How Much Does It Cost To Install A Cocktail Pool?

Sipping from a glass of your favorite wine while soaking in a pool can be the most effortless way to revitalize yourself. Many people also find it the ultimate way to cool off when throwing a summer party. But for those considering installing a pool, the first thing that virtually all homeowners have to overcome is choice paralysis. From lap pools, overflow pools, freeform pools, infinity pools, and other options described by Luxury Pools, there are just so many types of pools to choose from.

While Popular Mechanics notes that concrete pools are the most popular due to their unmatched design flexibility and ultra-durability, many homeowners with small backyards prefer the space-conservative cocktail pool. The good thing about cocktail pools is that they are budget-friendly — costing an average of $22,000 (per Home Advisor). But there's more than meets the eye when creating a budget for a cocktail pool and we at House Digest are here to give you a clear and complete insight into how much it actually costs to install one on your property.

Factors for cost

Whether you opt for an inground or above-ground cocktail pool for your backyard, there are factors to consider for your budgeting. Ultimately, you'll need to consider the excavation cost, size and shape of your dream pool, the type of material you want your pool built with, and the equipment and accessories to be installed with the pool, explains REthority.


Think of the excavation of a pool as the foundation of a house. It is the primary architectural task of the process. According to the engineers at Pool Contractor, the average pool excavation cost is $1,500. But additional costs may be added depending on the urgency of the project, the time of the year, and the size of the yard. Excavation works are more complex in winter so you can expect higher labor costs, otherwise, consider scheduling your pool for summer. Similarly, additional workers are required to speed up an urgent project (which means more labor charges). Moreover, if your yard is too small to accommodate the tractors and trucks needed for the job, your contractor will likely charge more.


Cocktail pools can be made from three types of materials: fiberglass, concrete, or vinyl. Forbes explains that the prices of these materials are not the same, with concrete cocktail pools being the most expensive at $50,000 to $100,000, with a yearly maintenance cost of $2,700. On the other hand, fiberglass cocktail pools cost an average of $46,000 with an upkeep cost of $5,000 to $15,000 over 10 years, while vinyl cocktail pools go for around $28,000, with a maintenance cost of $13,300 per 10-year period.

Building permit

When adding a new structure to a house, there's no doing it without the acquisition of a building permit. As stated by Fixr, a building permit is a document issued by the authorities in your city as evidence of the government's approval of your project. According to Home Guide, a swimming pool permit costs from $100 to $300.

Added features

For anyone opting for an in-ground cocktail pool, Premier Pools & Spas estimate that the necessary electrical systems and pumps will incur further costs. According to Home Advisor, swimming pool pumps cost an average of $1,100 while the cost of all electrical work for in-ground pools generally goes as high as $3,500 to $4,500. In addition, homeowners should also consider the costs of extra features such as pool heaters, functional pool decks, and pool fencing.

Size and shape

It's no surprise that bigger pools are more expensive than smaller ones. According to Your Pool, an in-ground cocktail pool costs $50 to $125 per square foot while an above-ground costs $15 to $30 per square foot. However, pools with complex shapes are more expensive than those with simple designs. For example, a kidney-shaped cocktail pool is harder and more expensive to install than a rectangular or square-shaped pool.

Geographical location

Your geographical location also has an impact on the budget needed to install a cocktail swimming pool. For instance, Thursday Pool explains that the process of installing a fiberglass pool on rocky terrain is difficult and requires special machinery and workmanship. Similarly, for a landscape that's made of clay or sandy soil, your contractor will need to replace the soil with something more stable and supportive.

Additional costs

Most homeowners like to incorporate attractive features around their swimming pools. A waterfall, LED pool lighting, swim-up pool bar, fire pit, or a repurposed fountain, are among the cool features recommended by Beyond Blue Pools

LED pool lighting

LED pool lighting can transform your backyard pool into an incredible work of art. Since LED lighting units last longer than their hydrogen counterparts, you can save replacement money in the long run. These lighting units come in shapes, colors, sizes, and, of course, prices that will meet your taste and budget. According to My Perfect Pool, high-quality LED pool lights cost $270 to $600 while generic brands cost $150. Additionally, you'll also need to pay between $100 and $1,000 for the running of cables.

Outdoor firepit

The experts at Custom Pool Pros encourage homeowners to add an outdoor firepit close by their cocktail pool for a number of reasons. First, it improves the aesthetics of the pool. Also, a poolside firepit can increase the value of your home and keep you warm during winter. According to Inch Calculator, the average cost of installing a backyard firepit may be as low as $300 or as high as $1,500.

Spillover spa

A spillover spa brings your pool environment together, regulates the temperature and circulation of your pool, and can be therapeutic, suggests Pool Research. But mind you, adding a spillover spa to an existing pool is no easy feat, costing an additional $15,000 to $50,000.

Repurposed fountain

According to Swim University, the benefit of sprucing up your cocktail pool with a repurposed fountain is that they bring beauty into the pool environment and improve the circulation of the pool. However, as revealed by Prins Pools, homeowners who want pool fountains around their cocktail pools should expect to spend up to $1,000.

Swim-up pool bar

A swim-up pool bar simply means a mini traditional bar located around your swimming pool area for pool-side refreshment. This extra feature will claim an average of $5,000 from your available funds, notes Olli Outdoor Luxury Living Inc, but once installed, it will make your backyard feel like a luxury resort. How cool is that!

Deck jets

While the sounds of water splashing from your deck jets can be annoying to the neighbors, they can make your outdoor area more tranquil and help to protect your chlorinated water from the sun. Poolonomics estimate the cost of a deck jet to be around $500 and $1,200.

Types of cocktail pools

Along with deciding the size, material, shape, design, and added features you want for your cocktail swimming pool, you should know the type you want. Basically, there are two types of cocktail swimming pools: above-ground and in-ground. 

Above-ground cocktail pool

According to HGTV, above-ground pools are the best choice for people with tight budgets and those who want their pools ready quickly. Technically, this type of cocktail pool is pre-built and then brought to your property where it is installed within a few days. This means that above-ground designs are temporary or semi-permanent and can therefore be uninstalled and installed easily.

In-ground cocktail pool

In The Swim wrote a comprehensive comparison post about above-ground and in-ground pools. In-ground pools take more time to build (usually around six to eight weeks) and are less safe compared to above-ground pools. However, they are easier to maintain, allow for multiple customizations, and are generally considered permanent.

Why you need a new cocktail pool

If you've always had a cocktail pool on your property and are looking to replace it with a new one, there are a few possible reasons why you need to take this step. Similarly, if this is your first pool ever, it is important to understand when your pool needs a replacement. Valley Pool & Spa highlights the main reasons why you should consider a new pool.

Rusty pool wall

According to Gardener Outdoor And Pool Remodeling, the walls of your pool will wind up with permanent, ugly stains after prolonged exposure to organic matter, oxidation, and metal objects. These rust stains make your pool lose its appeal and, sometimes, become unhealthy to swim or soak in. When this happens, the best decision is to install a new one.

Leaking pool

Leaks are inevitable around water systems. Over time, your cocktail pool may leak in some critical areas, which is why it's important to sign a maintenance schedule with a pool contractor. This way, damages can be repaired in time before they become severe. Otherwise, you'll find yourself raising another budget to build your pool from the scratch.

Old age

You don't want your pool to become old to the point where it poses risks to your health before replacing it. This is why INYO Pools warns homeowners to replace their pools after 10 years of usage.

Benefits of a cocktail pool

While there are different types of pools you can install on your property, each with its own upsides and downsides, a cocktail pool is space-saving, easy to maintain, and customizable, claims Latham Pool.

Great for summer parties

If you're looking for a way to add to the fun of a summer party in your backyard, install a cocktail pool. According to Bellaread Luxury Pools, cocktail pools are great for entertaining, especially when combined with a custom patio, a garden, or an outdoor kitchen.

Compact and economical

Lucas Firmin Pools advises people with a small backyard to consider a cocktail pool instead of other types of pools that are more space-demanding. Cocktail pools are economical and may be an opportunity for budget-conscious homeowners to finally have a pool of their one. They can also be the perfect choice for people in urban areas.

Easier to maintain

According to Pools123, the maintenance cost of cocktail pools is more budget-friendly compared to how much money it costs to upkeep a traditional or a natural pool. And by implication, it is less stressful and time-consuming to maintain a cocktail pool.