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COST TO BUILD A POOL
SO WHAT’S THE CURRENT COST
TO BUILD AN AVERAGE POOL ?
Pool Pricing and the Typical Sales Process Details
Here you will find information on “Base Pool Pricing” – The Typical Pool Sales Process – “Free Pool Design and Quote” – Real World Pool Pricing
*** BIG NOTE: The following information is very lengthy but it is here because it will answer a lot of the questions that I get a lot and that many of you are going to have. It also gives you a heads up on the processes that you are getting ready to endure or have already begun in your quest to get the best pool for your money.
Industry Wide “Base Pool Price” Explanation
If you get a number of quotes from several pool builders you will notice that most pools are quoted at a size of about 80 perimeter and anything more is an “add-on” cost. They call it “Base Pool Price” and no two companies calculate that pricing the same way. And so the Base Pool Price is normally somewhere around $17 – $23,000 but will go up several thousand dollars as all of the normally required “extras” are added in. These would normally not have to be called “extras” except for the fact that you are starting out with an somewhat deflated base pool cost.
So Base Pool Pricing is never usually realistic pricing for most situations which is why we don’t price pools this way. A “Base Pool” is priced as if the backhoe and dump truck can drive right up to the pool dig site without any access issues. This is called a “normal dig”. As soon as you determine that cannot happen, which is usually the case, you have to add in money for a Bobcat tractor to take the dirt to the dump truck out at the street. You may need to add money to remove and replace a section of property line wall as well as removing and replacing the gate and adding the self closing latch and spring that you are required to have by code in order to pass the pre-plaster inspection.
Base Pool Pricing will also usually only include about 50 ft of electrical run. It will only include usually 15 ft of pool light wire and conduit. That footage will normally need to be increased for actual distances and the required cost added on. Base Pool Pricing will include only 15 ft of plumbing from equipment to pool. This footage depending on where you want to hide your pool equipment almost always needs to be increased along with the associated cost as well.
So Base Pool pricing usually goes out the window right away. This is why we just price a pool up for what it actually is and what is on the plan after we have met and thoroughly discussed all that you want to do. No base pool. No standard pool. Just your pool.
You also will not be able to get an “apples to apples” comparison with all the companies having different things in the base price along with different construction specifications, materials, pool equipment etc. You will simply have to get a feel for the bottom line and go with your gut feeling on one of the builders (or salespeople) that you are dealing with.
The phrase “You Get What You Pay For” is a very true statement in pool construction so if you get one pool that comes in a lot lower than the others it’s not just the same pool for less money, it is a pool that is somehow being built cheaper. Most somewhat comparable pools will maybe come in within several hundred dollars of each other but no two pools are ever going to be exactly the same in construction or cost.
What you can Expect from the Typical Pool Company Salesperson
NOTE: We don’t send a sales person out. I come out, I meet with you, we put a plan together after lots of discussion, then I go to the office to do the CAD plan and calculate an accurate cost to bring back and go over with you and we can make any adjustments from there and then if you are ready to go we can get you moved into construction.
TYPICAL PROCESS: A sales person will visit you, they will have to see on average 3-6 potential customers for every pool that they sell, so they will usually have to limit their time with you. If you do not buy a pool from them they are wasting precious hours of their life that they never get back. If they do a pool plan it is usually only completed to the extent that the salesperson has enough of a design put together to hopefully get you into a contract. And that is the builders fault as the “commission only” salesperson is not paid a nickel for his or her work unless you buy a pool. Due to the rush to “get you done” there can also be some disconnects on what you and the salesperson discuss and what finally ends up on paper and in the contract and even what ends up being built. It can be even worse when you buy a pool based on a 3D cartoon.
So that is why the salesperson will pound out a “free” pool design at your kitchen table in roughly 40 minutes, blow through whatever he or she believes is the most relevant collection of information that may satisfy you (your hot buttons) and many times hope to get you into a contract during that first appointment (1st Appointment Close). And you will see below that you really are paying for those “free” plans in the end when you see your contract.
Architects do not work that way nor do home builders.
With architects and home builders plans are treated like construction plans, not quick sketches or 3D cartoons without all of the details such as utility placement, critical dimensions, property line setbacks, plumbing and electrical runs and so on. A real pool plan takes some time, especially depending on the complexity of the project, and a real construction plan will cost something. All plans cost somebody something.
No Such Thing as a “Free Pool Design and Quote”
You will always be paying for a plan even though you may not catch it by the time you are entrenched in the contract signing event. When you sign your pool contract with a company the first area of line items on just about every pool contract is:
Pool Plans, Permits, Structural Engineering and the phrase “Gas Lines may require a separate permit at additional cost”.
That line item for “Plans” is in there and being charged for because the plans will have to be cycled through the CAD and Construction Dept in order to be completed to the extent that the pool can be accurately built. That usually takes a couple days, even a couple weeks or more with big pool companies and that of course will cost money. The line item may even say “NC (no charge)” but you will see it nested in the “Base Pool” section of the contract and as mentioned above, a Base Pool Price is normally somewhere around $17 – $23,000. Everything else is added on afterwards as additional line item extras until you get to the final cost of the pool and extras.
So the only free plans you may sometimes but rarely get are the ones done by those other unfortunate sales people that left the 3D cartoon behind but did not get your business. But most of the time even those plans will not be left with you unless you have signed a contract with them first. And it will not any type of plan that you can build to. At best you can show it to another sales person to work with if you happen to like the design, another reason it is usually never left behind.
Pool Construction and Pool Equipment Options
If you are going to be able to make sensible choices and selections for your pool project you are going to need to spend time pouring over all of the available options. Again 40 minutes at your kitchen table is going to be a very brief and limited overview of your available choices.
This website was created and is always being updated with much of the pool equipment, cleaning systems, pool water sanitizers, automatic pool covers, heaters etc. and material selections that you will be faced with. We don’t have everything here but we’re doing all that we can based on our past experiences helping customers figure out what they will want to choose in order to make all of these somewhat critical decisions.
It is never good when after a pool is partially done or completed the customer discovers a nicer color or different material selection that could have been made. And that can happen in the best of circumstances so it is wise for you to spend the time and do a lot of your own research as well.
And . . . beware of all the “helpful advice” given to you by neighbors, relatives, co workers and even pool sales people on how you should build your pool. Many times their knowledge is outdated, purely erroneous or even to justify their own pool purchase. Yes even many of the sales people are only throwing out what they have been taught by other sales people or their builder and it is very often not the best advise or worse case absolutely wrong.
Again, do a lot of your own research. You might even straighten us out on something. Everything evolves.
So Are You Ready for Some Real World Pool Pricing
We had some unusual price increases in 2018 and the 2019 increases are out now.
So when all of the “normally” required pool equipment, plumbing and electrical runs and some of the options that most people are not willing to go without, the pools we build will start at about $29,000 if very few extras are required. Of course the cost can climb quickly with certain items. A spa will add $8 – 10k or more, for example if it is raised out of the ground above the pool elevation, the material chosen for the outside walls, coping type etc. Waterfalls, slides, diving boards, raised walls and steps along the back of the pool and other things can raise the cost by up to a few thousand dollars each after the added construction, components, plumbing or electrical runs if required, are added to the pool.
A more average cost for a pool bigger than 80 perimeter, a deep pool, maybe some more decking, a rock waterfall or maybe a heat pump or other feature, can run more along the $32 – $42k range but of course the sky’s the limit. We can safely build you a very nice pool though in the $29 – $35k range with $29k being about 80 perimeter but still a perfectly nice pool. You can get a cheaper pool somewhere but we don’t roll all the way back to white plaster, incandescent lights, off brand pool equipment, glass beads from China instead of real rock pebble interior finishes etc. We are never going to offer you a pool with two shallow ends (play pool – cheapest pool to build) unless that is something you already wanted. And it is then that I will ask you if you are going to play volleyball – and are you going to play the rest of your life? Because you will have a pool with two shallow ends for the rest of your life unless of course you move. Most people after we have a discussion definitely want some type of deep end 5, 6, maybe 7 feet. A diving pool will be deeper.
So some may feel that even $29k is expensive but to put it in perspective you can easily pay twice that amount of money for a new SUV that you may only have for 5 yrs or less and a pool will for the most part last a lifetime with a few repairs along the way.
Most people understand that you have to pay for the things you want. When you do see a “NC (no charge) on a cost breakdown for thousands of dollars just pretend you’re at the car dealership because there just is not that kind of profit in pools to be giving away thousands of dollars at NC. If for example you do see a quote with glass beads (from China) being used instead of pebble for your pool interior finish and it shows a value of $3000 just know that a pallet of glass beads is not a $3000 value. And that is the reason no builder doing your pool with real natural pebble is going to try to match that. There’s more but you’re probably glazed over by now . . .
A Note About Your Pool Project Budget
Many people come to the table to discuss a pool project and state that they do not already have a budget. Sometimes they really do not. Many times they are afraid to disclose the amount. They are afraid the pool salesman will try to spend all of the money on the table. Rest assured it is usually the complete opposite. What a good sales person is doing is trying not to design more pool than you can afford or are willing to pay for. That is for their sake and yours. If your budget is known then a pool can be designed to fit or not exceed that budget amount. It’s never fun to have to begin yanking features from a design or shrinking pool or decking square footage in order to make a pool fit a previously “unknown budget” Because once the project price is on the table people all of a sudden know what they do not want to spend.
So one way or another please be prepared to discuss budget numbers. When you go out to buy a house and are prepared to spend $250,000 for example you are not going to spend your time looking at $600,000 + estate lot homes. It’s the same with pools.
Also when you begin to shop for your pool builder beware of asking what the average pool will cost. You will get sometimes unrealistic numbers as they are afraid of scaring you away. Also the number has big variables. To give you too high a number runs you off and if you are given a low number (base pool) that is not realistic to your specific project you can be confused or disappointed when an accurate cost has been calculated based on spending the time required to determine what the actual project costs are going to be.
We can hold a pool to any realistic number once we know exactly what you want to build and are willing to spend. You may not always end up with all of the items or features that you were originally hoping for if you did not begin with a realistic idea of those costs. Once we have all of the project variables listed an accurate cost will be calculated and that number will not change for any reason other than for any changes that you might want to make before or during construction.
ONE PROCESS THAT WORKS: Many times we will actually begin by determining after some conversation everything that you are hoping to do and we add up the cost to do it all before ever putting the plan on paper because the design is the easy part once we settle on all that you want to do but may very well have to be redone if the cost for everything comes in too high. Sometimes this means running your finance application through to see what you are going to qualify for as part of the process. The same as a pre-approved loan when shopping for a house.
This process, pricing before designing, can still be very helpful even if you are going to pay cash because I have put lots of work into plans as high as $100k+ but with unrealistic expectations of getting that cost down under $90k with just way too many bells and whistles and massive square feet trying to go into the project. If you want a lot of crazy things in your pool you just have to have your check book ready =O
Many of you will have Cash or Financing ready to go but if you would like to take advantage of the
Great Financing we have available click below:
Alluring Pools and Improvements
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B-4 GENERAL RESIDENTIAL ENGINEERING CONTRACTOR
This classification allows the licensee to construct and repair of appurtenances to residential structures. Work related to electrical, plumbing, air conditioning systems, boilers, and water wells must be subcontracted to an appropriately licensed contractor.
This scope includes the CR-21, B-5, and all B-4R sub-classifications.