After enduring endless summers of sweltering Chicago heat, I’ve been begging my parents to install a pool at their house. I even recently mentioned that a pool would be a great reason for their unborn grandchildren to visit them. Can you put a price on your future grandchildren’s smiles? I think not.

Getting Mom and Dad to foot the bill just makes sense — a pool is loads of fun, but it’s also loads of money. So, if you’re thinking about installing a pool for your future summer enjoyment, it’s crucial you research the costs thoroughly to avoid unexpected bills. From insurance premiums to maintenance, here are a few costs to consider.

The hidden costs of a swimming pool


Your location, pool size, materials, and a plethora of other factors can significantly affect the price tag. At the end of the day, an in-ground pool’s going to cost $25,000 to $50,000. When installing an above-ground pool, you don’t need to break ground, so these typically cost less than $4,500.

If you gasped at those numbers, keep in mind these are approximate costs for the initial installation. Your location, pool size, and materials can significantly affect the cost. In-ground pools can be constructed with fiberglass, vinyl, concrete, or gunite, and each option can affect the price by thousands of dollars.

Another cost differentiator is temperature. For example, if you live in a warm climate, a deeper pool helps regulate cool water temps, but the depth will cost more.

On top of that, extra features like a waterfall or slide can rack up the price as well. It makes sense that pool owners often end up paying double the cost of the initial installation — yowza!

Insurance premium

From an insurance standpoint, a swimming pool is considered an “attractive nuisance.” So, while the pool is super fun, it escalates risk. Playgrounds, trampolines, and other fun-but-risky recreational features will also likely raise your insurance premium.

Why does your liability increase? Well, guests on your property could be injured while using your pool. Even if someone uses your pool without permission or knowledge, you could still be held liable. And fencing or pool covers can help reduce the risk of an accident, but these safety precautions won’t decrease your rate.

Ask your insurance company how your rate may be affected before deciding to install a pool. And if that’s us, you can call us anytime at 1-800-ESURANCE (1-800-378-7262).

Home value

If you think it’ll increase the value of your house in the long term, it really depends. Homebuyers usually feel strongly one way or the other. Safety concerns for kids or the hassle of maintenance might actually discourage a potential buyer from making an offer. Conversely, if you’re the only house in the neighborhood without a pool, your for-sale sign might be dismissed. But, whether you end up recouping your investment or not, experts generally agree that a pool isn’t the best way to add value to your home.


Even after your pool’s up and running, the costs will continue. Opening and closing the pool each season, the use of hygienic chemicals, the equipment (like a pump or pool cover), resurfacing, a potential utility bill increase — these services and equipment can add up to hundreds of dollars per month.

Issues like leaking, stains, or cracks, can also add unexpected costs. And hiring a professional for these services is expensive.

According to, “A pool can cost about 10 percent of the original installation cost per year, more if you use a pool service company. Multiply the installation cost by 10 percent, then divide by 12 to get an idea of this cost per month.” So, if your in-ground pool costs $37,500 to install, you’re shelling out $312.50 per month for maintenance.

Bells and whistles

With a new pool, you can probably expect a boost in popularity. If guests are going to ooh and aah over your pool, it can be hard to resist refreshing your entire backyard with pool toys, a patio table and chairs, landscaping, lighting, a pergola, a hammock, an outdoor stereo system …I could go on.

But, if it’s financially feasible, a pool’s a great way to make lasting memories with family and friends (are you listening, Mom and Dad?).

For all you pool owners out there, what other costs aren’t listed here? Leave your insights in the comments section.

Insurance 101 | Homeowners 101


about Meghan

During her time as an editor for the Esurance creative team, Meghan “layed the smackdown” on style and grammar rules. Hailing from Chicagoland, she’s written about everything from industrial welding to dog fashion. She spends her weekends attending live comedy shows (likely laughing so hard she cries) and reveling in the art of well-mixed cocktails.