What is an in-ground pool? And should I get one? (Considerations, costs, pros, cons and more)

Thinking about installing a pool for you and your family? Looking for an excellent way for you and your family to appreciate the outdoors? Keep reading to learn the key points about in-ground pools if it’s right for you.

in-ground swimming pool hero

With the right landscaping, an in-ground pool can add a real wow factor to your outdoor space. Before you get excited about taking the plunge, there are quite a few things to consider. Keep reading to learn more about the things to know before installing an inground pool at home.

What is an in-ground pool?

An in-ground pool is a permanent structure built into the ground and filled with water. They can come in different types, shapes, depths, and sizes, and are highly customisable. Inground pools can be constructed from a range of materials but concrete, fibreglass and vinyl are the most common materials used.

It can take around two to three months to install an inground pool, depending on the scope of the project. Factors such as pool type, size, depth, special customizations and extra features, can all affect the building timeline.

Although most in-ground pools designed for homes and public pools are rectangular or square, the builder can construct the pool in any shape provided you have the budget and the right space for it.

Like any major construction project, swimming pools are subject to council compliance rules and regulations. Make sure you have gained all the appropriate permissions and consents before construction begins.

Compared with above-ground pools, in-ground pools are difficult to demolish should the need arise. So make sure you hire a skilled, qualified pool builder to help you make the right decisions and save you time and money in the long term.

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What are the different types of in-ground pools?

If you’re interested in building an in-ground pool on your property, learning the three main types of in-ground pools will help you choose the right one for your lifestyle and needs.

Fibreglass in-ground pool

Fibreglass In-ground pools

Fibreglass is a strong, lightweight material made from small glass threads woven into a fabric, which is then hardened with a polyester resin. Like hot tubs, fibreglass pools are pre-made and typically installed in one piece.

After the soil excavation, the process of installing a fibreglass in-ground pool usually only takes a few days since it’s pretty much a plug-and-play approach. This type of in-ground pool is fairly straightforward to install and maintain, and the least expensive of the three options.

There are several factors that affect the total price of your fibreglass pool, including the pool shell's dimension and shape, location accessibility and if there are soil excavation issues.

A fibreglass pool shell can cost between $6,500 and $25,000, while installation (putting the pool shell into pre-excavated soil) will cost at least $10,000.

To learn more about fibreglass pool installation costs, please click the button below.

vinyl pool

Vinyl In-ground pools

A vinyl liner pool has a ready-made vinyl sheet between the water and the structure of the pool. Vinyl liner pools are flexible as they offer various design options, sizes and shapes.

Prefabricated walls or panels made of galvanised steel or thermoplastic are attached to the frame to create the pool shell, which is lined with heavy vinyl. The pool shell is supported from behind to carry the weight of the water.

The cost of the vinyl liner pool ranges from $20,000 to $70,000 depending on its thickness, size and pattern. This type of pool is less cost-effective because it typically only lasts for 5 to 10 years when you would need to replace the vinyl liner at a cost of around $3,000 to $6,000.

To learn more about vinyl pool installation costs, please click the button below.

Concrete in-ground pool

Concrete In-ground pools

As the name suggests, concrete pools are made of cement and the structure is supported by steel rods and sometimes plaster for additional durability.

Unlike the other types of in-ground pool shells, concrete pools give you a tremendous amount of versatility. From the tanning ledge to the pool’s surface.

Although concrete pools are the most expensive, they’re the most popular type of in-ground pools due to their durability, wow factor and flexibility.

The average cost of a concrete swimming pool is around $50,000 to $65,000 for a size of 7m X 3m. It could cost $75,000 to $85,000 for a 12m X 5m pool. A smaller pool with a size of 6m X 3m can cost around $35,000 to $40,000. While a much larger pool would cost $100,000 or more.

To learn more about concrete pool installation costs, please click the button below.

Watch: Inground swim spa design idea

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What are the pros and cons of installing an in-ground pool?

If you’re leaning towards an in-ground pool, it is important to understand that they are typically designed to be a permanent structure. While most people dream to have their own swimming pool at home, they won’t suit everyone.

Have a look at the pros and cons below to help you decide if an inground pool is a right fit for you.

Pros of in-ground pools

swimming pool

Convenience and enjoyment

An in-ground pool on your property can be a great place to relax and cool down after a long day. No more long and tiring drives, or packing snacks and swimsuits because with a pool in your backyard, it only takes a few steps to dive in. You might also feel more comfortable practising your swimming skills knowing that no one judges your moves.

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Property resale value

Resale value

Since most people love to have a swimming pool of their own, a well-maintained in-ground pool can add value to your property. In some cases, the return on investment can be much higher depending on the time you sell the property.

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swimming pool designs

Design options

One of the greatest advantages of in-ground pools is their flexibility when it comes to size, depth, shape, and design. They can be suited to both your preferences and your space available.

Compared with above-ground pools, in-ground pools can be a better option if you want a deeper swimming pool or even customise its depth. For example, you want one side of the pool deeper than the other side.

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Cons of in-ground pools

In-ground pool installation

Cost and Installation

As mentioned above, in-ground pools are major investments. Depending on how you want your pool to be constructed, you might spend tens of thousands of dollars.

There are swimming pool financing available, but If you can manage to pay in cash, you might be able to save some money. Another thing to consider is the pool installation. The process of the installation may take a few weeks to months.

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swimming pool maintenance


Maintaining in-ground pools can be a lot of work if your pool isn’t equipped with filtration systems and automated cleaners. While you can hire a cleaner to do the job for you, maintaining it will still require your time, energy, and money. With or without advanced cleaning systems, it is crucial that you ensure your pool is safe to use.

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Pool heater running cost

High running cost (if heated)

Most in-ground pools are built for summer fun and are not used during the winter. If you want to enjoy your pool year-round then you need to factor in the cost of heating thousands of litres of water.

If you're after an all-season pool with reduced running costs, you could consider a swim spa. A standard-sized swim spa holds 5,000 to 6,000 litres of water, they are energy efficient and built with insulation and heaters making them relatively easy to heat compared to a swimming pool.

Click the button below to learn why a swim spa can be a better option than a swimming pool in our detailed article.

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Should I install an in-ground pool?

Many of us dream of owning a swimming pool. The thought of diving into a crystal clear pool at the end of a long day is exhilarating. However, before making a final decision, carefully evaluate if an in-ground pool is the best option for you.

To help decide if you should install an inground pool, you might want to consider the following:

Price and budget. The first thing you need to think about is how much pool you can afford. The price you’ll set for the pool will govern important considerations around the type of construction, size and features of the pool you will be building. Another consideration to make is the unexpected cost increase during soil excavation.

Year-round use. You may want to install a pool heater to keep your pool warm during cooler months. Many pool owners avoid this feature because they fear it will be expensive. On average, pool heaters cost $100-$300 monthly depending on how much water you are heating.

Upkeep. While pool maintenance may sound like a chore, it can be simple if you create a routine. The key is being consistent in upkeeping your pool. To keep your pool clean and uncontaminated, it is recommended that you clean it at least once a week.

In order to make the cleaning process easier and faster, you can purchase and install various pool cleaning tools and equipment. However, this will add up to your maintenance cost.

If you're searching for a more budget-friendly, easy-to-maintain swimming pool that's great in any weather, an all-season swim spa could be an excellent alternative.

Hydrotherapy in a swim spa

There are many reasons to invest in a swim spa, here are some to name a few:

  • They are portable and easier to install
  • They are equipped with hydrotherapy jets
  • You can use them all year round as they have adjustable built-in heaters
  • They have automatic sanitation systems and other water care features
  • They can also be a more convenient way to train for swimming

To learn more about the benefits, features, pros and cons of a swim spa, please read our detailed article below.

So, should you install an in-ground pool? The answer comes down to your personal preferences. If you can afford it and are willing to maintain it, an inground pool could be a dream come true!

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In Summary

Planning for major projects like an in-ground pool is exciting but also can also be a little scary. If you want to ensure that this project will turn out to be what you are expecting, careful planning and considerations are essential.

We hope this article helps you make a better decision if an in-ground pool suits you best.

If you decide a swim spa could be a better option for your lifestyle and need expert advice, our swim spa specialists are always happy to answer any questions you might have.

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