Some above ground swimming pools are easy to install. Others, not so much. If you’re facing a more challenging installation, you may be tempted to hire a professional to do the job. Which raises the obvious question: How much does it cost?
In most cases, the cost of above ground pool installation is somewhere in the range of $500 – $3000. That’s obviously a wide range, but there’s a really good reason why one price doesn’t fit all. It all boils down to the differences between pools, yards, and the installers themselves.
Why Installation Cost Varies
To briefly summarize, installing an above ground pool involves digging up sod, leveling the ground, assembling the pool from a kit, and finally, hooking up pool equipment. So why the big differences in pricing? Because of the following variables:
Pool Size and Shape
Larger pools generally take more time and effort to install, so it’s no surprise that the cost tends to be higher. When it comes to pool shape, oval and rectangular pools cost more on average than round ones due to the extra structural support they require.
It’s critical for the pool to sit on a flat surface, which generally means digging up dirt until the ground is even with the lowest point. If the yard has an extreme slope or presents other challenges, it may take more time and effort to level it out – raising the overall cost of installation.
There are any number of extras that could be included in above ground pool installation. These include everything from basic tasks such as hauling away sod, to more elaborate projects like installing a safety fence. To complicate things further, what’s standard for one pool installer may constitute an additional charge for another.
Pool Installer Rates
Above ground pool installers may charge higher rates based on the cost of labor in your area, the time of year, or simply because they want to. Also bear in mind that you’ll pay more for an experienced above ground pool installer than for, say, a general handyman.
Put all those things together, and you can see why installation prices vary so much. Fortunately, there’s one sure-fire way to find out what the cost of above ground pool installation is – get a free quote from a couple of pool installers in your area. One great place to start is by searching the Better’s Business Bureau’s website for above ground pool installers near you.
Should You DIY?
Even at the lower end of the installation price range, it’s clear that you can save a nice chunk of change by doing it yourself. However, you shouldn’t leap at this option until you have a realistic idea of what you’re in for if you decide to proceed.
Reading the pool’s installation instructions can only take you so far. Once you get started, you may find that you don’t have all the tools or equipment necessary, or you could run into difficulties such as missing parts. Worst of all, you could make a mistake – for example, by not leveling the ground properly – and only find out afterwards.
Dealing with permits and the building code in your area is another thing that can seriously complicate your plans. In most places, local laws dictate where you can place a pool, what safety barriers (if any) you need, and what paperwork you have to fill out to make it legal. An experienced pool installer can help with all that.
Hiring a professional to install your above ground pool has some obvious advantages, which is why they can charge as much as they do. Ultimately, only you can decide whether the price is right for your pool project.