A pool enclosure system can cost a homeowner anywhere from about $5000-$15,000 when added to their existing pool. That translates to a cost of about $10 per square foot.
But depending on your choice of materials, that number could be a little bit higher or a little bit lower. There are also some other factors that will help determine the cost, such as the size of your pool, the specific type of enclosure that you choose, and the quality of the materials you use for your build.
At the high end of the enclosure world, polycarbonate or glass enclosures can cost considerably more. A very high-end build with a few add-ons can easily cost anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000.
Costs of a Pool Enclosure
You can end up spending as little as $10 per square foot on an entry-level mesh-screen pool enclosure. At the high end of the spectrum, you’re going to be dealing with very expensive materials where customized and retractable enclosures can cost as much as $200 per square foot.
That translates to roughly $5000 for a small, low-height, screened enclosure to about $15,000 for a taller version that is a bit larger in scale.
An alternative is a plastic or poly pool enclosure. Polycarbonate construction will probably cost from $10,000-$30,000, depending on the scale of your project. A good rule of thumb is to expect to spend about $20 to $50 per square foot.
At the highest end of the pool enclosure spectrum are glass enclosures. Glass enclosures are by far the most expensive, and you will end up spending anywhere from $15,000 to potentially in excess of $100,000, at a rate of $35 to $75 per square foot.
The Benefits of Pool Enclosures
Pool closures can help us enjoy our pools more. Let’s look at some reasons why some owners opt to enclose their swimming pools.
Reasons to enclose your pool
- Pool enclosure reduces its exposure to the elements.
- A pool enclosure keeps us more comfortable while we’re enjoying the pool by reducing our exposure to insects, wind, pollen, and falling debris from the trees around us.
- A pool enclosure provides UV protection from the harsh sun during the summer months as well as privacy from our neighbors.
- The pool enclosure keeps us comfortable longer so we can enjoy the pool more.
- A pool enclosure extends our swimming season so we can start using it earlier in the spring and continue to use it later into the fall. Some enclosures even enable us to use the swimming pool all year, depending on the climate and whether or not the structure is climate-controlled.
- A pool enclosure helps to reduce the costs of maintaining a pool, the chemicals needed to sanitize and balance the water, and the amount of time and effort you need to spend cleaning it.
There are quite a few benefits to having an enclosure around your pool. You can design one to meet your specifications for a customized look that matches your home, and it is certainly an appealing option for some homeowners.
But, not everyone loves an enclosed pool. Some people prefer to be outside in the elements when they are at the pool.
It is also doubtful that installing a pool enclosure will increase the resale value of your home.
The Basics of Pool Enclosures
There are quite a few different types of pool enclosures. We’re going to start with the most expensive and work our way down to the most affordable.
At their core, most swimming pool enclosures are framed with aluminum. Depending on the location of your build in the climate where you live, you may see a screen mesh or a glass or plastic enclosure as optimal.
Retractable Pool Enclosures
Retractable pool enclosures are the most expensive on the market. They allow you to open a section or multiple sections of the enclosure for increased airflow and exposure to the outside. You should anticipate spending between $20,000 and $150,000 for a retractable pool and closure, depending on the scale of your project and the materials you use.
Glass Pool Enclosures
A glass pool enclosure will typically run between $20,000 and $60,000. The glass used is shatter-resistant, but it can still be broken relatively easily. So, think carefully before installing a glass enclosure. For instance, if you live in a very windy area with a lot of trees nearby, then glass may not be the best choice for you.
Polycarbonate Pool Enclosures
A polycarbonate enclosure is going to cost the average homeowner anywhere from $10,000 to $35,000 depending on the sale of the project, availability of the materials, and where you live.
Screen-enclosed pools are a common sight in the southern states. They work well in southern states because of their airflow and unbeatable affordability. They protect you from the environment, but will still allow you to enjoy the weather. That can be a major plus over the rigid glass or polycarbonate options.
These screen enclosures are not solid, but they still limit the insect activity which can be a real problem in certain areas. With these enclosures, it can be easier to enjoy the pool, particularly during the evening hours when mosquitoes and other flying pests tend to swarm.
Pool Screen Enclosures and Cost-Determining Factors
There is a considerable range in pricing for pool enclosure systems and installations. On average, a relatively simple enclosure is going to cost a homeowner about $10,000, all in.
By understanding what factors drive costs, you can tailor your decision about which pool screen enclosure is right for you and your budget.
Pool and Enclosure Size
The single biggest driver of the total cost of a pool enclosure is its size. There is considerably less labor involved to install a small, lightweight enclosure compared to a larger and heavier option.
Smaller options also require much less raw material. Smaller-sized pools lend themselves to inexpensive pool enclosures.
It’s pretty difficult to change the size of an existing swimming pool.
But you can tailor the size of your enclosure to how you use your existing pool. A typical swimming pool enclosure will surround the entire pool and span 3 to 10 feet over it, with a bit of space around the perimeter.
You may choose to spend a little bit more money and scale up your enclosure to incorporate more interior space. This gives you more room for kids to play, to add a patio and furniture, or even a bar and seating.
Most pool enclosures are installed over inground pools. Most pricing guides and design specs you will see are intended for use on an inground pool.
But above-ground pools are very popular, so there are plenty of options for enclosing an above-ground pool as well. You just might have to look a little bit harder.
Above-ground pools are often a budget-friendly feature of a backyard. Many homeowners install and maintain their above-ground pools without professional help. The same is true of above-ground pool enclosures. Their DIY nature makes them relatively inexpensive.
Building a custom enclosure for a freeform swimming pool inground with many add-ons and features is much more complex, and costs can go up quickly.
Pool Enclosure Features and Design
Pool enclosures can be bought in standard shapes and sizes. Or, for more money, you can customize the design of your enclosure system. If you have a very exotic idea in mind with a gable end or expensive sliding doors, landscaping, and other additional features, you can drive the cost up very quickly. Alternatively, the simpler your design, the lower the costs.
Portable Versus Permanent Enclosures
As you can imagine, a permanent pool enclosure cannot be moved at all. It stays in place over your pool year-round. This type of system is common in the northern climates.
Some owners are caught in between the idea of a portable design versus a permanent installation. They compromise by installing a retractable pool enclosure. This gives them the option of opening up to the elements or hiding from them as they wish.
That flexibility comes at a premium price. Retractable enclosures are by far the most expensive.
Portable swimming pool enclosures are the most affordable. Typically they are screened-in and can be put on and taken off whenever you wish. Due to their lightweight design, you don’t need a lot of labor to set them up or take them down.
Pool Enclosure Ancillary Costs
Installing a pool fence is an expense many homeowners have to deal with. But it offers limited protection from the elements. One of the biggest benefits of a pool enclosure is that it adds the protection, security, and privacy you get from a fence.
Some homeowners are able to skip the fence and go with a pool enclosure that serves as a fence as well. That can help save you some money.
Typically, you need storage space for your pool equipment and the toys and floats lying around it. Many homeowners end up building a shed, deck boxes, or another storage area to keep things protected and nearby.
One advantage of a pool enclosure is that all of those things can be protected and stored easily within their structure. If you decide to also have some of those design elements for storage within the enclosure for convenience, that will likely expand its height and footprint and increase the total cost.
Heating and Cooling
Some homeowners who live in extreme climates make the decision to integrate their pool enclosure into the heating and air-conditioning systems of their homes. If your pool and its cover are adjacent to your existing home structure, it may be relatively inexpensive to add air-conditioning and heating.
But if you have to install a new heating and cooling system, those costs can be very high.
Periodically you will have to clean your pool enclosure. On the inside, expect that you might find some algae growing. Algae and moisture from your pool, plus the heat of the sun, are all cohabitating.
On the outside of your pool enclosure, you will find dust, debris, leaves, and other things that are blowing around in the wind. You may also have to deal with bird droppings or insect nests.
It makes good sense to clean your pool enclosure thoroughly inside and out at least twice a year. If you are going to hire a contractor to do your cleaning for you, that could cost hundreds of dollars per visit.
You can defray much of that cost by cleaning your pool enclosure yourself, but that will mean using a ladder, a strong cleaning solution, and perhaps a pressure washer.
The Pros and Cons of Swimming Pool Enclosures
For many homeowners who enjoy being out in the elements while they swim in their pool, it doesn’t make sense to enclose it. For others who need more protection from the elements, pool enclosures can be vital. If you have significant health, privacy, or safety concerns, the pros of installing a swimming pool enclosure tend to outweigh the cons pretty quickly.
Swimming Pool Enclosure Pros
- Reduces bugs pollen and debris
- Serves as a windbreaker
- Offers limited UV protection from the sun’s rays
- Extends the swimming pool season (especially with a glass enclosure)
- Reduction in heating costs
- Reduction of water filtration requirements, vacuuming, leaf-raking, and other maintenance
- Safety enhancements
- Enhanced privacy
- Keeps critters out
Swimming Pool Enclosure Cons
- Swimming pool enclosures can be easily damaged
- Maintenance is required to avoid the growth of mold, mildew, and algae
- More privacy costs more money
- Enclosures may be uninsurable in hurricane- and tornado-prone areas
- Structure tends to overwhelm yard space
Pool Enclosures: Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Does a Pool Enclosure Cost?
On average, a typical pool enclosure is going to cost between $6,000 and $12,000. In parts of the country where pool enclosures are quite common, like Florida, there is a lot of competition for business. There is also a lot of know-how in the professional marketplace.
The costs in those areas are less than when compared to areas where enclosures are less common, and there are fewer contractors with the expertise to build them.
The bottom line is that simple frames made out of aluminum and inexpensive mesh enclosures are much less expensive than custom glass or polycarbonate enclosures. And, any sort of retractability will increase the price.
Why Are Pools Enclosed?
Pool enclosures protect us and the water from all kinds of things. The number of bugs and critters around the water is drastically reduced in any design, and in some areas, that is reason enough to install one.
Additionally, the reduced amount of UV sunlight exposure to swimmers, limited evaporation of water, and the ability to keep the pool cleaner and cooler by sheltering it from the sun and other elements are factors that drive the decision to enclose a pool.
In the Northeast and Midwest, the biggest driver is often a need to extend the swimming season into the cool and colder months.
Are Pool Enclosures Covered by Insurance?
Pool enclosures are not automatically covered by your insurance policy. But you can work with your insurance provider to add a rider or provision to your contract that will cover the frame.
Most insurance will not cover the screening because it is too likely to be damaged. Keep in mind that a failure to maintain the enclosure structure may also result in your insurance company not covering a claim.
Will My Insurance Rate Go Down if I Add a Pool Enclosure?
A typical homeowner’s insurance policy will increase in cost when they add a swimming pool to their home. Adding an enclosure to an existing pool may reduce the cost of your insurance policy slightly.
That’s because the insurance industry views a pool enclosure as a safety enhancement. One way to increase the safety factor of your enclosure even further is to make sure that it has a lock integrated into all of the openings and that all doors close automatically.
How Long Do Swimming Pool Enclosures Last?
Premium materials provide premium value. By spending more upfront to make sure that you are building with the best materials, you can expect to extend the life of your pool enclosure. High-quality framing screens and other materials will provide longer service life.
Keep in mind that expensive pool enclosures often have warranties attached that may cover the framing of the panels, the roof, and even the labor to install or repair them.
Typical homeowners should expect that their pool enclosure will last from 10 to 30 years. But by doing some additional work up front, like removing any trees or other potential hazards and using high-quality materials, you can likely ensure that your pool enclosure will last.
Will it Be Cold Inside My Pool Enclosure?
Pool enclosures will not only keep out bugs but will keep out some of the sun’s rays. By blocking out the sun, your pool enclosure will keep the ambient air temperature around your pool and the water itself a few degrees cooler.
In the harsh sunlight of certain climates, that is a big advantage and can help enhance your enjoyment of your time with your pool. In other climates, that might mean that you need to heat your water a little bit more.
Pool Enclosure Cost Calculator
Like many aspects of swimming pool construction, pool enclosures are very upgradable. Those upgrades can drive the costs upward quickly.
Pool Enclosure Lighting
Running additional electricity to a new pool enclosure can cost a few hundred dollars for a simple run, all the way up to a couple of thousand dollars for a more complicated, extensive electrical upgrade.
Many swimming pool customers are moving towards using longer-lasting, low-voltage LED lighting systems. These systems require far fewer bulb changes and are also a little bit more versatile than using line voltage.
Expect that adding a simple lighting element to your swimming pool enclosure is going to cost anywhere from $1000-$2500. But if you complicate the design by adding path lighting, uplighting, spotlights, many fixtures, and the option to change all the light colors, the costs will go up pretty quickly.
Privacy shades or curtains are an option that may add to the pool enclosure. They provide increased privacy, and as a bonus, most of them are retractable by hand or motor.
A basic shade can be purchased online or in a big box store for less than $500. A motorized, large, retractable awning can cost upwards of $5000.
Pool Enclosure Doors
Just like in your house, you have a lot of options for the type of door you choose for your swimming for closure. A simple design may feature one simple screen door. Or a more complicated design might feature multiple doors and multiple configurations.
You can choose from automatic, bifold, slider, self-closing, and locking pool doors. Many owners choose to also add an alarm to the doors to increase their situational awareness and the safety of the pool. There are many options in materials, style, strengths, sizes, and configurations to consider.
For reference, a simple electronic door alarm will cost less than $100. Other options that automatically alert your phone can cost much more.
A simple swinging storm door can cost around $300. An ornate, stylized wooden door with a custom paint job can cost $1000 or more. Many homeowners opt for simple screen doors on their pool enclosure, carrying a price tag of approximately $200 each.
Additional Pricing Considerations
If you’re going to integrate your pool enclosure into your landscape, you will have to pay to do so, even if you do the work yourself. The cost of shrubs and plants is usually pretty reasonable.
Some owners go the extra mile and bring some of their landscape inside of the pool enclosure for a truly integrated design.
Again the more complicated your design, the more expensive it will be.
Adding additional patio space around your pool, and then enclosing it with a bigger pool enclosure, is going to increase the cost. It may cost less than $20 per square foot to extend or add a patio. But that will increase the square footage needed for your enclosure, so be prepared to spend more on it as a result.
Anytime you’re adding a structure to your home, you want to make sure that there is adequate drainage. If a lot of water is splashed around your pool, you need to get it off the deck. Similarly, if water gets in through the screens or a retractable section in a storm, the interior will be exposed to the elements and you’ll need to get rid of the resulting puddles of water.
You want to make sure that any puddles on the floor are drained away easily and quickly. Drains themselves are not expensive but excavating, trenching, and plumbing them can have high labor costs.