Steps to Consider Before Installing a Swimming Pool

Steps to Consider Before Installing a Swimming Pool
  • Opening Intro -

    Installing a swimming pool can add value to your home and offer countless hours of entertainment and relief from hot weather.

    Swimming pools can also prove expensive, requiring extensive changes to your yard before a pool can be installed.

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A new pool may prove to be an insurance nightmare too if you don’t have it fenced in and if your insurance company decides the risk of an exposed pool warrants a huge increase in your homeowner’s insurance premium.

Should you forego the pool and use the town or neighborhood pool instead? Only if the risks and expenses related to its upkeep are too much for you to handle. However, if you want a pool, there are some steps to consider before installing a swimming pool, points that should be weighed before you move forward with your project.

Adequate Space — Pools can be found in some of the smallest yards, but the footprint a pool takes up can consume all available land. You also need to know if there are wires or pipes embedded in the ground that must be moved and whether the ground will need to be leveled or changed in some other way to house a pool. Take under consideration the footprint of the pool, the surrounding deck, equipment storage and fencing as part of your planning process.

Proper Approval — Some communities place extensive restrictions on pools, requiring homeowners to have the proper setback from property lines and submit their plans to the building department for review. If you live in a community association, your neighborhood compact may have additional restrictions in place. These can include the type of pool you can install, fencing and other matters. You may have to seek your immediate neighbor’s approval too before putting in a pool.

Above or In — The cost differences between an above ground and in ground pool can be striking. Few above ground pools are as large as in ground pools and they don’t necessarily require extensive changes to your yard for placement including regrading. This means your costs for an above ground pool should be at least one-half to two-thirds lower than an in ground pool.

Homeowners Insurance — Expect your insurance rates to rise once you inform your insurance agent that you have a pool on your property. The agent may stop by your home to take pictures and may require you to purchase additional coverage to protect you. A secure fence with a lock can hold down your costs, but the threat of a young child drowning in your backyard means an umbrella policy and security precautions are in order.

Maintenance Costs — Pool maintenance can be partially automated, but there is no substitute for a pair of eyes that inspects the pool daily during the months when it is in use. Problems such as low water, algae growth, pump pressure and debris can take up your time. At least once weekly you’ll need to skim, vacuum, clean and chlorinate your pool. Seasonally, you’ll need to prepare it for winter and open it up for summer. Over time, you may need to reseal your pool and tend to other problems associated with age and wear and tear.

Home Value — Will a swimming pool increase the value of your home? It should, but that can be hard to predict as several factors should be considered. One factor is the age and condition of your pool when you get ready to sell it. A modern pool with up to date equipment and sought after amenities such as a deck, diving board and changing area are pluses. Another factor is your neighborhood: if pools are common where you live, then buyers expect to find one. If not, you may have difficulty convincing someone that a swimming pool is ideal.

So, why would anyone want a swimming pool? Besides the reasons mentioned earlier, a nearby lake of questionable cleanliness can get anyone thinking about swimming at home as can high gas prices which can make trips to the beach an expensive proposition. Like most things in life, the decision to build a pool has its advantages and disadvantages. A swimming pool may not be an expense you’ll ever recoup, but it can give you many months of recreational satisfaction from the convenience of your property.

Resources

MSN Money; Is it a Pool or a Money Pit?; Melinda Fulmer

SmartSource Realty; Will a Swimming Pool Increase my Home’s Value?; Chris Warren; Feb. 2010

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Categories: Swimming Pools

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Auto Trends Magazine", an online publication. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and weblogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".