How Much Does a Swimming Pool Cost in 2024?

Grab your floaties and dive into our latest articles exploring the average costs of building and maintaining a swimming pool in 2024.
Last modified: 15th May 2024
William Jolly  |  

Looking to beat the heat this summer? You might be tempted to join the millions of Aussies with a pool in the backyard by building your own. But not so fast! Pools are one of the most expensive home renovations you can make, and even when it’s done, there’ll be significant ongoing costs for years afterwards.

You're probably wondering: how much does a pool cost? Understanding these costs is vital for anyone looking to make a splash in their backyard without getting in over their head financially.

In this article, we'll wade through the various expenses associated with owning a pool, from the initial plunge of installation to the steady stroke of maintenance costs.

On this page:



How many Australians own a swimming pool?

Unsurprisingly, lots of Aussies have a swimming pool. In fact, we have the most swimming pools per capita in the world! According to Roy Morgan’s research, 3.1 million Australians (14%) lived in a house with a pool or spa in 2023.

Australia’s three most northern State capitals are far more likely to have houses with swimming pools than their southern counterparts. Nearly one in four regional Queenslanders (24%) live in a house with a swimming pool or spa; just under a fifth (19%) of Brisbane residents have one, as do 17% of Perth residents and 16% of Sydneysiders.

Meanwhile, only 11% of Canberra residents and just 9% of Melbourne residents own a pool or spa. But even those who don’t own a pool still find a way to have a dip, with up to five million Australians swimming regularly or occasionally.

Roy Morgan data
Source: Roy Morgan

Pools are also in high demand for those looking to buy or rent. ‘Pool’ was the number one search term among prospective buyers on Domain.com.au from January to November 2022.

Commonwealth Bank’s Household Spending Intentions index also reported a 21.4% increase in pool spending in the year to November 2022.

What factors influence the cost of a swimming pool?

As an in-demand feature of any home, pools can be pretty complex to build and install. This means they can also be quite expensive, with a number of different factors influencing the overall cost. The main factors you’ll need to consider include:

  • Type: There are generally two main types of pools, above ground and below ground (also known as an inground pool). Above-ground pools are generally cheaper as they require fewer landscaping costs to build.
  • Material: Different types of pools have varying costs. For instance, concrete pools are usually more expensive than fibreglass or vinyl pools. Concrete pools require more sophisticated materials and labour involved in their construction.
  • Size: Generally, larger pools and those with complex designs or custom features are more expensive.
  • Shape: Rectangular pools are usually cheaper and easier to build.
  • The location and access to the pool: Difficult access can require additional equipment and labour, increasing expenses.
  • Soil and site conditions: The nature of the soil and the topography of the site can affect construction costs. Rocky or unstable soil, a high water table, or a sloping site may require additional excavation and construction work.
  • Labour costs: Labour is a major expense in pool construction. The cost can vary depending on the region, the complexity of the project, and the expertise required.
  • Concrete slabs, decking and landscaping: Landscaping around the pool and additional features like decking, lighting, and safety fences also contribute to the total cost.

As you can see, pools can vary in cost quite a lot, so it’s good practice to get a few quotes from experienced, licensed builders to get a more accurate idea of what you might have to pay.

Average swimming pool installation costs in 2024

According to HiPages, here’s what you can expect to pay for each type of pool in Australia as of 2024.

Concrete pool average costs

Concrete pools are popular due to their durability and design flexibility. The cost of constructing a concrete swimming pool typically ranges between $25,000 and $100,000, sometimes even more.

Fibreglass pool average costs

A more budget-friendly option compared to concrete pools, fibreglass pools are made from a pre-formed shell. A fibreglass pool cost can range from about $25,000 to $75,000.

Vinyl pool average costs

A vinyl pool is known as such because it uses a custom-made vinyl liner. The starting cost for a vinyl liner pool is around $10,000. However, Vinyl liner pools can have higher maintenance costs.

Plunge pool average costs

A plunge pool is ideal for smaller spaces as they are compact and deep. The cost for a plunge pool starts from around $8,000 and can go up to $15,000 or more.

Above-ground pool average costs

An above-ground swimming pool is the most economical option, with prices starting from as low as $2,000 and going up to around $10,000. Above-ground pools are less customisable in shape and size but are easier to install and relocate if needed.

The alternative to an above-ground pool is an inground pool. Inground swimming pool costs vary and are generally more expensive because you will need to consider things like heating, electrical settings and landscaping in surrounding areas.

Average swimming pool maintenance costs in 2024

Unfortunately, swimming pools are not a one-and-done expense. Even after paying up to $100,000 (or more!) to install a pool, the maintenance costs can still add up to hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars per year.

According to Finder’s research, the average pool costs between $65 and $165 each month to maintain, which is just under $2,000 annually! In some cases, a pool can add up to 30% to your energy bills.

Here’s a general breakdown of maintenance costs for an 8 x 4-metre swimming pool based on HiPages’ research, which, according to Government sources, is the average pool size in Australia.

Pool filter pump costs

Running a pool pump costs approximately about $110 per month in the summer and $80 a month in the winter, totalling around which can end up at around $1,000 per year.

Unless you want to swim in a pool full of algae and other gunk, you'll need to run a filter pump daily for at least a few hours. Running a pool filter pump consumes electricity and may result in greater costs.

Pool heating costs

If you have a heated pool, the costs can be considerable, depending on the type of heater (gas, electric, solar), the size of the pool, and how often you heat the pool. According to HiPages:

  • Electric heating can cost between $250 and $750 per year
  • Solar heating is the least expensive, costing around $100 to $200 per year
  • Gas heating is the most expensive, costing between $500 and $1,500 per year

Pool cleaning costs

Ongoing pool cleaning costs will include costs related to tasks such as skimming debris from the surface, vacuuming the pool, cleaning the filter, and checking and adjusting the chemical balance. 

A pool maintenance company may charge between $60 and $150 for each clean, with chemicals also costing about $200 a year. Pool owners should budget for this on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to ensure they aren't left high and dry.

Pool water replacement costs

Pools need to be topped up with water regularly due to evaporation, splash-out, and filter backwashing. The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) estimates that over 5 ml of water evaporates from your pool every day during the summer months.

The cost of pool water replacement will depend on your local water rates and the size of your pool, but it could be at least $50 a year.

Pool repair costs

Pool equipment like pumps, heaters, and filters will need repairs or replacement over time. For example, a replacement pool pump can cost around $1,000, while a replacement heater can easily set you back over $3,000!

Pool fencing costs

Having a fence around your pool is mandatory in Australia to protect children from drowning, so this is a separate cost you'll need to work into your budget. 

A pool fence will cost anywhere from $200 per linear metre to as high as $600 per linear metre for high-end materials like frameless glass. The cost will depend on the materials you use.

Pros and cons of having a swimming pool

Having your pool in Australia comes with a variety of pros and cons, which we’ve summarised below:

Pros

  • Pools are fun! They provide endless entertainment and leisure opportunities. 
  • Social benefits such as hosting a pool party.
  • The convenience of being able to swim anytime you want.
  • Fitness and health benefits - swimming is good for you!
  • Aesthetic appeal - a good pool can enhance the appearance of your home.
  • Potentially increased property value and higher demand from tenants and buyers.

Cons

  • High construction costs (usually over $10,000 at a minimum).
  • Maintenance costs & increased utility bills that can cost a couple of thousand each year.
  • Potential safety concerns, particularly for children.
  • Time-consuming to maintain.
  • Large space requirements.
  • It may not be suitable to use all year round.
  • Increased insurance costs due to higher risks of accidents.
  • Can limit the resale of your home, as not everyone wants a pool.

You should carefully consider whether building a pool is right for you, as it is a significant investment.

How to pay for a swimming pool in Australia?

Unless it’s an inflatable pool, installing one in your home is not something you can DIY. So, the first thing you need to do is compare quotes from several licensed swimming pool builders and acquire council approval to build your pool.

Once that’s done, you’ll generally use one of two methods to pay for a pool if it’s a more expensive one:

  • Using the equity in your home (aka an increase to your existing home loan)
  • Using a construction loan, which is a type of home loan for something that needs to be built in stages.

However, if your desired pool is on the cheaper side - think $5,000 - $25,000, or around that mark - you can use a personal loan to borrow the funds you need and repay it in instalments over several years. Some lenders, like Jacaranda Finance, offer personal loans specifically tailored towards home renovations, which may require larger loan amounts.

Consider a renovation loan from Jacaranda Finance

At Jacaranda, our Home Renovation Loans can be used for a wide range of home improvement projects, from kitchen remodelling, installing home security systems, adding solar panels and, yes, building a pool. 

Our loans range from $3,000 to $25,000 and come with fixed repayments, helping you budget for your pool accordingly. What’s more, we’re entirely online, so you can apply in just 5-12 minutes1 on our website or through the Better Credit mobile app

With our fast approval turnaround time on the same day2 and transfers in just 60 seconds3, you could be dipping your toes in cool water in next to no time.

Check out our loans today to see if we can help!

Written by - William Jolly

Content Manager
William is the Content Manager at Jacaranda Finance. He has worked as both a journalist and a media advisor at some of Australia's biggest financial comparison sites such as Canstar, Compare the Market and Savings.com.au, and is passionate about helping Australians find the right money solution for them.

You can get in touch with William via williamj@jacarandafinance.com.au.
Related Topics