What influences Pool Costs?

What affects the cost of a pool in New Zealand?

Naturally, one of the most common questions people have when planning a new pool is “what do I need to budget for?”.

The truth is, it can be hard to give accurate price guidance on a pool project without working through the finer details this is because each and every pool, landscape design and backyard are different.

Take one of our most popular pools (the X-Trainer 8.2) for example. This pool can be installed with lights, filtration equipment and ready to be landscaped for around $45,000 - $50,000, but it is not uncommon for people to spend $60,000 or more depending on what optional extras they choose (like Vantage self-cleaning for example).

So what are the things that are likely to influence the price of a pool?

The size and type of the pool.
As you would expect the bigger the pool, the higher the price. As a pool increases in size almost every related element upsizes too. You will require a bigger excavation, larger pumps and filters, more labour to install and of course a bigger pool shell.

Site access
Site access often plays a major role in determining the over-all cost of a pool installation. If you are installing a pre-moulded fibreglass pool (like a Compass Pool) you’ll have 2 key considerations. The first thing to think about is the excavation. How easy is it to get excavation equipment into your backyard and to remove excess soil? If equipment has easy access it is likely to help keep costs low.

The second thing is; how easy will it be to get the pool shell into place. The most ideal situation is to be able to drive into site and lower the pool into place using a Hi-Ab, however some projects require cranes to lift pools over buildings which can cost more.

Site conditions
Another thing that can influence the cost of the pool is the nature of your backyard. Not everybody has a nice simple flat site. In many cases we may need to install your pool fully or partially above ground using MaxiRib™ technology. This system allows us to install your pool out of ground to match your design requirements – handy if you want the top of your pool to be level with an existing deck or retaining wall. Although installing a pool using a MaxiRib system can look more expensive at the outset, it is often cheaper than completing extra ground works such as retaining and in-filling to creat a flat site (and almost always cheaper than switch to a highly engineered concrete pool alternative).

There are also some cases where extra engineering precautions may need to be taken to ensure you have a lifetime of hassle-free pool ownership. We may need to design engineered solutions to place your pool particularly close to a building or if your site has tricky soil conditions.

The quality of your pool shell
Not all fibreglass swimming pools are made equal. It pays to be mindful of the old saying “you get what you pay for”. Although the industry has minimum manufacturing standards, there are several brands that build to a significantly higher level – Compass Pools for example offer a minimum of 3X industry standard when it comes to use of Vinyl Ester resin (arguably the most essential ingredient to building a long-lasting pool).

A good test of quality is to ask to see written warranties. Do they exist? How long are they for? And can they be transferred to the new owners when you sell your house?

Circulation systems
Now this is an important one! The key to minimising the long-term costs of pool ownership is to ensure you have fantastic circulation in your pool. The problem is, most pools have a basic one suction/two return (eyeball and skimmer) system. It might cost more upfront to install an enhanced circulation system such as Vantage or Logic, but it will seriously reduce the cost of chemicals, heating, maintenance and much more…. wouldn’t you prefer to save hundreds of dollars every single year?

Customisations and optional extras
The truth is, there are so many choices to help make your pool perfect for you. Whilst most pool builders will offer you a “standard package”. You’ll also get to choose from a wish-list of extras like: multi-coloured LED light upgrades, energy efficient pumps, automated Chlorine and pH control systems, coping pavers, swim-jets, water features, spa combos and more.

Compass Pools are also uniquely customisable. These days you can add beach zones, waders, vanishing edges, acrylic windows and more.

What is usually included in a “standard Compass Pool package”?
  • Supply and delivery of pool shell
  • Pool filtration and circulation equipment
  • A pool care pack (a leaf scoop, brush and manual vacuum)
  • Standard lights
  • Excavation
  • Installation of pool - up to the point it is filed with water and has a concrete bond beam to lock everything in place.
  • A commission and clean
  • A full hand-over with written operating manual

*Each Compass Pools Dealer operates independently and therefore standard pool packages may very slightly from what is mentioned above

What else will you need to budget for to complete the project?
Generally speaking, all pool projects require a building consent (and in the odd circumstance some may also require a resource consent). Although pools less than 35,000 litres do not require a consent for the pool itself, you are still obliged to obtain consent for the pool fence and associated plumbing connections. Unfortunately building consent prices are not standardised across New Zealand and all councils have different fee structures. For the purpose broad guidance: budget somewhere between $500 and $2500 for a simple consent application.

Electrical connection
Unless it is included in your pool package, you’ll need to allow for an electrical connection to your pump room. If you are not planning on heating your pool, a standard 240v connection will suffice. If you intend to use a heat pump, you’ll require a minimum 15 amp connection for a small pool and 30 amp for a bigger heating system.

Once your pool is in the ground you will want to create your own backyard oasis. Landscaping and hard-scaping around your pool is a deeply individual thing and you can do as much or as little as you want. We’ve seen many people create simple, yet fantastic pool areas which includes grassed areas to keep costs low, and others who have gone all out!

Finally, all pool areas need to be safe and secure to prevent accidental drownings. There are many great looking fencing options including timber, iron, powder-coated alloy and glass. As you would expect each option comes with a different price tag.

Quick fencing tips:
  • Think about practicality
    • Does your fencing need to double as a wind break?
    • What impact will your fencing have on lighting, shadows and pool visibility?
  • Unless you are opting for self-cleaning glass, consider the splash zone – do you want your fences looking like a shower wall?
  • You’d be surprised at how quickly black powder coated alloy blends into the background.
  • Familiarise yourself with the building code F9 before choosing fencing options.


Want to know what your pool project will cost?

Did you know that your local Compass Pool dealer can come and asses your site for free? They can sit with you and figure out what pool options will suit you best and then give you accurate guidance on price.

Book your free site evaluation now – you’ll find it incredibly useful regardless of whether you choose a Compass Pool.



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