Does Pool Shape Affect Cost? Compare Freeform to Basic Shapes

Making the decision to buy a pool is a huge step as a homeowner! A gathering place for your friends and family right in your own backyard.

 Buying a swimming pool is a luxury option even when purchasing the cheapest options available. Balancing your dream pool and your budget is a tight rope walk and many things affect the total cost of your pool purchase.

The pool shape you choose will absolutely affects the cost of your pool. The difference in price can be up to 33% between different shapes of pools. The most expensive pool shapes are freeform or complex shaped pools like lagoon, kidney, grecian, mountain lake, etc. The least expensive pools are simple or geometrical shapes such as rectangular, square, oval, or round.

Let’s check out popular pool shapes to see how their shapes affect the cost. 

What Pool Shapes are available for each type of Pool?

Pool TypePopular ShapesWhat you should know
Every Possible Shape is available with a Shotcrete Pool.
Custom(much more expensive)
Fiberglass pools are limited by manufacture specs. To get a custom made fiberglass pool shell is a steep price jump.
Vinyl Liner Freeform
Vinyl Liner Pools are limited by the manufacture kit. Most customizations raise the price drastically.
Above GroundOval
Above ground has just two options Oval or Circle. Some Smaller Square shapes available but not as pool kits.

Which Pool Shape is the most expensive?

Freeform pool shapes are going to be the most expensive pool shape options. Freeform pools are only available with shotcrete, fiberglass, or inground vinyl liner pools. This option isn’t available for your typical above ground pool. If you chose not to sink your fiberglass pool that would be your only option for a freeform above-ground pool.

Freeform Shapes vs. Basic Shapes Cost

There are many Freeform shapes that come under a variety of names such as lagoon, kidney, figure eight, oasis, and the list goes on. These shapes are beautiful with natural curves that make a backyard pool look natural. The more complicated the freeform design the more expensive it becomes. There is an average cost difference in the smallest freeform pool options and the smallest basic shape options of 33%.

The simpler free forms like the kidney shape are rather cheap in comparison to something more complex like the mountain lake or lagoon shape inground pools.

Let’s take a look below at the size, depth, style, and price of some vinyl liner inground pool kit options. These are the smallest available of each of these shapes and they are the cheapest wall option of 42” steel.

18’x36’x6”8’Mountain Lake$7,695.00
Prices for Vinyl Liner Inground Pool Kits 2020 Source.

Cost for a Freeform Shotcrete Pool

A freeform pool costs more because of the natural curves that are designed into the pool shape. Even though the square footage of a freeform pool may be less than a rectangular pool the complexity of shape will affect the cost greatly. 

The freeform shape is more complicated to dig and form out of concrete and rebar in a shotcrete pool. It is the most beautiful option for a custom pool and a popular shape.

A shotcrete freeform pool varies wildly in price anywhere between $70,000-$200,000 depending on additional features for the whole pool.

Estimated Price Difference for Shotcrete Pool Shapes

The table below is a price average for shotcrete pools that I got after a asking my father who is a pool builder in Missouri. If you follow our blog, you’ll know that he is our Allfather of information for

In our example, all of the pools below are the same square footage and depth.

Which most likely would never happen, but its a good to show the price difference here. This is a bare bones shotcrete pool with no specials, no features, the cheapest of everything.

Do not take this as an estimate to what your pool would cost you, it is only an example to show the price difference between pool shapes.

576 sq ft.6’Rectangle$60- 70,000.00
576 sq ft.6′Oval$60-70,000.00
576 sq ft.6’Kidney$60-70,000.00
576 sq ft.6’Lagoon$70-80,000.00
576 sq ft.6’Mountain Lake$70-80,000.00
Estimated Prices for Shotcrete Pool in the Midwest.

As you can see, there can be a $10-$20,000 range based on your shape. What is going to drive the price up for shapes like the Lagoon or Mountain Lake will be the different curves that give it the natural look.

The more curves and freeflow form that your pool shape has, it will raise the price up. Which is normal as the pool becomes more complex and difficult to build out of metal and concrete.

Cost for Freeform Fiberglass Shell or Inground Vinyl Liner Kit

A fiberglass or Vinyl freeform pool is also more difficult to install than simpler designs. The plumbing and hole that has to be dug will be more complicated for the freeform shape. 

Inserts that will need to be purchased for the rounded effect also drive up the price on the vinyl pool kits.

The cost for a  simple freeform fiberglass shell averages $7,000-$11,000 if it is not a custom-built design. Source.

The cost for a freeform inground vinyl liner kit averages $7,000-$10,000. 

The prices above will need to have installation added along with additional charges for the size of the pool or kit you purchase.

This will be greatly cheaper than a custom shotcrete freeform pool even with the additional installation charges. 

What is the Cheapest Pool Shape?

The cheapest pool shapes for all of the different types of pools will be oval, round, or rectangular-shaped pools. While these are the least interesting shapes they are cost-effective and easier to install than most other shapes.

The price range for fiberglass and vinyl pool kits really starts to increase when you move out of these standard shape patterns.

With special added features like decking, coping, waterfalls, deck jets, and lighting you can still make these less interesting shapes look amazing in your backyard.

How much for a Basic Shaped Shotcrete Pool?

Even though these are the simplest shapes the prices can be higher for a rectangular shape as this has larger perimeter footage than the oval or circle shapes. 

The oval pool can vary in price as well if you decide to create a sharp curve on your oval. The pool builder requires technical skill to get these curves to look just right which will cost more.

The price range for these standard shapes for a shotcrete pool can range from $50,000-$180,000 depending on extra features and overall size.

Costs for an Oval, Circle, or Rectangular Shaped Fiber Glass Pool

The standard-shaped fiberglass pools are cheaper to buy than the other shapes but the savings will most likely come from the installation. These standard shapes are much easier to put into the ground and run the plumbing over more complicated fiberglass shapes.

These shapes are also easier to install in semi-inground installations which are a popular choice for many fiberglass pool owners who have a backyard with a steep slope.

The price range to purchase these fiberglass shapes ranges from $4,500-$8,000. Which runs a few thousand dollars cheaper than the freeform shapes.

Costs for an Oval, Circle, or Rectangular Shaped Vinyl Liner Pool

These shapes are the cheapest of the pool kits you can purchase for vinyl liner pool options. The installation for these is straightforward as well since they come in a kit and the dig for your pool builder shouldn’t be difficult or challenging. 

The average price range for these basic shaped pool kits are $5,500 to $11,000. All depending on if you choose steel or polymer for your walls.

Basic Shaped Above Ground Pool Costs

Above ground pools are the cheapest options and extremely limited on the shape. They only have the most basic shapes available in the Oval or Circular option. With the right decking, you can really have a nice looking above-ground pool though and if this is the option you can afford then you should consider it.

These basic shapes for an above ground pool can run you between $1,100 – $7,500 for the kits. The installation will also run you a lot less as you won’t need to dig or pour concrete to install these kits.

If you want a rectangular shaped above ground pool there is an option that is smaller but still viable for a homeowner. These pools also come with a sand filter, ladder, ground cloth and pool cover. These rectangular above ground pools range from $874 to $1,900. This might even be the best option for someone looking to own their first pool and the cheap. You can check out the bigger pool here on amazon. There is also a smaller square-shaped pool available here on amazon that is a great price for everything it includes.


The founder of I wanted a place to share all of the great information from my family to other pool lovers, builders, and those looking to buy a pool.

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