When setting out your budget for your dream pool, it’s a good idea to break down the various components of the project so that you know exactly what kind of bill you will be facing. As well as the cost of the pool installation itself, there will be other costs associated with labour and materials.
It’s not as simple as asking how much a swimming pool will cost, as clearly there are many different sizes, shapes and specifications of pools. There are a few basic rules, for example pool prices will vary according to the size and style you go for. Total above ground pool prices installed could, in fact, really surprise you if they’re an option you hadn’t considered before! The cost will also depend on whether you’ll decide to go for a DIY pool installation or you’ll go with a professional pool builder.
The cost of groundwork to prepare your area for your pool is a factor that can vary greatly according to the challenges presented by your site and the amount of time it takes to overcome them.
If you are planning an inground pool, this could be the most expensive option. It’s hard to pinpoint an exact figure for this, as it will depend on the total amount of labour hours spent on preparing your area and equipment hire, such as diggers.
Above ground swimming pools prices can, in certain cases, represent a more affordable option, and are worth investigating if creating an inground pool would involve a lot of work on a difficult site. For example, if you have difficult access or rocky ground on site, you can take advantage of Compass Pools’ unique Maxi Rib technology to provide an appropriate level of support. Generally, though, because of the more expensive fibreglass pool shell and more demanding landscaping, a high-quality above ground pool can be cost more than a standard inground option.
It’s hard to give an estimate of an inground pool. Prices will vary greatly according to the size and shape of your pool.
One way to know for sure how much your pool will set you back is to purchase a prefabricated fibreglass pool shell.
Compass Pools provides a wide range of sturdy, hygienic and long-lasting pool shells to suit a variety of backyard sites, design aspirations and styles. Ranging from a 12.34 m long Fastlane lap pool to a compact 2.8 m plunge pool perfect for small plots, you will find a pool to suit your lifestyle and budget.
For more elaborate projects, for example for infinity pool prices, expect to pay more to reflect the extra work involved. In fact, an infinity pool is one of the most costly pools, adding up to $35,000 to a pool project, with the total setting you back up to $70,000+ for the pool shell and installation alone. This cost is due to the specialised nature of the infinity pool – you will need a special edge to your top pool and the addition of a hiding pool to accommodate the water that flows over the infinity edge.
Concrete pool cost tends to come in at more than fibreglass shells due to the more complex nature of their design and installation. You will also find that you are hit with higher maintenance costs with a concrete pool, and on average you will have to have it resurfaced once every 15 years.
Another factor to consider if you are thinking about a concrete pool is whether your soil is stable enough to accommodate it. If not, this could be a very costly mistake. It’s worth bearing in mind that a fibreglass pool has the ability to move with the soil, so it is a safe bet wherever you live.
Your pool installer will provide the expertise to safely install your pool and in most cases, he will provide tradespeople to complete the works once the pool is situated on the block.
You’ll need a plumber to connect the pipe from your filter to your discharge point, and possibly also to carry out drainage on site. To give you a starting point, the average cost of a plumber per hour is $75 per hour for a master plumber.
Next, you will need an electrician to provide circuit-to-pool equipment, with heat pumps and control systems being hard wired. Electricians charges can oscillate around $85 per hour.
Paving or decking
Once your pool is safely installed, you will need to finish off the surrounding area to make it a suitable place to relax and enjoy your new feature.
If you go for paving, you can work out a price based on a range of $35-$60 per coping paver. If you’re after a rough estimate at this stage for a 7 m swimming pool, it would be wise to budget between $6,000 and $10,000 for paving, including some extra for a seating area.
There are other options besides paving, of course. Decking is popular and stylish. The average cost for the materials for a standard size deck is between $3,400 and $6,500, but of course, this can vary wildly according to the type of material – treated pine is very affordable, or you can splash out on hardwoods such as spotted gum or merbau.
Artificial turf is another practical option, and you will find this good value for money, so for each square meter expect to pay around $80.
Remember you will also have to factor in labour costs to install any of the above materials.
Fencing and safety features
Australian regulations state that fencing is a safety requirement around pools, so this is a cost you won’t be able to avoid.
Again, the cost depends on what sort of material you choose for your fencing. The price is around $200 per metre for timber fencing, up to $600 per metre for glass fencing.
If you’re on a tight budget, you could go for aluminium fencing which is around $150 per metre.
An optional extra is a pool house to provide shelter and shade when you’re having a break from the pool.
Like many other items, the cost will depend on how elaborate a model you choose. A simple timber pergola is often a good place to start. For an average-sized pergola of 5 m by 3 m, you could pay around $2,550 for one fashioned from treated pine, while an insulated model made of hardwood would set you back in the region of $3,750.
Landscaping around your pool area can be as simple or as complex as you like. For the lower end of the budget scale, you could spend a few hundred dollars on foliage that thrives in pool areas and plant it up yourself, perhaps splashing out for some extras like gravel or ornaments.
At the other end of the spectrum, a full landscape of your pool area with copious, plants and trees, and other elements such as garden ornaments, sculpture or other such accessories could set you back tens of thousands of dollars.
It’s not just about the pool…think of the loungers or deck chairs you will need to fully enjoy your new feature, as well as other furniture, such as outdoor tables or sofas, and even maybe a fire pit or some striking sculptures. The sky is really your limit here, and a conservative estimate of the minimum you would spend on some simple loungers or chairs would be in the region of a few hundred dollars.
The cost of heating your pool is an ongoing one. Unless you live in one of Australia’s hottest climate zones, you will need to heat your pool to make it useable during the cooler months of the year.
Of course, solar heating is the most reasonable way of funding your heating costs. In this case, the cost to set up your solar heating system would be up to $4,500, with running costs of approximately $250 a year – as you can see, it’s a pretty good value for your money.
Running costs for other systems would average at around $250 to $750 for electrical heating and $500 to $1,500 for gas heating. The prices and running cost vary according to the climate and size of your pool. Please refer to our Pool heating article for more insights into different pool heating systems.
Another ongoing cost is that of the chemicals (usually chlorine) needed to keep your pool sanitised. This tends to be around $100 per year. Note that how often you need to top up your pool chemicals will depend on how often you use the pool and whether you cover it when not in use.
Your filtration system is essential to keep your pool safe and free from debris such as leaves, dirt or anything else that makes its way into your pool. You will have a choice of a regular cartridge filter, a sand filter or a glass filter. The one factor to bear in mind here is that a cartridge filter requires more maintenance than the other types.
The typical cost to install a filter system is around $1,500-$3,000, which includes the plumber and electrician fees. Then you have to factor in the cost of running your system. On average, the cost of running your filter pump will be up to $0.50-$1.00 per hour, while your chlorinator equipment will be up to $0.07-$0.15 per hour.
Typically, you will need to run your filtration system for up to six hours per day in the summer months, and up to four hours per day in winter, but you may need to alter this according to the size of your pool, how heavily it is used and weather conditions.
An economy pump that runs at different speeds could save you up to as much as 60% off your bill, or you could work your system only in off-peak periods to slash your bill even further.
For cleaning – an absolutely vital part of your pool care programme – you have a number of choices: robotic systems, cleaning your pool yourself or having it cleaned by a professional team for a monthly fee, to name three of these.
A robotic cleaner will set you back in the region of $1,000. They are pretty efficient, working independently of your pool filtration system, and can even be controlled by your smartphone.
It’s hard to put a figure on the cost of employing a professional to come and clean your pool on a regular basis so it’s probably worth you doing a bit of research in your local area or asking neighbours for recommendations if they already have a pool.
One way to avoid cleaning costs is to purchase a Compass Pools self-cleaning pool. The cost of the self-cleaning system is built into the price of the pool you purchase, so you won’t have to find extra money in your budget for this.
The system is pretty ingenious. It’s based on circulating the water, keeping it debris-free, safe and clean. Nozzles embedded in the floor of your pool keep the water circulating around the pool, ensuring that water is distributed evenly from top to bottom keeping the temperature constant and spreading chemicals to eliminate bacteria evenly throughout the pool.
One of the great advantages of this system is that your bacteria-killing chemicals will work more efficiently, therefore saving you money. In terms of power, it’s also affordable to run.
They also work automatically every day, so their operation takes up very little of your time and thought, which is not the case with robotic cleaners which you will have to unpack and set up on each occasion.
It’s really tricky to put a price on the total cost of a pool project without looking at every aspect of your lifestyle, design dreams and choices. As a very rough figure, for a fibreglass pool installed by professionals, you would need to allocate between $45,000 to $75,000 with very basic landscaping. Of course, this figure will vary according to what accessories and extras you choose, and also the level of landscaping you opt for. For an above ground infinity pool, you should expect to pay between $70,000 to $110,000.
The best way to get a feel of how much a pool project will set you back is to ask the experts and get a quote based on your individual circumstances and choices. Contacting a Compass Pools dealer is the first step in your exciting journey to pool ownership, and a lifetime of enjoyment.