement accounts.
Additionally, home equity loans come with more reasonable interest rates than many other types of financing, including credit cards and personal lines of credit.
Click here to learn more about how Alpine Credits helps Canadians secure home equity loans for major renovations like pool installations.
Line of credit
While lines of credit are also popular financing methods for major purchases, they have significant drawbacks.
For one, unsecured credit lines typically come with higher interest rates than home equity loans. Additionally, many people find lines of credit difficult to manage. Because they constitute revolving credit, it’s possible to keep withdrawing money faster than you can pay it off, which can keep you trapped in the debt cycle for years.
Many pool manufacturers and installers offer retail financing. You pay for this convenience in the form of higher interest rates, though, making retail financing a poor choice if you have other options (like getting a home equity loan).
Personal loans can be very tricky to get, especially when the intended purchase does not represent collateral (after all, it’s hard to repossess a pool).
While online lenders with relaxed requirements exist, these loans can come with substantial interest rates. Check out this page to learn more about how these types of loans compare to a home equity loan from Alpine Credits.
Trust Alpine Credits for swimming pool financing in Canada
We hope you’ve found this article helpful for figuring out the typical cost of swimming pools in Canada. If you’re ready to look into financing for your swimming pool installation, contact us here.
At Alpine Credits, we’ve been helping Canadian homeowners finance major renovations for more than 50 years! You’re in good hands.
Frequently asked questions
A 12 x 24 inground pool made from vinyl will cost you roughly $28,800. A concrete pool will run you roughly $43,200. Meanwhile, a premium fiberglass pool will cost you $64,800.
Don’t forget to include the cost of a construction permit in your calculations! Depending on your municipality, this may run upwards of $2,000. However, your pool installation company may take care of the permit process and include this service in your bill, so be sure to ask.
A pool offers tremendous recreational value and also represents a decent investment in your home; expect the value to increase by roughly 7% of your pool’s cost – perhaps even more for the right buyer.
For the best value, go with a low-maintenance pool.
When it comes to financing your pool with a home equity loan, your credit score is irrelevant. What’s more important is that you have equity in your home to tap into.
As far as getting an unsecured loan, however, you’ll need a score of at least 740 to get a decent interest rate. Below 640, you likely won’t even get approved for anything other than a home equity loan.
You’ll generally be approved for a home equity loan as long as you have available equity in your property. Getting approved for an unsecured loan is much more difficult since a pool is such a major expense.
A zero-entry pool resembles a beach in that there’s no sudden drop on entry but rather a gradual decline. You’ll pay roughly $130 per square foot.
Expect to pay roughly $400 to prepare your pool for the new season. That includes removing the cover, inspecting for leaks, and cleaning the pool.
Concrete inground pool resurfacing costs roughly $10,000. You’ll only need to do this approximately every 10 years. For a vinyl inground pool, you’ll spend roughly $4,500 on replacing the lining every four years.
You can absolutely negotiate a pool price, just like you would for any other major home renovation. This is another advantage of securing financing through a home equity loan. You essentially become a cash buyer, which gives pool companies an incentive to negotiate beyond what they’d do if you were financing with them.
The average inground swimming pool costs between $20,000 and $30,000.