Concrete Pool Cost
The average concrete pool (gunite pool) can cost anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000.
However, there are many factors that go into those averages, which are important to understand before making an investment.
Come dive in with us as we explore the installation costs, maintenance costs, and pros/cons of in-ground concrete pools so that you can make the most out of your concrete pool ownership.
Concrete Pool Installation Cost
As we said before, many factors make up the cost of concrete pools. But, on average, people spend anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000.
Let's go over a few of the MAIN factors you must consider when creating a budget.
The primary factor that will impact your cost is the size or square footage of your concrete swimming pool. Concrete pools are completely customizable, meaning your size and shape options are nearly infinite. Many contractors charge per square foot of concrete, tile, plaster, steel, coping, etc.
There are many types of interior surfaces that you can use in a concrete pool. However, the standard choice for most concrete swimming pools is plaster, as it is the most cost-effective.
However, you might choose to go with a more aesthetically pleasing interior surface such as exposed aggregate. Not only does exposed aggregate look cool, but it's also far more durable than cement and will last you much longer.
Some more expensive types of interior surfacing include:
You will have to consider the size of your pool surround and the material you choose to use. The most economical option for a concrete swimming pool is a smooth or brushed concrete finish.
However, if you want to up your game a little bit and customize your swimming pool aesthetic, you might choose to go with natural stone pavers or stamped concrete.
You can learn more about the cost and materials of pool surrounds in our Pool Surround guide.
One factor that pool owners often forget about is landscaping.
For example, you might have to build a retaining wall for your concrete swimming pool if you build it on a slope. Retaining walls can cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars up to $40,000.
You might also have to install fencing or railings depending on your local building codes.
Some additional customized landscaping costs include:
Check out our Pool Enclosure Cost blog for more information on swimming pool coverings.
You might want to install some exciting water features that can deliver water back to your concrete inground pool in an interesting way. Some popular inground pool water features include rainfalls, rock waterfalls, and deck jets.
These features can elevate your inground pool aesthetic, though they don't come cheap. On average, people end up spending anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 on these types of features.
Inground pool steps can cost anywhere from $300 to $2,500, depending on how many you need and the size of your inground pool.
You can save money by purchasing steps from a pool company that you can place in your swimming pool once it has already been built.
However, if you want to include them in the initial price of your pool structure, expect to pay more.
Some of the most popular and expensive step types include:
A heater for an inground pool can cost anywhere from $500 to $10,000, depending on your pool's square footage. Then, for heater installation, you can expect to pay another $400 to $500.
The main cost differences for heaters come from how much pool water requires heating and how high you need to heat your pool.
Here is a breakdown of what you can expect to pay for various inground pool heater types:
Solar pool heaters are great for hotter climates, as they can economically transfer natural heat into your inground pool. So while you spend a fair amount upfront, they'll save you money in the long run.
Additional Costs For An Inground Concrete Pool
There are many additional costs you might need to consider for your in-ground swimming pool, though not all of them are necessary. However, to give you a more realistic idea of your average cost, we figured we'd include them:
Concrete Pool Maintenance Costs
Resurfacing is a necessary part of long-term concrete pool maintenance. On average, concrete pools remain strong for about 10-15 years before they require resurfacing. Resurfacing is the process of redoing your pool's plaster. Typically, you'll replace your waterline tile during this process.
On average, people spend anywhere between $10,000 and $20,000 on this.
As time goes on, the algae will penetrate the plaster in your concrete pool, and it will get stained.
Unfortunately, algae can be difficult to combat once it appears.
However, you can use an acid wash to mitigate algae issues, as it removes a thin layer of plaster, penetrating its pores, destroying the algae, and getting rid of any nasty stains.
You will likely pay a professional to acid wash your concrete pool. While the average cost depends on the size of the inground pool, the location of the inground pool, the pool's accessibility, and the season, you can expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $1,000 for this kind of job.
We DO NOT recommend trying to acid wash your concrete pool on your own, as you could end up injuring yourself or damaging your pool.
Cost To Remove A Concrete Pool
When removing a concrete swimming pool, you have two main options:
If you want to remove your concrete swimming pool from the ground completely, you can expect to pay anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000. On the other hand, if you only want to fill your concrete swimming pool, you can expect to pay anywhere from $3,500 to $5,000.
Demolishing and removing a concrete swimming pool requires tons of equipment (which you likely don't have lying around at home, is much more expensive, and is a loud, messy process. If you want to save money, we recommend filling your pool under the supervision of a licensed contractor to make sure it's done correctly.
Pros and Cons Of Concrete In-Ground Pools
Pros of Concrete Swimming Pools
One of the most common reasons homeowners decide on concrete pools is that they are highly customizable. When it comes to shape, size, and depth, it is entirely up to the owner.
There are almost no limits.
Concrete pools are also very durable compared to fiberglass pools. Even with sharp objects, you'd have a hard time damaging a concrete pool. Plus, because concrete is so sturdy, it is long-lasting. If well taken care of, you could enjoy a concrete swimming pool for many decades before having to replace it.
Lastly, concrete fares well with exposure to the elements. From the sun's heat to the winter's cold, a quality concrete pool can go through the seasons without concern.
Here are the main pros at a glance:
Cons of Concrete Swimming Pools
A concrete swimming pool will take much longer to install than other types of pools, such as fiberglass pools or vinyl pools. While you could install a fiberglass in-ground pool in a matter of weeks, it can easily take up to six months for concrete pool installation. Plus, the initial installation costs for a gunite pool are much higher, especially when you introduce customization. Vinyl pools have a lower installation price tag.
A concrete pool will also require frequent maintenance compared to other types of inground pools. For example, a gunite pool must be swept and scrubbed weekly to keep algae from accumulating on the surface.
Lastly, concrete inground pools have rougher interior surfaces. If a swimmer brushes their skin against the pool's surface, it can leave them with scrapes.
Here are the main cons at a glance:
Above-Ground Concrete Pool Cost
While people typically associate above-ground pools with metal or inflatable materials, there are many elegant above-ground gunite pools available.
The construction process for an above-ground pool is much different from that of an inground concrete pool.
For starters, an above-ground pool requires retaining walls to withstand high water pressure, which can cost anywhere from $6,000 to $20,000 depending on the square footage of your swimming pool.
In total, you will likely spend anywhere from $30,000 to $80,000 to install an above-ground concrete swimming pool.
How Long Do Concrete Pools Last?
If well-maintained, most concrete pools will last around 50 years or more.
If very well-constructed and taken care of, a concrete in-ground swimming pool can last a lifetime.
However, you will need to redo the finish and pool liner every 10-15 years, otherwise known as resurfacing.
Pool Deck Resurfacing Costs are another maintenance expense to take into consideration, though it won't become an issue until many years down the line.
How Much Does A Concrete Inground Pool Cost Per Square Foot?
The average cost of a concrete inground pool per square foot is $70 to $160. This average cost depends on several factors, including pool size, pool location, and required materials.
Are Concrete Pools Cheaper Than Fiberglass Pools?
On average, people will spend around $45,000 to $85,000 on a fiberglass pool, including fiberglass pool accessories and patio work.
Fiberglass pools are typically cheaper than concrete swimming pools when it comes to initial cost and maintenance.
Do note that fiberglass pools are made from existing molds.
An individual will find a fiberglass pool that fits their needs before having it delivered to their backyard for installation. In short, fiberglass pools are much more practical for those who plan on using their swimming pool for a lifetime. Our Fiberglass vs Concrete Pool article weighs the pros and cons of each option.
Are Concrete Pools Cheaper Than Vinyl Inground Pools?
The average vinyl inground pool cost is anywhere from $25,000 to $45,000, making it a much more affordable inground pool option than a concrete inground pool. However, maintaining vinyl liner pools may end up costing you more in the long run, as the average cost to maintain a vinyl swimming pool is around $13,000 for ten years.
You must replace the vinyl on a vinyl liner pool every ten years on average, which will cost around $3,000 to $4,000. So while the initial price might make it seem like the cheapest inground pool, the maintenance costs can sneak up on you. Plus, a vinyl pool won't increase the value of your home quite like a concrete pool.
Does A Saltwater Pool Cost More?
A salt water chlorine generator is required for a saltwater pool which slightly increases the overall price. Visit our Saltwater Pool Cost article for a complete price breakdown of saltwater pools.
How Long Does The Building Process Take?
This will depend on how much customization you want to add to your pool, its size, its location, and the material you choose for your pool surround. We've got a couple helpful articles on this subject:
How Long Does It Take To Install An Inground Pool
How Long Does It Take To Build A Pool
Finding The Right In-Ground Pool Installer
Your next step is to find the right contractor for your concrete inground pool installation.
When finding trusted swimming pool builders, make a list of the best inground pool installers in your area and contact them for quotes. Once you have quotes, compare them to find the best price. Then, if you can, schedule an on-site consultation with your chosen pool builders.
Pool owners prefer on-site consultations, as it gives them better insight into the costs of installing an inground pool.
If all of the construction involved in building a pool seems like too big of an undertaking, see our "Pool Alternatives" guide for easier options.
We hope that this article helped break down the average concrete pool cost. Good luck and happy swimming!