Just because you’re not a millionaire, doesn’t mean you can’t have your very own in-ground swimming pool. However, building a swimming pool on a budget takes a lot of planning and at least a basic understanding of the many design factors that can help you save money.

It also takes knowing that no matter how well planned your swimming pool is, it’s still going to be expensive. Even the smallest and simplest in-ground pools cost thousands of dollars (often even tens of thousands of dollars). So be sure to take this information to heart before you even start on the design process.

Below are a few of the most important design factors to consider when building an in-ground swimming pool on a budget. They show you how to spend your money more effectively so you don’t end up blowing your hard-earned cash on features you don’t really need.

1. Not Having an In-Ground Pool

This point is a little silly to bring up if your heart is already set on an in-ground pool but it is definitely still relevant. Before building your pool, you need to decide if you really want/need one. Of course, a pool is hardly a necessity, but that isn’t to say they aren’t fun and enjoyable, or that they can add greatly to your quality of life.

It’s important to note that a swimming pool will not add nearly as much value to your home as it will cost you to install. Indeed, in some areas of the country, in-ground pools are looked at as dangerous, time-consuming, and energy-consuming nuisances that detract from a home’s resale potential. Depending on your needs, preferences, and local area, you might actually consider sticking with an above-ground or semi in-ground pool instead.

2. Location

The location of your in-ground swimming pool will influence how much it costs to build and how much use you will get out of it. Well-planned pools are generally located close to the house, reducing costs associated with energy and water. Well-located pools also positively affect property value and create a more inviting atmosphere.

3. Size

Perhaps the most straightforward way to save money on an in-ground swimming pool is by scaling down on size. A smaller pool is naturally cheaper to build. In fact, everything gets more expensive – including piping, pumps, and filters – when you go up in size.

4. Intended Uses

What do you plan to use your pool for? If you are a lap swimmer, consider building an elongated pool. If your pool is just for your kids, consider one that is small and shallow. There is no reason to build a pool that is not going to be well-suited for its uses. That’s just a waste of money.

5. Maintenance

In-ground swimming pools don’t just cost a lot to build. They also cost an arm and a leg to maintain. That’s why you should consider designing your pool to reduce maintenance. Though trees and shrubbery surrounding your pool can be a nice aesthetic touch, they also mean more leaves, dirt, and debris that can fall into your pool.

6. Type of Pool

Some types of in-ground pools are cheaper to build than others. Though most people think of concrete pools as the traditional type, these are also among the most expensive to build (however, they are the most durable and longest-lasting). Vinyl layer pools and fiberglass pools are both more affordable options.

7. Season

Consider building your pool in the offseason. Pool building companies need to keep business coming in at all times of the year to make money and will often cut you a deal if you have your in-ground pool built in the fall or winter. Of course, you won’t be able to use it right away, but at least it will be ready for you to jump into come the first warm day of spring.

There are a number of design factors to consider when building an in-ground swimming pool, no matter your budget. Below are seven of the most important to take into account if you’re trying to tackle the job without spending a whole lot of money.