by | May 27, 2024

Inground Pool Contractor: Top 5 Expert Tips for 2024



When you’re planning to build an inground pool, finding the right inground pool contractor is crucial. This process can feel overwhelming, but with the right approach, you’ll ensure your backyard oasis is crafted by professionals who deliver quality and reliability.

Quick Checklist for Choosing an Inground Pool Contractor:
1. Experience: Look for contractors with significant experience in inground pool installation.
2. Licensing: Verify that the contractor is licensed and insured.
3. Customer Reviews: Check testimonials and online reviews to gauge customer satisfaction.
4. Sample Work: Review previous designs to see if their style matches your vision.
5. Cost Transparency: Ensure clear communication about costs, including maintenance and filtration systems.

Building an inground pool is not just about digging a hole and filling it with water. It involves meticulous planning, quality craftsmanship, and adherence to local regulations. Your pool contractor plays a pivotal role in this process, helping you navigate everything from design choices to permit applications.

Taking time to select the right contractor will result in a stunning pool that enhances your property and provides countless hours of enjoyment. It’s worth noting that top companies in the industry, like Anthony & Sylvan Pools and Elite Pools, achieve high customer satisfaction by focusing on professionalism and quality.

Don’t rush this critical decision. Thoroughly vetting your contractor ensures that your dream pool becomes a reality without unexpected pitfalls or disappointments.

Steps to Selecting a Pool Contractor - inground pool contractor infographic step-infographic-4-steps

Understanding Inground Pool Types

When choosing an inground pool, understanding the different types available is crucial. The three main types are concrete, fiberglass, and vinyl. Each has its unique features, benefits, and drawbacks. Let’s dive into what makes each type distinct.

Concrete Pools

Concrete pools are the most customizable option. They are built on-site, allowing for nearly any shape or size. This flexibility means you can have features like multiple levels, built-in hot tubs, waterfalls, and tanning ledges.

  • Pros:
  • Unlimited customization: You can design your pool to fit any shape or size.
  • Durability: With proper maintenance, concrete pools can last over 50 years.
  • Luxury features: Ideal for integrating high-end features like infinity edges and custom lighting.
  • Cons:
  • Cost: Concrete pools are the most expensive to build and maintain.
  • Build time: These pools take longer to construct due to the on-site building process.
  • Maintenance: Concrete is porous, which means more frequent cleaning and chemical balancing.

Fiberglass Pools

Fiberglass pools are pre-manufactured and shipped to your home in one piece. This makes installation quicker compared to concrete pools.

  • Pros:
  • Quick installation: Since the pool is pre-built, installation can be completed in a matter of days.
  • Low maintenance: The nonporous surface resists algae growth, making cleaning easier.
  • Durability: Fiberglass pools can last upwards of 25 years with proper care.
  • Cons:
  • Limited designs: Because they are pre-manufactured, design options are limited.
  • Transportation: The pool must be transported to your home, which can be challenging for difficult-to-access locations.

Vinyl Pools

Vinyl pools are the most budget-friendly option. These pools use a vinyl liner over a steel or polymer frame.

  • Pros:
  • Cost-effective: Vinyl pools are generally cheaper to install than concrete or fiberglass pools.
  • Smooth surface: The vinyl liner is smooth to the touch, reducing the risk of scrapes and cuts.
  • Customization: While not as customizable as concrete, vinyl pools offer a range of shapes and sizes.
  • Cons:
  • Liner replacement: The liner needs to be replaced every 6 to 12 years, costing around $3,000 to $4,000.
  • Durability: Vinyl liners are less durable than concrete or fiberglass, and can be punctured by sharp objects.

Concrete pool - inground pool contractor

Choosing the right type of pool depends on your budget, design preferences, and how much maintenance you’re willing to commit to. By understanding these options, you can make an informed decision that best fits your needs and lifestyle.

Choosing the Right Inground Pool Contractor

Importance of Local Experience

When selecting an inground pool contractor, local experience is crucial. Contractors familiar with your area understand local regulations, which can streamline the permitting process. For example, in Baltimore, you need a swimming pool license from the City and a building permit from Baltimore County. A contractor who knows these requirements can handle the paperwork efficiently.

Local contractors are also attuned to climate considerations. Baltimore’s seasonal weather can affect pool construction and maintenance. An experienced contractor will know how to build a pool that withstands local weather conditions, ensuring longevity and reduced maintenance costs.

Verifying Licenses and Certifications

Before hiring a contractor, verify their licenses and certifications. In Maryland, pool builders must have a license from the State Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulations. You can check the status of a contractor’s license on the Maryland Department of Labor website.

Professional standards are equally important. Look for contractors certified by industry bodies like the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP). Certifications like Certified Building Professional (CBP) and Certified Service Professional (CSP) indicate a high level of expertise and commitment to quality.

Evaluating Customer Feedback and Reviews

Customer feedback provides valuable insights into a contractor’s performance. Start by asking for references. Speaking directly with previous clients can give you an understanding of the contractor’s reliability, work quality, and adherence to timelines.

Online reviews are another excellent resource. Websites like Houzz and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) offer detailed reviews and ratings. For instance, Elite Pools has an A+ rating from the BBB, reflecting their commitment to customer satisfaction and ethical practices.

Testimonials on the contractor’s website can also be telling. Look for detailed feedback that mentions specific aspects of the project, such as communication, problem-solving, and overall satisfaction.

By considering these factors, you can choose an inground pool contractor who meets your needs and ensures a smooth, successful project.

Cost Considerations for Inground Pools

Breaking Down Installation Costs

When planning for an inground pool, understand the different components that contribute to the overall cost. On average, installing an inground pool in Baltimore costs around $55,000, with most projects falling between $39,000 and $70,000. The price can vary depending on several factors:

  • Materials: Concrete, fiberglass, and vinyl are the primary materials used for inground pools. Concrete pools tend to be the most expensive due to their durability and customization options. Fiberglass pools are less costly but offer fewer design choices. Vinyl pools are typically the cheapest but may require more frequent maintenance.
  • Labor: Skilled labor is essential for tasks like excavation, plumbing, and electrical work. This is a significant part of the cost, especially for complex designs.
  • Equipment: Essential equipment includes pumps, filters, and heating systems. Brands like Jandy Pro Series offer high-quality, durable options, but these can add to the overall expense.

Ongoing Maintenance Expenses

Maintaining your pool is crucial for longevity and safety. Here are some typical ongoing costs:

  • Cleaning: Regular cleaning with a vacuum, pool brush, and skimmer net is necessary. Algae brushes can help prevent growth on surfaces.
  • Repairs: Over time, you may need to repair or replace parts like filters or pumps. The cost can vary, but regular maintenance can help mitigate larger, more expensive issues.
  • Upgrades: Adding features like lighting, water fountains, or automated systems can improve your pool experience but come with additional costs.

Assessing Long-Term Value

Installing an inground pool can increase your property’s value and provide numerous benefits:

  • Property Value Increase: Real estate experts estimate that an inground pool can add 5-8% to your home’s value. This can be a significant return on investment, especially if the pool is well-maintained and integrates seamlessly with your landscape.
  • Usage Benefits: A pool offers a private space for relaxation, exercise, and entertainment. It can become a central feature of your home, enhancing your lifestyle and providing a unique venue for gatherings.

By understanding these cost considerations, you can make an informed decision and ensure that your new pool is a valuable addition to your home.

Designing Your Dream Pool with an Inground Pool Contractor

Customization Options

When it comes to crafting your ideal pool, customization is key. You don’t have to settle for a cookie-cutter design. Custom features can transform a standard pool into a personal oasis.

Consider adding water features like fountains or rock grottos. These elements not only enhance the pool’s aesthetic but also create a soothing ambiance.

Lighting is another crucial aspect. With options ranging from underwater LEDs to ambient landscape lighting, you can set the perfect mood for nighttime swims or evening gatherings.

The pool shape is also customizable. Whether you prefer the natural, flowing lines of a freeform pool or the clean, sharp edges of a geometric design, your pool can be tailored to fit your vision. As one satisfied customer, Kelly Sell Nave, noted, “Elite installed our in-ground saltwater pool about 9 years ago and they did an amazing job… helping us create the best free-form design for our space and our budget.”

Luxury and Advanced Features

For those looking to elevate their pool experience, luxury features offer unparalleled comfort and style.

Infinity edges create a seamless transition between the pool and the surrounding landscape, offering breathtaking views and a sense of boundless water.

Automated systems simplify pool maintenance and operation. Imagine controlling your pool’s temperature, lighting, and cleaning schedule with just a tap on your smartphone.

Heating is another luxury feature that extends your swimming season. Whether you opt for solar, electric, or gas heaters, keeping your pool warm year-round is a possibility.

Utilizing 3D Design Technology

One of the most exciting advancements in pool design is the use of 3D design software. This technology allows you to visualize your pool before construction even begins.

Through virtual reality, you can explore different designs and make real-time adjustments. Want to see how a waterfall feature would look? Or perhaps how different tile patterns would complement your backyard? The software lets you do just that.

This pre-construction visualization is a game-changer. As noted, “Swimming pool design software prevents you from making costly mistakes and helps you see how your pool will look down to the smallest detail.”

By leveraging these tools and features, you can ensure that your pool is not only functional but also a true reflection of your style and preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions about Inground Pool Contractors

Is it cheaper to build your own inground pool?

Building your own inground pool might seem like a cost-saving idea, but it can actually be more expensive and risky. DIY installation requires specialized equipment and expertise. Mistakes can lead to costly repairs. Plus, professional contractors have access to better materials and can often get bulk discounts.

So, while the initial cost might seem lower, the long-term expenses and potential issues might make hiring a professional more economical.

Why are inground pools so expensive?

Inground pools are a significant investment due to several factors:

  1. Materials: High-quality materials like concrete, fiberglass, and vinyl are costly.
  2. Labor: Skilled labor is needed for precise installation.
  3. Equipment: Pumps, filters, and heaters add to the cost.
  4. Customization: Unique designs, water features, and luxury options increase the price.

The average cost of a concrete pool can be substantial due to its durability and customization options. Fiberglass pools, while quicker to install, also come with a hefty price tag because of their pre-manufactured shells.

How do you put an inground pool on a budget?

There are several ways to manage costs when installing an inground pool:

  1. Get multiple quotes: This ensures you get a fair price.
  2. Choose a basic design: Simple shapes and fewer features keep costs down.
  3. Consider the type of pool: Vinyl pools are generally cheaper than concrete or fiberglass.
  4. Think long-term costs: Factor in maintenance and energy use.
  5. Opt for a smaller-sized pool: This reduces both installation and maintenance costs.
  6. DIY some tasks: If you have the skills, doing some work yourself can save money.

By carefully planning and selecting the right options, you can create a beautiful pool that fits your budget.


Selecting the right inground pool contractor is crucial for turning your backyard into a personal oasis. At Creative Edge Pools, we pride ourselves on making your vision come to life with professionalism and a personal touch.

Creative Edge Pools

We have over a hundred years of combined experience in designing and installing gunite swimming pools. Our family-owned business offers a comprehensive range of services, from pool installation to maintenance and renovations. Whether you’re interested in a simple pool or a luxurious setup with custom features, we have the expertise to deliver.

Final Thoughts

Choosing an inground pool is a significant investment, but with the right contractor, it can add immense value to your home and provide years of enjoyment. Make sure to verify licenses, read customer reviews, and understand the costs involved. Our team at Creative Edge Pools is committed to providing you with a seamless and stress-free experience, ensuring your satisfaction from start to finish.

Getting Started

Ready to transform your backyard? Contact us today for an estimate. We’ll guide you through every step, from initial design to the final splash. Visit our service page to learn more and get started on your dream pool project.

Inground Pool - inground pool contractor

Don’t wait to make your dream pool a reality. Let’s create a beautiful and functional outdoor space that you and your family will love for years to come.


The Ultimate Guide to Selecting Pool Companies for Your Next Project

Recent Posts