Summertime is a season for spending time outside, for relaxing, and for enjoying moments with loved ones. It’s no wonder why so many families choose to take a vacation during this season. But while 71% of couples who travel together say that reconnecting is an important reason to spend time alone together while on a trip, you don’t necessarily have to go away to enjoy this precious time with people you love — or partake in popular vacation activities. In fact, you may be able to reap all the benefits of a getaway right in your own backyard. That is, if you have a pool for lounging, swimming, and sunning yourself.
If you’re thinking of installing a pool so you can partake in all that summer fun, you’re certainly not alone. In fact, the U.S. swimming pool construction industry has grown by 3.8% during the last five years, showing just how many American homeowners are making their residential swimming pool dreams a reality. But before you break ground and get lost in thoughts of spending your afternoons on a pool raft, there are a few things you’ll want to consider.
What’s Your Budget?
Before embarking on any type of home improvement project, you’ll want to have a clear idea of your budget. There are certain pool styles that are more affordable than others, but industry estimates note that you could expect to pay anywhere from $1,500 to $30,000 (or more!) for a backyard pool. Clearly, there’s a wide range there. But with 10 million residential pools in existence all over the U.S., homeowners from all income brackets have managed to make it work. In addition, make sure your credit score can handle any additional loans you might need to take out. Remember: a low credit score is typically defined as one under 619.
Keep in mind that your pool can also be a selling point, should you ever decide to list your home on the market in the future. In fact, having a pool can increase your property value by up to 7%. However, it’s not necessarily a true investment; some potential buyers will jump at the chance to purchase a property with a pool, while others will run away as soon as they realize what’s in the backyard. In the end, you shouldn’t install a pool merely for the return on investment. You should do it for your family’s enjoyment — so decide what you can spend based on what that’s worth, rather than how much you could potentially sell your home for down the line.
What Kind of Pool Should You Choose?
Once you know how much you can feasibly spend, you’ll need to determine what kind of pool will work for your budget and for your personal tastes. Above-ground pools tend to be a bit more affordable, with DIY options starting at around $100. If you want something a bit more professional-looking (like an above-ground pool surrounded by a deck), you might pay $5,000 to $10,000, depending on the circumstances — but you’ll be able to mimic the look of an inground pool for less money.
If you’ve got your heart set on a permanent structure built into the ground, there are still several options to choose from. You’ll have your pick of materials like poured concrete, fiberglass, and vinyl, all of which can vary in price and aesthetic. There are also different design styles, such as custom-fit pools, infinity pools, and even pools with saltwater or natural “pond” approaches. These fancier designs will tend to require more of an investment, but they can also add to your enjoyment and make your property look especially impressive. And while there are a lot of add-ons you can explore, keep in mind that that you might not need a water feature or a water-immersed deck for your chairs; although you shouldn’t go with the cheapest option simply to save money (as this will likely result in a subpar effect that might not add much value), you don’t need to go overboard, either.
Are You Willing to Take on the Maintenance?
Pools can provide an endless source of entertainment and relaxation — but they do come with some strings attached. Aside from the initial and ongoing costs associated with installation and upkeep, they also require a fair amount of time and effort to maintain. You’ll need to clean your pool filters regularly to remove debris, as well as using a skimmer and/or a vacuum to keep it free of bugs, leaves, and other elements. You’ll also need to monitor the pool for leaks, ensure enough chlorine and other chemicals are added, and take care of the heater. Opening and closing your pool at the start and end of every season can also be a bit of a bother. While there are companies that can take on some of these tasks for you, that’ll also represent an added expense. Plus, there are potential repairs that will need to be performed as some point.
Before you decide to install a pool for sure, make sure you really have the time to devote to these tasks and that you’re willing to handle them. Otherwise, you might as well figure out another option that will allow you to make the most of your outdoor space. To that end, you’ll also want to evaluate whether or not your family will make good use of the pool once it’s in. If your family doesn’t really enjoy the water, doesn’t entertain a lot, or doesn’t already spend a lot of time outdoors, it might not be the right choice for your home. Don’t agree to take on all the maintenance and all the costs unless you feel secure in the knowledge that the pool will be an added benefit, rather than a hindrance.
Having a pool right in your own backyard can be a real thrill. But installing a pool isn’t something to be taken lightly. Make sure to keep these considerations in mind prior to making a final decision in order to make your property look its best and ensure your family’s happiness.
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