A Deep Dive into How Much Backyard Pools Actually Cost

The days of spending $20,000 to put a pool on your property are long over. It now may cost at least that or more just to remodel an existing, older pool. Cost can vary wildly depending on: 

  • The depth of the new pool
  • The length of the new pool
  • Pool/spa combos
  • Location on the property

As a cost-saving note: Outdoor hardscape/patios and outdoor kitchen options are usually less expensive when negotiated all at once with the contractor as a “package deal.” 

In the world of real estate, we always say it’s about “location, location, location” and the same applies to a pool. The easiest pools can be constructed in the flat areas of your property. Once you move into the hillsides, most local ordinances require structural supports and retaining walls that can double or triple the cost of any pool project. The average pool/spa combo in a flat area is now about $60,000-$80,000. The hillside pools easily move into the six figures … but it can really be worth the investment, especially if you’re considering putting your home on the market. 

A client of mine recently completed a $400,000 90-foot lap pool with an infinity edge and it likely generated about $500,000-$1,000,000 more for the house when it was completed because it was the absolute centerpiece of the property, which was sold to a well-known DJ/performer couple. 

It’s why those complimentary real estate consultations I offer can be so helpful for future sales. Some pool investments aren’t worth it but others – like the 90-foot lap pool with infinity edge – can really increase the price of your home on the market. During our consultation, we can go over the type of pool that would make the most sense for your real estate needs and goals. 

Soil testing is often required to determine the suitability and build-ability of a pool as well as construction cost associated with a new pool/spa. Make sure you have a trusted contractor who can answer your questions in advance so you have a full picture of all costs involved and your options. Most clients don’t like a pool that takes up the entire yard and many new construction homes are offering a “plunge pool,” which is more of a “sport” pool, likely no more than 5-6 feet deep, often with dual shallow ends and very kid-friendly. The days of the 1950s and 1960s massive 40- or 50-foot pools with 10-foot deep ends are over, unless you have a large estate property. The maintenance and practical nature of those types of pools make them cost-prohibitive to build and maintain. 

The most common pools being built today are often solar-heated (an additional expense) as well as equipped with a sliding cover for safety and heating efficiency. The freeform/kidney shaped pools of the 1970s and 1980s are rarely done now as they are more difficult to cover and/or fence for child safety and they just aren’t efficient to operate. 

Whichever option of pool you choose, make sure you get a detailed list of expenses and costs up front and know the variables. Like buying a car, there are so many add ons and available features – like automation –  that just add to the cost along the way.

And if you’re thinking about a pool install but not sure what to do next, book a complimentary consultation with me and let’s make a splash together!

Andrew Manning • REALTOR® • Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties • DRE: 00941825 • 818-380-2147 • andrew@andrewmanning.com