Last Updated: August 18, 2021

Beach Entry Pools Explained (Zero Entry Pool)

Written By: Pool Care Guide

After one of the hottest summers on record, the number of homeowners thinking about adding a pool to their backyard is rapidly growing. Swimming is the 5th most popular activity in the United States and with its physical and mental benefits, who wouldn’t want to have this amenity just steps outside your own front door? 

Residential pool options range from above-ground, inground, indoor, and even rooftop pools! One of the fastest-growing pool trends is the emergence of the backyard, beach entry pool. 

Once known only to high-end resorts and waterparks, this luxury pool design offers a seamless transition from the pool deck to the water. If you’re thinking of diving into this type of pool design and bringing the beach vibe to your own home, you’ll find plenty of options and factors to consider below. 

What Is a Beach Entry Pool

A beach entry pool (sometimes referred to as a zero-entry pool) is a specific type of inground pool that features a sloped entry giving the illusion of a beach setting. The sloped entry allows for a sitting or lounging area in warm, shallow water and is perfect for families with young children, older adults, or those with physical disabilities. 

The depth and length of the slope can vary according to preference but generally offers at least three to four feet of entry space in lieu of a standard ladder. 

Design options for beach entry pools are endless with some also including stairs at the end of the beach-entry slope, while others may incorporate sand, rocks, waterfalls, or other pool design elements to enhance the overall aesthetic. 

Are Beach Entry Pools A Good Financial Investment?

If you’ve ever had to ease into a cool, inground pool using a steep ladder, it’s easy to understand the allure of a beach entry pool. The gradual entry allows for plenty of sunbathing on a hot summer day, playtime with babies or toddlers, a gentle approach for those who are just learning to swim, and even an easy-access way to allow for any dogs you have to wade around in the water. 

The beach-entry pool’s stylish, modern design and flexibility for adults, children, seniors, and pets make it a natural choice for new pool owners to consider. And if you’re focused on building up equity in your home, according to HGTV, “real estate experts estimate that an average 14x28-foot inground concrete pool potentially adds 5 to 8 percent to the real estate value of your home.” 

While the trend is still new and comprehensive data may not be available yet, beach entry pools do not appear to include higher maintenance costs or require additional pool services or chemicals, meaning the majority of the cost is in the upfront design and installation. 

However, some homeowners find that the maintenance costs and time investment in maintaining the pool negate the potential gains in resale value. And, there’s always the chance that a new homebuyer will fall in love with the home but not be interested in having a large pool to maintain. 

Why Are Beach Entry Pools More Expensive? 

Before you break ground or start designing your brand-new beach entry pool, it’s important to also consider some of the drawbacks of this popular design trend. Any type of inground pool will come at a premium cost compared to an above-ground pool. 

Beach entry pools tend to fall on the higher end of the price range due to several factors. 

  • Beach entry pools take up more space, and the larger the pool, the higher the cost. 
  • Since the trend is still relatively new and few pool installers specialize in this specific design, finding a contractor with this expertise often comes with a higher price tag. 
  • Material and installation costs may be higher depending on the type of materials you choose and any additional design elements you incorporate, such as rocks, sand, waterfalls, etc. 
  • Existing in-ground pools typically cannot be converted to a beach-entry style meaning any upgrades may include expensive options like deck removals and major renovations. 

How Much Does a Beach Entry Pool Cost?

According to homeguide.com, “beach entry pools cost $87 per square foot on average, with most homeowners paying between $50 and $125 per square foot.” The average cost of a beach entry pool depends on various factors such as the pool size, pool design, additional features, and extras like lighting, pool decks, etc. 

Conservative estimates based on a standard in-ground pool (20 x 40) with an added beach entry could cost as much as $70,000 or more. 

The cost also fluctuates depending on your geographic location, with northern states coming in at up to 20% higher than southern states. 

It’s also important to remember you’ll have additional expenses with a beach entry pool as well. Things like potential property tax increases, high rates for homeowner’s insurance, building permits, and water and electrical expenses. 

When budgeting for a beach entry pool, get estimates from at least three pool contractors and check references and reviews. With such a major financial investment that will impact the value of your home and the quality of your property, doing your due diligence is well worth your time. 

How Big Are Beach Entry Pools?

Nearly all beach entry pools are customized to fit the buyer’s preference and styles. While the design requires additional space to allow for the beach entry design, the overall dimensions are customizable based on your particular needs. 

Keep in mind that the pool shape and width can change the beach entry requirements, so it’s wise to check with your local building department and ensure you’re following all required codes. 

Fiberglass or Cement - which beach entry design is better? 

The most common type of pool liner is a vinyl liner for its ease of installation and maintenance. However, with a beach entry design, a vinyl liner is not an option. Alternatives to vinyl include both fiberglass and cement, with each one having distinct advantages and disadvantages. 

Fiberglass pools are typically mass-produced and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They require less maintenance, and while a homeowner won’t be able to completely customize the design, there are usually plenty of options when it comes to colors and designs. 

On the other hand, cement-lined pools give the homeowner ultimate flexibility in shape, size, and design, but it comes with a higher cost. A cement-lined pool often requires more maintenance than other types of liners and may not be as aesthetically pleasing. 

Adding additional tilework to the sides or entry points can help enhance the look of a cement-lined pool but assume this will add extra costs, as well. 

Conclusion

As with any major home improvement project or renovation, there is an abundance of factors to consider before taking the plunge to add a beach entry pool to your home. If you want to step outside your home, pull up a chair, and enter a backyard oasis, a beach entry pool might be a great investment for you and your family. 

Whether you choose to add special features like a rock-filled entrance with sand décor or a more sleek and modern feel with a minimal design, this new pool trend would make a beautiful addition to any home and have you feeling like you’re on vacation all year long. 

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