Pool 101How much do above ground pools cost

One of the first questions most people want answered when purchasing an above ground pool is ‘how much will the above ground pool cost me?’ To answer this question, we will need to combine the initial purchase price as well as the ongoing cost of running your pool of choice.

Some pools cost less to purchase upfront, but once you factor in repairs, replacements and ongoing running expenses, they often end up costing more than you think. Below we will look at the price points for different above ground pools, from inflatable options all the way to fiberglass and concrete. We will also discuss other important financial factors to consider in the long run for your pool.

The cost of above ground pool options

The cost of Above Ground Portable and Inflatable Pools

Portable and inflatable pools come in a variety of different options, sizes and price points. They range from as little as $50 to $2000+ and are readily available at many retail outlets, such as Bunnings or K-Mart. The pros of a portable or inflatable pool are that they are affordable, have an instant set up, and are a great way to test how often your family will actually use a swimming pool without spending a large amount of money. Many people who invest in these types of pools often go on to invest in a more permanent option in the future.

There are of course plenty of downsides to these kinds of pools too; for starters they are not a permanent option. They are hard and sometimes expensive to look after and will not contribute any added value to your home in the future. If you are looking for a permanent option then it is unlikely that a store-bought, low-cost pool will be the right solution for you. Just remember that despite these pools being temporary, they do require the same amount of fencing as any other pool within Australia. So, make sure to factor in the cost of swimming pool fencing into your above ground pool cost budget.

The cost of Above Ground Vinyl Liner Pools

Above ground vinyl liner pools are a more permanent (but still affordable) option. The initial purchase cost for vinyl pools can start anywhere from $10,000 +. The pros of these pools are that they are usually installed by professionals, look slightly more traditional in style, and can have a longer life span then a store-bought portable pool. Keep in mind that above ground vinyl liner pools need their liners changed around every 6-10 years (some last longer) depending on the amount of natural wear and tear they endure.

They are also more easily damaged than fiberglass or concrete options. A replacement liner costs anywhere between $3000 to $4000+ plus installation.

The cost of Above Ground Modular Pools

Modular pools are permanent self-supporting above ground pools that are pre-made and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Modular pools can cost anywhere from $20,000 to $40,000+ and are often designed to be ‘plug and play’, meaning that installation is usually pretty quick. These types of pools, such as the ones from The Little Pool Co can be landscaped and designed into your backyard space any way you choose.

This cost depends on your style choices, the materials and the professionals used to help create your backyard dreams. Unlike above ground vinyl-liner pools, modular options last a much longer time and there generally is less upkeep required to keep them looking good over their lifetime.

How much do Little Pools above ground fibreglass pools cost

Little Pool Co are a great above ground modular pool option

Shipping container pools and pre-moulded concrete plunge pools are also a good example of pre-made modular options. When choosing a modular pool pay careful attention to the materials from which your pool is constructed; will they stand the test of time or are they likely to degrade over the years. Light weight options usually make the installation process cheaper and faster (easily manoeuvred with smaller cranes).

The cost of Above Ground Fibreglass Pools

The cost of installing an above ground fibreglass pool depends on the method you choose to use for your pool’s installation: the traditional way, or with a purpose-built above ground fibreglass pool.

The Traditional Way

Most fibreglass pools need to be installed fully within the ground in order to prevent the water pressure from bowing the sides of the pool shell. Essentially, the ground is used as a barrier to prevent the sides from expanding when the pool is filled with water. Therefore, to install a fibreglass pool above ground, extensive earthworks and retaining walls need to be built to ensure that the pool sits fully in the ground (in other words raise the ground not the pool).

In some cases, these earthworks can cost up to $30,000+ depending on the amount of work needed to transform your backyard into a suitable inground installation site. This price does not include the cost of the pool itself, which can range from $25,000 to over $70,000, depending on the size, shape, features and landscaping options that you choose. The end result will be a beautiful, top quality looking pool, but it requires a larger financial outlay than an ordinary inground pool.

Purpose-Built Above Ground Fibreglass Pool (MaxiRibTM Technology)

Compass MaxiRib ™ above ground fibreglass pools are designed and manufactured with special support Ribs attached to the outside of the pool shell. These Ribs provide the support needed for the walls to not bow under pressure when the pool is full. These purpose-built above ground fibreglass pools save on the cost of earthworks and retaining walls, as they can support themselves without needing to be fully in ground.  The MaxiRibTM system prevents the need for extensive earthworks and often allows you to come up with a design that looks much better then raising the overall ground level around your pool.

Purpose built above ground fibreglass pools (like Compass MaxiRibTM Pools) can range in price depending on your installation site, but often cost anywhere between $12,000 and $25,000 on top of the cost of a standard inground pool shell. This may seem like quite a high upfront cost, but in many cases using this system will allow you to build an above ground pool for less than the cost of an above ground concrete pool or less than the cost of doing substantial earthworks and retaining.

Compass Pools has over 25 years of experience, proven results and knowledge when it comes to installing above ground fibreglass pools. Our MaxiRibTM technology allows for Compass Pools to be installed out of ground any way you choose- whether that’s half in, ¾ out, or fully above the ground. This type of technology gives you much more flexibility for installation when compared to the traditional installation methods.

Compass Pools Maxi Rib installed by Central Pools

Compass MaxiRib Pool installed by Central Pools

Concrete Above Ground Pools

Concrete above ground pools cost often above $50,000 but can stretch well above $100,000 depending on the shape and size of the pool. Concrete pools often cost more because they usually require a lot of prep work, designing, engineering, and expensive materials, such as concrete and extra steel to provide structural support. Above ground concrete pools usually take 9-12 weeks to install (minimum) rather than days. One draw card of concrete is that you can create any shape, size or depth of your choosing, just keep in mind that these freedoms usually come with a higher price tag than fibreglass options.

What other costs should you be aware of when purchasing an above ground pool?

1. The cost of Pool fencing

Pool fencing within Australian is a legal requirement, and all pool fencing must adhere to your local government standards. Pool fencing can range in price depending on the product used, but often the price starts at $100 per m for standard powdered coated aluminium options.

2. Landscaping

The way you design your backyard oasis around your pool is entirely up to you. When it comes to landscaping, the sky is the limit and you can decide how much you want to spend on your designs.

3. Water Filtration and Circulation

When choosing a pool, it is important to consider the cost of water filtration and chemicals. A pool that is self- cleaning, such as Compass Pool’s Vantage technology can help to reduce the amount of money and time you spend cleaning your pool.

Thinking of an above ground fibreglass pool?

Authorised Compass dealers are your local experts in installing top quality Compass fibreglass pools, whether partially or completely out of the ground. They can help you design your project and provide you with a cost estimate. Find your local Compass pool dealer now to get your free quote on an above ground Compass pool.