Installing a swimming pool outdoors in the UK isn’t something one usually associates with everyday life. Indeed, aren’t those usually reserved for the celebrity lifestyle?
The simple answer is no.
The average cost of building a swimming pool in a garden ranges from about £1000-£3000 for a small, cheap, above-ground swimming pool installation. Usually, they’re even cheaper if you don’t mind a DIY version. In comparison, for a medium-sized in-ground swimming pool installation, a DIY kit starts at around £5000. Alternatively, it’ll cost £12000 upwards for a professionally built version.
Whichever type you choose, it’s essential to build it properly. A poorly constructed pool will put most people off buying your home in the future and provide you with many problems in the meantime. But perhaps you’ve already found your dream home and intend to stay there forever. In which case, you should consider installing one of the many different types of pools available. And, more importantly, using one of the many heating methods to make your pool bearable for most of the year. You can then enjoy healthy swim sessions all year round with friends and family.
How Much Does It Cost To Build a Swimming Pool?*
The table below outlines the cost of building a swimming pool, relating to the different kinds available.
|Swimming Pool Type||Location||Average Cost|
|Small above ground kit||Above ground||£1000 to £3000|
|Small pool and liner||In-ground||£20000|
|Mid-size concrete pool c/w mosaic tiles||£30000|
|Large concrete pool c/w mosaic tiles||£40000|
|Mid-size fibreglass pool||£30000|
|Large fibreglass pool||£45000|
|Mid-size overflow pool||£25000|
|Large overflow pool||£40000|
|Mid-sized stainless steel pool||£40000|
|Large stainless steel pool||£60000|
* You should use the table above as a starting point for your research. We compiled the data and other information from various online resources. Therefore, all facts and figures are estimated swimming pool installation costs and are correct at the time of writing (July 2021).
But in the UK?
It might seem strange in the UK, building a swimming pool in the garden. But, an indoor pool costs far more, as you’d need to build a structure able to span the entire pool and might need planning permission. Furthermore, above ground pools are the cheapest way to provide a pool for the family. Moreover, they’re also easier to dismantle and take away if you decide to move house. Another advantage is that it’s within the capabilities of someone to take on as a DIY project.
Outdoor pools are easier to build and install than indoor pools. Furthermore, they also come under different local authority regulations from an indoor pool. But, we’ll talk about those later.
As you can see from the prices, the cost of installing a garden pool compares well with a good quality conservatory. So although it’s within the range of many UK householders, a conservatory will put more money on your house and make it easier to sell than a pool. However, if you have the money, room, and swimming is a passion, by all means, have both. Unless, of course, you decide to choose an above ground pool that you can fold up and take with you when you move house.
Probably, the lowest price for a professionally installed outdoor pool starts at around £15000. But for this money, you’ll probably get a small pool with a basic liner. Alternatively, for a minimum of around £25000, you can get a small concrete pool with mosaic tiles. However, an average-sized pool like this will cost about £40000 or so. So, to get a good idea of the overall cost to build a swimming pool for your situation, get a quote from a professional pool installation specialist by completing the form on this page.
Once you have a pool, you’ve other additional costs, which many people forget to add to the total cost. Namely, running costs and making the area around the pool pretty.
When considering purification plants, most people imagine chlorination plants. However, if you don’t like these, there are other purification systems such as salt, UV or electrolysis. There are also three main types of filtration plants: sand filter, cartridge filter and a diatomaceous earth filter. You can take your pick of the purification and filtration methods, but which one you choose depends on the type of pool you have. Generally, the total cost will be between £50 and £200 to buy.
Finally, you can expect to pay from £5 to £10 per day on heating, treatment and pumping throughout the year.
Now let’s look at the surroundings. It’s not a good idea to have grass around the pool. The soil will stay wet from splashes and wet feet, eventually forming a quagmire of mud. Plus, you’ll have floating grass cuttings every time you mow. So, it’s worth spending a little more on installing a patio for around £2000 or decking for £10000 to £15000.
You’ll also find that having a pool suddenly attract friends you never realised you had. So, unless you want to be continually cutting grass and weeding the flower beds, it’s probably a good idea to find a regular gardener to keep up with the maintenance. Depending on the gardener’s qualifications and experience, this can cost anything up to £200 per day.
Furthermore, as you will swim in the evenings after work, it’s probably a good idea to buy a patio heater or two. These cost a few hundred to buy, but they cost around £30 to £40 per week to run.
Swimming Pool Installation: Step by Step
You must have a crew of at least two people to build and install your pool. However, there probably won’t be more than four people. Pool installation specialists usually charge around £200 per day. But, depending on the type of pool and the different specialist jobs involved, expect to pay slightly more. Furthermore, you might end up paying for other specialist professionals for a day or two at a time. For example, you might need someone to remove stubborn tree stumps, stainless steel welders, landscape gardeners, and other specialist tasks.
Every swimming pool is different, both in size and design. Therefore, we cant give a step by step description of how to build one. That’s a job for the professional pool builder anyway. But, we can generally explain how a professional will go about building one.
- Firstly plan the site. Then, mark out the pool excavation area. It’s essential to calculate the levels correctly while doing this, as the pool must sit perfectly level in the hole.
- Next, excavate the soil from the hole and remove the excess soil from the area.
- Place the bottom channel into position, followed by frames and panels.
- Install steps onto walls.
- Screed the pool bottom.
- Backfill behind pool panels with suitable material.
- Build surrounding areas above-ground.
- Once the floor covering has set, place liner and smooth out creases.
- Fill the pool with water.
- Finish installing decking around the pool.
Building a Swimming Pool Cost Factors
Above ground pool
These are available to buy as a kit that any DIY enthusiast can erect. You can imagine it as an adult size kids paddling pool, but large enough to swim back and forth.
A typical inground pool needs a hole. The volume of the excavation largely determines the overall cost. Mini-excavators cost around £100 per day to hire or up to £450 per week. It’s an excellent idea to hire a professional to dig the hole, as it’s easy for accidents to happen on the edge of an excavation.
Let’s have a look at the different types in a bit more detail.
You can choose an outdoor pool made from a few different materials. Typically, inground pool prices vary from about £25000 up to £70000 or more, depending on your choice.
Inflatble vinyl or PVC
As we’ve said elsewhere in this article, an above ground pool is just a larger version of a paddling pool. They’re cheap to install and take up far less room than other types. Furthermore, you can dismantle and pack them away when you move house or during the winter (they probably wouldn’t last a typical British winter anyway).
Usually, this type has a steel frame covered with a waterproof membrane to hold the water. Admittedly, you won’t swim Olympic lengths, but it’s great for a quick dip on a hot summer day.
You can buy an expensive deluxe model for up to £3000, but there are very cheap versions available for around £50 that might last a year or so.
Resin and fibreglass
These are factory moulded, and all that’s necessary is to excavate a hole and drop it in. The main benefit of this is that the pool is made to recognised quality control standards and is entirely water-tight. However, they’re only made in standard sizes, so the shape and size are from a limited choice.
Once in place, they are slightly flexible, more so than concrete. Therefore, more resistant to cracking. Installation times are quicker too, often between one and two weeks and the costs to build a pool are cheaper at around £20000 to £45000.
You might already know this type as a ‘deck-level pool’. An overflow channel surrounds the entire perimeter of the pool. Moreover, the water level is the same height as the pool’s edge. Therefore, the overflowed water freely flows into the outlet and the filtration system.
Typically, an overflow pool installation costs between £25000 to £45000. Moreover, it can take from two to three weeks to install completely.
Poured or sprayed concrete pools
You can make concrete pools in one of two ways.
- Either pour ready-mix concrete into a shuttered mould and allow it to set before smoothing with a waterproof render.
- Alternatively, spray concrete or gunite onto a reinforcing steel framework.
After the first basecoat, spray and smooth a second coat. Then a layer of tiles installed on top to provide a smooth finish. Although it’s possible to produce curved walls and floors using these methods, they are expensive, so usually, they’re restricted to flat walls and flat or stepped bases. One significant advantage is that they aren’t limited to standard sizes and can be any size or shape you want.
The most significant disadvantage is that they take a long time to build, often several weeks. And cost from £25000 to £35000 depending on the complexity.
Stainless steel pool
A stainless steel pool is made from rustproof stainless steel, welded together in place. They are strong, sealed, water-tight and leakproof. They need very little maintenance and are completely safe against vandalism, UV damage, weather conditions and water damage.
Typically, a stainless steel pool costs from £35000 to £65000.
Blokit swimming pool
Many people see this as cheaper than a standard domestic pool. It comprises hollow polystyrene blocks strengthened by reinforced poured concrete. When the concrete has set inside the blokit units, the entire structure is thermally insulated. It’s easily assembled and can make many different designs. Typically, the price to construct one of these ranges from £20000 to £25000.
Size of Pool
The pool size is critical when building an outside pool in your garden—mainly because of the removed soil. A small pool starts at around £20000. Moreover, a medium pool increases to around £35000. Furthermore, a large pool starts at around £60000.
You also have to consider other factors when altering the size. An excavator rents out at around £450 per week. Paving slabs costs around £200, or installed decking costs £1800. Finally, a decent quality winter cover costs around £350.
UK Planning Permission & Building Regulation
Outdoor pools don’t need planning permission because they’re usually regarded as a garden project. But always check with your local authority if your property has any restrictions placed on it due to removing its permitted development rights. Compare this to an indoor pool, which might need permission depending on the type of pool house you want to build.
The regulations talk about heat loss through the ground and into the air. So, make sure you read the available information. Alternatively, speak to an architect, a specialist pool company or the Local Authority about your plans.
Also, you must adhere to the regulations regarding electrical, drainage and plumbing connections. Moreover, ensure that the pool installation doesn’t cause problems with your home’s foundations during excavation, installation or in the event of a leakage washing away the soil around the footings.
Swimming Pool Installation FAQ
How do I maintain a swimming pool?
There are a few things you need to do to maintain your pool correctly.
- Remove decomposing matter such as leaves from the water. The solids block the pumps and filtration plants, but also, when they decompose, they affect the acidity and alkalinity of the water (pH levels).
- Follow the instructions to maintain the water’s chlorine levels, calcium hardness and cyanuric acid. You also need to keep an eye on the total dissolved solids within the water.
- Know when you must check the levels and add the appropriate chemical reagents to bring the concentration levels back into the recommended ranges.
- Monitor the water levels for unexpected height drops. Although the water will evaporate over time, you should also look out for possible leaks through the pool walls.
How much does a pool cost to run?
Generally, considering all filtration and purification costs, you can expect to run your outdoor pool for around £10 per day.
Does a swimming pool add value to the home?
This isn’t a cut and dried answer. If you have a buyer who is specifically looking for a property with a swimming pool, then yes, it does add value to your home. However, there are many more people who don’t particularly want a pool. Seeing it as unnecessary, a danger to small grandchildren and pets, and something more to look after and maintain.
The solution is to use a specialist estate agent who might have pool enthusiasts on their books looking for a property such as yours.
What’s the cheapest inground pool?
Generally, vinyl liner pools are the cheapest to install. A small pool using this method starts around £20000
Are inground pool kits worth it?
A DIY inground kit costs £8000 for a 7.2m x 3.6m x1.5m deep pool. This amount increases to £12500 for a 12m x 6m x 1.5m deep pool, excluding VAT, delivery and pumphouse equipment.
So, if you’re able to do all the rest yourself, there is a saving to be had.
Why are inground pools so expensive?
Inground pools are expensive because of the amount of work involved in the installation. Not to mention the various materials needed to produce a good looking water-tight structure.
Moreover, building a pool needs specialist skills, that unfortunately, the customer has to pay for.
Are there any trade associations for pool installation companies?
Before choosing someone to professionally install a pool on your property, ensure they belong to a reputable company. Look for a trade association membership such as the Swimming Pool and Allied Trade Association or the British Swimming Pool Federation.
Find a Local Swimming Pool Installer
If you’ve never previously considered having a pool built in your garden, you need some help with ideas, designs, and installation. We have already vetted many specialist companies, able to help you with swimming pool installation prices for design and installation.
Complete the form on this page, and you’ll receive up to 4 quotes from reputable pool installers who can help.