How Much Does a Swimming Pond Cost in 2023? | Checkatrade
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Last updated on March 31st, 2022

Swimming pond cost

If you want all the fun of a swimming pool without extensive maintenance, a swimming pond could be exactly what you’re looking for. Here, we’ll break down the average swimming pond cost and how it compares to the cost of building a swimming pool.

If you want all the fun of a swimming pool without extensive maintenance, a swimming pond could be exactly what you’re looking for. Here, we’ll break down the average swimming pond cost and how it compares to the cost of building a swimming pool.

What is a swimming pond?

Unlike swimming pools, swimming ponds don’t have an active filter. Instead, they’re made up of two halves: a plant section (called the regeneration zone) and a swimming section (known as the swimming zone). The plants are used to remove phosphorus and nitrogen and to stop algae growth, effectively cleaning your swimming area for you.

natural swimming pond cost

Not only does this make swimming ponds vastly cheaper and less time-consuming to maintain than swimming pools. It also comes with a whole host of other benefits, including:

  • Great for wildlife: Swimming ponds can be effective habitats for all sorts of wildlife.
  • No chemicals: You won’t need to use any chemical dosing.
  • Less water consumption: Swimming ponds down need to be regularly emptied and refilled.
  • Warm: They don’t need covering, which means they’ll usually stay at around 19-25 degrees all summer.

Cost of building a swimming pond

Type and size of natural pool/pondAverage price (incl. VAT)
Swimming pond per m2£350
80m2 swimming pond£82,500
40m2 natural pool (20m2 swim zone)£48,000
100m2 natural pool (50m2 swim zone)£96,500
200m2 natural pool (80m2 swim zone)£135,000

Our costs are ballpark averages – get a local tradesperson to quote now

The average natural swimming pond cost is around £350 per m2. However, the cost of building a swimming pond can vary hugely depending on a number of factors, including:

  • The pond’s size: Bigger ponds tend to cost less per m2. For example, while an 80 m2 swimming pond could easily cost more than £75,000 + VAT, a swimming pond that’s double the size (160 m2) will usually be less than double the cost.
  • Site conditions: In an ideal world, you’d have stable soil such as clay or chalk. If not, your costs could climb. Costs will also depend on your site’s drainage, location and accessibility.
  • Design and landscaping: Swimming ponds often have beaches, steps, timber jetties, jumping rocks, stepping stones and more. Natural designs are generally the easiest to estimate the costs for.
  • Features: Depending on your requirements, you might want to spend extra on features such as lighting (which would require an electrician to connect to the mains), decking or even a summer house.

Just bear in mind that an 80 m2 pond doesn’t mean you’ll have 80 m2 worth of swimming space. Instead, you’ll need to account for a regeneration zone that’s equal to the size of your swimming area.

Natural swimming pool costnatural pool cost

A natural swimming pool works in the same way as a swimming pond, using water plants to filter and purify your swimming area for you. However, natural swimming pools generally look more similar in style to traditional swimming pools and they may also have fewer plants. Meanwhile, a natural swimming pond usually looks more natural and pond-like.

The cost to build a natural swimming pool that’s 40 m2 (with a 20 m2 swimming zone) usually starts at around £40,000 + VAT, while a 200 m2 natural pool (with an 80 m2 swimming zone) costs closer to £100,000 + VAT. That said, your total natural pool cost will still vary based on factors similar to those we listed for swimming ponds, such as the design, features, spec, size and site conditions.

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How much do swimming ponds cost compared to a traditional swimming pool?

That depends on the spec of the swimming pool and swimming pond that you’re comparing. Building a swimming pond often costs more than building a swimming pool but they also tend to be bigger. That’s because as well as the swimming zone, they’ll need a regeneration zone that’s the same size.

Can you have fish in a swimming pond?

No. Fish tend to stir up sediment, particularly those that bottom feed, such as Japanese Koi. This creates cloudy water which defeats the main objective of a swimming pond – to keep the swimming zone clear and clean. Fish excrement is also high in nutrients which can cause issues.

Can you add heating to a swimming pond?

It’s not advisable to add heating to a swimming pond because the whole point is to work with nature. It’s also not necessary as swimming ponds are surprisingly warm. The regeneration zone will be relatively shallow and will heat up quickly when it’s sunny. This warm water then works to warm the swimming zone as it’s fed in. On top of this, swimming ponds and natural swimming pools don’t need to be covered which enables them to heat up quicker than traditional swimming pools.

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