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View Full Version : How much to put in a lap lane in your backyard



elise526
July 30th, 2009, 02:18 AM
I'm wondering how much it costs to put a pool in my backyard that just has one or two lap lanes? Anybody done this that can give me an idea on price? It may be worth it for me given that I live in a remote location and the only nearby pool is not well-suited for lap swimming.

Midas
July 30th, 2009, 03:03 AM
No clue on cost but wanted to share an experience--I was at a hotel that had a one-lane lap pool. It was a pretty standard outdoor pool. It didn't have gutters, just tiled sides up to a concrete lip. I'm sure you know the type. I was the only person swimming in it but dang did it get choppy in a hurry. I felt like I was swimming in open water. The absence of gutters (and the small size of the pool) made a huge difference.

Unless you like swimming with a lot of chop, I'd pay for some real gutters (ones where the water washes into them all around the pool) but that has to significantly add to the cost...

Good luck. It's still a dream of mine one day to (a) have a back yard, (b) have it be big enough to build a 25 meter pool in it and (c) actually build my own personal 1-2 lane 25 meter pool.

Lui
July 30th, 2009, 06:32 AM
That is my dream too. I know the problem of finding pools you can train laps.

My brother has a hotel in South America with an outside pool.
I know that you really have to clean the pool a lot.

He cleans it every day and you need to know how much chlorine and aluminum you need to use and vacuum it every day. It isn't cheap to maintain it either.

smontanaro
July 30th, 2009, 06:43 AM
Unless you like swimming with a lot of chop, I'd pay for some real gutters (ones where the water washes into them all around the pool) but that has to significantly add to the cost...


Would adding decent wave-eating lane lines to the sides be a cheaper alternative to adding gutters and have much the same effect?

I've been swimming more frequently in Lake Michigan this summer. I've come to the conclusion that there is no substitute for a glassy smooth body of open water...

S

aquageek
July 30th, 2009, 07:06 AM
It won't be cheap, that's for sure. Add in the newt deck/patio, the landscaping, the furniture, lighting, etc and you have a nice bill. I'd guess based on a few neighbors and in-laws who put in a pool that you are looking at $20-$25K minimum and their pools are not 25 yards, not even close. The folks that live behind up just put in the full blown back yard pool, outdoor kitchen, etc and the rumor is it cost $100K. I don't know if that is true but the point is you can probably spend as much as you want on these things. An alternative might be one of those endless pools that Rowdy peddles but those look dreadfully boring.

qbrain
July 30th, 2009, 08:53 AM
I think the cheapest solution is an Endless Pool, and that will run about $15k. I was seriously considering one until my wife convinced me that we just needed to move closer to civilization (aka her work and a USMS team).

Some nice benefits:
- It takes up a little more space than a hottub, and installation is similar.
- It can be installed indoors if you have the space
- It is installed in a day
- Uses a lot less water than a in ground lap pool
- It is much cheaper than even the cheapest in ground pool

Drawbacks
- no flip turns
- You set your pace, than swim. Although you can vary your pace some, you won't be able to go from moderate to sprint
- cheaper than an in ground pool is still not cheap.

Check out their website, get the video, go try one out.

I did find another brand who makes something similar in a fiberglass shell format (Endless Pools is (or was) a lined steel box that is built onsite), and one of their options is a hot tub plus flume. The demo options and customer testimonials were pretty sparse compared to Endless Pools, but the overall cost should be about the same. I think the shell ran about $10k, so I guess total would be similar to the Endless Pool.

Endless Pool will send you a price list as will this other company (don't remember who they are). Just contact them through their website.

Endless Pools will probably have a bunch of offers this Fall as they go into slow season. The base price stayed the same (when I was paying attention), and the offers were things like free installation, free retractable cover, deeper pool and longer pool.

All this knowledge is at least 6 years old now, so hopefully it is still fairly accurate.

qbrain
July 30th, 2009, 09:01 AM
Looks like they start at over $20k now.

http://www.endlesspools.com/whatis/what_pricelist.html

Bobinator
July 30th, 2009, 09:56 AM
I've got a 20 yard straight pool in my backyard that is about 2 lanes wide.
We built it about 13 years ago. It has an automatic cover and heater. It is an inground pool with a deck, but has a vinyal liner(not concrete). I think we paid around $30,000 at the time. Since then the automatic cover had to be replaced($4000 on special), and we,ve replaced 2 pumps. ($600 each w/a friend doing it).
I wish I would have made it a full 25 yards long. I was afraid it would look outrageous; it would have been fine and wouldn't have cost much more.
It can get a little wavy when you swim but nothing terrible. I would like to get a couple wave eating lane lines and it would probably cut that down alot.
It has been a fun pool to have. It was great when the kids were young because I could go out and swim after they went to bed!
I don't workout in it much now since I've joined Nasti's but my son and one of my daughters have started doing laps semi-regularly.
Maintenence is fairly easy but chemicals can get expensive.

ourswimmer
July 30th, 2009, 09:59 AM
I think the cheapest solution is an Endless Pool.

I know some people who have an in-ground pool fitted with one of these "pool treadmill" devices (don't know which manufacturer). They like it quite a bit. And it does take a lot less space and water than a full-length pool big enough to work out in would take.

Tim L
July 30th, 2009, 10:54 AM
I think everyone's comments are right on. The minimum cost of even a relatively small inground pool (say 32' by 16') is going to be $20-$30k depending on the area of the country you live in. I agree that a one lane pool is going to have too much turbulence probably even with lane lines. Perhaps, you might be able to get a 25 yard pool with two lanes where you could put lane lines in and get a big turbulence reduction for somewhere around $70-$90k (if you are lucky). I have no idea what flow-over gutters cost by probably quite a bit of added cost.

I think ever swimmer has probably thought it would be nice to a lap pool in their back yard. I think there was an article in one of the swim magazines about a doctor in Orlando, Florida that has a lap pool in their back yard - maybe someone know him and he can give you some ideas if you are serious about it.

My dad/uncle used to own a pool construction company before they passed away so I kind of grew up building pools. My dad built a one lane lap pool for someone once (about 20 yards long if I remember correctly) and I tried it out and it sucked. The person that built it wasn't very fast and she loved it because she didn't create much of a wave coming off the walls or when she swam. I would imagine that a lap pool probably wouldn't add much value to a home either and might be a disadvantage when selling (unless you sell to another swimmer).

Tim

hofffam
July 30th, 2009, 11:02 AM
I never got a bid - but I have thought about this several times. I wanted a 25 yard pool, about 1 1/2 lanes wide so I could have two lane ropes for one low turbulence lane. Here in Austin with a very hard (limestone-ish) ground people regularly spend $40-50K for an inground backyard pool. Pools here cost more than in many areas because of excavation costs. I just guessed that my desired pool would cost about $75K. Many backyard pools have fancier decks and related items than I would put in for my lap pool.

tjrpatt
July 30th, 2009, 01:34 PM
Looks like they start at over $20k now.

http://www.endlesspools.com/whatis/what_pricelist.html

I had to be a Endless pool swimmer at a Home Show one weekend last fall Though it is a great product, I wouldn't do it unless you had money to burn right now. Wait until maybe it tells you how much distance you can do and how long it took you.


On the backyard lane line, Barbie Benton, a former ex-girlfriend of Hugh Hefner, has a two lanes indoors at your home in Aspen. He got dumped by Hefner and found another rich guy to marry her. I saw it on the Morons Next Door show. It was two seperate pools but not sure how long it was.

I would love to build a 2 to 4 lane 50 Meter pool if I ever had a backyard. I would just have a little house and with the 50 meter pool. I would probably have it indoors so I could use it in the winter but have all the doors open or whatever in the summer. Plus, I could make a couple bucks renting it out to age group clubs that had that January LCM meet to prepare for. Of course, this is so unrealistic in this economy right now.

pwb
July 30th, 2009, 02:19 PM
I haven't yet investigated costs, but my dream is to build a 3 lane x 25 meter pool in my backyard. In my wild fantasy, Myrtha pool constructs it. I'll be getting quotes later this year as I think this is a multi-year savings project for me. Based upon what I know of building play pools in Arizona, though, I think the $70k to $100K range would be right for a 2 or 3 lane, 25 yard or so pool by a traditional pool company. Bells and whistles like heating/cooling systems, automated covers, real lane lines, starting blocks, would be more.

Then, of course, if you go that far, you gotta consider the underwater tracking camera, touchpads and scoreboard. :)

Dream big.

sydned
July 30th, 2009, 02:27 PM
My husband and I put a lap pool in our backyard almost 6 years ago. It's been amazing. 25 feet long, in an indoor structure so we can use it year round. (Being in Massachusetts, that's important to us.)

I agree with what someone said abou the choppiness of a single lane pool, but for me, training for open water, that's an advantage.
It is not, however, a cheap endeavor. Ours cost well more than a standard outdoor lane. It's a gunnite pool, since we didn't want vinyl, and since it's indoors, requires a lot less chemicals--an added bonus.
There was an article about it a few years ago so here's the link in case you want to see/read more.
http://www.dwell.com/articles/skinny-dip.html

http://media.dwell.com/images/478*302/indoor-pool-amherst-massachusetts-didier-sydne-interior-pool.jpg

tjrpatt
July 30th, 2009, 02:31 PM
I haven't yet investigated costs, but my dream is to build a 3 lane x 25 meter pool in my backyard. In my wild fantasy, Myrtha pool constructs it. I'll be getting quotes later this year as I think this is a multi-year savings project for me. Based upon what I know of building play pools in Arizona, though, I think the $70k to $100K range would be right for a 2 or 3 lane, 25 yard or so pool by a traditional pool company. Bells and whistles like heating/cooling systems, automated covers, real lane lines, starting blocks, would be more.

Then, of course, if you go that far, you gotta consider the underwater tracking camera, touchpads and scoreboard. :)

Dream big.

if you are going to spend 70K or more, just get the bells and whistles while you are at it. Nice thinking with the tracking camera.

qbrain
July 30th, 2009, 03:17 PM
Ours cost well more than a standard outdoor lane.

That pool room probably cost more than my house. It looks like a work of art with a pool inside.

ALM
July 30th, 2009, 04:29 PM
About 15 years ago a guy here put in the following:

1) A 1-lane 25-yard lap pool, half indoors and half outdoors. A glass garage door separates the indoor from the outdoor; he raises the door when he wants to swim. In the winter he raises it just enough to be able to recover his arms without hitting it.

2) A normal-sized, in-ground backyard pool, EXCEPT that it is 12 feet deep. This is because it is situated next to the 2nd-floor deck, to allow for diving off the deck railing.

3) A small, in-ground hot tub.

I believe the cost for all of this, 15 years ago, was about $90,000.

orca1946
July 30th, 2009, 04:54 PM
Great to have in the yard, if you can afford it !

quicksilver
July 30th, 2009, 05:01 PM
A 20 x 40 gunite is the typical backyard pool in our area.
Contractors allow as a rule of thumb...$10,000 per ten feet on the length if it's a gunite pool with nice coping details.
(Example...a 50 foot pool...$50K...a 60 foot pool...$60K...etc.)

If the lap pool is narrow...(12 feet wide)...it's probably a good guestimate that a 12' x 75' would fall into the range of a 20' x 40' cost.
In other words roughly $40k. Which includes the equipment, coping and tile along the water line.

To lower the cost, you could always go with a vinyl liner rather than gunite. It would keep the numbers way down.
Again prices will vary around the country, all depending on where you live, and what kind of quality you're looking for.

sydned
July 30th, 2009, 05:09 PM
The other thing to think about is your property value, which could change and sometimes decrease depending upon the liability of a pool. Ours is a little different because it's inside. But, if you are doing outside, you also have to factor in the cost of fencing/security since that will probably be required with your town permitting process.

We have a special retractable cover that made it a different case because it can hold something like 20 adults when closed. Of course, our town still wanted a fence around it--and we kept saying the building WAS the fence.

Thanks for the Work of Art comment. When we built it, our friends all said "have you seen your kitchen?" We certainly went with our passion rather than practicality....

Mark Savage
July 30th, 2009, 05:39 PM
I haven't yet investigated costs, but my dream is to build a 3 lane x 25 meter pool in my backyard. In my wild fantasy, Myrtha pool constructs it. I'll be getting quotes later this year as I think this is a multi-year savings project for me. Based upon what I know of building play pools in Arizona, though, I think the $70k to $100K range would be right for a 2 or 3 lane, 25 yard or so pool by a traditional pool company. Bells and whistles like heating/cooling systems, automated covers, real lane lines, starting blocks, would be more.

Then, of course, if you go that far, you gotta consider the underwater tracking camera, touchpads and scoreboard. :)

Dream big.

I'd do the same. I'd also build stadium seating and hire extras to cheer me on during workouts.

That Guy
July 30th, 2009, 10:42 PM
On the backyard lane line, Barbie Benton, a former ex-girlfriend, has a two lanes indoors at your home in Aspen. He got dumped by Hefner and found another rich guy to marry her. I saw it on the Morons Next Door show. It was two seperate pools but not sure how long it was.

that is a truly remarkable paragraph!!! :applaud::applaud::applaud::applaud::applaud:

tjrpatt
July 31st, 2009, 09:08 AM
that is a truly remarkable paragraph!!! :applaud::applaud::applaud::applaud::applaud:


Woops, I mieant ex-girlfriend of Hefner. Duh!!!!

Bobinator
July 31st, 2009, 09:20 AM
Wow, that is gorgeous!
I have always wanted to put a building around mine. If I hit the lottery I will do it first thing!
Can 2 people swim together in there okay? What's the depth?

nkfrench
August 1st, 2009, 10:20 PM
The 16-yard 1-lane money pit in my backyard was $40K almost 10 years ago. $10K of that was so I could have a buried propane tank and gas lines to heat the attached spa since my neighborhood has no gas service and electrically heating the pool/spa is really expensive. It costs about $10/hour to run the heater so I only run it to use the spa and if we get temps a lot below freezing (as well as running the pumps 24/7 to prevent them from icing up and bursting.)

I also had to have electric, phone, and cable lines moved. Some had to be hand-dug. Probably $3K for all that.

The builder told me that the perimeter of the pool was the way they ballparked the cost estimates. Not the square/cubic feet. So an L shape pool would cost about the same as a rectangular pool with the same base and height dimensions. The pool bottom is cheaper than the walls, which are more heavily-reinforced.

If you don't take good care of the pool it can be quite expensive replacing busted filter parts and buying extra chemicals to kill algae. I finally gave up and hired a pool dude. All the chemicals I was dumping in during sporadic tiger team efforts were pretty harsh on the plaster finish. Electricity to run the pump adds to the cost too, and if the pool gets out of control you end up running the pumps longer during the cleanup stages. It also uses more water and DE to backwash the filters a few extra times during rehab.

My pool is not long enough to be great exercise (yet) but it's OK for drills and would be PERFECT for teaching private/semi-private swim lessons to new swimmers -- if I found myself otherwise unemployed with the time to do that.

I also had it fitted with deck anchors for water volleyball posts (just galvanized fence posts cut in half) and it works fine for its primary use just floating and relaxing or having something calming to look at while enjoying weekend morning coffee. Probably when I am elderly it will be plenty long enough for me to lap swim in. It was as big as I could fit into my tiny little backyard. By keeping it shallow I didn't have to get the bedrock blasted out (I think that adds $1K) like my neighbors did.

The pool only increased the property market value about $5K so it would be very painful financially if I needed to sell the house. The loans were 2nd mortgages and interest is tax-deductible. I had a few tense moments at work regarding transfers where I would need to sell the house in a sour market, so I am feeling very pinned down.

On the positive side, it is nice enjoying those late-night "dips" thanks to one neighbor who is legally blind and having good landscaping and fences blocking the view from other neighbors (who don't spend any time outdoors anyhow). :D

Would I do it again ? The jury's out.

sydned
August 2nd, 2009, 10:04 PM
Ours goes 4 feet, 6 feet in the middle, 4 feet. We wanted both a part that would be over my head, and then, a part where kids could stand. We have a sophisticated system where we drop an old Martha Stewart deck chair in one end for shorter kids. It ain't pretty, but it works.

Maui Mike
August 3rd, 2009, 09:41 AM
A few years ago I was asked to boat coach a 50 and over team paddling in the Molokai Channel canoe race. We spent the night before the race at house belonging to one of the paddlers friends, way out in the country at the north end of Molokai. The house not only had a private airstrip with 2 planes and a small helicopter but an above ground two lane 50 meter pool complete with lights, lane lines, starting blocks, and pace clock! The owner wasn't there at the time but evidently was a pretty good swimmer in his day and had his priorities straight when it came to toys. And yes, I went for a workout that evening.

smontanaro
August 3rd, 2009, 10:21 AM
Sorry for the hijack, but something's been on my mind during this thread which I wanted to ask about. I live in Evanston, IL near lake Michigan. Evanston has no city pools, the explanation as I understand it being, "we have Lake Michigan." At the beaches they provide a swim area which extends about 25 yards from shore and is about 70 yards wide. Heaven help you if you happen to swim outside the lines. There is no marked open water course either.

I was thinking it would be kind of cool to have some sort of "floating" pool in the lake. The lifeguard(s) could kayak or swim out to it (it wouldn't be far offshore) and the people who wanted to swim there could just swim out. In my mind's eye I see a structure several lanes wide, 25-50 meters long, with just enough structure to provide walls for flip turns, anchors for lane lines and enough of a deck for the lifeguards to walk around on. No real sides or bottom. I know about Sydney's rock pools. I'm thinking something much less permanent but still with an obvious connection to the lake that a real pool wouldn't have. It should be a whole lot cheaper to build than a real pool as well. I know in Naperville they swim in a quarry during the summer. Has anybody seen such a thing?

Skip

tjrpatt
August 3rd, 2009, 01:01 PM
Sorry for the hijack, but something's been on my mind during this thread which I wanted to ask about. I live in Evanston, IL near lake Michigan. Evanston has no city pools, the explanation as I understand it being, "we have Lake Michigan." At the beaches they provide a swim area which extends about 25 yards from shore and is about 70 yards wide. Heaven help you if you happen to swim outside the lines. There is no marked open water course either.

I was thinking it would be kind of cool to have some sort of "floating" pool in the lake. The lifeguard(s) could kayak or swim out to it (it wouldn't be far offshore) and the people who wanted to swim there could just swim out. In my mind's eye I see a structure several lanes wide, 25-50 meters long, with just enough structure to provide walls for flip turns, anchors for lane lines and enough of a deck for the lifeguards to walk around on. No real sides or bottom. I know about Sydney's rock pools. I'm thinking something much less permanent but still with an obvious connection to the lake that a real pool wouldn't have. It should be a whole lot cheaper to build than a real pool as well. I know in Naperville they swim in a quarry during the summer. Has anybody seen such a thing?

Skip

My coach from Australia said that he has been to a 50 Meter floating pool on the Pacific. That would be really cool to do. A pool in a quarry, neat!

beluga
August 3rd, 2009, 01:14 PM
Most of the teams in my kids summer league swim in lakes. Docks secure the lanes (50m) which run roughly parallel to shore. In a couple of lakes, the docks at both ends are attached to shore. But at other lakes one or both ends are floating docks. (Makes logistics of running a meet a lot of fun when you have to boat timers, officials, and/or swimmers out to the docks).

The league mainly swims 50s with occasional 100s, so there are few turns. Usually the end opposite the start end has plywood or something that extends down a few feet to facilitate finishes and turns, but open turns and above the water finishes are very common.