When your children are small, pools become a magnet for not only your children but their friends as well. It can also be a great place for the summer holidays, Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day. Any warm day, especially on the weekends, can be an opportunity to enjoy the pool, cook outside or bask in the sun…. and in Virginia our warm weather often extends well into the fall.
During the first major stay-at-home event that most of us have experienced in this country, pools have given families an enjoyable recreation without leaving the home. For those without a pool, the NPD group reports that the Covid-19 pandemic has increased pool building by 161% this year.
Some may have even made the transition from children enjoying the pool to the grandchildren. If this happened to you, there is an interim where you may have wished that your home didn’t have a pool so you would not have the maintenance and required upkeep. Then, as the new generation of family starts using it regularly and again, you are glad you have a pool and can see the grandchildren more.
For those people who don’t have a pool but are considering one, there are some things that you need to think about.
If you’ve watched some of the TV shows like Pool Kings, most of those look like resorts or water parks and the price tag that comes with them can be staggering. Even a modest gunite, in-ground pool with a limited amount of decking can be as expensive as a luxury car, especially after including the cost of landscaping and pool furniture.
If you finance the pool as a home improvement, the term will probably be between seven to fifteen years. If you refinance your current mortgage and wrap the cost of the pool together, you could get a 30-year term.
Pool cleaning and chemicals depend on the size of the pool but will generally start at about $175 a month through a service. Your utilities will see an increase because you’re going to use more electricity and water than you did before you had a pool.
Then, of course, there may be increases in food and refreshments to consider for not only your family but your guests. There are also pool toys, floats, sunscreen, and towels. Minor things can add up!
People going through the pros and cons of building a pool usually tell themselves that the house will go up in value. It is true but not nearly as much as the cost of the pool. Long time pool owners will tell you that they have had lots of great memories and it has been a good investment in their family. It just may not be good as a financial investment.
Once you’ve made the decision to build a pool, find a reputable pool builder, ask for references and check them out. Ask friends who have pools, who built them and would they use the company again. Most pool companies hire and coordinate with subcontractors to do the work. It is important to know that the builder will be around if something goes wrong and how they’ll solve the issue.
The Better Business Bureau has some suggestions about hiring a pool contractor and they warn about scammers who are eager to take advantage of the increased demand for pools.