Inground Pool Costs & Options

pool options & costs for the Rochester, NY area.

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thinking about installing a pool?

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Hi, my name is Bill Carr, owner of Woodstream Landscape Inc. I am a NYSNLA landscape Designer in Rochester NY. I have been designing and installing high quality Landscape projects throughout Monroe County, and beyond for over 25 years.

Rochester homeowners starting an inground pool project will find advice on this website that is useful, because the majority of the information is specific to our area.

This page has a breakdown of inground pool costs & options you will find in the Rochester Area.

Hopefully this page will provide you with some helpful information on starting an inground pool project, either here in Rochester, or elsewhere.

Even if you don’t consider us in the project, you hopefully will avoid the costly mistakes that too many other homeowners end up making.

Best of luck in designing your new pool and backyard!

If you are interested in hiring us to design your project, we make it easy to get started here.

Inground Pool costs

Plan & pricing a inground pool installation

1) Plan out your overall backyard

You are about to invest in a long lasting outdoor project. It’s important that you Invest time in the design phase, It’s a small commitment early on in the process, so that you can make good decisions and avoid surprises later.

If you can design your pool to be integrated into your overall backyard living space, it becomes a valuable asset. Visually, it “reads” as a captivating water feature highlighting a multi functional backyard environment.

It is no longer perceived as “just a pool” and when you go to sell your house, that whole outdoor “experience” is seen as an asset, not a liability.

2) Inground Pool Choices

The two types of inground pools we mainly see here in Rochester, NY are vinyl lined pools and concrete/gunite pools.There are some fiberglass pools being installed locally, but not as many as you might find in other markets. One thing I’ve never liked about fiberglass pools, is that they seem ‘narrow’ or proportionately ‘off’ to me.

Gunite Pools

A concrete or Gunite pool is made of sand, water, & cement. The Gunite is applied in layers on top of a rebar framework using a special spray gun that allows pool builders to spray the concrete onto vertical surfaces. Once ‘set’ a pool finish is applied (usually plaster).

The main benefits of gunite are that your pool is completely customizable and long lasting.

The main drawback for Gunite is the overall cost. It will cost more money to maintain and the initial build will usually run about twice as much as a comparable Vinyl lined pool.

Vinyl Lined Pools

Vinyl lined pools are are built with a concrete bottom and steel (or composite) side walls. The walls are supported by bracing that sets in an ‘overdig’ area around the perimeter of the pool.

The overdig is covered by the 3′ pool deck that comes with your standard pool package. A liner is installed inside of the overall concrete/steel wall structure.

Vinyl lined pools are very customizable as far as shape, and can be outfitted with a variety of options and custom water features.

We typically see Vinyl pools in the Rochester area so we’ll be talking about Costs and Options for those.

Vinyl lined inground pool drawing. Showing Steel wall pool components. illustration
Vinyl lined inground pool drawing. Showing Steel wall pool components.

3) Starting cost

Here is the base price you will typically find for a vinyl lined inground pool installation here in Rochester, NY.

About 90% of the pool projects I see start at this price range, unless your homesite is filled with trees, inaccessible, or sits on shallow bedrock.

Your standard pool package will run about $25,000-$30,000. That $5,000 difference has to do with your selection of size and shape for your pool.

For that price you will basically get everything you need to start swimming. The one thing that is not included in the base price, but you’ll need (other than a fence) is electric.

Electric service is quoted separately for each install, so it’s not included in the base price you see advertised. It will run about $1,500 in most cases.

4) Choosing Options

Options in large part, will determine the cost of your inground pool. Knowing about these options gives you an idea of what it will potentially cost and what a pool contractor is going to talk about.

You’ll get some options for upgrading the basic features included in the standard package. You also have quite a few options which are not included in the standard package. These “extras” ( like a heater) add to the cost of your standard package.

Some upgrades or options would need to be done with your initial build, where others could be added later in case you wanted to defer the initial cost and spread it out over time. 

Standard Pool Package

feature/upgrades

Below are the standard package features that typically come with your pool. I’ve included the common upgrades I see, and what it will cost.

There are color selections to choose from, it’s best to see actual examples. The liner selection effects the perception of the pools water color. Any upgrades here would have very little bearing on price but play a big role in atmosphere.

Inground Pool Liner example.
Inground Pool Liner example.

Usually 6’-8’ wide. For the standard package: They are white plastic and will extend out from the main body of the pool (at the shallow end). You can upgrade these so they are built inside the pool body with pool liner covering them (Built in steps). 

  • Built in steps upgrade usually runs about $1,500 – $2000
  • You can get the standard steps in grey with grey aluminum coping for about $500

The standard coping is white aluminum. You can get a different color (Grey) but I mostly see either the standard white or homeowners upgrading to a concrete cantilevered coping.

  • cantilevered concrete coping runs about $2000 extra.
  • grey aluminum coping with grey standard step runs about $500
Pool coping & Standard steps Example
Pool coping & Standard steps Example

Over the last 5-6 years I’ve seen the trend switch from traditional chlorine systems to salt water sanitation systems.

Basically, you add salt in the beginning of the season and the salt system produces its own chlorine all season long ( you would probably replenish after a hard rain or when backwashing), so there is less maintenance than with a chlorine system.

The upgrade to a saltwater system is around $1,500

This is the blue bubble wrap tarp that comes with your standard package. If you have a heater, you might not use it except maybe in the beginning and the end of the season. It does help extend the swim season.

Most homeowners consider these covers a nuisance. Also, I would not start out upgrading to a reel cart for your initial pool build. You might find the whole solar cover thing to be a hassle so don’t put money here just yet.

Pool Costs Solar covers
Solar covers

You’ll probably have a few upgrade options here (in addition to the $1,500 we laid out above)

  • addition of few GFI outlets near the pool so you don’t have extension cords everywhere. The cost is minimal while the electrician is already on site. Should be around $200.
  • Post Lights….. unless you plan on doing Landscape lighting, which I highly recommend.
  • You might have some extra cost if you are doing an electric heater. Even if you postpone it, do the electrical for it with the initial pool build.

5) Extra Options for your pool

Below are extra features that do not come with the standard pool package. Most ( not all) of the extra options below can be installed at a later date which allows you to put off some of your initial cost.

Heater

A heater will extend the swim season as well as maximizing the comfort level during the swim season. You will get two options for installing a heater:

  1. Gas Heater is around $2,500 inc gas line. It burns natural fuel to heat the water. It costs less to install but more to run. Also, it tends to heat up the water faster.
  2. Electric Heat pump is around $3800 + extra electrical cost. It condenses heat from the air to heat your water
Pool Heater Example
Pool Heater Example

Security Cover

We see the majority of homeowners upgrade to a security cover. They provide superior safety, way less maintenance, and they look far better than the standard package winter tarp cover. It is my number one upgrade suggestion.

  • These run about $2,000-$3000 depending on pool size & shape.
  • I can’t emphasize enough how much better they look from inside the house.
  • With these covers, you won’t have the constant nightmare of trying to siphon stagnant water off the standard winter tarp.
Inground Pool Security Cover Example
Inground Pool Security Cover

Water Features

There are quite a few different water feature options. Some of these are custom built, so price will vary.

The options that are installed outside the pool (water falls, slides) can usually be done later if need be. The integrated features (Deck jets, swim outs) would likely have to be done with your initial pool installation.

Inground Pools Rochester NY Diving Board Slide options
Slide & Diving Board
  • Deck Jets run about $250 each
  • Sheer Descent waterfalls  The water drops from the source directly into the pool. These can run anywhere from $2,500-$10,000.  In large part, the cost  depends on the type of sheer wall that is installed ( length, height, type of wall facing material.) You don’t need to spend a fortune. You can create a smaller sheer wall and scale it with landscape planting to create a pleasing proportion.
  • Waterfalls/ Outcropping These are when you see multiple layers of rock or boulders. The waterfall or  stream will fall onto one layer and then the next etc. before dropping into the pool. They can be elaborate & expensive. They are rarely built with proper scale and proportion so I don’t think the cost justifies the look.
Backyard pools Landscape Lighting
  • Inside the pool features ( like a Buddy Seat, Swimout, Sun Ledge) these seem to average out around $2,000 each.
  • Diving board ( $1000ish )
  • WaterSlide ($3000-$4000 +/-) depending on the size.
Inground Pool Design Rochester NY
Sheer Descent Falls

*NOTE: The typical rock “heap” you’ll see is hard to soften with plantings, the individual stones/rocks used are almost always way too small to scale the feature properly.

Lastly, about half the time I see unnatural, small, flat stones endlessly stacked hoping to achieve a balance that is never going to happen.

To put it nicely…………These features usually seem out of place. 

*NOTE: Unless you can get someone who has an eye for it, it’s typically better to go with a small sheer descent type falls.

You will get a much better bang for the buck. Use that savings on more impactful features.

Inground Pools Rochester NY
Concrete Coping
Inground Pool costs Rochester NY Deck Jet waterfeature
Deck Jets

Quick Notes on pool building:

picture showing Components for a Steel wall vinyl lined in ground pool
Components for a Steel wall vinyl lined in ground pool

You should always double check your pump/pipe calculations if running multiple features. It is very easy for this to get overlooked during the whole process of planning & building the pool.

  • Make sure you stub in the plumbing during the initial build if you are planning to add a feature at a later date.
  • Calculate to ensure you have sized your pump & pipe diameter correctly to handle the extra load if you are planning to run multiple features at the same time.
  • Otherwise, but not the end of the world, you may have to turn one feature off or maybe turn off your circulation system while you have multiple features running.
pool design pool installation Rochester NY

6) Pool Fence

You will need to install a fence to enclose your pool. You will want to plan the layout of the fence in order to maximize your space.

A fence in Rochester usually runs about $26-$30 per linear foot. You will probably want two gates. The cost about $400-$800 each depending on the width. Single gates are 3′ or 4′ and double gates are 6′ or 8′.

Don’t cutback on the amount of fence just to save a few hundred dollars. I see this done all the time, mostly because there isn’t enough forethought during the planning stage.

You are not saving enough money to justify how severely you are compromising the overall look and “feel” of your space.

Here is some useful information to read before you start planning, 3 common pool planning mistakes to avoid.

7) Pool Patio

Your patio is an essential part of your pool project. Studies show that when you are outside using the pool approximately 85% of your time is spent relaxing or socializing on the patio and not in the pool.

Take the time to plan out your living area so you end up with comfortable spaces. I often see extra concrete that was poured for patio or lounging space, but the dimensions are off by a few feet which causes the intended space to be much less functional. 

Planning your patio

Learn about pool patios costs & options. Including information on:

  • Comparison of common materials used for building patios.
  • Costs for installing different types of patios in the Rochester, NY area

Learn more about designing your pool patio and outdoor space. Including information on:

  • recommended size for outdoor spaces.
  • planning your backyard to include an inground pool.

“Studies show that when using their pool, the average homeowner spends 85% of their time on the patio and not in the actual pool.”

50 %
Time spent on patio
600 SQ'
avg pool patio size
$ 9
Average price per sq.'
inground pool integrated into backyard living space

Estimating your cost

total cost for an inground pool project in Rochester, NY

You can expect to spend around $40,000- $50,000 for your inground pool project, including the fence and extra patio space.

Options and upgrades for the pool itself and for your surrounding living area could add another $15,000-$25,000 .

Quick ballpark example: 

  • Standard pool package & electric is around $29,000
  • Fence (maybe $5,000)
  • Extra patio (maybe $6,000-$10,000)
  • Upgrades – Let’s say a heater & security cover ($5,000-$6,000)

we can help you design your space

Why are our projects always so different? Partially it’s the quality of the materials we use and the care we take in our installations, but mostly it is about creative and thoughtful design.

The right design will maximize the overall function and appeal of your entire property. It helps clarify your expectations, establish your budget and helps you to visualize and prioritize multi-phase enhancements.

Extensive time and detail is put into these plans so that your landscape will continue to add curb appeal, function & increased Home Value, Not maintenance and frustration.

It is for this reason we charge a fee for design work, which is around $200-$400 for a traditional 2D architectural plan for most front or backyard landscape Projects.

Backyards that include a Pool run about $395 Total due to the extra time involved, such as measuring and laying out grades, drainage, setbacks etc.

Don’t see what you’re looking for? Reach out.
  • (585) 202-0623
  • wdstrmpool@gmail.com

Frequently Asked Questions

Around $295 for a traditional 2D architectural plan for most backyard landscape Projects. We do offer 3D renderings for about $250 extra.

$395 for a traditional 2D architectural plan which is what is used for planning and layout of the pool and surrounding spaces for your project. 3D Renderings are usually $300.

Around $250 for a traditional 2D architectural plan for most Frontyard landscape Projects. We do offer 3D renderings for about $250, but it’s more for visualization and not critical for planning and layout of the project.

We do Planting, Landscaping & Hardscapes installs, (other than concrete).  We will provide estimates for any of that work. We don’t accept every install inquiry. It mostly depends on our backlog, distance, type of work.

Not at this time. Since we don’t accept every installation project we’re offered, ( even though we might have done the drawing ) we instead opt to keep the design fee reasonable across the board, in order to keep it “Fair”.

You choose the pool builder. They will install the pool, including backfill, rough grading and fence.

On projects where we are doing some of the installation work (like landscaping)….. we lay out fencing and concrete so it gets done according to plan.

We actually will be working for you. We manage a project with your best interests in mind. With that said, we work with whoever you choose as your pool builder.

No problem! As long as we are doing some of the other work (like Landscaping) I will layout the design for the mason to ensure it gets put in according to the plan.

Sometimes, yes. But it depends. More so in winter. Just shoot me an email. The fees will usually be a little higher because there is no installation aspect. I’m pretty familiar with plants in the East down to about zone 8. I worked in Hilton Head, SC. for 7 years.

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