How much does a pool cost? Well, how much does a pig weigh?
As one of the top pool builders in Arizona, we receive this question A LOT. In fact, in the 34 year history of California Pools & Landscape, this might be the most commonly asked question.
If you’re interested in buying a pool, this is one of the more loaded questions you can ask a pool company. It’s also one of the most important questions for your search. And as such, it’d be unfair to leave you with an answer like “it depends”.
This article will explain the basic cost of a pool in Arizona, what would increase or decrease your cost, and tell you what’s included in the cost. By the end of this article, you won’t know the exact cost of your custom pool, but you will have a much clearer understanding of what you might expect to pay.
First things first, cost depends on the type of pool
There are three main types of pools; shotcrete or gunite, vinyl liner, and fiberglass. The difference between the three different types is the medium between the ground and the water you swim in.
In Arizona, the majority of the pools are inground and made of shotcrete. Shotcrete is a much more durable material and can withstand Arizona’s extreme and dry climate.
For that reason and many others, California Pools & Landscape only builds shotcrete pools. Because this is the best type of pool for Arizonans, we will focus specifically on the cost for an inground shotcrete pool for this article.
Cost of an inground shotcrete pool
As we mentioned above, it is difficult to give an answer to the question; how much does a pool cost? There are many different variables that can increase or decrease your pool pricing. You will want to read the rest of the article to find out exactly what those items are and what is specifically included in this price.
Here at California Pools & Landscape, our standard inground shotcrete play pool starts at $45,000-$50,000.
What factors can increase or decrease the price?
There are variables that affect the cost of your pool that will be specific to your site conditions. They include: access to the backyard, utilities, elevations, demolition, and city jurisdiction. These variables are not going to be included in this pricing as they are unique to every yard and will require an on-site visit to evaluate.
Factors that will increase the cost of your pool
- Access to the backyard. If the access to your backyard from the street to the pool location is narrower than 10 feet, this will require a smaller piece of equipment to excavate.
- Removing walls or gates
- Elevation changes and retaining walls. If your yard has elevation changes or existing retaining walls we will need to determine what yard prep, demo, or engineering that will be required to build a pool.
- Special engineering, grading and drainage plans, retention engineering, and/or site plans
- Yards with drastic elevations, hillside lots, areas of difficult permit jurisdictions that have unpermitted work onsite or where we are building structures will require additional engineering costs to obtain permits.
- Demolition or pregrade work
- The area in your yard where the project is located needs to be free of all landscaping, grass, and debris.
- Soil conditions.
- Expansive, rocky, or kelechi soil will require additional costs with excavation and/or on the pool’s structure components.
- Different type of sanitation and cleaning systems
- This includes items like in floor cleaning systems (pop-ups), Salt water systems, and Ozone/UV sanitizers.
- Utility run longer than 50ft
- If the runs from your pool equipment to the electrical panel is over 50ft then additional costs will apply.
- Skimmer run longer than 15ft
- If the run between the skimmer to the pool equipment is over 15ft then additional costs will apply.
- More than the allotted sq ft of decking
- Adding more deck square footage then what is included with the standard play pool will be charged by the square foot.
- Larger pools over 75ft perimeter and/or pools over 5ft deep
- Larger and deeper pools will be charged by the increase in I.A. (internal area).
- Adding a heater will include additional costs for gas lines, gas permits, and the heater itself. Or additional electric costs when installing a heat pump.
- Additional features on the pool such as: baja shelf, water feature, fire feature, or spa
- Because we are a custom pool builder the options are endless! Our project managers will help you design the perfect yard to best fit your budget. Knowing your budget is critical to the design process.
- Safety Barriers
- Most cities will require safety barriers that prevent unauthorized entry to the pool area. Find out what your city requires here.
- Smaller pool. Designing a pool with a perimeter less than 75ft. Cocktail pools and spools are typically 60ft perimeter.
- Coping only. Choosing to not extend your decking material past the coping. Coping is usually a paver that is 12 inches to 16 inches wide that is installed around the outside edge of the pool.
- Downgrading interior material. Switching your interior from Seaglass Pebble Tec® to Cal Pebble can save you money without sacrificing quality.
- Manual equipment controls. Switching your equipment controls from a wireless remote to manual switches..
To learn more about how those conditions affect your pool price, watch this video for more information.
What’s included in the price of a pool?
Our entry-level pool is a play pool meaning that it is shallow at both ends with the deepest part in the middle. This is ideal for a family and activity pool. It has a 75ft perimeter with depths of 3ftx5ftx4ft. Depending on your style preference and the layout of your yard, we can design a freeform or geometric design and have options for the length and width of the pool.
Here’s what’s included in our entry level play pool pricing:
- In ground pool structure with 4000 PSI Shotcrete
- This indicates the strength of the pool shell
- 75ft perimeter with depths of 3ft x 5ft x 4ft
- This is the pool’s size, it is 350sqft SA.
- Standard pool excavation using a Track hoe and dump truck
- If you have backyard access that can’t accommodate equipment that large, no sweat, we have different options however that does take us outside of that base pricing.
- Paramount Venturi Skimmer
- 200% more efficient at skimming the water’s surface over a regular skimmer.
- Aqua Star 360 flush color match drain with a dedicated suction line
- This highflow VBG complaint drain will match your pool’s interior for a seamless look
- 15ft of skimmer run
- This is the run between the skimmer and the pool equipment location
- Wave Force with looped Venturi returns and vac line
- This is our exclusive circulation system that keeps the pool clean and evenly distributes chemicals throughout the entire pool.
- Paramount Auto Water Leveler
- This keeps the water level consistent in the pool at all times.
- Hayward Variable Speed 900 pump
- This is the most energy efficient pump on the market at 2HP equivalent.
- Hayward DE (Diatomaceous Earth) or Cartridge Filter
- The pump and filter work together to filtrate particles out of the water
- 50ft ½ in rigid conduit
- This is the electrical line run that brings power to the pool equipment from the electric panel on the house.
- P4 control system with a wireless waterproof remote control
- This turns the pump and lights on and off so you can have programmed cleaning without having to go to your equipment and control it manually.
- Universal Colorlogic LED Light with 10 colors and 7 shows
- This brightest colored pool light on the market creates disco light parties to electric blue water and everything in between
- Seaglass Pebble Tec® interior
- This beautiful mini pebble interior includes sparkling iridescent sea glass beads with abalone shells and is manufactured exclusively for CPL by Pebble Technologies
- 350 sq. ft of Acrylic Decking OR 250sqft of Travertine Pavers
- You have a choice or a traditional or travertine paver deck for around your pool
Other factors to consider when buying a pool
Not all pool construction companies are the same. There are different types of pools, construction standards, product offerings and processes. Most bids are not comparable apples to apples because of this. When you receive a base number from a company, what is included? Size and options are important but warranty, experience, and quality of the product are priceless.
Items like communication, service, how warranty items are handled, and overall experience with the builder are not bid items. You can’t put a dollar amount on those but they may be the difference in price as you’re reviewing different bids.
Here at California Pools & Landscape, we can build not only your dream pool but also your dream backyard. Now that you have an understanding of how much an inground shotcrete pool costs, the next step is to build your budget. Determining how much you are wanting to spend, is a crucial next step in the project planning process. When you’re ready to speak with a designer about your project, having your budget ready to go will allow you to have the most productive conversations with them. To get a better idea of what additional features and costs there are, watch our video on how to establish a budget for your pool and backyard project.
*Please note that this article reflects 2021 pricing.