How Much do Concrete Pools Really Cost?

concrete pool with spa

***Updated September 2021 – Please note that since this blog was written, pool prices have increased about 25% (if not more) due to materials and supplies doubling if not tripling in cost within the last year. Keep this in mind when you are estimating the cost of a pool.***

Do you dream of building a gorgeous new concrete pool but have no idea how much it really costs to build? Internet searches state that the “average” cost of an inground concrete pool is between $10,000- $20,000.  To be quite honest, that is not even a starting cost, much less an average one.  So how much does an inground concrete pool really cost to install?  Let’s break down the numbers:

Size of Pool

First, we start with just the pool itself.  A basic, small concrete pool (around a 12’ x 24’) averages between $70,000 – $80,000. This includes things like digging the pool, installing rebar, installing concrete, installing plaster, installing pool plumbing, etc.  If you want to go bigger, the price increases and could reach in excess of $100,000.  


Equipment packages vary from a simple pump and sand filter to a completely automated system with ozone that can be run from your phone.  A very basic equipment package runs around $8,000.  However, if you want an advanced automated system with lots of bells and whistles the cost could run $17,000 or higher.

Pool Decking

The three most popular types of pool decking are concrete, pavers, and travertine. Concrete prices generally run $10-$14 per square foot installed.  Pavers run $16-$20 per square foot installed.  Travertine runs $24-$28 per square foot installed.  Each type of pool decking price depends on the square footage amount, style, and color.  Pool decks generally have the minimum square footage of around 500 square feet with most pool decks averaging closer to 1000 square feet and above.

Additional Features

Additional features include spas, tanning ledges, water features, deck jets, bubblers, and so on for the pool.  The more features you add, the higher the cost of the pool.  Water features such as a weeping wall or sheer descents could add $7,000 – $12,000+ to the cost of the pool.  Smaller features such as bubblers may add only $1,000- $1,500 to the cost.

Additional features may also mean items like a retaining wall that would need to be installed to hold your pool up if you are on a slope.  These walls could be very small (depending on the slope) or quite steep requiring an engineer.  Elements like these would need to be taken into consideration when setting a pool project budget.

Rule of Thumb

Any outdoor space is an extension of your home’s living space.  Just like adding a new room addition onto your home, a new poolscape area can range between $80-$110 (and even greater) per square foot.  This includes the pool square footage, pool decking square footage, equipment, and any additional features.  For example, a 16’ x 36’ pool with a waterfall feature with 1000 square feet of paver decking and associated pool equipment on a fairly flat surface would run anywhere from $140,000 – $160,000.  That same pool on a steep slope could range $175,000 and above because it would need a retaining wall.


Just like home building costs, the price for pool installations in the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill area is much different than in other parts of the country.  Pools installed in Dallas or Orlando, for example, are generally much cheaper than in North Carolina.

Building a pool can be a pretty expensive and lengthy undertaking, but they are well worth the effort and money.  A custom poolside retreat not only adds value to your home but is also a wonderful place to relax and have fun with family and friends.

We would love to work with you on building your dream pool. Feel free to call/text us at 919.263.5538 or complete the contact form here.