How to budget for a swimming pool installation?
Getting a budget cost from companies without architect drawings will be like drawing blood from a stone. Without exact specifications and designs companies are very wary about offering budget quotations.
Swimming pools are like anything else. Their price depends on a massive range of factors including size, location, pool construction type, design features and many more.
So, if you can’t get estimates without drawings. And you don’t want to spend money on architects and drawings if the cost of a swimming pool will not be feasible for you.
How are you supposed to find out how much a pool costs?
In this post we look at how much a swimming pool is likely to cost you to install in Scotland (or the rest of the UK). Plus, what can push those prices up and down.
This should help you figure out if the installation costs feasible for you. And more importantly are the costs worth it for you?
- Do I need an architect to install a swimming pool?
- Do I need a planning permission to install a swimming pool?
- What do you need to think about before you build a swimming pool
How much does it cost to install a swimming pool?
Swimming pools are expensive to install. And they are expensive to run. There isn’t much point pretending otherwise.
Sure, you can get some types of pools that are cheaper than others. And some pool builders are cheaper than others. But whatever way you look at it, it’s not going to be a cheap to build a swimming pool in Scotland or the rest of the UK.
As well as the installation costs you’ll need to be able to afford the ongoing costs of maintenance (cleaning, servicing, chemicals), running costs and any repairs that will need done. Plus, alongside the cost of swimming pool installation, you’ll need to budget in the cost of the building and decor surrounding the pool.
A quick google will lead you to believe that you can install a swimming pool for around £40,000.
But realistically if you are looking for an in-ground pool, it will cost you on average between £60,000 – £150,000. This of course, can vary massively with size, construction type, filtration type and design features. Even things like style of tiles can massively vary the cost of the project.
With almost every pool installation company this is for the pool construction and related components alone (ie. shell, pool plant, cover, pool heating unit). It usually does not include civil works such as excavation. And if it’s an indoor pool it does not include the building works, any surrounds, lighting, electrical work etc. All these costs need to be calculated and factored into the overall project.
What can impact the cost of a swimming pool?
The cost of swimming pools can vary massively.
Of course the design elements can alter the price. Things such as:
3. Cover options
4. Lighting features
5. Water features
Most of these are self explanatory. The larger or more complex the project. And the more upgraded features. Understandably, the more expensive the swimming pool installation will be.
But in addition to the superficial designs elements. There are a number of major construction elements which can influence the cost of the pool.
1. In-ground vs Above ground swimming pool
2. Indoor vs outdoor
We’ll go through how these can affect the price to help you get a feel for the overall cost of your swimming pool installation.
1. In-ground vs above ground swimming pool costs
Above ground pools are a whole different ball game from in-ground swimming pools.
Above ground pools are what they sound like. They sit above the ground ie. not built in. And are usually outdoor. You will have to climb up and into them.
In comparison, in-ground pool are level with the ground. You usually go down into them. In-ground pools can be build multiple ways. However, this is the kind of pool you will see within homes, gyms and hotels etc.
Above ground pools can be anywhere between approx. £50 – £12,000. Although depending on where you buy from this might not include filtration and pump systems which you will need to buy separately.
For somewhere between £50 – £1000 you will likely get a PVC or liner pool with no external structure. These generally won’t have filters or pumps. And are essentially glorified paddling pools. And you would usually get them off amazon or somewhere similar rather than a swimming pool installation company.
You can get more substantial above ground pools that will cost anywhere between £1000 and £12,000. These will have solid exteriors such as wood or metal. Again, this price might not include the entire filtration, heating and pump system. And will be unlikely to include installation, which will be necessary. To include installation you will be looking at around £15,000-£17,000 for a good above ground pool.
We don’t install above ground swimming pools.
Partly, because there isn’t a massive demand in Scotland.
But also, because we sell swim spas. Swim spas are very similar to above ground pools. But they are fully contained, so there is no need to buy extra filtration equipment, heaters or pumps. And they are fully portable. Plus they have a built in hydrotherapy section.
From now on when we talk about what alters the price of a swimming pool, we will only be talking about in-ground swimming pools.
2. Indoor vs outdoor swimming pool cost
Do people really have outdoor pools in Scotland?
Yes, believe it or not there are some. Although not quite as popular as they are in other parts of the world.
But is one more expensive than the other?
Building an indoor pool in Scotland can add up to £25,000 to a swimming pool project. And that’s us only talking about the actual swimming pool construction. Indoor pools are generally part of a new build or extension project. The extra £25,000 does not take into account the building project or any of the finishes in the pool hall such as tiling, lighting and electrics. The pool project cost only takes into account the pool shell, up to the edge of the pool, the pool plant and ventilation.
So, why, are indoor pools so much more expensive?
Outdoor pools need a heater. Especially in Scotland. But you don’t need (and it would be pretty futile to try) to control the air temperature or humidity around you. The temperature outside is the temperature outside. Outdoor pools are usually done with a heat pump. These are approx. £1500 – £8000. Depending on the size of the pool, the temperature you want to heat it too. And how many months of the year you plan on running it (the more months use the more expensive the heat pump).
However, indoor pools on the other hand need a little more control. Not only do you need to heat the swimming pool water but you need to control the humidity in the room and in some cases the air temperature.
For some smaller pool projects, a specialist dehumidifier will be enough. But for most new-build indoor swimming pool projects an Air Handling Unit (AHU) is required. This efficiently heats the water and controls the humidity and air temperature.
But they aren’t cheap. Air handling units can run anywhere between £8,000 and £30,000. And this doesn’t include the materials and labour for ventilation and duct work that are required for the installation. What unit you need will vary mainly based on the size of the pool. As well as how much control you want over air and pool temperature.
This means that on average an indoor pool project is approx. £25,000 more expensive than the average outdoor pool project.
Is building an outdoor swimming pool cost effective?
Yes, outdoor pools are cheaper.
However you need to consider how much use you will get out of an outdoor pool in Scotland. It’s common to close down a pool for Winter. Which means it’s out of use between October and April.
The longer you want the pool open through the year, the bigger (and more expensive) a heat pump you need. And most importantly the more expensive it will be to run.
So while you may save around £25,000 on swimming pool costs alone. You really need to consider how often you are going to use an outdoor pool.
3. Overflow vs skimmer swimming pool costs
To get accurate drawings and costs, you will need to know whether you are going to have an overflow (deck level) or skimmer pool (freeboard).
Overflow pools will require a balance tank, which will need to be capable of holding 15% of the volume of the pool water. The building of this tank plus the overflow channel and channel covers will make the construction of the overflow swimming pool more expensive.
Overflow pools tend to be anywhere between 15-20% more expensive than skimmer pools. On an average pool, this would usually amount to approx. £15,000-£25,000 extra for an overflow swimming pool.
4. Sprayed concrete vs liner vs one-piece swimming pool costs
The materials used in the swimming pool construction can massively alter the price.
There are three main types of pool construction:
The costs below are guidelines for 10m x 4m domestic pool.
SPRAYED CONCRETE POOL
Outdoor – £75,000 + VAT
Indoor – £125,000 + VAT
Outdoor – £70,000 + VAT
Indoor – £105,00 + VAT
Outdoor – £60,000 + VAT
Indoor – £80,000 + VAT
What does the cost of a swimming pool installation exclude?
Make sure you get a list of exclusions to be sure on what is and isn’t included within the swimming pool installation.
Most pool installers do not include design and drawings or building and civil works. So this will need to be accounted for when planning the cost.
Until you have solid plans, you can’t really get an exact cost for installing a swimming pool.
But, when you’re trying to figure out if you can afford, a swimming pool. And if the cost to install one is worth it to you. Then “it depends” isn’t really a helpful answer.
Hopefully this post has helped you understand the approximate costs of swimming pools in Scotland and the rest of the UK. And more importantly, what might push the price up or down.