When I was in the third grade, my family decided to install a new pool in our backyard. We lived in Las Vegas, so it was an extremely welcomed addition. I can still remember the builders working long hours, the gaping hole of dirt in our backyard, and my constant yearning for the pool to be finished. “How long does it take to build a swimming pool?” I would ask myself.
Eventually, it was completed, and our new backyard pool got so much use and gave us so much joy that I knew the wait had been worth it. However, how long did it take to build that pool? My memory as a child tells me it took years. However, of course, that’s not true.
How long does it take to build a pool?
The short answer is that a new pool can take 14 to 30 days, but it varies by swimming pool type and design process.
There are three basic types of in-ground pools: vinyl liner, fiberglass, and gunite — a mixture of cement, sand, and water. All three vary in the construction process, according to Seasonal World, a pool-building company located in New Jersey, which has been in operation for over 30 years.
The construction of a pool includes everything from excavation, pool installation, and decking, to the pool being turned over to the users with all inspections passed. Let’s take a look at each type of in-ground pool and what you might expect to see during the planning process and pool building process. We will also consider how long it takes to build a pool based on the type of pool you decide to build.
Vinyl liner pool construction
Pool builders offer three types of vinyl liners: steel wall, cement wall, and polymer wall vinyl liner. Seasonal Pools’ site says construction times are similar, regardless of the vinyl liner pool design, and will usually take between 25 to 45 days. Time will vary depending on the project’s complexity and the number of inspections required by your township.
Fiberglass pools, referred by some as “pool in a day” or “drop-in pools,” are also an option. While most of the time — from a construction standpoint — a fiberglass pool is in the ground and filled with water in one day, the total completion process can take anywhere from 14 to 30 days, according to Seasonal Pools.
Once again, timing depends on the pool projects’ complexity, the intricacy of the finishing work, and how many inspections the municipality requires.
As you might expect, gunite, or concrete, pools have the longest building process. On average, they will take from 45 to 75 days to be constructed, according to Seasonal Pools. The primary reason gunite pools take substantially longer than other types of construction is that they need between 28 and 30 days to cure or set.
There is also more labor and finishing work involved in building a gunite pool, meaning they require more people to build. Seasonal conditions, including the time of the year, temperature, and weather conditions, may also affect these types of pools and how long they take to cure.
As with the other pool options, construction time will vary depending on several factors such as the project’s complexity, pool design, and the number of inspections or initial consultations required.
7 other factors to consider with any backyard pool project
Once you’ve selected the type of pool you desire, you need to determine the cost, how you will finance the pool, and how having a pool may affect your insurance premiums.
The price of a pool can vary greatly depending on where you live, the pool builders who choose, and how many special features you want to have in your pool. For example, you will need to choose the tiles, water features, and pool pump. You will also need to decide whether to include a pool heater, a hot tub, slide, or a diving board. Really, the menu of add-ons is endless! Additionally, if there is an issue with the excavation process of an in-ground pool (such as utility lines, design, or permits), it may cost more. According to Fixr.com, the average in-ground 32-by-16-foot pool will run you approximately $22,000.
Marketing research and consulting firm P.K. Data breaks the numbers down further. According to P.K. Data, vinyl pools are the least expensive, with a standard cost of $25,700, since the kind of pool liner doesn’t have much impact on cost. Fiberglass pools run closer to $31,400 on average.
Gunite pools typically cost $29,600 to $50,000 to install. Most in-ground pools will also require a surrounding patio installation and a need for fencing (the law requires this in many areas of the country).
Click here to get the latest estimates on the cost of swimming pools with our SuperMoney Guide for Swimming Pool Costs.
2) Financing your pool
There are a few options you can consider to finance your swimming pool. The three best methods to consider are a personal loan, a home equity loan, or a loan through your pool installer. Home equity loans have the lowest interest rates, but you risk foreclosure if you default on payments.
Get started by getting prequalified for a loan using SuperMoney’s personal loan tool. You’ll receive a list of personalized offers from top lenders without any harm to your credit score.
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3) Insurance concerns
After you build a pool, be ready for your insurance premiums to go up, says Allstate agency owner Mark Jameson of Burleson, Texas.
He says, “Like other exterior structures (e.g., fences, decks, and gazebos), pools and other water features tend to increase the amount of insurance required for a home, as they would need to be appropriately insured in the event of a loss.”
He adds, “They can also add liability risks to your property, so any addition should be discussed with your local agent to ensure you have adequate coverage.”
4) Get a gate
Gates are often required by law if you build a swimming pool. Jameson says, “[Gates] are often required to insure a home with a pool.” He recommends self-closing gates and self-latching with a childproof latch. Also, always check if the permits required of your township have other specifics to pool design and gates.
5) Review your limits
Another thing to consider after building a pool is how high your limits are set on your property insurance. Always ask this question before you start the excavation for your pool build!
Jameson says, “If, for example, a tree falls on your pool, your coverage may help pay to remove the tree and cover repairs to your pool, but only up to the limits you have in your policy. Again, talking with your local agent is a critical step to make sure you have enough coverage based on the value of your pool and any accessories like a deck or a slide.”
6) Don’t let it freeze!
Jameson says to keep in mind that most homeowners’ policies exclude coverage for damages caused if water freezes in your pool. So, be sure you drain it at the end of each season if you live in a cold climate or one that gets cold enough to freeze water during the winter. In general, be aware of how the weather can affect your pool and if your insurance covers it.
Another thing to question your agent about is the liability coverage in your policy. “This will help protect you in case someone gets hurt using your pool,” says Jameson. This kind of liability is also the reason why many permits require pools to be gated.
Now you know the answer to “How long does it take to build a pool?” is that it can take anywhere between a few days to a few weeks, the different kinds of pool construction, what kind of new pool what might be best suited for you, and which pool builder may be best for you, you’re ready to take the next step. You need to research several different pool builders before deciding on just one to make sure you are a good fit for each other.
Are you ready to start with your pool installation?
However, it can quickly become one of the worst decisions if you don’t have the right financing in place.
You’ll then be one step closer to finally having the pool you’ve always dreamed of.
Heather Skyler writes about business, finance, family life and more. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times, Newsweek, Catapult, The Rumpus, BizFluent, Career Trend and more. She lives in Athens, Georgia with her husband, son, and daughter.