Building your own swimming pool : pros cons cost

The construction of a private swimming pool by a professional represents a large budget. So much so that some are asking the question: why not build it yourself? The self-construction of a swimming pool indeed promises real savings. Before embarking on this demanding project, ask yourself a few questions. What are the advantages and disadvantages ? How much does it cost to build a swimming pool if you do it yourself? We tell you everything.

Do you have the ideal pool builder profile?

Starting the construction of a swimming pool requires certain qualities. Will you be the perfect site manager that your future pool needs?

You are not suffering from administrative phobia.

Before building your pool, a few steps are to be taken. Unless you are satisfied with a small swimming pool (less than 10 m2), you will have to declare the work to your town hall. Depending on the size of the pool and the enclosure, you will have to request either prior authorization for work or a building permit. Remember to present your project in a complete file: location plan, section plan and photograph of the land, etc. All this paperwork is mandatory; it allows you to build a pool legally.

You are available and… in great shape!

Saving money is often spending time! To carry out the construction site of a swimming pool, it is better to have enough free time. If you run out of time, there is a great risk of becoming discouraged… and letting the work drag on. Don’t forget that this is a fairly physical site, for which you are advised to be in top form.

You have a sense of organization.

Because everything will have to be managed: ordering materials, deliveries from suppliers, labor from friends and cousins, etc. Be rigorous: set up a work schedule, it will save you a lot of unpleasant surprises.

You are manual and versatile.

Nothing puts you off: neither the handling of a shovel, nor the piloting of an earth-moving machine. Do you have great DIY skills and are you curious to discover new construction techniques? The building site of a swimming pool has everything to please you. Otherwise, you’ll have to hang on…

You know the legal obligations.

Apart from the administrative procedures, you must inform yourself about the obligations related to the construction of a swimming pool. Especially in terms of anti-drowning safety.

Building a swimming pool: what are the advantages?

We are not going to lie to each other, the main advantage of self-construction is its reduced budget. But other arguments also play in its favour…

1 – On the budget side: your sweat is worth gold!

There is no comparison: if you build your pool yourself, you will spend two to three times less than by calling on a specialist. It’s worth the sweat. The difference is easily explained, since most of the estimate covers the working time of the professionals. Result: by saving on labour, your swimming pool costs much less. It is up to you to find a free, motivated, available and sufficiently competent workforce.

2 – Your swimming pool is in your image: unique and original.

The advantage of carrying out the construction of the family swimming pool yourself is that you can make it to measure.

  • If you want an original form, far from the standards, it is possible. Why not an L-shaped or bean-shaped pool, or an infinity pool, with a curved bottom, with a submerged beach, a swimming lane…? In short, create a swimming pool according to your desires. As long as it remains feasible, you can let your imagination run wild. Of course, the more complex the shape, the longer the construction will take and the more time and skill it takes.
  • As for the aesthetic aspect, again your imagination is king. You can customize layouts in multiple ways. Lighting for nighttime swimming, a wooden terrace for bathing, an integrated spa, water jets… Within the limits of your budget…
  • Finishes give you the opportunity to add a personal touch. Why not a colored liner (sand, black, white, red, etc.), patterned tiling, a coating or a decorative coating?

In fact, to save time and money, individuals tend to choose simple and classic shapes for their pools.

3 – You know your swimming pool… as if you had made it!

When you have dug, leveled, built, laid out your swimming pool, you know it from A to Z. You are the one who connects the pipe network for the water supply, you are the one who installs the fittings and systems of security… At the slightest problem (leak for example) in the months or years to come, you will be able to locate its origin very quickly. It will not be difficult for you to intervene yourself. You haven’t finished saving!

4 – You can say “I made it”.

When you see the whole family relaxing in the blue water of your swimming pool, you will be able to contemplate the scene with the same gaze as that of Lucky Luke at the end of his adventures… You know? This little satisfaction of having taken up the challenge. Pride in a job well done. And with the visit of friends who will have participated in the construction, you will not stop rejoicing in your success.

What are the disadvantages of building your own swimming pool?

Despite the advantages of self-construction, first and foremost the financial savings, this type of construction site is not without its drawbacks.

1 – Holding the site over time is not easy.

Anyone starting the construction of a swimming pool should expect to spend a lot of time there! At least, you must have a month ahead of you, provided you spend all your free time there. Count on two to three months of work, which requires a good organization of time. You have to know how to balance work and relaxation, so as not to become exhausted or demotivated. The risk would be to end up leaving the site flat! The main difficulty is to keep a regular rhythm of work. Some stages are longer and more difficult than others. Be careful not to get discouraged in these somewhat thankless times, when the end of the project still seems far away.

2 – Big job ahead!

The construction of a swimming pool is a project that requires strong motivation and a lot of energy. Some jobs are particularly difficult, especially earthworks. That said, it will save you a lot of hours at the gym! Some actions can be limited by properly organizing the site. For example, by having the breeze blocks delivered directly inside the slab. But before you start, be sure you have the physical abilities necessary to carry out the work until the end.

3 – And big mess in the garden!

As much as you know, your garden will become an impassable site area for the duration of the work. The stock of materials takes up space, as well as the tools. The construction site generates dust and rubble. Professionals are equipped to protect the surroundings. You should think about doing the same. But your garden will still suffer from this turbulent period.

4 – The danger: a major technical error

Not being a professional, no one is immune to a major error during the work. In general, a technical error can be corrected, with an additional expense of time and money! But if a serious fault is committed in the construction of the apron, the pool is in the water. The antidote is to prepare your site carefully, in particular by learning about construction techniques.

Indeed, a faulty workmanship on the construction site would have several consequences. Cracks, poor sealing, collapse, faulty electrical connections… If a technical error affects your pool, you cannot hide behind the manufacturer’s warranty. In the absence of warranty, it will be up to you to repair the damage and, if necessary, to redo the work.

I build my pool myself: what budget?

If the self-construction of a swimming pool costs much less, what budget should be planned? You will see more clearly once you know the cost of each step, and the price of the different types of pool.

Land preparation

Earthworks, leveling the ground, pouring a concrete slab: in total, count between 1500 and 3000 euros. The price depends on the nature of the ground, the type of gear to be rented and the size of the pool.

The choice of materials

  • The hull swimming pool is less expensive but less durable over time.
  • The concrete is more expensive, but this material gives you more freedom to customize the pool. And above all, it is more reliable and durable. To make the apron and the walls of the swimming pool, plan at least 1500 euros of concrete (half of which for the apron). To which you can add the rental of a mixer truck with a pump, which will cost you around 1000 euros.
  • For the purchase of concrete blocksof boards formwork and reinforcementallow 1500 euros maximum.
  • The modular panels are an interesting economic formula.

The shape and dimensions of the pool

They directly impact the budget. The larger the pool and the more original and complex the shape, the more expensive it is.


You have the choice between applying a self-prepared water-repellent coating (between 250 and 350 euros) and a ready-made product (much more expensive).

The filter system

Essential, the filtration device includes the filter, the water pump, the skimmers, the pipes and the outlets. Depending on the size of the pool, it costs between 1200 and 2000 euros.

The accessories

As soon as you add lighting, water jets or a staircase, you add a line on the invoice. While bringing value to the pool.

The technical room

Don’t forget him, you might miss him. The construction of a small room, for example in wood and sheet metal, should cost you more or less 400 euros.

The finishing coating

  • The liner is quite economical. A standard liner costs barely 500 euros. But it is fragile and will deteriorate quite quickly. A top-of-the-range liner, more solid and with patterns, can cost two to three times more (up to 1600 euros).
  • For a finishing coat mixed yourself, plan between 450 and 550 euros of product.
  • Stronger (and more expensive): the floor tile. The cheapest is ceramics: between 1200 and 1500 euros in all.
  • the reinforced PVC or the resin reinforced polyester are comparable to tiles.

The security system

The anti-drowning device represents a compulsory budget. The price may vary depending on whether you have opted for a barrier, an audible alarm, a security cover or a swimming pool enclosure. Ask for quotes.

The tarpaulin and its roller

To protect the pool from bad weather and falling leaves, a bubble cover can be useful. This type of tarp costs between 5 and 9 euros per square meter. Not to mention the tarpaulin reel. Manual, it costs about 250 euros; motorized, rather 700 euros.

Total budget of the self-built pool

Carried out by a professional, the price of building a swimming pool ranges from 16,000 euros (for a shell swimming pool) to 27,000 euros for a swimming pool made with modular panels. A classic concrete swimming pool costs around 24,000 euros.

For the same size, a swimming pool made by your own means costs less than 10,000 euros, unless you add tons of options and accessories! In the end, either you have a swimming pool for half the price (between 7000 and 10,000 €), or you have a swimming pool twice as good for the same price. It’s up to you.

Leave a Comment