Adding a Swimming Pool to Your Property - Considerations and Careful Planning a Must

Adding a swimming pool to your back yard or patio, especially an inground swimming pool, can be a major project with careful considerations to be made. An inground swimming pool is one of three basic types:

  • Inground vinyl liner swimming pool
  • Fiberglass inground pool kit (pre-cast fiberglass pool shell)
  • Concrete inground pool (concrete or “shotcrete” pool lining mixture, blown into place).

Above Ground Swimming Pool, the Economical Choice

An above ground outdoor swimming pool might be an economical option for many homeowners; usually one of these two types:

  • Inflatable above ground pool (usually not more than $400; larger versions are now being produced)

  • Vinyl above ground pool (a vinyl “bag” hung on a wire frame; usually holds around 10,000 gallons of water, and cost about $7,000 or less). Pool packages usually come complete; including filters, safety cover, pump, steps, etc.

Above ground vinyl bag pools are commonly installed with some kind of deck around the perimeter of the pool, adding significantly to the overall cost. Sometimes the pools are installed on a terraced hillside, giving the illusion of an inground swimming pool. This type pool is a popular choice when swimming pool price is a difficult obstacle for homeowners to overcome.

Construction Procedures for an Inground Swimming Pool

An inground swimming pool is the preferred choice for most homeowners seeking a long-term option; with the added benefit of greatly enhancing an over-all backyard swimming pool landscape design.

Regardless of which inground pool installation option is selected in a swimming pool design, homeowners should keep in mind the average swimming pool cost is about $100,000.

Inground vinyl liner swimming pool kits use a vinyl membrane to hold the water. This represents the lowest cost option for an inground pool. Vinyl is measured in “mils,” or thousandths of an inch for thickness. While a heavy trash bag is about 1 mil, vinyl liners for pools range from 7 - 30 mils; the most common quality grade thickness being 20 mils.

Regardless what type medium is used to line the pool, excavation and preparation for the substrate under the swimming pool liner will be required. Vinyl lined pools are constructed using straight or curved 4X4 foot panels set into the walls of the excavation.

The floor of the pool is smoothed and usually covered with 2-inches of a concrete, vermiculite, and polymer mixture. The liner is hung from the tops of the panels, and then laid on the floor. It is then filled with water before the pool is backfilled to insure proper settling, and stretches as it fills to give a good flat surface.

Vinyl liners, obviously, are more fragile than solid liners and subject to puncture. Some installation processes use sand instead of the concrete mixture on the floor, with a layer of wall foam beneath. However, roots from nearby trees or other vegetation can actually grow through the liner.

Pool maintenance tools and pets can also cause accidental puncture if precautions are not taken. In addition, liners can break down from pool water and sunlight over time, making the liner brittle and prone to cracking in stress areas. And bacteria can cause discoloration in a liner. All reasons why obtaining a quality liner with a special coating that protects it from these type problems is important.

Another consideration is that high ground water tables can cause it to bubble away from the substrate. That is why special care must be given when planning placement for this type pool. Avoid installation in areas prone to high water tables. If a liner is drained in high water table conditions, the substrate can collapse from the external hydraulic pressure.

Under perfect conditions, the life expectancy of a middle-range quality liner is about 6-years; longer for higher-end liners.

A fiberglass inground pool kit is a one-piece fiberglass resin shell that is placed into the excavation. This option is higher in cost than a vinyl liner; equal to or higher in cost than concrete. A fiberglass swimming pool may last longer than vinyl, but when it begins to break, down the process proceeds quicky. If the gel coating cracks, water gets beneath and causes blistering and de-lamination in the layers of the shell. Sun and pool water also deteriorate and discolor the gel coating over time. Once the coating has discolored and then cracks, it is difficult to do swimming pool repair without re-coating the entire surface of the shell.

During installation, the fiberglass shell is transported to the site by truck, and lifted into place with a crane. Once set into the excavation, plumbing is connected and sand backfilled against the shell. A concrete deck is usually added to protect the edge of the shell from oxidation.

Concrete swimming pool construction is the most durable type of inground pool, with a life expectancy of 15 to 18 years; longer if the shotcrete plaster lining is replaced when necessary.

Shotcrete is a quick setting concrete grout mix; pumped through a 3-inch hose and sprayed onto the inner pool surface, with compressed air added near the spray nozzle. A concrete plaster lining is very durable and effective at holding water; it strengthens over time as it continues to cure. However, over a period of years the plaster slowly dissolves in pool water and is compromised, requiring a re-plaster after about 15-years. An average sized plaster job for a 20X40 foot pool costs about $3,600.

Don't Forget the Required Accessories

Regardless what type of inground pool installation is selected, keep in mind that additional swimming pool equipment is necessary to operate and maintain a pool.

A swimming pool pump works in conjunction with a swimming pool filter to circulate the water and keep it clean. A swimming pool heater heats the water to maintain a pleasant water environment, regardless of outdoor temperature. The overall cost of this type system can cost well over $10,000. This does not include electrical wiring, which must include safety features to prevent shock hazards.

Swimming pool landscaping to make the area aesthetically appealing can run over $50,000 depending on the scope of the design, as well as the homeowner's preferences and budget!

Do It Yourself Inground Pool - Or Hire A Contractor?

An inground swimming pool is a complex system of components and sub-systems. If you are yearning to build your own inground pool as a DIY project, consider very carefully if you have the expertise and knowledge to carry it off by youself.

The best option may be to hire a reliable, experienced swimming pool contractor, knowledgeable on critical aspects of installing a swimming pool, as well as costly pitfalls to avoid.

An excellent resource for finding a reliable swimming pool contractor is online at

Project owners all across America simply sign up for free, with no obligation whatsoever. And then post project details online. Reliable local contractors view project information, and then provide competitive bids in days, even hours after posting.

Project owners can view contractor profile pages, references, and photo gallery of completed projects to make an informed decision before hiring a contractor. Or, decide to hire none at all. Remember, there is no obligation whatsoever.

Posted by: TrustedPros
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