If you’re like many homeowners, summer rolls around each year and you regret not having the convenience of a swimming pool in your backyard. Instead, you have to load the kids up in the minivan, drive to the local pool, and pay for everyone to swim.
Don’t let next summer be the same story!
Benefits of Pool Ownership
Owning a pool is beneficial for many reasons. Let’s briefly consider a few of the top reasons why homeowners are investing in these valuable assets:
- Convenience. First off, you have to consider the convenience factor. As a parent, not having to walk to the neighborhood pool or drive to a local clubhouse is a huge time-saver. Instead, you can simply walk out your back door and enjoy swimming and lounging, without the wasted time of traveling back and forth.
- Home value. Depending on the neighborhood you live in, having a pool may or may not increase the value of your home. The key is to be aware of your surroundings. If the majority of homes in your neighborhood have pools, you probably need one too. A well-designed, well-kept pool can increase property value by as much as five to ten percent. A local real estate agent can probably advise you whether a pool would increase your home’s value (or, on the other hand, make it harder to sell).
- Personal health. As you likely know, swimming is one of the safest and most beneficial exercises around. Its low-impact nature makes it ideal for both children and adults of all ages. Having access to a pool in your own backyard may make you more likely to exercise on a daily basis.
Five Things to Think About
Before you get too far along in the planning process, you need to sit down with your family and discuss a number of different things. Specifically, make sure you consider the following elements:
1. Actual Costs
Since price is often the biggest factor in the decision to build a pool, it’s important to start with considering costs, both for construction and ongoing. Research shows that the average residential in-ground swimming pool comes with a price tag of $39,084.
Hidden costs frequently increase an initial quote. According to industry expert Marcus Sheridan, the top six hidden costs of a swimming pool project are: retaining walls, extra concrete, dirt hauling, landscaping, electrical, and fencing. When getting quotes, make sure the contractors include everything in the final tally.
2. Zoning Laws
Are you aware of the zoning laws in your area? Codes vary based on state, county, city, and even individual neighborhood and block. Check with your local zoning board to identify potential restrictions and verify that you’re able to build. If you’re able, there may be requirements in terms of safety features, size, and materials. It’s up to you to find out these details.
3. Safety Features
As mentioned, safety is a big deal. Not only do you need to meet local requirements, you also need to consider personal issues. For example, if you have young children, how can you protect them? One method is to use protective barriers.
“To ensure a safe environment around your pool, child safety pool fences are a must have,” Pool Guard USA explains. “Barriers such as locked pool gates and pool fencing can help prevent children from gaining unsupervised access to the pool area.”
4. Pool Materials
If you’re new to pool construction, you may not know that there are distinct differences between the various materials that are frequently used. The three most commonly used materials are vinyl, concrete, and fiberglass. There’s no right or wrong answer here, but make sure you know what you’re doing.
Each material comes with its own set of pros and cons. Fiberglass pools are low-maintenance, but limited in design and shape flexibility. They also come with a higher upfront cost. Vinyl pools have a low upfront price tag, but future liner replacements are pretty costly. Concrete pools are incredibly flexible in terms of size and design, but also have extremely high lifetime repair costs.
5. Selecting a Contractor
Finally, it’s wise to vet multiple contractors and find one that you’re comfortable with. Ask friends and neighbors for references and do a little online research to find out who’s reputable. A good contractor, while possibly more expensive, is definitely worth the extra investment.
Don’t Build Without Thinking
Building a backyard swimming pool might be a great idea, but don’t start the process until you’re 100 percent sure it’s the right choice. Mull over the benefits, think about the details involved in the process, and make sure everyone is on the same page.
A pool is a long-term investment and you must ensure it’s something you really want.