As the weather heats up each year, a refreshing dip in your very own swimming pool may be the perfect opportunity to soak up the sun, but this desire may sink after discovering the costs involved.
While plenty of pool owners adore their pools, many others abhor them. That’s because, on one hand, a pool can be a gathering place for family time that’s uninterrupted. On the other, it can prove to be a big financial responsibility.
To help you decide whether or not to dive into pool ownership, we’ve laid out the costs you should consider — whether you’re thinking of building a new pool or buying a home that already has one.
Digging a sizeable hole is a sizeable expense.
From its shape to the materials used to optional bells and whistles, there are many factors impacting the cost of pool installation. According to the home improvement site FIXr, homeowners can spend anywhere from $16,700 to $31,400 to build a pool. Once you add equipment such as pumps, heaters, filters and enclosures into the mix, you’re looking at an additional $5,000 to $20,000 — making for a substantial home equity loan need.
Prepare for changes to your insurance.
Many homeowner’s insurance policies already include pools, but coverages can vary. Therefore, it’s always best to talk with your individual provider before adding a pool or buying a home with one. You may discover a hike in your premium because a pool can increase the replacement cost of your home.
It’s also important to know that as a homeowner with a pool, you could be found liable for anyone who uses it — whether or not they have your permission. With that said, it’s recommended that you bump up your liability coverage.
The cost of upkeep is ongoing.
Swimming pools require regular cleanings and the weekly addition of chemicals. Without proper maintenance, they can quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria. You may choose to maintain your pool yourself at a cost of about $75-$150 per month for basic chemicals, with summertime being more costly. The DIY route also requires several hours of labor per week — which can be reduced with the purchase of a $600 automatic pool cleaner. Or you can hire a professional pool service, and can expect to pay $100 to $200 per month in addition to chemicals.
You’ll also find that your utility bills will increase about $100 per month from the power used by the pump and heater, and the water needed to refill the pool.
Repairs can add up over time.
If there’s one thing homeowners know, it’s that things break and pools are no exception. As a pool owner, it’s recommended that you keep a dedicated Emergency Savings Account to cover your pool emergencies. Unlike a broken dishwasher, pool repairs can’t wait as they can quickly take your pool from a sparkling blue oasis into a dark green science experiment in a matter of days. According to estimates from FIXr, your expected repair and replacement costs could include:
- $300 to fix a leak.
- $100-$250 to clear a clog.
- $60-$150 for yearly filter replacement.
- $600-$2000 for a new water pump.
- $200-$1,000 to replace screens on an enclosure.
Accessories can take a bite out of your budget.
Floats, loungers, lights, toys, goggles, patio furniture, party supplies and more — these are all things you’ll likely add to your shopping cart when there’s a pool in your yard. Setting you up for more impulse buys than you can shake a stick at, costing you hundreds of dollars year-after-year.
But a pool will increase your home’s value. Right?
Well, maybe. But maybe not. First, you have to consider that adding a pool may make the home harder to sell since some buyers see a pool as a burden rather than a bonus. However, according to Houselogic, adding pool could boost your home’s value by as much as seven percent, under these conditions:
- Most of the homes in your neighborhood have pools.
- Weather in your area is warmer year-round.
- Your pool doesn’t engulf the whole yard, making room for a lawn.
- You’ve maintained the pool and it complements your home and neighborhood.
If you’ve had pool ownership on your mind, consider if you're financially prepared for a pool before jumping into the deep end.