Are we dreaming? Pool cost question in N. Houston

babs1125August 26, 2010

Is it possible to get an inground pool built for less than $25,000? I have been lurking on here for awhile and it seems people spend much more than that on their pools. My husband and I live in north Houston. We are thinking maybe a 16x28 free form. Nothing fancy. No spa,waterfall,heater etc., just a well built basic pool. Are we dreaming to think that we could get a quality pool built in that price range? Would the pool have to be even smaller than 16x28? Thanks in advance.

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Possible? Yes. Recommended????? Hmmm. You get what you pay for.

With such a large investment, I wanted someone reputable and who I could have confidence in the final product. I didn't want any worries of running off with my $$$ leaving an unfinished job or poor quality workmanship. I definitely did not want a money pit!

Pool builders might quote a basic price of 20-30K, but can easily hike up the price for 'extras' that you would want. (Kind of like the extra air conditioning in your Houston it's a no-brainer!) Automatic cleaners, in-line chlorinators (or salt system), plaster finishes, and the decking around your pool can quickly start to change the final price....even with a no-frills pool.

I am not a pool builder, but I would expect that you would definitely be able to get a no-frills option and come in under 32K.....and be happy with the result.

While doing my research, I tried to look for how much a pool cost, but because of so many differences, there was no way to get an estimate without bothering a live person to come out and give me a sales pitch. I did find one Houston based website that gave me a general idea of how much $$$ the type of pool I wanted would cost.....this helped me know my ballpark amount when I started contacting pool builders. However, to get an even better idea, you should set up an appointment with a pool builder and BE CLEAR about your budget.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 11:21PM
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If you can't get anyone on the north side to build that size pool for that price let me know. I don't normally go to the north side of town. But what you are describing I do on the SW side of Houston for $24,000.

Sorry if that came off as spam. But there are some great companies out there that will build you that pool and at that price without cutting corners or using lesser quaility equipment.

Might also check with Kelly(Huskyrider) He is on your side of town but I am not sure what his base pricing is.

Good Luck,


    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 8:28AM
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My entry pools use the same equipment, building materials, and techniques as my upper level pools.
They're just not loaded down with features such as LED lights, SWG, patterned concrete, etc...
A pool of your size is easily achievable at 25k.
Give my shop a call, I'd be happy to give you a quote.

See ya,

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 9:59AM
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Thanks for stepping up Kelly.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 10:05AM
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Keep in mind that there is more to a pool then just the pool. Most people say overall everything is going to cost 2x the (contracted) pool price. We will be lucky to only end up there. Note: Our pool contract was only for the pool, not the decking, although the excavation included excavation for the retaining wall we needed and excavation.

That being said, I am trying to make sure everything is done top notch the first time, so I am probably spending more on different parts then I would for smaller jobs around the house.

Some extras I didn't know of/think of:

1) Grading material

Our pool contract included grading TIME only, not material. The pool company charges $675 a truck load, we are on our 15th load (ok, maybe 4 was used for backfilling, the rest for under the decking)! Luckily we had the decking company do most of it (for $300 a load). Still, an expense we didn't fully understand. Our yard has a slight slope (2 ft difference between our house and the end of the pool furthest from our house). The material from digging up the pool was not adequate.

2) Extra excavation

We hit some ledge (very little, actually). To take care of this, they had to bring in a drill and spreader thing. That cost $2650 for the day. Because the pool companies excavation crew couldn't finish until they were done, we had to pay for them (the pool company includes 2 days of excavation in the contract) and their equipment for the day (and extra $1800).

Of course, this all depends on yard condition and location. We didn't know what we would hit in the backyard, we were lucky to hit very little ledge, but it was a bummer that a little or a lot (relatively speaking) would have cost us the same...It cost us 4450 for about 3 hours of work!

3) Other Hardscaping

Our retaining wall is costing about 2X what we budgeted (this wasn't in pool contract)

4) Our pool contract did not include decking (on purpose, we hadn't decided), but in the end, we are ending up with 1400sqft of decking (1000 in the pool area, 400 outside).

5) You need a fence (if you don't already have one). Our fence only encloses our pool (not the whole house), due to worries about our children (and others) drowning.

6) Even if electrical is included in your pool contract (it was in ours, it wasn't in some of the bids we got), you will likely want/need to do some sort of landscape lighting so you can see out by your pool.

7) We had a sprinkler system. 4 zones had to be ripped up. We will probably put 2 of them back....I am likely to do this myself to save on costs

8) Your yard is going to get destroyed (ours wasn't that bad, until we had rain, then the trucks reacked havoc on it).

I am not trying to scare you and maybe other people have different experiences (and clearly there are cheaper places to build pools then the north east), but we have spent way more then we wanted (and aren't done yet), luckily it isn't going to bankrupt us, but both my wife and I are done with everything costing more and more. Don't get me wrong, we budgeted out everything in the beginning, but we had no idea all the things that popped up and became way more expensive then we thought and then the pb estimated (pb was just trying to give us an idea of the cost of certain extras, so I don't blame them).

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 10:23AM
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Thank you all for your responses. David and Kelly, that is great to hear that it is possible. Yes, I would like the best equipment that I can afford, just not all the bells and whistles. Kelly, do you do work in the Kingwood area? We actually live on an acre in Forest Cove. Easy access, no sprinkler system to deal with. We are looking to have a pool put in sometime in the next 6 months. Thanks again all for your input. I love this forum!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 6:10PM
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I've got some AWESOME pools in Kingwood, most are in Deer Ridge Estates and Kings River Estates.
OMG, I love those incredible homes. Probably almost as much as the Harris County appraisal district does. I'm certain that their property taxes are sky high, LOL!!!
Give me a shout, I'd be happy to send a designer over to meet you.

See ya,

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 6:27PM
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Well, my house was built in 1964 and doesn't compare to the homes in Deer Ridge and Kings River but the acre lot certainly makes for high taxes. I am so glad to hear that you do work out this way. I will be calling you soon. Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 7:02PM
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