Swimming is the 4th most popular sport in the United States, with 10.6 million swimming pools installed.
If you’re not one of the lucky ones who already have a pool installed in their home, you may be considering it. You need to consider several factors to make sure you get a pool that suits your needs.
Pool sizes, shapes, and types vary greatly. There’s also a major difference between inground and above ground pools.
Read our guide to find out all the options you have for shapes, types, and pool sizes. Armed with information, you’ll be able to choose the best pool for you.
Inground Pool Types and Shapes
One of the first questions to ask before installing a pool is how large should it be and what will I use it for? These factors will help you choose the appropriate shape and size.
The most common pool shape is the rectangle. It handles different depths and fits in most yards. Other options include square, round, oval, kidney, and freeform shapes.
There are also several purposes you may use your inground pool for. These include competition practice, short course racing, or a place for your family to be together.
There are different pool sizes for each shape and type. Don’t feel limited by the choice you make, as you can customize each standard for your needs.
Inground Pool Sizes
Your budget and available space regulate how large your pool can be. It can still be helpful to know the range of pool sizes you have to choose from.
The average pool size for a private pool is 25 yards in length.
The pool’s shape is an important factor to consider when deciding how large to make your pool. Rectangular pools range from 10 by 20 feet to 20 by 40 feet.
Pool sizes are also affected by the purpose of the pool. Competition pools need to be larger than a pool that’s solely for recreation.
Lap pools are usually 10 by 50 feet. If you want to practice for the Olympics or other competitions, choose a pool that’s 25-50 meters long and 1-2 inches deep. For short course racers, the standard pool size is 25 meters.
Another factor that determines pool sizes is where you choose to install it. Patios or decks are one of the most common places to install an inground pool. The size of these home elements may determine appropriate pool sizes.
The average deck has an area of 600-900 feet. You must also have enough space to keep furniture 30 inches away from the pool and add walkways that are at least 3 feet wide.
Determining the right size before you start has a variety of benefits. It keeps you from going over-budget, prevents you from having more than you need, and ensures your new pool can provide for you and your family for years to come.
You should always know the price of a home improvement project before you begin to prevent going over-budget, and this applies to pools as well.
The overall cost to build a pool varies depending on its type, shape, depth, whether it’s inground or above ground, and other factors. Larger pool sizes will obviously cost more, and so will rarer materials.
There’s also a significant difference in the total cost to build a pool depending on whether you choose an above ground or inground option.
A vinyl pool kit for an inground pool costs anywhere from $5000-$8000. A professional installation costs $300,00-$500,000.
Pool decking costs are determined per square foot and range from $4-$24. This and other factors depend on the materials you choose to build your pool with.
The overall average cost for an inground pool is $21,919.
Above-ground pools range from $900-$3000 for a DIY job and $4,000-$8000 for a professional installation. Extra features like lights or additional depth cost more, and factors like size and materials affect the price.
The overall average cost for an above ground pool is $6,243.
Inground vs. Above Ground
Inground and above ground pools don’t differ greatly in popularity. 50.6% of the pools in the US are inground, while 47.1% are above ground.
It’s still important to understand the differences between the two types. They differ widely in factors like available pool sizes, costs, and customizability.
An inground pool is installed directly into the ground. It allows for a variety of customization options like fountains or tile flooring. Despite the higher initial costs, it can also be an investment as it adds resale value to your home.
Professional inground pool installation can take a long time, but there are quicker options depending on the materials you choose.
A vinyl kit takes a week to set up, offers plenty of colors and patterns to choose from, and is cheaper than concrete. Fiberglass inground pools take about a week to install and arrive pre-built when you order them.
Above Ground Pools
Above ground pools aren’t as expensive as inground pools and don’t take as long to install. They also come in a variety of pool sizes and shapes.
There are several disadvantages to above ground pools as well. They don’t add resale value to your home, often aren’t deep enough to dive into, and usually only come in round or oval shapes.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both types. The one you choose will depend on your needs, preferences, budget, and other related factors. Check here for more differences between above ground and in ground pools.
Choosing the Right Pool
Many people may want to add a pool to their home but don’t know which one to choose.
Options for pool sizes, shapes, and types vary greatly. You also need to choose between an above ground or inground pool. Your needs, budget, and available space are the major determining factors.
An inground pool is best for people who want more options, need a competition-ready practice pool, and/or are willing to make an investment. Above ground pools offer fewer options but are still customizable and can provide a great experience.
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