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How Much Does it Cost to Install a Pool?

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Owning a swimming pool in Australia comes with a world of benefits. It will improve the value of your property and make it much more attractive. Regular swimming is great exercise and when the pool is easily accessible, you have no reason to procrastinate. However, pools can be an expensive investment and there are several different types of swimming pools to consider. Let's look at some typical pool prices, help you estimate your costs, and explore some of your pool options.

Inground Pools

Building an inground swimming pool is the most expensive option. However, an inground pool is a permanent structure and will last for a long time. Here are some of the typical price ranges you can expect to see:

Concrete - the average concrete pool in Australia today costs around $50,000 to build. You can build a smaller pool for maybe $35,000 and larger and elaborate pools may cost as much as $100,000.

Fibreglass - pool shells made from fibreglass average about $15,000 but can be as low as $6000 and luxury models may cost $25,000. However, these shells need to be installed and installation costs average about $50,000 ($25-75,000).

Above Ground Pools

An above ground pool is the cheaper option. If you wish to install your own above ground swimming pool you can buy a pool kit for around $3000 and some of the better kits can easily be twice that amount. The pool shells are made from resin material and require vinyl pool liners.

Perhaps your land is not level and you need to excavate to install the pool. This could cost you another $2000 or so. Many people choose to install decks to make their above ground pools more accessible. This can cost $1500 or more and if you are installing a very large pool, you may need to pay a concretor to come out and pour a concrete slab. The average concrete contractor charges about $40 per square metre for these services.

If you decide to buy a pool kit and do the install yourself, check prices and also kit contents. Some kits may not include everything you need (like the pool pump).

Additional Cost Considerations

Buying and installing a swimming pool is not your only cost and consideration. For one thing, you will probably need local council approval before installing the pool. Depending on your local ordinances, your new pool may need to have decking or paving. In addition, all pools must be properly fenced for safety.

Why Does My Pool Need a Fence?

In Australia your pool must be protected by a fence. This helps to keep out unauthorized people who could become injured or killed in your pool. A swimming pool is what insurance companies call an "attractive nuisance". When you fence a pool you are protecting your legal interests as well as others.

Installing Your Fencing

You can choose any fencing material as long as it meets national standards. However, if you are installing your own above ground pool and fence, you'll need to know the pool fencing requirements:

  • 1.2 metres is the minimum fence height you can install.
  • Solid fencing is preferred but if you use mesh or other types, all openings cannot be larger than 13 millimetres.
  • Gaps between vertical type fencing cannot exceed 100 millimetres.
  • When you install a mesh type or chain link fence, the height must be at least 1.8 metres.
  • If you wall your fence in, the wall must be a minimum of one and one half metres high. Windows, gates, and doors must be the self-latching type.
  • Gate latches must be child-proof. This means they should be at least 1.5 metres off the ground on the outside and 1.2 metres inside.
  • You cannot install a gate that opens inward and it must self close and latch.
  • Before installing your fence, make sure the materials and all specifications meet with your local codes.

Fencing Costs

Self installations - for the cheapest costs, consider prefabricated fencing. It may cost as little as $80 per 2.4 metre section. Of course, this does not include posts, gate and other hardware. A typical gate with the right latches costs about $165. If you install aluminium fence posts you can buy some for as low as $25 per post.

Professional installation - your install costs will vary according to size and height. However, you may expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $80 per linear meter.

Swimming Pool Heaters

Do you want a heated pool so you can swim in the coolest of weather? This can add to the price significantly. Here are the 3 main kinds of heat systems:

  • Gas - natural or propane gas heaters average between $3000 and $4000 installed.
  • Electric - pool heat pumps work like reverse cycle AC units. They are highly efficient and cost usually between 4-6000 dollars to install.
  • Solar - very popular in Australia. These systems work on free energy from the sun. Once installed, you have no heating bills to pay each month. However, it can cost as much as a dollar a day to run your pool pump. A solar system may cost as little as one thousand or as much as five thousand dollars and installations run anywhere from $600 to $2400 or more.

Breaking Down the Costs

As you can see, there are a lot of variables to consider. This is the reason most pool contractors cannot give you an exact quote until they check out the land and determine everything you need and want for the job. However, for demonstration purposes, let's take fictional character Fred, and see what his pool costs will be.

Suppose Fred wants a standard sized inground pool, fenced and a solar heat system. Here are the possible cost breakdowns:

  • Install inground pool (8 X 4 metres)- $50,000
  • Fencing - 50 linear metres X $75 per linear metre = $3750
  • Solar heating system - $3500 + $1900 installation cost = $5400
  • Total cost - $50,000 + $3750 + $5400 = $59150

This does not include costs for paving or other concrete work, landscaping changes or improvements, decking, or other materials.

It's best to talk to an experienced pool contractor and get an idea of your costs. Your pool professional is there to help you choose the right size, materials, and features for your property.

Cost figures in this article represent estimates only and your actual cost could be much less or much more.

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