How to Get the Cheapest Inground Swimming Pool?

If you’re looking to build the cheapest in-ground swimming pool, you need to know the costs of building an in-ground swimming pool. Once you know these costs, you will be better positioned to minimize each one while retaining the most benefit out of every aspect of building the swimming pool.

To get the cheapest swimming pool, you need to reduce the planned size, opt for Vinyl liner, which is cheaper than concrete and acrylic, obtain the appropriate permits, hire part-time labor for digging and lining the pool, and get a plumber to set up the water circulation system.

In this article, you will discover each of the contributors to pool expenses like liners, chemicals, and heating. More importantly, you’ll find out how you can reduce the costs at each step of your pool construction.

Why Do Inground Pools Cost More Money?

In-ground swimming pools cost more than above-ground swimming pools because of pool liners. Above-ground swimming pools are generally cheaper because the cost of digging land and laying the liner is subtracted absent from the meta-invoice. 

After all, you get a collection of frames that you can personally assemble or have an expert put together. However, since this article only addresses inground pools, we will not consider digging and lining costs as replaceable. These are must-haves for an inground pool.

How to Get a Cheap Inground Pool?

Reduce the Planned Pool Size

While digging and lining costs are present in inground pools, the factor that causes the most significant expense in having a swimming pool is not building it but maintaining it. And it is harder to maintain a swimming pool that is of greater size. Therefore, it is also more expensive to dig and line a larger pool.

Therefore, the number one factor to consider is the size of your swimming pool. If you want to have a cheap inground swimming pool, you need a small inground swimming pool. That will cut down your pool maintenance costs by half. Unfortunately, while building a swimming pool, most homeowners make the mistake of constructing one that will be used once a year but has to be maintained throughout the year.

They build a swimming pool that will accommodate all their friends who will, in their estimation, attend a pool party at their home. Such pool parties can happen once or twice a year, yet the homeowner is burdened with maintaining the entire swimming pool for the whole year, including the swim season, as well as the non-swim seasons.

Though the maintenance varies and is lower when your pool isn’t in use, you still need to take care of your pool, regardless of what part of the year it is. A smart homeowner would build a pool that accommodates half of his family.

Half-Family Optimization

Think about the last time you had your whole family willingly around at the same time. Yes, families might have dinners together, but it is more of a practical thing. And it isn’t culturally spontaneous or practical for entire families to gather around the house pool every day.

If you ask your children or your siblings for their preferences, they would rather have the freedom to pop in the pool at any time of the day than to wait for the whole family to get ready and have collective family time by the pool. 

Even if you want to have family time by the pool, you can put out some sun lounge chairs and hang out there while the ones who want to swim can hop in the pool. Poolside chairs are a perk of having an inground swimming pool, which isn’t accessible to those with an above-ground swimming pool.

There is no poolside ambiance that justifies hanging out outside an above-ground pool. This is mainly because you don’t have a pool view with an above-ground pool; you have a view of the frames or the tub sitting in your garden or backyard, which is not very aesthetic in the first place.

So if you’re building an inground swimming pool, make sure the ambiance around the pool is inviting, and there’s plenty of room to hang out by the pool. For example, let’s suppose you are a family of six people. In that case, you can build a pool that is large enough for three people to swim freely and place three sun loungers so the other three can chill outside.

The general tendency of homeowners with a family of six is to build a wide enough pool for 12 people. The problem is that you cannot drain that pool and only fill it when you have 12 friends around. Even if one person or two people need to swim, you will need to fill the whole pool. And once you fill the entire pool, you will need to use pool chemicals, water filters, and heat pumps, driving up the cost as if 12 people are swimming in your pool every single day.

Get a Cheap Pool Liner

The next cost comes down to the pool liner or the frame that will hold the water in your inground swimming pool. If you are a pool novice, you might not realize that simply digging the land and filling it with water would not hold water for a long time as the earth will absorb it, or the water will simply evaporate. You need a surface that can hold water while having a system that can constantly circulate that water without it sitting around stagnating.

That’s precisely why, for that, a pool liner is necessary. The liner or the frame that you use will decide the upfront costs and replacement costs because not all liners are built alike. You choose to use concrete, which is the highest in upfront capital requirements, or use fiberglass, which is the go-to standard of swimming pools. But if you’re looking for the cheapest inground swimming pool, you have to go with a vinyl liner.

Vinyl Liners

Vinyl liners are cheap and can be molded in pretty much any shape you want, which gives you some aesthetic edge and architectural practicality if you do not have a wide enough space in your backyard or your garden. But above all, it gives you the benefit of being able to build your pool yourself.

The liner that you use doesn’t just cost in terms of the material required but also the labor that is needed for that specific liner to be installed. Concrete is the hardest and will require a specialist for sure. On the other hand, fiberglass liner is relatively easier but will still require some expert assistance and a lot of dedication.

At the least, you will need your local handyman to dedicate a significant amount of time to build your inground swimming pool, or you might need a pool manufacturing crew to drop by. This obviously increases installation costs, which is the final cost to consider before building an inground swimming pool.

Reduce Installation Expenses

Installing your swimming pool includes digging the ground, laying the liner, placing the filter and water circulation apparatus, as well as a purification mechanism. In other words, installation is building your entire pool from A to Z. Many swimming pool companies take this up, but not many of them are enthusiastic about individuals interested in cheap inground swimming pools because it is too resource-intensive.

Therefore the installation costs cannot be driven down when you are dealing with swimming pool manufacturers or a swimming pool installation company because they will not charge by the material in terms of installation but by the hour.

DIY Your Pool

Suppose you have followed some of the instructions and the recommendations above. In that case, you are in luck because you are using a vinyl pool liner, and these can be installed fairly easily. It is essential to remember that though you can install vinyl liners yourself, you cannot go ahead with that project right away. You will need to learn how to do it yourself.

How to Build Your Own Inground Swimming Pool

Get Required Permits

The first step to take when building an inground swimming pool is to get the appropriate zoning permit, and other paperwork fulfilled. Do this before you embark on the project, so the entire process is liability-free.

In most states and cities, you cannot just take a shovel and start digging your own pool; you will need certain approvals. You should also get power-line and sewage system maps for the area, so you do not end up breaking a cable or pipe while you’re busy digging. Such an accident means having to pay the city for damages. Any money you save by bootstrapping such a project will be wasted if you end up liable for such mistakes.

Find the Right Place

The second step is to get the right place. Capturing the appropriate place for your swimming pool will drastically affect the experience that you have with your swimming pool in terms of both maintenance and actually enjoying your pool.

It is advisable to have your swimming pool in a place where it gets a lot of sunlight and at the same time blocks any breeze or wind. Why you want the breeze out is because strong wind can splash out the water, causing water damage to the surroundings. It can also bring dirt, leaves, and fine debris, depending on your location.

Ideally, it would be great to have a swimming pool by a tall fence or a wall that blocks out the breeze. Even a row of trees that keeps winds away. However, the trouble with trees is that leaves fall into the water, dirtying it and driving up the skimming cost. Using fake plants to build an artificial breeze-blocking fence around your pool is a great way to make the function meet form in a beautiful personal pool.

The third factor to note is that your pool shouldn’t be too low. It is ironic because your pool is definitely in the ground, but it doesn’t need to be constructed on the lower ground because any mud or dirt might wash into the pool if it rains heavily. Therefore, you must make sure that there’s a little bit of an upward slope towards the pool.

Finally, make sure that your pool is visible from the windows of your home. This is a great way to keep an eye on who’s swimming in the pool and whether somebody is at the risk of falling in. You do not want intruders, unsupervised little kids, or pets around the pool while you’re unable to look at it.

Dig the Land

The third step is to dig out your pool. For this, you can hire a regular labor force that can help with digging. Local handymen, construction workers, and other part-timers can help out with this, as long as you have a map (which you will need to get the required approvals). You can get your inground pool skeleton ready by having the land dug to the necessary depth and width.

Then you would need to install the pool walls and then the pool ground. If you’re going with a vinyl pool liner, the construction equipment is easy to come by, and you can quite easily layout the pool walls and ground. It is just worth keeping in mind that you have to leave room for appropriate circulation and filtration.

The following video is a great guide to what you should know and follow when building your cheap inground swimming pool.

Lay the Liner

Finally, you will need to install the vinyl liner, which will not take as much expert labor as a concrete or fiberglass pool because it can take up any size. However, you will need to replace this liner later on, so it is best to know how to pull off that replacement.

That said, your immediate concern should not be the replacement but how you are going to keep pool water healthy, for which I would recommend learning about pool chemicals as well as the filter and heat pumps. It is also crucial to know the costs of maintaining a pool because these can be massive budget busters. That’s why reading up on those aspects of maintaining a swimming pool and how much power is required to pull that off is essential.

Beautify the Exterior

Once you have saved up on building your inground swimming pool, you will realize that you have money left over to go all out on other aspects of the swimming pool. Remember, your swimming pool is not just a massive tub to take collective baths in; it creates a vibe and is a playground of possibilities. 

Having outdoor lighting, landscaping pathways, and fencing are some of the ways in which you can elevate what your swimming pool stands for. To this day, the swimming pool is a status symbol. No matter how small or how cheap it is, having a swimming pool that is well taken care of is a significant status symbol.

And having an outdoor sound system and sun lounge chairs is a great way of signifying that you don’t just have a pool, have a pool worth beautifying. Make your pool a nice place to hang out around, and you will not even need to swim in it to feel good about it. 

Just sitting by the water and listening to music while you read the book could be a leisurely activity. Of course, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to swim; you can swim in it all the time. But if you are wise about your decoration choices in and around your swimming pool, you will be able to get the most out of it.

Final Thoughts

Building an inground swimming pool can cost up to $120,000 if you go all out, and that too isn’t capped because you can spend as much money as you want. However, vinyl pool liners and the option of DIY-ing the project have made it possible for people to build cheap inground pools for as little as thirty to forty thousand dollars. And if you follow the steps laid out in this article, you will be able not just to have a cheap inground swimming pool but to have a beautiful pool that invites envy.

Jed Arnold

Jed spent every year from the ages of 15 - 22 as a Lifeguard (Red Cross) and ages of 17 - 22 as a Certified Pool Operator (CPO). Between working for over a dozen facilities and owning a pool, he carries over a decade of pool experience.

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