One of the most common questions we get asked is: How much does it cost to install a swimming pool?

The questions is a bit like, how long is a piece of string, as the choice of pools and type of installation is infinite. While we advocate Compass Pools as a pool that will last and bring you and your family the most value and enjoyment their are other options, we have tried to evaluate the different methods with both pro’s and con’s. Please be aware this covers outdoor pools only. For prices on indoor pools please click here. 

Inflatable/ vinyl or PVC above ground swimming pools (£50 – £1000):

The cheapest way of building a swimming pool, by very temporary. Either installed using a steel frame or with an inflatable ring, usually having a small cartridge filter, these are very much an over sized paddling pool, can only be used in summer as material will perish in winter.

Expensive to heat, but good if you just want to get wet on a hot day.


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Solid Above ground swimming pools (£1500 – £10’000)

The next step up on the swimming pool ladder, usually made from wood, slotted together like Lego into a hexagonal shape, or with steel panels in a circular frame. These are usually installed by keen and competent DIY’ers. They are quick to install and will last about 5 years before anything major needs doing. They have a liner, so are susceptible to leaks if not properly cared for, and the liner will need replacing periodically. Children should also be discouraged from taking anything sharp, like flippers / masks that may damage the liner.  As the name suggest they are above ground, this helps with keeping small children and leaves out of the pool but can look quite unsightly if not disguised as have to be quite tall to get the depth to swim in.

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Block and Pvc Liner Pool (£25’000 – £70’000)

The most common type of pool in the UK, built using concrete blocks with a vinyl liner placed inside similar to that used in fish ponds, An economical way of constructing a pool but you need to watch out for a few things, anything made of concrete is unforgiving of any ground movement and can be prone to cracks, this is especially a problem in areas where there is a lot of clay or sand in the soil. The liner will ensure it retains its watertight qualities but cracks will be visible through the liner. Liners will also need replacing every 5 years as the UV rays will attack them and they will go brittle and split, any sharp object such a stones that go in to pool can also cause a puncture that will prove very difficult to find.

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Panel Pools / Prefabricated Pools (£15’000 – £80’000)

Built in a similar way to a block and liner pools with the exception that the block are replaced with a prefabricated panel often made of plastic or metal. This is sometimes insulated that has a benefit. This construction method however still relies on a liner therefore attaches with it a lot of the cons of the above.

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Fibreglass & Polyester Swimming Pool (£20’000 – £65’000)

Built on the same principals as a Compass Pool with many of the benefits. Delivered in one piece and craned into the excavated hole. Quick installation and easy maintenance. Problems can occur when the pools are cheaply constructed as they will be prone to osmosis (the transfer of ground water from the outside of the pool shell to the inside through the material) this will cause staining and damage to the shell and could ultimately cause failure. Compass Ceramic Core prevents this and it warranted against this. Many concrete pool builders will also highlight they they can float out the ground. This can occur when not properly installed and ONLY when the pool is emptied (which there should be no need to). Every Compass Pool is fitted with a hydrostatic valve to prevent this, letting surrounding ground water into the pool if the pressure build up. If there is a need to empty the pool your Compass Dealer will always assist. The temperature on a Fibreglass or Polyester pool is also limited to 28 degrees.

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Compass Ceramic Pools (£50’000 – £120’000)

We are biased on this one, we have built all of the types of pool on this page up until 2005. But now we sell exclusively Compass and for good reason, as outlined on this pages there are flaws to 20th century pool building methods. In Australia, the USA and Europe this One Piece Ceramic Pools has been used for over 30 years by Compass, installing over 30’000 pools. There is no pool builder in the UK that can tell you he has built up his experience from 30’000 pools, simply because there are not 30’000 domestic pools in the UK! He certainly cant say that they installed 1500 pools last year. You are correct in thinking we didn’t install this amount in the UK but the manufacturer Compass Pools Europe did, and since they build the pools in once piece and shipped to the UK, you the customer can benefit from this experience. Available both as an inground outdoor pool and as an inground fully insulated indoor pool.

Our only flaw is that you have only 35 models to choose from!

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Concrete Swimming Pool with Tiles, Marbelite or Ruberised Paint (£45’000 – £150’000+)

A concrete pool gives you the flexibility to build any shape or design of pool but with certain risks associated. Designed and built on site by your pool contractor and his subcontractors. The weather will play an important role in both the time to build and the quality of works. This type of pool has to be built in optimum temperatures and given time to cure to ensure its structural stability and quality. Any sign of frost, heat or rain and this could compromise its structural integrity. Further more any ground movement in sandy or clay soil could cause damage to the structure as it is rigid. The running costs are also significantly higher on this type of pool as you are not only heating the water but the tiles and concrete as well. Did you know: “Concrete takes 2.5 times the energy to heat as water does”

You need to factor in increased chemical costs due to the surface under a microscope looking like a sponge! Did you know there are 15 miles of grout lines in the average family pool. Thats a lot of cleaning!

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Stainless Steel Pools (£100K+++)

stainless-steel-poolStainless steel pools sit right at the top end of the market. They are made from either 304 or 316 marine grade stainless steel and are usually polished or brushed. They can be fabricated off site and are usually welded together on site. Care should be taken in the design as the waterline can look rusty through chlorine gas, but an overflow pool overcomes this, after all its called stain – less steel, not stain proof steel! They look super modern and are sometime tiled. They can also be insulated on the backside. The only real disadvantage compared to a Compass pool is the cost. 

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Free Pool Owners eBook by SPATA

Understand whats involved in pool ownership with this free guide by Spata (Swimming Pool & Allied Trade Association)

Spata provides standards on swimming pool construction and who's standards we abide as a member.

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