Here at California Pools & Landscape, the first question we always get from clients planning a project is: “How Much?” Although it is probably frustrating for pool buyers, the honest answer is, “It depends.”
Usually, any good pool professional will then begin to ask questions about the potential features, materials, or add-ons. A true pool building expert might say, “I need to see your construction site in order to evaluate potential costs.”
This must seem like having a car salesman ask to see your garage when you enquire about the price of a new SUV!
Let’s continue the car analogy to shed some light on how to establish an accurate budget estimate for your pool:
Pool companies all begin with a base price, much like the sticker price on a car. However, a car’s sticker price is for a fully manufactured vehicle, where all the crucial decisions on its features have already all been made. You cannot make the car bigger, or add more trunk space, for example.
A pool’s base cost is a legitimate price for what is automatically included, but falls far short of being an accurate and complete total. You may opt for something bigger or deeper, with different decking, upgraded tile or interior, and a wide array of top-line equipment and convenience features. There will almost certainly be added costs for access into the yard, and jurisdiction or zoning fees, based on where the pool is being built. Grading, electric, and plumbing run extra, while spas, water features, and other options are too numerous to mention. Your pool will be one-of-a-kind and must be priced that way.
Shopping base packages for a pool is equivalent to shopping for cars and getting a base price which includes just the chassis, but no interior. This starting point would give you no real idea of the true budget you should have in mind in order to make an informed decision.
Let’s extend our car analogy a bit further. A new Ford Explorer has an MSRP price range of $32,765-$58,250. A Ford Expedition ranges from $48,900-$80,110, and a Cadillac Escalade costs around $75,195-$95,295.
In this context, the Explorer is roughly equal to a modest-sized pool which can also be built in the low $30’s. If your ideal backyard includes other features, like spas, abundant decking, or water features, you can create something top-of-the-line for about 60k. For a larger pool, the Expedition range might be an accurate estimate, while the Cadillac example is suitable for those who like the best of everything.
Our advice is to establish a budget range that is comfortable for you. Then, shop web sites, get referrals from friends, or check a company’s reviews. Interview a few designers—if you feel good about any of the companies or designers you meet, share your budget with them.
If you do not share your planned budget, a top designer will likely attempt to blow you away with their design skills. You may inadvertently fall in love with a Maserati, that is way beyond your budget. In our experience, it is almost impossible to go backward from that point—a client who may have been thrilled with their more modest pool ends up overwhelmed and convinced that what they want is out of their price range.
We wish you the best in your backyard planning. California Pools & Landscape remains dedicated to our clients and if we can be of help to you, please reach out. We will answer your “It depends” questions as quickly and accurately as possible, every time.