Indoor swimming pools not only increase your property’s value, but also provide a new element of comfort and enjoyment to your home. If you entertain or have children, they’re a great way to come together and enjoy each other’s company.
Once upon a time, the indoor pool cost was so exorbitant that it was considered too “luxury” for most homeowners. The cost is still relatively high today, but it’s not too far out of reach. In this guide, I’ll walk through the following:
- Overall cost of an indoor pool
- Cost by size
- Cost by material
- Building the surrounding structure
- Other costs to consider
Cost Overview for Indoor Pools
Let me be clear and say there is no flat answer to how much it will cost to build your indoor pool. The price will vary based on the size of the pool, your home, land, where you live, and how you plan to enclose it. There are also issues of proper ventilation and airflow to consider. These are the most expensive costs you’ll run into.
When you add all these costs up, you can expect between $90,000 to $200,000 for the total cost to build an indoor pool. However, this can cost as little as 10,000 if you already have an existing indoor area.
This chart will help you understand the major expenses of building an indoor pool and how they add up.
|Structure around the pool||$10,000-$120,000|
There is a pretty sizeable price range for inground pools, as the size of your pool, the quality and type of enclosure you build, and the type of dehumidification system can significantly affect the price.
I have seen people put indoor pools in their garages using the existing structure and bypassing the dehumidification system altogether by leaving windows open and such. However, I don’t recommend going this route because it’s always better to do things correctly.
Skipping the dehumidification can lead to moisture damage, mold, or worse down the road. Also, many local regulations and codes may require you to have proper ventilation.
Indoor Pool Cost by Size
The first thing you’ll likely think about is, “How big should the pool be?” You want it to be big enough to accommodate enough people and look luxurious in the room, but with each square foot comes an added cost. Specifically, you can expect to pay between $50-$160 per square foot.
The average cost to install a standard inground pool is $45,000, so I’m working with those numbers since the enclosure and dehumidification system are the only things that separate the indoor pool from the outdoor one.
The typical cost range for an inground pool ranges from $25,000 for a low-end pool to $150,000 for a large high-end pool.
There’s also the factor of upgrades such as lighting, water features, and hot tubs. These are all possible, even if you plan on enclosing the pool.
Now let’s talk about size. Indoor pools are generally smaller than outdoor pools for obvious reasons. Enclosing a massive pool is expensive and difficult. The smallest standard indoor pool is around 8 x 15 feet, but they can be as large as 30 x 50 feet. Most indoor pools sit somewhere in the middle at 10 x 20 feet or 12 x 16 feet. Expect to pay $50-$250 per square foot for your indoor pool, depending on the material used to build the pool.
Here’s a chart to help you visualize these costs:
|Pool Size||Average Price Range|
|8′ x 15′||$8,500-$35,000|
|10′ x 16′||$10,500-$42,000|
|10′ x 20′||$13,600-$55,900|
|10′ x 30′||$19,200-$75,000|
|12′ x 16′||$12,800-$50,000|
|12′ x 20′||$15,500-$60,000|
|12′ x 24′||$17,000-$72,000|
|15′ x 20′||$18,000-$78,000|
|16′ x 32′||$28,000-$130,000|
|20′ x 40′||$45,000-$205,000|
|30′ x 50′||$75,000-$375,000+|
You won’t likely build a pool larger than 12 x 24 inside your home. But some pool owners may build massive indoor pools inside bars or other large enclosures. These are rough cost estimates; as I said, these will vary dramatically based on the material you use.
Prefabricated vs. Custom-Built
A prefab pool is a pool that is already predesigned and constructed prior to you purchasing it. These are generally cheaper as they are likely mass-produced and easier for pool construction companies to plan and install. Most prefab pools are fiberglass; however, some can be made of concrete. In general, you can expect to pay around $10,000-$50,000 less for a prefab pool over a custom design.
Cost Breakdown: Indoor Pool Materials
Now, let’s get a bit more specific about some of the costs you’ll incur with building the pool. The expense breakdown for building an indoor pool is much the same as building one outdoors, except for the structural costs.
Once you’ve determined how large you want the pool to be, you can start thinking about materials. The type of material you use for your pool will impact how much it costs, what it looks like, and how well it lasts over time.
These are the most expensive pools to own because they cost the most to build; they also cost the most to maintain, and you have the highest risk of having something go wrong with this pool type.
Concrete pools will cost between $30,000 and $150,000 to build, with most people paying around $60,000 for a 14 x 28-sized pool. Of course, the numbers I’m referencing here refer to outdoor standard pool costs, so you can expect to pay more in total for your indoor pools as you will also have to build the enclosure and install some sort of ventilation system.
Now, you’re probably saying: “That’s not too bad, and concrete pools look much better than fiberglass.” You’re right, but you have to factor in the added maintenance costs of concrete, gunite, or shotcrete, whichever you choose.
The average cost to maintain a concrete pool over ten years is $27,000 or more, which is the most expensive of any type of pool.
Why is that?
First, concrete pools require more chemicals and power to keep them running and swimmable. Mold and algae buildup is much more severe with this material, so many pool owners need to acid wash their pool every few years to remove it.
Remember that draining an indoor pool is not simple, so the maintenance cost will be much higher, considering you have your pool enclosed.
Gunite requires replastering every 10-15 years, which runs around $12,000 for the job. Plus, each time you acid wash the pool, you’re compromising the structure’s integrity, which can lead to cracking and further problems. The last thing you want is to crack your indoor pool because that water damage can also cause structural issues with your home.
- Limitless customization options
- More aesthetically pleasing
- Moderate building cost
- Challenging to maintain
- Expensive maintenance
- High risk, high reward
The cost of building a fiberglass indoor pool will range from $25,000 – $120,000 based on the size and your location. Expect to pay as much as $3,700 over ten years to maintain and keep it as well. Since the pool is enclosed, the costs might be lower for you because you won’t expose it to as many of the elements.
There is such a discrepancy in cost because it depends on how much of this you do yourself versus how much you hire out for. Some people can do some work themselves, which naturally lowers the overall price tag.
For example, you can buy a DIY installation kit for somewhere between $15,000 and $34,000. Here’s a quick breakdown of packages for fiberglass installations:
- DIY: $15,000 – $34,000
- Assisted (hire out dig, set, and fill): $20,000 – $47,000
- Standard Installation: $25,000 – $62,000
- Turn-Key Installation: $48,000 – $80,000
There are some pros and cons of fiberglass pools as well.
- Easier to clean and maintain than other options
- Smoother surface reduces algae buildup and requires less pH maintenance
- Installation is fast and simple
- Fewer options
- Not as visually appealing
Fiberglass pools are a cheap way to go. If you’re concerned about the project’s budget, you’ll want to go this route.
You might not be able to get that fancy waterfall feature you’ve always dreamed of, and you won’t have beautiful stone steps with built-in lights walking into your pool, but you’ll have the indoor pool, and it won’t break the bank.
The last indoor pool cost we’ll look at is for vinyl. These are affordable and run between $22,000 and $50,000 to build. The initial price is low, but the maintenance cost is more than fiberglass because you’ll need to replace the liner every decade.
The average cost to maintain an indoor vinyl pool over ten years is a little less than $13,000. This, of course, is a rough estimate, and your price might be astronomically higher than that or even lower. I would stray to the lower side because you’re not exposing the liner to the elements.
When you’re keeping the temperature of the pool controlled all year, you’re putting less wear and tear on the pool’s structural integrity than someone who has it outside.
- Easy to install
- Liners come pre-made
- Easier to maintain than concrete
- May need to replace the liner
Building Your Pool Enclosure
Now we need to address the elephant in the room. You’ve got your pool cost all factored out, but now we have to discuss how you’ll turn your pool into an indoor pool. Some of you might already have the necessary space, in which case you simply need to figure out how you’ll get a pool in there and set it up as a pool room.
If you don’t have that luxury, you’ll need to build and enclose the pool. There are plenty of pre-fabricated enclosures that you can build onto the back or side of your home, and you mount them to the deck. This is the most affordable way to go, and these cost around $35 – $75 per square foot, with labor and maintenance costs included.
Another budget pool enclosure option is building a screen or glass enclosure. The downside is that there will be much less temperature control, so you may be unable to use the pool during the winter. However, your indoor pool will be protected from debris, and as long as you build a roof, it will be protected from UV rays. Pool enclosures cost between $10-$60 per square foot.
The most expensive option is to build an addition to your home or a separate indoor pool area. These typically cost around $60-$200 per square foot and can easily double the overall cost of your pool. That said, this type of pool room is fully temperature and humidity controlled, so the pool can be used year-round.
You can expect to pay between $10,000-$100,000 or more for the enclosure itself, depending on which option you go for. Keep in mind that this figure only includes the building itself, not electrical, plumbing, masonry, or ventilation, that you might want to build into the space. Depending on the scope of the electrical and plumbing work you want to incorporate into the building, you can expect to pay an additional $10,000-$20,000.
Other Costs to Consider
In addition to enclosing your indoor pool, there are plenty of other costs to factor in here as well. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Your pool won’t stay clean very long without a good filter and pump. Filtration systems vary in price depending on the type of filter you purchase and how large your pool is. For example, small cartridge filters can cost as little as $200, while a large DE filter can cost over $2,000.
It’s standard that most people who own a pool have some form of cover, but when you take the pool indoors, the cover takes on a new objective. When you have a pool in an enclosed space, moisture and evaporation are your enemies, and if you don’t cover the pool, the water will end up in the air around you, making your dehumidification system work over time.
Having an automatic cover is almost a requirement because you’re usually lacking space to install other types of covers, and without an automatic cover, your area will not look as nice. Automatic pool covers typically cost between $5,000 and $20,000. On the other hand, if you want a simpler pool cover design, such as a standard vinyl cover, you can expect to pay around $1,200-$5,000.
You’ll need a way to control the humidity in the room to prevent moisture damage to the structure. With this cost comes other factors like heating and cooling for your pool room. Do you plan on building this onto your existing central air system, or do you not have one?
These are all important factors because I don’t recommend bypassing this step. It’s an important part of indoor pool maintenance! You can expect to pay anywhere between $2,000 – $40,000 for the entire system, depending on the size of the space.
Whole Home Dehumidifier
A whole home dehumidifier is added to your home’s existing HVAC system, so this is a good option if your pool room is connected to the rest of your home. Whole home dehumidification systems are by far the cheapest option, but I wouldn’t recommend using these if you have a larger pool, as it will not be enough to keep the humidity under control.
Ventilation-based dehumidifiers function by pumping the outside air into the pool room to balance the temperature and humidity. This is a good choice if you live in a generally dry region with mild summers, but if you live in a hot and humid area, I would avoid this option. This is because ventilation-based dehumidifiers can’t cool your pool room, and if the outside air is especially humid, they cannot balance the humidity either.
Cost: $4,000 – $20,000
Mechanical refrigeration is the most expensive type of pool dehumidifier and the most common option indoor pool owners go for. This option draws in the warm, humid air from your pool room, extracts the moisture, and cools the air before returning the newly dried and cooled air to your pool area. This is the best option for maintaining a consistent temperature and humidity level. However, keep in mind that this option also generally costs the most to run, so you will see a steeper increase in your power bill.
Once again, taking the pool indoors adds a new element of surprise. The once warm pool getting hit with all this direct sun now has no sun, making the water cold. You’ll need a heater, and most people opt for a natural gas or propane heater to keep the water temperature within a comfortable range. Pool heaters typically cost between $1,600 and $4,000.
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Inground vs. Above Ground Indoor Pools
Just as with outdoor pools, you can build an inground or an above ground pool for an indoor pool. Most homeowners choose to install inground indoor pools because above ground pools are less customizable and don’t generally look as nice as inground pools. But above ground pools are much cheaper. You can expect to save up to 50% when purchasing an above ground pool over an inground pool, as inground requires a lot more labor, excavation, and equipment to install.
Do You Have the Budget?
Now that you’ve seen some rough estimates of how much it costs to build an indoor pool, how do you feel? You can expect to pay between $100,000 – $200,000 to install a standard-size inground indoor pool. Keep in mind that the structure is where most of your costs will come in. Depending on your pool builder or general contractor, your cost will also vary slightly.
It is possible to build your pool and enclose it later on but be aware of how time may impact the pool’s structural integrity, so it might benefit you to do the job all at once.
Questions? Shoot me a message. Also, be sure to check out my main inground pool cost breakdown.