Installing a new swimming pool

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Building costs of Installing a new swimming pool

Working out the costs of building your own swimming pool is not as difficult as it seems. Just follow these simple steps

How much does a swimming pool cost to build and what’s the best time of the year to to build it?

There’s no good time of the year to have your pool installed, but in my opinion the best times to have a swimming pool constructed (dispite any inclement weather) is between October and the beginning of April. If you’re unlucky enough to get a wet winter, then consider  the extra cost of covering the pool area while it is under construction. If you wait until the warmer spring and summer seasons arrive, you may find many pool builders will be busy and rushed off their feet with swimming pools that will need maintenance & attention and you may have a wait while for your pool to be installed.

So here are a few things that you need to investigate about building a swimming pool.

  • You’ll need to know your budget cost +10% for eventualities… It always happens, no matter how well a build of any type is planned, for example, you may not know what is beneath your garden in terms of subsoil or rock. In one particular pool installation, when excavating, they found loads of discarded apple tree roots buried deep down and the location of the pool had to be moved to another spot. Another excavation revealed a high water table that was only 1ft (300mm) below the ground surface. Also you may change your mind about a pool design or add something like more pool lights, an automatic cover or make the pool bigger.
  • If you’re not sure what to do or where to begin, it’s worthwhile seeking advice from a swimming pool builder or an architect who is familiar with constructing swimming pools, as these are the experts you need to consult with on this type of construction.
  • Swimming pool installations are a specialised area of construction, and it’s not a good idea to employ a general builder who may have scant knowledge of building a swimming pool of any type. The important thing to remember when sourcing someone or an installer to build your swimming pool is this; “constructing a pool is not the same as building a house or an extension”. There can be many pitfalls during and after construction, so please bare that in mind. Concrete pools in particular are much more expensive to build, and take a very long time to construct, this is mainly due to their curing & drying times, and if they are not constructed to the correct specifications, they may be susceptible to leaking and extra cost to correct the failure…

Before arriving at the cost of building your swimming pool, you’ll first need to know what type and the shape of pool you want.

Your budget: How much are you willing to spend on a swimming pool? Remember when sizing your pool to include the cost of possible accessories like a plant room for your filter and pump, heating, heat retention and debris cover, walk in steps, underwater lights etc, also what type of decking and surrounds you fancy and how wide you want the flooring around your pool.

DIY or professional built swimming pools. Are you building the swimming pool yourself? There are no sour grapes here, but a word of caution… If you don’t have knowledge of building swimming pools, then don’t attempt to build the pool yourself without getting experienced help, even if you are very good at DIY or you are a builder, there are a few pitfalls and pot holes you should be aware of and you do need the advice and guidance from an experience pool installer, otherwise it could end up costing you a fortune if you get it wrong, and I’ve seen a few clangers about that we’ve had to come in and put right…

Do you want a concrete or liner pool? After you’ve considered whether it is a self build or obtaining the services of a professional, the next stage is which type of pool do you want for your budget. Now if it’s a concrete tiled pool, then these are more than twice the cost of a liner pool and they take up to 3 times or longer to build. So unless you have major bucks, and time is not a problem for you, then a concrete tiled or rendered and tiled pool is fine.

Liner pools and building your swimming pool with concrete blocks panels or timber? Let us assume it’s a liner pool that you want and it is to be built by a pool builder. The next thing to consider is which wall materials to use, i.e. build the swimming pool with timber (wooden pools come in kit form) panels or building with concrete blocks? Concrete block construction is, in my opinion best option. It is a much more solid construction than the other two, but does use more materials.

The ‘panel pool’ and ‘wooden pool’ on the other hand are easier to construct and uses less materials. The drawback with wooden pools is they are really only short term, most have a 10 year warranty and there is the potential for the timber to eventually rot in places. Basically they are a cheaper method of building a swimming pool and even though there is less excavation with these wooden pools (If required to install the pool in ground), the installation costs are not far off the same as a concrete block or panel pool.

Panel pools are fine however they are not as stable or as strong as the concrete block method of construction, especially if the panels and the supporting stays are fixed incorrectly, and panel pools can be more costly to buy.

So you’ve chosen the type of materials. The next stage is the design, shape, and size of the swimming pool…

The design and shape your swimming pool will determine the cost… Most swimming pools are rectangle, however if you don’t like straight lines, then a kidney shape is available. You could have a random shape however once again these will cost more to build and take longer to construct.

What size swimming pool do you require? How long, how wide, how deep do you want your pool to be? Obviously the bigger the size of pool the more it will cost and the longer it will take to construct. If you want your pool for looks then a reasonably large swimming pool say 15ft x 30ft is plenty big enough. Liner pool sizes can start from as small as 12ft x 8ft (This size is usually for exercise pools) on to 10ft x 20ft and up to 20ft x 40ft.

However if you like to swim and enjoy exercising, but have tighter budget cost and you lack the space where to locate the pool, consider a smaller size swimming pool with a counter current fitted. There’s much to be saved in construction costs, build times and the future running costs with smaller exercise swimming pool, and you can have an endless amount of time swimming against a current of water without the need to turn end to end in the swimming pool.

Swimming pool enclosure. One other thing is to consider installing a swimming pool undercover. The swimming season can be extended by many months or all year round by building swimming pool in a solid building or a purpose built enclosure. Planning and building control permissions may be needed for these so seek advice from your local authorities or ask the pool installer to take this role on for you.

The benefits of a pool enclosure are these:

a) They ensure that you do not waste heat energy stored in the water from the heated water or the suns solar gain.
b) Besides keeping the water at a comfortable temperature, the air temperature remains warm, free from draughts. A solar or heat retention cover is still needed to decrease evaporation
c) In the summer you are unlikely to use the heater, and this will save you money on your heating costs. There is additional savings on the use and cost of chemicals and water, also save you time and work keeping the pool maintained as there is less debris and bugs that will enter the swimming pool.

Now you’ve chosen one of the options and estimated the cost of  your swimming pool, you will want to know where the best place to locate your swimming pool? Read more

John Cox TnISPE(Cert)

London Gloucester Bristol UK

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4 thoughts on “Installing a new swimming pool

  1. I am building an indoor area for a pool.
    I have builders and skills to construct the concrete floor and block sides.
    I need a kit for pumps, liner, heating, inbuilt dupajet, approx 10mtrs x 4 mars plus advice on humidity control, heat retention like electric pool covers etc etc
    I need a drawing, a plan, ideas and advice.
    Can you help please.

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