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The True Costs of Building and Maintaining
a New In-ground Swimming Pool - Part II

Have you ever wondered what pool options you get to select (and pay for)...


In-ground Pool Prices
The cheapest in-ground pools you can get are tiny little things that really are more of a glorified bathtub. You could technically get one built as small as you want, but the pool builder will probably have a rock bottom price for their smallest pool and anything smaller than that will cost the same.

To give you an idea of pool costs, we used to sell an in ground pool that was 12 feet wide by 24 feet long and would go from 3 to 5 or 6 feet deep. It would probably sell for about $15,000 now. A 16 ft wide by 32 ft long pool might go for about $20,000 now. You might think these prices are high. Maybe they are a little since these are estimates based on pricing from a few years ago. But, we also were never the cheapest dealer. (We typically had higher quality than the other guys.) Lastly, these prices are for a 'bare bones' pool. Any options would be added on to this price.

Understanding the Price Quote/Contract
When the pool builder quotes you a price, it will be based on type (in this case vinyl), shape and size. He will not break out every little detail but will give a basic price and then give you a bunch of options that you can have or pass on, just like when ordering a new car. You get the basics, then if you want something more or fancier, you pay extra for it or the upgrade.

Here's a list of things that should be specified and included in the contract for buying a pool:

Pool Contract Requirements
Things that should be included:

· Size and Shape of Pool
· Liner type (you can choose the type of liner pattern)
· Filter System (Sand Filter, DE Filter, or Cartridge Filter)
· Pump and Size of Pump
· Vacuum and Maintenance Equipment (some basic equipment is included)
· Safety Line (to mark off the deep end)
· Covers (they'll probably cost extra)
· Step Ladder (for the deep end)
· Vermiculite Cement Bottom (it's specific to vinyl pools and cushions between the liner and the earth)
· Wall Foam
· Bottom Main Drain (Ask about having two main drains installed for safety reasons)
· Size and Type of PVC Pipe (it's very technical but good to know you're getting decent quality pipe)
· Automatic Chlorinator
· Automatic Skimmer (extra skimmer if necessary)
· Aluminum Coping, Brick Coping or Cantilever Deck (You choose which to have. Obviously most people will choose one that is not included in the basic price)
· Concrete Decking (You get a certain amount of cement included in your base price but you can get more - if you pay.)
· Size and type of steps
· Handrail
· Electric Wiring for the pool's power (you basically pay for the electrician and his supplies)
· Building Permit (should definitely be covered)
· Any necessary grading, or extra grading (depending on what you would like, there may be extra charges)
· Underwater Light
· Start Up and Instruction

Optional Extras

· Fiber Optic Lighting
· Diving Board (your pool will have to be of appropriate size to have one)
· Heater (most pools don't come with, or need a heater)
· Water Fall (these vary in size and sophistication)
· Wall fitting for any automatic pool cleaners
· Automatic Pool Cleaner (will cost extra unless you got a package deal)
· Soil and Tree Removal (not usually necessary but good to cover)
· Retaining wall (usually not necessary)
· Fencing (usually not included but many pool builders also sell and install fencing)

In Part 3 of this article we will list some of the prices of the various options that you can have.Click Pool Costs - Part III to continue.

© 2006

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