For many, this is the first and most important question. We’ve created one of the most complex videos that deal with pool prices. Kate explains what affects the cost of your new swimming pool and gives you indicative price ranges to assist you with pool budgeting.
Answering the important question of swimming pool cost
A very popular question we get at Compass Pools Melbourne is how much does a pool cost? Now I’m going to try and explain this to you in sections and I will be able to give you some really rough ballpark figures. But I’m going to have to stagger it into certain sections because when you’re actually looking at swimming pools and you see what we call the money shots of the finished product, what a lot of people can look at is the pool shape and size and the paving, but they can’t actually equate what’s around it and how the actual pool has actually been built, and that’s where the price can change a little bit.
Pool shell as part of the pool project cost
When you decide, let’s say on a seven by three meter pool, and we actually order the pool from Compass manufacturing, the pool can actually be built in three or four different ways for the pool shell. There’s actually a five to $10,000 range just in the pool shell that we order on your behalf. When we come to costing the swimming pool for you, one of the things that we need to consider as pool builders is what type of shell, not actually in the shape and size, but what strength shell is required for your backyard? In Melbourne, there’s so many different soil conditions. The pools here at Compass Pools, the ceramic composite pools, there is a range of 200, 300, and 500 shells. That’s one of the first things we need to look at when it comes to pricing your pool.
Soil conditions and the pool price
Here in Melbourne, we actually build pools differently in the reactive clays, for example, in some of the Western suburbs compared to the, say, sand conditions down in the peninsula. So, the way we build the swimming pool itself will differ on the site. When we’re building a swimming pool, we’re building a pool for life. The price of the pool shell, we invest in that at the front of the process in the initial build so that the pool will be looking as good as the installation timeframe as it does, say, in five or 10 or 15 years.
Simple site or above ground installation required?
The pool shell price range will depend on how far the pool is actually sitting out of the ground. For some people, they think that with less digging that the pool’s actually going to be more cost-effective. But unfortunately, the higher out of the ground that you have, and I’m talking half a meter to a meter out of the ground, the more unfortunately it does cost. It can add anywhere from five to $15,000 to the actual build. That’s because the air has to be supported by structure as opposed to when we’re digging and putting the pool in the ground, the ground is part of the pool structure itself.
Choosing your pool circulation system
One of the other areas that can affect the price of the pool is what type of circulation system that you’re going to have. Now, the most cost-effective way for us to build a swimming pool is to build it with the most simplest plumbing situation. That is basically two eyeball returns at one end and a skimmer box at the other.
A very popular mid-range pool is called the Logic pool. The reason that people do this project is because the water return has swing jets that force the water down. Any heating or any chlorine that’s made from your salt chlorinator is forcing the water down. Now, this is married with what’s called a Venturi Skimmer Box. This circulation system called the Logic does add more to the simple hydraulic system that we have. Then the third option that some people choose to have is the self-cleaning Vantage In-Floor Cleaning System.
There’s three very different hydraulic systems that you can actually purchase when it comes to putting in a swimming pool. Now, when the pool’s actually finished and you take a photo or you’re looking through a magazine, you can’t tell the difference of what’s what because that photo is just a snapshot. But there’s probably anywhere from a 10 to $15,000 difference price range just in that that item alone.
Cost of a 7 x 3m Logic Pool
How much does a pool cost in Melbourne? Let’s say a seven by three meter pool, and I’m just going to put heating to the side for a moment and with heating, and you can watch the other videos about that, the cost of heating will range from $3,000 to about $6,000. Somewhere in amongst there you will pay for either a solar system, a gas system, or an electric system. So, putting that to the side. How much does a seven by three meter pool cost?
Assuming that you’ve got the pool in the ground so that we don’t actually have it out of the ground with any of the freestanding scenarios that we can build with swimming pools. If the pool’s in the ground and if you’re looking at a mid-range circulation system, let’s say the Logic pool, then we would say that the pool will range from about $45,0000 to about $55,000. That is a really vague price, and I do apologise for that, but there are so many different things that we can add or the site can add to it.
Putting a swimming pool in its place
One of the questions people ask is, “But what about the crane? How am I going to get that pool in?” The thing is the crane’s actually not a big cost of the whole project. We need to have a crane regardless, even if it’s in the open space because legally in Melbourne here, we have to use a crane to put the pool in the hole. If we need a bigger crane, it’s just a little bit of an upgrade from a Franna to a 25 ton.
Restricted access issues
Where the price can vary more significantly is when access is restricted. When we build a swimming pool in Melbourne, and let’s say a seven by three meter pool, we can be talking about at least seven big truckloads of dirt that comes out, almost as big as this house. The amount of dirt that comes out of a swimming pool really does shock a lot of our customers. And that’s because the material that you dig up, it expands sometimes two, three, four times more depending on the soil conditions and what the weather’s being like. So, the narrower that we have to get access in, then unfortunately that does add to the price of the pool.
If we can get a Bobcat in, which is really a two meter, two and a half meter, three meter, if we’re lucky enough to get that, then the price is not going to be as affected. If it starts getting under 1.6 meters, 1.5 and narrower, that tends to add to the price of the pool. The narrow the access unfortunately can add anywhere from a couple of thousand all the way through, and I’m going to tell you a really bad case scenario here, but let’s say even through a door, that can unfortunately add anywhere from $10,000 or more. But that gives you a price range of what the access and how it can affect the price of a pool.
So, getting back to how much does a pool cost. I said our mid-range pool would range between $45,000 and $55,000. We can build what we call a eyeball return pool for maybe sort of $35,000, $40,000 to $45,000. We do a lot of self-cleaning pools in Melbourne here and they will tend to range between $55,000 to, say, $65,000 for a seven by three meter pool with fairly normal conditions, but without those other things that can affect the price. Sorry for being vague, but when we say the same seven by three meter pool can cost between $40,000 and $60,000 or $70,000 or those sort of figures, it’s because of all those reasons.
Explaining pool quote differences
Technology and material of your pool
When people first start looking at how much does a pool cost and what’s the most cost-effective pool to build, concrete or fibreglass for example, once again, the actual pool shape and size or even the pool equipment tends to not dictate what that answer is. So, it’s really hard for you to try and understand how can one price for a seven by three meter pool say be, I don’t know, $55,000, another one could be $65,000 and another could be $45,000. And yet they’re all seven by three meter pools be it concrete, be it fibreglass. So, there’s this huger range of pricing when it comes to pricing a pool. The reason for this is not necessarily the pump and the filter and the chlorinator or the equipment because the equipment nowadays is all fairly similar price. Even the really, really good stuff and the not so good stuff. There’s not a huge price range between that.
Experience and know-how of your pool builder
Where the main difference is with price other than the things that I’ve just mentioned is how the pool is actually built. Every pool builder is different, a bit like every house builder. Here at Compass Pools Melbourne, we’re very passionate about building pools that are going to last you forever. When it comes to building the pool, when it comes to things like drainage, when it comes to things like valves and pipework, if there’s a better way to build something, we will always do this. Now, these are things that you cannot see when it comes to owning the swimming pool, but these are the things that are underneath the paving, in amongst the way that the pool is plumbed and operated so that your long-term future with the swimming pool really is a pleasure to own.
Adding a spa to your pool
If you’re thinking of adding a spa to your backyard with your pool, we always recommend doing it with the pool. Now, it doesn’t have to be necessarily right next to the pool if you want to have it in an al fresco area. But what we do recommend is that we have the one filtration system so that you can actually control all the water with one set of equipment and one set of water balance and so forth. We do get a bit of feedback that if you do have it separate, it just requires two separate ownership of water and then having to maintain them all separately. So, by having them connected with the pool, yes it does add to the price of the project, but you will find that looking after the pool and spa will be a lot easier long-term.
How much does it cost to add a spa to a pool project? It would probably add between $10,000 and $18,000. And once again, I know that’s a huge range. The reason for that is because you can add a water feature so that the water is connected to the spa. You can add automation so that you don’t have to change the filtration from pool mode to spa mode manually. And then you would also need a secondary heating system. So, that’s why the price range is so wide.
Above ground pool cost
How much does a pool cost that’s out of the ground? And when I say out of the ground, I’m talking at least half a meter exposed somewhere. The pricing for these will range and probably start from anywhere from three to four to $5,000 to support the pool all the way through to our unique freestanding pool option, and they can sometimes add between $15,000 and $20,000. So, they do cost more money, but it allows you to have a pool built at a certain height so that your back area or your deck or your al fresco can all be married into the one level, so your whole living area is at that one height. Sometimes as well, if we can’t get the actual shell floor onto natural ground, some people invest in actually creating a raised platform to get it up at that height. Unfortunately, once again, air costs more money and a suspended platform to be able to put your pool on can add a further $15,000 to $25,000 just depending on engineering.
Inifinity pools – great looking but more costly option
Another question we get asked a lot is, “How much for an infinity edge pool or a negative edge pool?” And once again, these are very big costs when it comes to swimming pools. The reason for such a large cost with a in, and once again they can range from anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000 – $35,000 which once again is a very large range. But it’s because we’re actually building almost a second pool to be able to house this water that’s flowing over the edge or disappearing on two or three or four sides. So, you’re almost actually building two pools to get that effect. Sometimes we can create like a negative edge by using glass or acrylic on one end and that can be a little bit more cost-effective sometimes. And that might be more a $15,000 to $25,000 investment.
They’re all really big costs. But the reason that we’re finding more and more people investing in this is because the swimming pool’s becoming part of the lifestyle of the house. So, from the house, you might be able to see from the lounge room or the kitchen to the pool. And though you might not be swimming in it every day, you might be sitting out here having a cup of tea. You might have your dinner out here, and the pool becomes such a part of this indoor outdoor living, which is becoming more and more popular here in Melbourne.