Americans are spending more time at home than ever before as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the shift to remote working for many, not to mention the number of families and individuals moving out of the city and into the suburbs.

And this means that we’re starting to think about what we want from our homes. What does that forever home really look like and what’s missing? For some homeowners, that’s a kitchen or bathroom upgrade, but for others, that means looking to the yard and thinking about how to make the most of outdoor space.

That could mean adding an ADU, or it might mean adding a little luxury such as an inground swimming pool. And in this guide, that’s exactly what we’re talking about.

We’ll help you to understand the different ways you can finance the construction of a pool and dive deep into the pros and cons of each. Given that most homeowners should expect to spend more than $50k, it’s important to choose the method that lets you borrow the money you need but that has the lowest possible monthly payments.

We’ll introduce you to RenoFi Loans, a new type of home renovation loan that lets you borrow based on the future value of your home after the construction of your pool has been completed, and take advantage of market rates, as opposed to the higher interest rates of many alternatives.

We’re here to help you finance the construction of your swimming pool as affordably as possible and see the limitations of traditional home equity loans and lines of credit, a cash-out refinance, or other methods of pool financing.

Specifically, we’ll look at:

How Much Does An Inground Swimming Pool Cost?

Pools are quickly taking the top spot on the renovation wishlists of many homeowners across the country, but the first question that’s usually asked is ‘how much is it going to cost?’

And while the cost of an inground pool depends both on the size and the material that you choose, according to HomeAdvisor, the average installation costs $51,692.

Homeowners can expect to pay anywhere between $30,000 and $200,000 depending on the specification, however, it’s not unusual for the total cost of an upscale pool, let’s say, to cost over $100,000 (sometimes significantly more) in an expensive market such as California.

Going all out and investing in a luxury custom pool can cost $100,000 to $200,000 or more.

You need to remember that the costs for both labor and materials can vary wildly by location, making it all the more important to obtain and compare quotes from a number of contractors before considering whether it’s a project that you can afford and, if so, how you’re going to pay for it.

Breaking Down The Construction Costs of Different Pool Options

When planning an inground pool, you’ve got two main choices to make; the material and the size. These will both drastically affect the total cost, so let’s take a deeper look at how these different options stack up.

When it comes to the choice of material, you’ll be choosing between one of three main options. Here’s how the average cost of these breaks down:

  • Concrete (Gunite or Shotcrete): $50,000 - $100,000
  • Fiberglass: $45,000 - $80,000
  • Vinyl Lined: $35,000 - $65,000

Concrete Pools

If you want a pool that’s going to last a lifetime, you’re going to want to go for concrete.

This is the most popular choice due to its flexibility, meaning it can be used to create a pool of pretty much any shape or size and allow for a number of different finishes to coordinate with the rest of your backyard, and if you want a truly custom pool, you’re going to want to choose concrete.

While a concrete pool might come out as the most expensive option, it’ll easily last 50 - 100 years and can be rebuilt, refinished, enlarged, or updated as required at a later date.

The construction of a concrete pool usually takes between three and 12 weeks and the average yearly cost of maintenance is somewhere between $2,700 and $4,000.

Fiberglass Pools

A great alternative to concrete is fiberglass; factory molded shells that are dropped into an excavated hole by crane.

And while the sizes are somewhat more limited than with concrete or vinyl-lined pools, they’re available in a number of different custom shapes and the appeal of this option is often the fast construction time.

These pools come in one piece and can be installed quickly, often as quickly as three days (so long as there is sufficient access and no overhead wires or power lines), and the smooth finish means that they require fewer chemicals for cleaning.

The average annual cost of maintenance of a fiberglass pool is between $500 and $1,500, a lower figure than both concrete and vinyl-lined alternatives.

Vinyl-Lined Pools

After concrete, vinyl-lined pools are quickly becoming a serious alternative for many homeowners, both as a result of their more affordable price point and their faster installation time.

In contrast to a concrete pool, the installation time for a vinyl-lined option is usually one to three weeks, rather than three to 12.

This type of inground pool is constructed from a one-piece vinyl liner that sits in an excavated hole and attached to a steel or aluminum framed wall. Most vinyl-lined pools are either rectangular or L-shaped, but it is possible to construct using a custom freeform liner.

A vinyl-lined pool is usually going to be your cheapest option, but it’s worth remembering that the liner will need to be replaced approximately every 10 years and can be ripped or punctured by sharp objects

That said, these are easy to maintain and easy to clean yourself.

A vinyl-lined pool will cost, on average, between $1,100 and $1,700 to maintain each year.

The Average Cost Of Different Sizes of Inground Pool

Alongside choosing your pool’s material, you’ll need to decide on the size.

Here’s what you can expect to pay, on average, for differently sized pools:

SizeCost
10’ x 20’$20,000 - $50,000
12’ x 24’$25,000 - $50,000
14’ x 28’$35,000 - $55,000
15’ x 30’$45,000 - $65,000
16’ x 32’$50,600 - $70,000
18’ x 36’$60,000 - $85,000
20’ x 40’$65,000 - $150,000

While the size of your pool will often be dictated how much outdoor space you have available, it’s recommended that you obtain quotes before exploring financing options so that you’re able to consider your options properly.

Don’t forget to account for the other costs associated with the installation of a swimming pool, including waterfalls and water features, hot tubs, pool lighting, pool decks, heaters and fencing; all of which can increase the amount of money that you’ll need to borrow.

The Pros & Cons of 6 Swimming Pool Financing Options

If you’re borrowing $50,000 or more to pay for the construction of your swimming pool, you want to know that your monthly payments are as low as possible. That’s without sacrificing borrowing power, of course.

You see, the different ways of financing a new swimming pool can have significantly different interest rates and some will undoubtedly allow you to borrow more than others, and below we want to introduce you to RenoFi Loans and help you to understand why they’re an excellent option for pretty much any homeowner before comparing these with traditional options; a home equity loan or line of credit, a cash-out refinance, construction loan, HomeStyle loan or an unsecured personal loan.

A RenoFi Loan

A RenoFi Loan is a new type of home renovation loan that allows you to borrow the money that you need to carry out home improvements or additions (in this case, the construction of an inground pool) based on your home’s future value. It’s a second mortgage that’s perfectly suited to this type of project.

You see, while using equity has traditionally been the go-to way to fund improvements or additions to your home, this has its limits. And most homeowners will find that their borrowing power is limited.

Imagine you’ve only recently bought your home. And when we say recently, what we really mean is within the last five to 10 years.

The harsh reality is that you’ve probably not built up enough equity to pay for your pool, based on how many years it takes:

desktop tappable equity

tappable equity mobile

But a RenoFi Loan lets you borrow based on the value of your home after your pool has been installed. And given that this luxury addition will without a doubt increase what your home is worth, this is going to increase your borrowing power.

It means you’re able to borrow the money you need to pay for your pool, without having to find ways to reduce the cost or go for an alternative that has higher interest rates and, subsequently, that would mean higher monthly payments.

You also won’t need to refinance your existing mortgage with a RenoFi Loan, unlike a cash-out refinance or a HomeStyle Loan. And this is a big deal, especially given that many homeowners find that they’re forced to refinance at a higher rate in this situation, further pushing up their monthly payment.

Here’s what you need to know about this new type of renovation loan:

  • Loan amounts from $25k to $500k
  • Same low fixed rates as traditional home equity loans
  • Term up to 20 years
  • Ability to borrow up to 95% of the after renovation value
  • Full loan amount available at closing

And here’s how they compare to the other options that you’re probably already familiar with:

RenoFi LoansStandard Home Equity LoanConstruction LoanPersonal LoanCashCash-out RefinanceFannie Mae Homestyle or 203k
Loan based on the after renovation valueYesNoYesNoNoNoYes
Borrow up to 90% after renovation valueYesNoNoNoNoNoYes
Refinance requiredNoNoYesNoNoYesYes
Requires inspections & drawsNoNoYesNoNoNoYes

A RenoFi Loan lets you borrow the most money for the construction of your pool at the lowest monthly payment.

It’s a win-win for most homeowners, so long as your credit score is 660+.

The interest payable on a RenoFi Loan will almost certainly be tax-deductible, unlike if you use a personal loan as your method of pool financing.

To find out whether this type of loan could be right for your project, chat with one of our advisors or use the RenoFi Loan Calculator .

How do I know if a RenoFi loan is right for my project?

The RenoFi team is standing by to help you better understand how RenoFi Loans work and the projects they are best suited for. Have a question - Chat, Email, Call now...

A Home Equity Loan or Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)

If you have enough tappable equity in your home, then a home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC) might be an option for you to use to finance the construction of your inground pool, but as you learned above, unless you’ve lived in your home for many years, there’s a good chance that this won’t be the case.

You no longer need to wait until you’ve got enough tappable equity available when you can borrow against your home’s future value instead. You also shouldn’t have to reduce the specification of your pool or be forced into more costly methods of borrowing, as is often the case when home equity loans and lines of credit are initially assumed to be the best option.

A Cash-Out Refinance

Using a cash-out refinance to finance your pool installation brings with it many of the same challenges as using a home equity loan, but you’ll also need to refinance, which often ends up being at a higher rate than your existing mortgage. And shockingly, this is the case for 60% of homeowners who refinance.

And for this reason, most homeowners shouldn’t use this option, considering that alternatives exist that are likely better-suited. In fact, we’ve previously written about how refinancing is one of the dumbest things that homeowners do when paying for renovations and home improvements.

The only exception to this is when refinancing results in a vastly lower interest rate, although it’s usually the case that the exact opposite happens.

A Construction Loan

You could use a construction loan, a type of financing that, like a RenoFi Loan, lets you borrow based on your home’s future value. But we don’t recommend it.

In fact, we’ll go so far as to say you shouldn’t use a construction loan for pool financing.

Why? Because you’ll not only be forced to refinance into a higher rate, you’ll also face higher closing costs and have to go through a complicated draw process for your contractor to get paid. And for this reason, some contractors actually refuse to work with this type of loan completely.

Do yourself a favor and choose another option.

A Fannie Mae HomeStyle Loan

Maybe you’ve heard about FHA 203ks or Fannie Mae HomeStyle Loans as a way to finance your renovation wishlist; two types of government-backed renovation mortgage that allow you to combine the cost of purchasing and renovating a property into a single loan.

Both are seen as attractive options for homeowners who have a lower credit score, with the requirements less than alternatives.

But let’s clear up one thing; swimming pools cannot be financed using an FHA 203k Loan, given that these are considered to be luxury amenities that are on the list of restricted improvements that are not permitted.

The same is not the case with HomeStyle Loans, though, and it is possible to use these as a method of pool financing.

That said, these loans come with a number of drawbacks, including higher interest rates, a requirement to refinance, and a lengthy and complicated process that often results in delays and higher fees.

If your credit score doesn’t allow you to qualify for a RenoFi Loan, consider a HomeStyle.

A Personal Loan

You’ll often find that personal loans are marketed towards homeowners as ‘home improvement loans’ or even as more specific products, let’s say as a pool loan.

But don’t be fooled into thinking that these are a specialist type of loan that’s been designed specifically for the type of project you’re able to embark on. Not at all.

These offerings are often high interest unsecured personal loans that are marketed for a certain use, rather than being anything unique or that offer distinct advantages over other alternatives.

And while you might find advertised pool loans, home improvement loans, or other personal loans that claim to let you borrow up to $100,000 or more, this is an ‘up to’ amount that’s only attainable by a very small number of applicants.

You see, the amount that you can borrow with these unsecured loans is usually based on your income, credit history, and your debt-to-income ratio. This means that many homeowners will have limited borrowing power with this type of loan, and face shockingly high interest rates, often between 8% and 15%.

And to help you understand the impact that these higher rates can have, just take a look at the difference in monthly payments on a $50k loan borrowed over 10 years at these two rates; 8% and 15%, compared with 4%.

Interest RateMonthly Payment
4%$506
8%$607
15%$807

A lower interest rate means lower monthly payments, so it’s in your interest to find the option that gives you the borrowing power to borrow the full loan amount you need at the lowest possible cost.

To put it simply, most people shouldn’t be using a personal loan to finance their new pool, nor should credit cards be considered for the same reasons.

What’s The Best Swimming Pool Financing Option For You?

Swimming pools are fast becoming one of the most popular additions that we want to make to our homes, and this comes as no surprise.

But before you give your contractor the go-ahead, you need to find a way to pay for the installation of your new pool, and here are the things that you need to keep in mind when considering your options:

  • What type of pool are you looking for and what’s it going to cost
  • How much money you need to borrow based on this
  • How much equity you have in your home
  • Your credit score and credit history
  • Any debt on other loans and credit cards
  • The maximum monthly payments you can afford
  • The timeframe that you wish to repay the loan over

While the best method of financing will depend on your individual circumstances, RenoFi Loans offer a solution that lets you borrow based on what your home’s value will be after construction is completed and they’re an option that we recommend you at least consider if you’re not already familiar with what they are and how they work.

Does An Inground Pool Add Value To Your Home?

Perhaps the million-dollar question that’s often asked by a borrower before they’re about to begin construction is whether an inground pool will increase their home’s value.

And the simple answer is that yes, it probably will, but how much of the cost of construction can be recouped in added value depends massively on the size of the pool, your location, and other factors.

According to Bankrate, “many experts say having a well-kept pool can boost your resale value, especially an inground pool,” but “these are more coveted in warmer regions where they can be used year-round.”

And based upon estimates from HGTV, “Real estate experts estimate that an average 14x28-foot inground concrete pool potentially adds 5 to 8 percent to the real estate value of your home. If your property is worth $400,000, you’ll realize a boost to the value of your property of about $20,000 to $32,000.”

You may even find that if your neighbors have a swimming pool but you don’t, this can actually decrease your home’s value, making the installation of one all the more valuable.

While a pool maybe isn’t the most lucrative home improvements you can make, it shouldn’t always be about the money and the value it can add.

Make a decision based on what your family’s forever home looks like, and if that includes a pool, then go ahead and find the best way to finance it at the lowest possible cost.

You deserve it.

Should You Finance A Pool?

Most homeowners considering this type of home improvement project will be considering some kind of pool loan.

After all, very few people are lucky enough to have $50,000 or more available in cash without depleting their emergency savings, borrowing from their 410k, or turning to friends and family. And these options don’t come recommended in most scenarios.

But don’t lose sight of the reasons why you began considering the installation of an inground pool in your backyard in the first instance. We’re guessing that it was to add a little luxury to your home and to create an even more enjoyable outdoor space for the whole family.

A number of different types of backyard improvement loan exist, and we can’t encourage you enough to take the time to figure out the option that makes the most sense to you, based on your credit history, the equity that’s in your home, and other factors.

If you’re still considering the different swimming pool loans, remember one thing; for many homeowners, a RenoFi Loan makes the most sense.

To learn more about whether this option may be able to let you borrow all of the money you need without the drawbacks of other financing options, we encourage you to get in touch and chat with one of our advisors or, alternatively, give the RenoFi Loan Calculator a try .

How do I know if a RenoFi loan is right for my project?

The RenoFi team is standing by to help you better understand how RenoFi Loans work and the projects they are best suited for. Have a question - Chat, Email, Call now...