According to the The Association of Pool and Spa Professionals, the number of new in-ground pools in the U.S. grew by 10% from 2002 to 2005, and some 4.7 million U.S. homes have in-ground pools.
Studies show that most low-end and many middle-range buyers do not want a home with a pool. Higher-end homes are more likely to have pools, but some are never used. Some pools exist for decoration. If you enjoy swimming, then a pool might be right for you. But wisdom says buy a home with a pool only if you will use it. Otherwise, your sparkling pool could turn into an expensive pond for ducks.
Types of Swimming Pools
If you’re planning to install a swimming pool, hire a reputable pool contractor. The cost for a new pool starts around $30,000, but can easily soar past six figures, depending on desired amenities such as fountains, landscaping or decking.
Gunite pool construction, which is achieved by spraying a mixture of concrete and sand into a pool-sized hole, is the most popular. Unlike above-ground pools, which are temporary, these in-ground pools are permanent structures. Gunite pools can be laid out in almost any shape the home owner desires and last for years. But gunite is pricey.
Vinyl in-ground pools are generally rectangular, but other configurations are available. They are less expensive than gunite because the pools are lined with vinyl; however, the liners often need replacement after 10 years. They are popular in areas where temperatures dip below freezing and the pools are drained in the winter. To prepare for a vinyl pool, the ground is excavated and support walls are constructed from a variety of materials such as wood, steel, fiberglass or aluminum.
The National Association of Realtors says above-ground pools add no value to the home because they are portable. Above-ground is an inexpensive option for a pool. Some home owners buy do-it-yourself kits and assemble their own above-ground pools. Unlike in-ground pools, which can require weeks to complete, these pools can be installed in a few days.
The Advantages of Owning a Home With a Pool
The Disadvantages of Owning a Home With a Pool
Do Pools Add or Detract From the Value of a Home?
Whether a pool adds value to a home depends on where you live. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the three most popular states for pool homes are California, Arizona and Florida. The National Association of Realtors says an in-ground pool adds about 7.7% more in value to the home’s market value. However, in colder climates, such as Minnesota, a pool may add no value at all.
How Much Does it Cost to Maintain a Swimming Pool?
To maintain a swimming pool in the Twin Cities Metro area varies. The cost ranges from $150 to $729, with the average reported cost of $478 per season. This cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by HomeAdvisor members. While a swimming pool adds many years of fun and exercise to your home life, it needs to be maintained correctly and consistently.
You can manage the heating cost for your pool by not heating it year-round. If you only use your pool for entertainment, you are most likely not going to have pool parties in the dead of winter. If you use it for exercise, you may find times of year where you will be engaging in other types of workouts and not keep the pool heated.
A professional pool cleaner is a great idea if you can afford one. If you can’t, the best cleaning maintenance is to remove leaves, dirt and debris on the surface. Skimming off the debris on a daily basis will keep your pool from needing deeper cleaning and vacuuming as often. It is much simpler to clean the top than it is to vacuum rotten decomposed leaves off the bottom.
A pool water test kit is an inexpensive way to test the pH of your swimming pool. If you have a pool maintenance pro who is doing regular, routine cleaning and maintenance of your pool, they will certainly be doing this testing for you as part of their services. However, if you want to save money you can do it yourself. It’s important to know the pH level so you don’t let it get too high or too low. On either end of the spectrum are undesirable results. The closer to zero the pH is, the more acidic the water is, causing the water to corrode the pipes and hurt your skin if you swim in it. If the pH is closer to 14, the water starts to cloud and render the chlorine ineffective. So make sure to keep the pH level balanced around seven, which means neutral.
The most common repairs needed for a swimming pool involve fixing the heating and filtration systems and cracks or other damages to the inside surface. If you have a concrete or tiled pool, the surface can get damaged and cracked. If you have a pool liner, the liner can get torn or ripped due to wear and tear or abuse by kids, pets and pool toys. Repairing a pool liner is not an expensive venture, but replacing a liner can be. Monitor the amount of rough play that goes on in your swimming pool so you can avoid this expensive replacement.
By Elizabeth Weintraub and Homeadvisors.com