Swimming Pool Construction Costs: An Honest Guide

Swimming Pool Construction CostsInstalling a custom-built in-ground pool in your Bergen County backyard is an upgrade that will give you years of enjoyment while increasing your property value. Over the last few years, pool prices have fallen as much as 20 percent, but a pool is still a big investment.

Take a look at some factors that will determine your swimming pool construction costs.

Pool Size

Determining the size of your pool depends on how much available space you have in the desired location, budget restrictions and design preferences. Select your desired location on the property, then you can take measurements to see if you have adequate space for your needs.

  • Olympic pools – Olympic sized pools are used primarily for exercise and training. If you’re a serious swimmer and you have the space (164 feet x 82 feet), you may enjoy this pool.
  • Recreational pools – Found on most residential properties, these pools are typically shallow at one end and deep enough for safe diving (9 to 11 feet deep) at the other end.
  • Lap pools – Lap pools are usually narrower than recreational pools, but they can be longer and require a sizable yard space for length.
  • Exercise pools – Also called swim spas, these pools are usually small (10 to 14 feet long) and contain jets that produce a resistance current for swimming.

Pool Shape

Swimming Pool Construction Costs

There are many pool shapes to choose from and each one can affect your costs. The most popular shaped pool with homeowners is the classic rectangular shape. It works well to compliment any style of architecture.

There are pools that have a rectangular shape with slight modifications like the Grecian, Roman, Venetian, Florida, Bahama and Bermuda. These shapes have modified corners. Other geometric shapes like square, round, oval, octagonal and triangular shapes are also available. Free-form pools work well in a natural landscape environment.

When you’re deciding on pool size and shape, here are some important considerations:

  • If you just want a recreational pool for swimming enjoyment, any shape will work.
  • If you’re a serious swimmer and you want a good work-out, the pool should have long straight sections for swimming and parallel ends.
  • If you have limited yard space, consider a smaller geometric shape or an exercise pool.
  • The size of the pool will also determine the size of the pool pump and the filter.
  • Consider the pool size and weekly maintenance costs.


Your property’s terrain may affect the location you choose. If possible, choose a nice flat area that’s in close proximity to the house. It will be easier and less costly to excavate flat terrain.

Swimming pool construction costs will be higher if the pool is installed on a slope or heavy brush, rocks or trees have to be cleared to build the pool. Building on a hillside or slope will also require extra structural support for the pool and will increase costs.

For convenience, locate the pool close to the house. If you choose a location that’s too far from the house, you may want to build a cabana or pool house to accommodate swimmers with towels, seating and shelter from sudden weather changes in Bergen County. If you have hilly terrain, you may need to build terraced levels for your pool.

Pool Features

Swimming Pool Construction Costs

Adding water features to your pool will certainly create a great atmosphere, but they will increase your swimming pool construction costs. Here are some popular water features you may want to consider.

  • Waterfalls.
  • Fountains.
  • Seating or tanning ledges.
  • Swim-up bars.
  • Jacuzzis and hot tubs.
  • Water jets.
  • Diving boards.
  • Slides.
  • Underwater lighting.
  • Automatic cleaners.

Pool Decking

The materials you select for your pool decking will definitely affect your swimming pool construction costs. You can choose poured concrete, tile, brick or a variety of natural stones like travertine, limestone, slate and flagstone.

You can also use woods like redwood, teak and cedar, but wood decking will require more maintenance. Even with a sealer, wood can become slippery and is prone to damage like cracking or splitting which can put splinters in your feet. The pool decking is an important part of the pool. It should compliment your home’s architecture and materials and provide non-slip surfaces for swimmers and people around the pool.

Don’t cut corners with the pool decking costs. You will probably spend more time sunbathing and entertaining on the pool deck than you do in the pool.

Pool Construction

Swimming Pool Construction Costs

Most pools today are built using concrete, fiberglass or vinyl, although poured concrete and concrete block pools are not as popular as they used to be. Vinyl is usually the least expensive option. Once the hole is properly excavated, a frame is made using metal, plastic or wood, often anchored in a concrete footing for stability. Wall panels are fastened to the framing, plumbing is installed, a sand base is added and a vinyl liner is attached to the top of the frame.

Concrete pools are very strong and last a long time, but the building process takes a while. Concrete has to reach a stable depth and thickness, and it needs time to dry. Although they’re very stable, concrete pools can develop cracks over time as the ground settles around the pool.

Fiberglass pools come pre-molded in a variety of sizes and shapes. They can be manufactured with steps, swim-out areas and benches or ledges. After the hole is prepared and the plumbing is installed, a fiberglass pool can simply be lowered into the hole. Building a frame is not necessary.

Swimming pool construction costs can vary with the type of pool construction used. Talk with your Bergen County swimming pool contractor about the type of construction that’s best for your home.

Pool Maintenance

The costs to build a new pool does not end once you complete pool construction. Most homeowners hire a pool service to maintain their pool. This service will add yearly costs to your swimming pool construction costs. Pool maintenance includes:

  • Cleaning the pool on a regular basis.
  • Cleaning and replacing the pool filter.
  • Adjusting pH levels in the pool.
  • Adding chlorine or algaecide.
  • Checking electrical components.
  • Surface repairs to the pool and/or decking.
  • Replacing pool liners.
  • Pool covers.
  • Pool fencing.

There are some green alternatives available for your pool that can reduce maintenance costs. There are natural water purifiers on the market that can replace chlorine which is an environmental pollutant. These include oxidation, ionization, sonic waves, saltwater and certain plants. Saltwater pools and natural pools that use plants for filtration are gaining in popularity across the country.

Talk to your swimming pool contractor in your Bergen County area about swimming pool construction costs for these type pools. If you want a heated pool, consider a solar thermal heating system to save money. Of all the solar technologies on the market, solar thermal heating will recoup its cost in the shortest amount of time.

Pool Safety

Swimming Pool Construction Costs

Your pool should include safety features like non-slip decking materials around the pool and adequate lighting around the pool area. If you have children, consider adding a perimeter fence with a self-closing, self-latching gate that will lock. You should install pool alarms on the gate, and add anti-entrapment drain covers to the pool. Use a reliable pool cover when the pool is not in use. Make sure you or a family member knows CPR and emergency response phone numbers. These things may increase your swimming pool construction costs, but a safe pool environment is a necessity.