Swimming pools tend to be viewed as luxurious items and in a lot of ways they are: you need enough space on your property, enough money for installation and ongoing maintenance, and enough free time to enjoy the results. But exactly how expensive is this luxury?
In New Zealand the price of permanent swimming pools can vary greatly, ranging from as low as $5000 for a small, cheap above-ground pool, to $200,000 or more for a top of the line concrete in-ground infinity pool. And that’s before you consider associated costs like ongoing maintenance.
A more cost-effective option might be a swim spa – a spa pool capable of delivering a swim-in-place experience ideal for anyone looking to capitalise on aquatic fitness.
In this guide we’ll walk through key factors that contribute to the cost of a swimming pool, so you can make a more informed decision for your investment.
6 factors that affect swimming pool cost
1. Pool size
The bigger the pool, the bigger the bill. Large pools require more materials, take longer to build and use more chemicals than small pools.
2. Pool type
Above-ground pools tend to be more affordable than in-ground pools as they don’t require excavation. Self-contained and truly portable options, like Endless Pools swim spas, don’t even need to be constructed – you can just position it, fill it and swim!
What will your swimming pool be made from? Vinyl-lined pools can be quite affordable upfront, but the liner may need to be changed periodically. Fibreglass pools are a little more durable and expensive. Concrete pools tend to be the most expensive option but are also the most customisable – you can create any shape and size you wish.
4. Features and accessories
Features and accessories like heaters, slides, lighting systems and waterfalls let you customise your pool to your needs, but they can also increase the total price dramatically – unless you choose an Endless Pools swim spa, which feature heaters, hydromassage seating, water features and underwater LEDs as standard.
5. Location and accessibility
The more difficult the installation, the more expensive the installation. If accessibility is limited or the property is on a slope, the cost of delivering, installing or building a pool can be high.
Average swimming pool costs
As seen in the factors listed above, the answer to ‘how much does a swimming pool cost?’ is ‘how long is a piece of string?’ Nevertheless, by looking at the general price ranges of different types of swimming pools we can get a sense of what your investment might look like.
- In-ground pools: $30,000 (basic fibreglass or vinyl) to $200,000+ (custom concrete infinity pool)
- Above-ground pools: $5000 to $20,000
- Vinyl pools: $20,000 to $40,000
- Fibreglass pools: $20,000 and $60,000, depending on size and customisation options.
- Concrete pools: $50,000 to $200,000+
- Swim spas: $35,000 to $110,000
*All retail pricing added August 2023. For a current quote, please contact your local dealer.
Does it cost a lot to run a pool?
A pool is a multifaceted investment – there’s more to it than just the cost of the pool itself. Other expenses include:
- Pool planning and consent: Engineer certified structure drawings, necessary council approvals and compliance sign off before installation commencement.
- Pool installation costs: Delivery, excavation, plumbing and electrical work can add several thousand dollars to your pool project.
- Pool maintenance costs: Cleaning, water treatment and equipment maintenance cost in the realm of $1000-$2000 a year.
- Pool energy costs: Heaters, pumps, filters, lights and water features need to be powered, which can cost $1000+ per year (less if you have a solar system).
- Pool insurance and permits: These are small upfront costs that can prevent far larger penalty costs.
- Pool landscaping: It’s wise to set aside funds to make your pool area beautiful.
- Budgeting and financing options: If you choose to finance your pool, you’ll pay interest on any loan you choose to take out.
An Endless Pools swim spa can be a great way to minimise the above, as they tend to incur lower costs for most of these expenses.
Estimating your pool budget
You should determine your budget before you start shopping for your pool to ensure you work within your means. Considerations include:
Pool ownership costs and return on investment
Look past the sticker price of the pool to consider the total cost, including ongoing maintenance. You should also consider the return that your investment might generate, as a pool can add genuine value to your property. Alternatively, if you choose a portable swim spa you can take your investment with you!
DIY vs. hiring a professional
While DIY projects can save on labour costs, pool construction demands specialist knowledge, skills and equipment. As such you should be wary of attempting a home job to save some cash, as it could end up costing you more. Swim spas, on the other hand, arrive pre-built, with minimal construction required if your area is ready.
Financing options for pool construction
Another alternative to consider financing the purchase or partial purchase. Hot Spring Spas New Zealand uses Finance Now as their lending partner, who offer flexible and competitively low interest bearing loans.
Tips for saving money on pool costs
How can you get the best deal possible for your pool?
- Research and compare pool contractors: Always obtain at least three quotes from reputable pool companies before going ahead with your project.
- Design an efficient pool layout: Optimise your use of space to minimise construction and material costs. Extra work in the planning stage can save you real money during the construction stage.
- Long-term maintenance strategies: Clean and maintain your pool religiously. This guards against costly repairs and refills, and extends the life of the pool.
- Maximise energy efficiency: Choose the most energy-efficient pool equipment possible, use a cover to minimise heat loss and evaporation, and consider installing a solar system to heat your pool.
A better swimming experience for less
An Endless Pool swim spa is the evolution of the backyard swimming pool. Ideal for fitness, relaxation or fun, these versatile machines can also be cheaper and easier to install than a traditional pool, which is why so many Kiwis have chosen to take the (perfectly toasty) plunge.
Ready to feel the Endless Pools difference? Book in your test soak today!