All good things come to an end, including the pool season. As the temperature begins to drop and leaves start to fall, the time comes to bid farewell to your swimming pool for the colder months. This transition is more than just covering it up and waiting for spring; it involves a series of essential steps collectively known as pool closing, and it comes with its own set of costs. But how much does it cost exactly?
In this article, I will answer this question, go over the factors that affect the cost, and more. Let’s get straight into it!
- It costs between $150 to $450 to close a pool.
- The factors that affect the pool closing cost include the type of pool, size, chemicals, other materials, and labor.
- If you’re confident in your abilities and have the time, you should DIY close your pool, as it will save money. However, if you prioritize convenience, expertise, and minimizing the risk of potential problems, pay for a professional.
- To close a pool permanently, it will cost between $500 and $22,000.
How Much Does It Cost to Close a Pool?
The cost of closing a pool can vary widely depending on several factors. Generally, homeowners in the United States will spend $150 to $450 to close their pools, with the national average being around $250. If you opt to do everything yourself instead of hiring a professional, closing your pool will obviously cost a lot less since you cut out the labor costs.
The costs you need to consider for closing a pool are chemicals, an air pillow or several, cleaning equipment, a winter pool cover (if you don’t have one already), and labor (if you decide to hire a professional).
Pool Closing Cost Factors
Don’t worry! You won’t have to take out a second mortgage to close your pool for the winter! But the cost depends on several different factors. I will go over these below.
Above Ground vs. Inground
It’ll cost you much less to close an above ground pool since they are generally smaller, have less equipment, and are easier to winterize. Closing an above ground pool will cost you $100 to $200, but if you have a small pool and do everything yourself, it can cost even less!
Inground pools, on the other hand, typically cost more to winterize as they require more chemicals and are more complicated in general. You can expect to pay a minimum of $200 to winterize an inground pool and up to $450.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that a larger pool will cost more to winterize. After all, more water volume = more chemicals required and more time spent winterizing the pool. Larger pools also tend to have more equipment (filters, heaters, hot tubs, water features, etc.) that will also need to be closed and winterized.
When you close a pool, a major cost factor is the necessary chemicals. Purchasing your winterizing chemicals will likely be the most expensive part of closing your pool, especially if you DIY or purchase a pool winterization kit. Here is a breakdown of the different chemicals you’ll need to close your pool and how much they will cost you for winterizing:
- Chlorine: $10 to $100
- Stabilizer (cyanuric acid): $15 to $30
- Algaecide: $10 to $70
- Bromine: $20 to $50
- Pool shock: $15 to $50
- Calcium hardness increaser: $2 to $15
- Baking soda/soda ash: $10 to $30
- Muriatic acid: $5 to $30
Check out my complete maintenance cost analysis for more on swimming pool maintenance costs.
Disclaimer: The above costs are based on pools from 10,000 to 20,000 gallons and the average amounts of each chemical needed to winterize your pool. However, the cost of these chemicals may be lower or higher for you depending on the specific winterizing needs of your pool.
You must also ensure you have all the other necessary tools and materials for closing your pool. The other materials you’ll need include a pool cover, an air pillow, and basic cleaning equipment. You will likely have all the basic cleaning equipment on hand already, but if you don’t, I have included the average costs below.
- Air pillow: $20 to $50
- Winter pool cover: $50 to $500
- Pool vacuum: $25 to $500 (automatic pool cleaners are on the higher end of the cost spectrum)
- Pool brush: $10 to $40
- Skimmer net: $10 to $50
- Telescopic pole: $30 to $50
If you decide to close your pool yourself, you won’t spend anything on labor besides your own time. Hiring a professional will cost you more money, but you can rest assured that everything will be done correctly. Swimming pool contractors typically charge an absolute minimum of $50 per hour and up to $100 per hour for labor. Generally, you can expect labor costs to account for around $150 to $300 of your total pool closing cost.
Additional Closing Costs to Consider
There are a few other closing costs you may have to consider if you have add-ons or extra equipment that needs winter pool care.
Winterizing a Hot Tub
If you have a hot tub or a spa that also needs to be winterized, you should expect to pay an additional $40 to $100 for closing your pool. That said, most pool owners don’t winterize their hot tubs since they will generally use them throughout the winter, and they are much easier to maintain in cold weather than large swimming pools.
Winterizing Pool Equipment
You may also need to drain, winterize, and store your pool equipment during the winter to protect them from cold weather. Your pool pump, filter, and heaters must be unhooked from your pool, completely drained, and stored in a warm, dry place. You may also need to lube up your equipment to keep it in good condition while it is stored. Doing all this yourself won’t cost you much at all, if anything, but if you plan to have your contractor winterize your pool equipment, expect to pay an extra $50 to $100.
Related reading on storing pool equipment:
DIY Closing a Pool vs. Hiring a Pro
When closing your pool for the winter months, one crucial decision you’ll need to make is whether to close the pool yourself or hire a professional. Both options have their pros and cons, and ultimately, what you choose is entirely up to you!
For the experienced and hands-on pool owner, closing the pool yourself might be a better and more cost-effective choice. Plus, closing the pool yourself will give you a sense of accomplishment!
- Save money: Of course, one of the biggest draws for closing the pool yourself is to save money on labor.
- Control: You have complete control over the process, allowing you to address specific concerns or preferences you may have for your pool.
- Learning opportunity: Closing your pool is a good chance to get some hands-on pool maintenance experience. And once you successfully close your pool once, you’ll be able to do it yourself every year!
- Lack of skill and experience: Incorrectly winterizing your pool can lead to equipment damage, leaks, and costly repairs when you reopen it in the spring. Yikes!
- Time and effort: Properly closing a pool involves multiple steps, from balancing the water chemistry to removing equipment and covering the pool. It can be time-consuming and physically demanding.
- Hidden costs: If it’s your first time closing your pool, you’ll need to buy the closing chemicals and equipment, which may end up being more expensive than you expect.
Hiring a Professional
Bringing in a professional pool closing service offers convenience and peace of mind. If you are not very DIY-savvy, I recommend hiring a professional, but here are the pros and cons so that you can decide for yourself.
- Skill and expertise: Professional pool closing technicians know exactly what to do. They will ensure each step of the process is executed correctly.
- Reduced risk: Due to the above reason, professionals are less likely to make mistakes that could lead to equipment damage or expensive future repairs.
- Save time: Instead of spending time closing the pool yourself, you entrust the entire process to professionals, which gives you more time to relax and do other things!
- Cost: Hiring a professional pool closing service involves upfront costs for labor and materials, which might be higher than the expenses for DIY pool closing.
- Dependency: Relying on a professional might make you less self-sufficient in maintaining your pool in the future, with a lack of hands-on experience with your own pool.
Cost to Close a Pool Permanently
Permanently closing or removing a pool entirely costs anywhere between $500 and $22,000. There are many factors that play into the final cost of removing a pool, including the type of removal, pool type, above ground vs. inground, labor costs, fill material, and pool size. Generally, above ground pools are easier to remove and, therefore, cheaper. Above ground pool removal will cost between $500 and $3,000, with an average of $900. Inground pools, on the other hand, are much more expensive to remove, ranging from $4,000 to $22,000.
Cost to Open a Pool
To open your pool, you will need pool chemicals, a sump pump, a pool vacuum, a pool brush, a telescopic pole, and a skimmer net. To open a pool, you should budget between $100 to $400. This range in price is due to the type of pool you have and whether you are hiring a professional or doing it yourself.
- An above ground pool will generally cost between $175 and $225 to open.
- An inground pool will cost between $250 and $400 to open.
- A saltwater pool will cost $100 to $400 to open.
- DIY opening a swimming pool will cost around $100.
- Hiring a professional to open your pool will average around $250 to $300, but particularly dirty pools may cost $400 and more. Pools that have been closed for years may cost $500+ to open.
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Frequently Asked Questions
When should I close my pool?
If you have a pool heater, you can extend the pool season by another month or two, but as a general rule, you should close the pool as soon as it gets too cold to swim. For many, Labor Day is the unofficial day for pool closing, but I recommend waiting until the temperatures drop below 65 degrees before you close the pool for the season. Otherwise, algae will still be able to multiply and may infest your pool while it is in hibernation, which makes opening your pool much more time-consuming and costly.
How much does it cost to have someone close your pool?
Hiring a professional will cost more than DIY closing your pool. But on average, expect to pay between $50 to $100 per hour. So, to hire someone to close your pool, you may pay around $150 to $300 at minimum for labor only.
Closing Your Pool
Understanding and planning for pool closing costs is essential to being a responsible pool owner. While the initial excitement of having a pool often focuses on its use during the warmer months, it’s crucial to pay attention to the maintenance and preparation required for the colder seasons as well! As you can see, you’ll need to budget a specific amount of money each year to close your pool. The last thing you want is to be surprised by a bill at the end of the pool season. Properly closing a pool not only safeguards the investment but also contributes to the overall enjoyment and safety of the pool for the next pool season!
Do you have more questions about pool closing costs or anything else regarding pools? Let me know!