The Benefits & Costs of Building a Swimming Pool in Your Home

September 28, 2021
big house with pool costs to build a pool

The warm, sunny days of summer are just around the corner, and many of us are starting to wonder if we should build a swimming pool in our backyard. Especially with the unpredictable openings and closings of public pools, having a private one on your property sounds peachy. And if you have ample space and some cash in your savings, why not?

Another thought that may come to mind is how much a swimming pool would actually cost. And then perhaps, an internal debate about a pool being a worthwhile investment, with the potential of earning your money back. But what about maintenance? And what about safety?

So before you make any big decisions, let’s talk about your choices and how much you can expect to spend on installing that pool. 

What kinds of pools are there?

modern house with high cost swimming pool
Soho listing in Hendra, QLD

Let’s kick this off by telling you what your options are for outdoor pools. And there are quite a few; namely concrete, fibreglass and vinyl-liner. These are the most commonly installed home pools in Australia. But because they’re of different construction, they have different pricing. 

How much do they cost?

The costs of building a swimming pool mainly depends on the construction material of the pool and on different factors like:

  • Your personal aesthetic choices
  • The builder’s choice of tools and technology
  • The conditions of your back area, the ground, soil and slope
  • The shape and dimensions of your preferred pool
  • The cleaning system – this depends on your lifestyle and how active you want to be in the maintenance
  • Additional enhancements like water or lighting features
  • The quality of the chosen product

Concrete pools

This will be the most versatile option. You can choose basically any size and shape you like, which also means prices will vary greatly. They will also start at around $25,000, similar to fibreglass pools, but have an end price point that is much higher. 

This is commonly viewed as the strongest and most durable construction, but you shouldn’t overlook the others—technology has evolved greatly and warranties on other materials may extend even longer than those for concrete pools.

Fibreglass pools

To have a fibreglass pool professionally installed would start around $25,000 to $35,000 and range up to above $50,000. Now, you can opt to buy one of those DIY kits and install it yourself at around $20,000—a major discount! But of course, the professionals know what to look out for and getting it done by experts will get potential pitfalls out of the way. When it comes to pools, safety should be a priority. 

Vinyl-liner pools

These have a couple of types, the above-ground and the in-ground. The above-ground are a more popular choice because of their lower cost. The prefabricated models start at $10,000, including the installation. But with most Australian building codes requiring pool fencing, this may boost your overall costs. Above ground pools also could require some landscaping which ups the costs too. 

Then there’s the in-ground vinyl-liner pool. This is less common because of the maintenance that goes into it. 

You might want to shop around, get quotes and research what would make you happy. Know that small features will create distinct changes in price, such as new circulation systems or warranties. 

How long does it take?

garden leading to high cost pool
Soho listing in St Lucia, QLD

Concrete pools take the longest to install. You’re looking at a few weeks at least and potentially months if you’re doing major add-ons like special tiling or lighting. 

The beauty of a fibreglass pool is its installation speed! You can have one built in your home in a week and up to 10 days. 

Lastly, the installation process for vinyl-liner pools take about two weeks.

What other costs are involved?

This is something you need to consider before you make your choice because there are other costs that go into building preferred your swimming pool option. The maintenance of these pools is an on-going thing and should be a part of your budgeting process. Pools need to be safe, healthy and clean above all. 

So what will you continue paying for? Here are the main needs:

  • Filtration systems, and the costs of maintaining pool pumps and filters
  • Sanitisation systems, and the costs of keeping your pool clean with chemicals and chlorinators
  • Cleaning systems, automated cleaners, self-cleaners or manual cleaners will all affect the costs
  • Aesthetic maintenance, like your deck and general cleaning
  • Other features like water enhancers, spas, pool heaters, blankets, pool covers etc. 

Also, the maintenance costs will depend on what type of pool you get. Concrete pools can be prone to algae and bacteria which means more is spent on chemicals to avoid such issues. The surfacing of these pools would be ever fifteen years, on average, so that’s something to think about.

Fibreglass pools have the lowest initial costs, and the fewest maintenance needs during their lifetime. You need to polish it and probably add a robotic cleaning system, but this type of pool doesn’t need to be relined or resurfaced. 

Last but not least, we have our vinyl-lined pools. Again, these are a common choice because of their low price point. But they need more maintenance than fibreglass pools. The structural warranty will probably not exceed ten years which means there’s an expiration date on it. And the relining of it, which might happen once over the ten years, will cost you around $4,000. 

Can I get a loan for my swimming pool?

house with long narrow pool built in
Soho listing in Stafford, QLD

You might be able to apply for a loan for your swimming pool. There are a few different types of loans: 

An unsecured loan. These loans are not secured by something you own, like your house or car, so there’s more risk involved. You expect to pay a higher interest rate.

A secured loan. This the inverse of an unsecured loan. So for instance, if the secured loan is attached to your home and if you default on the loan, your lender has the ability to use your home as collateral. This is the most commonly used loan for swimming pools.

A construction loan is taken out for bigger projects. If you get an in-ground concrete pool, this would require excavation and therefore be a heftier process. Unlike other loans, you’ll be paid out over a period of time. 

Whichever option you prefer, we recommend speaking to a team of experts beforehand so you know to make the right choice for you. 

Can it add value to my home?

big house with big high cost pool concrete
Soho listing in Indooroopilly, QLD

That’s the great benefit! In short, yes, a pool can add value to your home. Especially with families with children, it can be a great draw if and when you sell your home in the future. Pools that fit in nicely with the garden and backyard, and which you can view from the living area usually receive more interest. 

But it depends on your buyers. You might fall in love with the idea of a private pool but it’s not for all home buyers! There’s always that risk but overall, they’re a coveted feature. Give us an infinity pool overlooking the water any day! So speak to local suppliers, have a look at your budget, and see if you can afford the costs of building a pool.

If you haven’t found your dream home to build your swimming pool on, let us help you. Browse our search page to check out some amazing listings available right now. But don’t just stop there, download our app to get the full Soho experience. Just remember to shortlist or swipe left on our listings so we can send you others that better match what you’re looking for.

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