When summertime comes, there’s no doubt that Americans love to swim. In fact, swimming is the fourth most popular activity or sport among Americans.
It’s estimated that there are currently more than 10 million residential pools in use. If a pool project is something you and your family plan on doing this summer, here are a few things to decide before you do:
- What kind of pool: Deciding you’re going to add a pool to the backyard is an easy choice. What’s not so easy is deciding whether to go with an in-ground pool or an above-ground pool. As with anything, there are pros and cons of each. In-ground pools tend to look better aesthetically and are available in more sizes, but they can also be more expensive. Above-ground pools are often sold as kits and require a lot less labor and materials. They can also be easily disassembled if you need them to be.
- A good pool contractor: Assuming that you choose an in-ground pool or concrete pool, you’re likely going to need the services of a pool contractor to help with the installation of pool systems. A pool contractor will have to assess your property for compliance, figure out how to get the necessary equipment where it needs to be and how much it might cost to make the project a reality. You want to find a reliable pool contractor that’s going to do a good job with your swimming pool renovations, isn’t going to bury necessary parts or hit you with extra fees.
- All about location: Before you install a pool of any kind, you’re going to need to figure out just where the heck it’s going to go. You need to consider what the pool’s proximity will be to other parts of your backyard and you’re likely going to want it in a spot where you can monitor it from your patio, especially if you’ve got young kids swimming in it.
- Don’t forget maintenance: Just because a pool contractor does a bang-up job to give you and your family the pool you’ve always wanted doesn’t mean your costs suddenly go away. To maintain the proper conditions for swimming, you’re going to want to keep the pool surface clean and the chemicals at acceptable levels. Be aware pool chemicals to eliminate algae and bacteria can be anywhere from $50 to $100 per month.
- Beware of energy costs: On the subject of cost, you may find that a pool installation also causes your utility bills to go up. A pool can use as many as 20,000 gallons of water and it all needs to be filtered to be clean enough for people to swim in. Depending on where you live and what energy costs are, energy costs associated with the pool could run you an extra few hundred dollars annually.
- Don’t call it an upgrade Adding a pool to your backyard can add hours of fun and entertainment for you and your family. In some cases, it may provide a healthy return-on-investment (ROI) if you ever resell your home. But don’t get a pool for that reason. Not every prospective home buyer is going to love your pool the way you and your family does. They may be fearful of increased maintenance costs or any safety concerns associated with the pool. Bottom line: get a pool because you want it, not for using as a future investment.
- Don’t forget your insurance: Owning a pool and being able to swim in your own backyard whenever you want is an amazing feeling. But having a pool can come with some potential hazards such as weather and tree damage. To protect against those things, it’s recommended that pool owners increase their base liability insurance to cover damage that happens to the pool or to get an umbrella policy to insure the pool. Pools are fun additions to homes, but you can never be too careful.
Having a pool can bring a lot of joy to homeowners and their families. But before going anything, do your homework to find a reliable contractor and a good location. Also take into consideration any extra energy and insurance costs you may incur. As fun as pools are, you want to make sure all your bases are covered first.