If asked to picture the perfect backyard paradise, a swimming pool is often one of the first things to come to mind. According to Canadian Real Estate Magazine, installing a swimming pool in your backyard can dramatically increase your home’s value as well, which is another great reason to consider this upgrade.
But how much does a swimming pool cost in Canada?
Depending on the size and type of swimming pool you’re looking at, the cost to install a swimming pool in Canada can range between $4,000 and $60,000 and more.
Below, I’ll break down some of the main cost factors to be aware of when installing a swimming pool and explain what your options are. Then, I’ll answer a few of the most commonly asked questions so that you can make a more informed decision.
Are you ready to build your backyard paradise?
Whether you live in a small bungalow or a larger two-storey home, swimming pools are, without a doubt, one of the most expensive upgrades you can make to your home.
That being said, a backyard swimming pool is also one of the most impactful upgrades you can make to your home in terms of both fun and increasing your home’s value.
On the lower end of the spectrum, you may be able to purchase and install a simple in-ground pool for as low as $20,000. On the higher end of the spectrum, in-ground pools can cost upwards of $100,000 or more.
If you plan on constructing a deck around your pool or installing custom lighting, fountains, and a water-heating system, the installation costs can be even higher. Constructing a pool is a lot like building a home – the larger and more customized you want it, the more you’ll pay.
That being said, you could also opt for a super-simple aluminum pool for above-ground use. These aren’t as eye-catching and probably won’t affect the value of your home, but can be purchased and self-installed for as low as $3,000 to $5,000.
If you’re just beginning to research swimming pool costs in Canada, the most important thing you’ll need to decide on is what type of pool you want to install. There are four basic types of pool structures and builds that homeowners will be able to choose from, including:
- Concrete pool
- Fibreglass pool
- Vinyl-liner pool
- Aluminum pool (for above-ground use)
Each of these pool types has its own benefits and drawbacks relating to durability, cost, installation speed, and ease of maintenance.
Below, I’ll give you a quick rundown of each type of swimming pool, the average swimming pool cost in Canada, and some key durability factors to help you decide which is the best type of pool for your home.
For reference, here’s a helpful table so you can compare each pool side-by-side:
|Concrete Pool||Fiberglass Pool||Vinyl-Liner Pool||Aluminum Pool|
|Average Installation Cost||$90,000+||$65,000+||$95,000+||$4,000+|
|Ease of Installation||Hardest to install||Fast and easy to install||Hard to install||Easiest to install|
|Durability||Excellent durability||Excellent durability||Good durability||Moderately durable|
|Special Maintenance Requirements||Periodic concrete sealing and acid washing||Little to none, regular cleaning||Special cleaning of algae build-up||Regular cleaning|
Now, let’s take an in-depth look at each type of swimming pool.
1. Concrete Swimming Pool
- Average Installation Cost: $90,000+
- Ease Of Installation: Custom build, lengthy installation time
- Durability Factors: Concrete is very durable but will need to be treated and sealed every 5 to 7 years
Concrete swimming pools are, by far, the most traditional option for a backyard pool build. By nature, concrete is incredibly durable, as it technically gets harder with time. That being said, concrete swimming pools are some of the hardest and most expensive pool structures to install.
Concrete pools are custom-made by casting concrete moulds in the excavated space and pouring concrete to build the walls, flooring, and stairs.
In addition to the considerable excavation requirements necessary to construct a concrete pool, you’ll have to have a full team of concrete experts to ensure that the concrete is properly poured and cured.
Custom-designed pools are almost always made with concrete, thanks to concrete’s flexibility. You can pour it into any design or pattern that you like, providing it meets basic structural requirements.
Of course, the drawback of a concrete structure this large is that it’s permanent. The cost to remove said pool would be almost as much as (if not more than) the cost of installation.
However, concrete structures are incredibly durable and can last a lifetime, which makes them an excellent choice if you’re looking to increase your home’s value over the long-term.
If you want your pool to last a lifetime, though, you’ll need to perform some basic maintenance and upkeep every few years.
The biggest threat to a concrete pool is water being absorbed into the surface of the concrete, which can cause it to crack over time. To prevent this, you’ll need to coat the concrete’s surface with a sealant, which should be reapplied every five to seven years.
Due to its rough texture, concrete pools can also trap dirt and debris, which can be hard to clean with traditional methods. Before resealing the pool, it’s recommended to acid-wash the concrete to dissolve any stubborn dirt, stains, or other contaminants.
2. Fibreglass Swimming Pool
- Average Installation Cost: $65,000+
- Ease Of Installation: Precast fibreglass pool is easy to install in the ground
- Durability Factors: Fibreglass is lightweight and extremely durable
If you’re looking for the quickest, simplest, and arguably cheapest installation, then fibreglass swimming pools are the way to go. Fibreglass pools are precast using moulds, which means that they’re fully built before they’re delivered.
To install them, you simply need to excavate a hole in the ground large enough to fit the fibreglass structure. The only drawback of fibreglass swimming pools is that there’s little to no room for customization.
Depending on the company you’re working with, you’ll usually have a handful of premade structures and shapes to choose from, but that’s it.
If you’re not looking for an elaborate, customized build, though, fibreglass pools offer excellent quality for the price.
Fibreglass is incredibly durable, doesn’t puncture or crack easily, and is 100% impervious to water, so you don’t have to worry about resealing the surface like you would with a concrete pool.
Fibreglass has a naturally slippery surface as well, which means that your pool will require very little cleaning. Algae, dirt, and other contaminants rarely stick to the pool’s surface and can be easily dislodged with a standard pool vacuum or a quick scrub.
Last but not least, fibreglass pools are relatively simple to remove from the ground. Unlike a concrete pool, which must be drilled out, the fibreglass structure can be removed all at once and transported to another location.
If you know what you’re doing, fibreglass pools are also a great option for DIYers. You may need to hire an excavation team to dig the hole for the pool and a few helpers to unload the pool into the ground, but it doesn’t require any custom concrete pouring.
- Average Installation Cost: $95,000+
- Ease Of Installation: Custom build, lengthy installation time
- Durability Factors: The concrete structure of the pool is durable, but the vinyl liner will need to be replaced every 4 to 5 years, which could cost up to $5,000 or more
Vinyl-liner swimming pools are the newest innovation in pool technology. Essentially, a vinyl-liner pool is a concrete swimming pool that’s covered with a thick sheet of protective vinyl.
Since the concrete is being protected by the layer of vinyl, there’s no need to acid-wash and reseal the swimming pool, as you would with a traditional concrete pool. The concrete merely serves as the supportive outer structure, while the vinyl holds the water in.
The layer of vinyl also adds an element of beauty to the pool, as the sheet is usually imprinted with patterns, colours, and designs which catch the sunlight and can create a visually stunning backyard fixture.
Vinyl doesn’t catch dirt and debris as easily as the more coarse raw concrete, which means they’re relatively easy to keep clean. The only thing you’ll really have to worry about is that algae have a habit of growing on vinyl. This can be prevented with routine cleaning, though.
Vinyl-liner pools cost about as much as a concrete pool but may end up costing a bit more due to the added expense of the vinyl.
The main drawback of vinyl-liner pools is that the vinyl may need to be replaced every four to five years. It may be ripped or torn by sharp objects (or your dog’s claws), in which case the vinyl will need to be patched or replaced entirely.
- Average Installation Cost: $4,000+
- Ease Of Installation: Incredibly easy to install since it’s an above-ground structure
- Durability Factors: Durable aluminum structure
If you’re working with a tight budget but still like the idea of having a backyard pool, then your best bet may be to install a simple aluminum swimming pool in your backyard. These simple, circular structures can be purchased online or from a local pool company.
Essentially, aluminum pools are just glorified “bathtubs” with a simple water filtration system. Most are quite small and only designed to hold a few people, which means they’re more suited to relaxing in the water than actually swimming in.
However, this also means that the cost of filling the pool with water is incredibly low.
Since they’re installed above ground, you don’t have to worry about any complex excavation or plumbing work, which means that installation costs are virtually nonexistent.
The only expense that you’ll really have to worry about is the delivery fee. These aluminum structures are so lightweight that you can easily set them up in your backyard with the help of a friend.
Aluminum pools can be easily moved as well, and you can ship it or take it with you on a cross-country move.
The only drawback of aluminum pools is that they really don’t add value to your home. Homeowners who plan on moving typically either sell the pool prior to moving or take the pool with them.
The flip side of this is that aluminum above-ground pools are great for those who are renting a home and aren’t in a position to install a traditional underground pool.
Now that you have a better idea of what your options for a swimming pool in Canada are, let’s take a few minutes to review some of the primary cost factors of pool installation and maintenance. These include:
- DIY vs professional installation
- The pool type/material
- The size of the pool
- Underwater lighting and tech
- Water filtration
- Pool deck structure
- Pool maintenance
- Heated vs non-heated pool
When comparing quotes from pool installation companies, make sure you discuss all of these key points, as they can easily add up and cost you tens of thousands of dollars more than you expect.
The majority of pools will need to be professionally installed. The exception is if you’re installing a small fibreglass pool that requires limited excavation or installing a simple above-ground pool structure.
In addition to paying for the cost of the pool itself, you’ll need to account for a team of contractors to install the pool over the course of several days or weeks.
As you saw above, each type of swimming pool varies in cost. Fibreglass and aluminum pools are the cheapest, compared to concrete and vinyl-liner pools, which are the most expensive.
If you’re building a custom pool, most installation companies will charge you by the square foot. The larger you want your pool to be, the more you’ll have to pay.
If you’re installing a custom concrete pool, you may also want to include underwater lighting so you can enjoy the ambience of your pool during the evening when it’s dark out.
Lighting systems and underwater electronic installation can be expensive, though, so ask your installation team what your options are.
Your pool’s water filtration system is the most important part of your pool. Without proper filtration to keep the water moving, your pool water could stagnate and become a breeding ground for bacteria and bugs.
Most professional pool installers also build the deck surrounding the pool as well. Concrete is the most common material to use, but some custom installations may involve tiling, mosaic work, or are made with wood.
Once your pool is up and running, you’ll need to maintain it. This typically involves adding pool chemicals to the water on a weekly basis, cleaning debris out with a net or using a robotic pool vacuum, and clearing any blockages in the drains or debris catchers.
If you don’t want to do the work yourself, you can hire a pool service company to come on a weekly basis, which costs about as much as hiring a landscaping service.
Even if you live in one of the warmest regions in Canada, the summers are still short-lived. Because of this, many Canadians opt for heated pools so they can enjoy a swim in the cooler months. However, installing a water-heating system can dramatically increase the installation cost of your pool.
In addition to the primary cost factors I mentioned above, there are a few additional expenses that you may need to account for as well, such as:
- Purchasing a pool cover to keep your pool clean in the off-season
- Obtaining building and construction permits
- Excavation costs and possible complications you may experience if you have to reroute existing water, sewage, gas, or power lines
- The cost of water (filling your pool up)
A swimming pool can turn your otherwise boring backyard into a true paradise that you can enjoy all summer long. While installing a pool can cost up to $90,000 or more, it’s an investment that can increase the value of your home and gives you and your family countless opportunities for fun and relaxation.
If you have good credit and have built equity in your home, you may be able to finance some of the cost of your pool installation. Not sure what your credit rating is? Keep on reading to see how to get your free credit report in Canada next!