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5 things to consider before installing an inground pool in your backyard

Kids Playing Pool Games During Backyard Party

What better way to spend a hot summer afternoon than by your sparkling aqua-blue pool? Many people have at least considered purchasing an inground pool, and with new COVID pool restrictions and limitations, homeowners may be contemplating if this is the right time to take the plunge. In fact, Pioneer Family Pools, an Ontario-based company, says that sales are up 50% year over year. 

Buying an inground pool is a significant commitment, and depending on where you live, the costs may outweigh the benefits. Inground pools can affect both the aesthetics of your backyard and the value of your home. Before making a final decision, you must do your research and consider the following points.

1. What permits are required?

beautiful swimming pool surrounded by chairs and flowers

Before you get too far into planning, you’ll want to make sure that you have permission to install a pool on your property. Proper permits must be issued, and requirements will vary based on the type of pool you are having installed. City or state bylaws may prevent you from moving forward with your pool plans or limiting what you can do. 

If you belong to Home Owner Associations (HOA), you will almost certainly need to submit an architectural change request to your board. Your governing documents may prevent you from installing an inground pool due to the drastic change it would have on the property’s look and value. 

2. How much does a pool cost?

Tropical villa sunset

On average, a brand new vinyl liner pool can cost around $30,000 to $45,000. A fibreglass pool is typically priced by measuring the pool’s length, times 1,000 plus $10,000. For example, a 25-foot pool would be about $35,000. A concrete pool will cost the most money to construct. Depending on the size and shape, homeowners can spend anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000.

The installation costs are just the beginning of the investment that comes alongside owning a pool. In addition, ongoing expenses include the pump and a heater, which could increase your utility bill by about $100 a month. 

If you need someone to manage the opening or closing of your pool, you can expect to pay around $500 for each visit. The professional will remove all ladders and diving boards, install the cover, and lubricate and clean the plumbing and equipment.

You can expect to spend about $600 during the swimming season on chemicals to keep the pool clean. If the swimming season is year-round in your city, you should also budget $15 to $25 a week for small maintenance repairs.

Finally, fencing is typically not optional. Fence rules may vary depending on where you live, but there’s usually a requirement for a fence around the pool to enhance safety. If you have young children, you may need to install a fence between the home and the pool. 

3. What kind of insurance coverage do pool-owners need?

Your homeowner’s insurance may already include coverage for a swimming pool, but it’s essential to check first before purchasing the costly addition. Consider increasing your liability coverage. After all, it’s better to have it and not need it than wish you had made the change after something goes wrong. Keep in mind that most insurance companies don’t generally approve of diving boards or big water slides. 

4. What kind of value does a swimming pool add to your home?

Typically, a swimming pool can add significant value to a property. The numbers usually fall between 5% and 10% to your property when it comes time to sell. A pool that has been well-built and well-maintained is incredibly attractive to some potential buyers. However, others may view it as a liability more than an asset.

Certain factors will impact how buyers view the inground pool. If there is still backyard space available, that’s a big plus. New owners can always make that space their own. If you’re living in a warmer state such as Florida, California or Arizona, that’s another good reason why buyers would be more interested in purchasing a home with a pool.  

5. Is a pool a good investment long-term?

Rear view of a man adjusting swimming goggles infront of a swimm

There will be no shortage of pool parties when you first get your pool. Everyone will want to come over for a swim. Many pool owners agree that having a backyard pool feels less exciting after a few years, but this might not be the case if you are an avid swimmer or live somewhere warm. 

Unfortunately, similarly to all aspects of a home, the need to clean and maintain the pool never disappears. Just keep in mind that you will be required to invest a lot of time and money into the pool. If you only have a few months to enjoy the outdoors, it may be wiser (and more affordable) to take vacations, or rent a cottage for a week, instead.

Is a swimming pool the right fit for you?

A swimming pool can be great fun for you, your family and your friends. It can help you maintain a healthier lifestyle, create opportunities for unforgettable memories, and increase your home’s value. However, pool ownership isn’t something to be entered into lightly.

The costs associated with an inground pool add up quickly, and you must also consider ongoing expenses. If you still want to enjoy a backyard pool but aren’t ready to make such a permanent commitment, you could always explore installing an above ground pool. These types of pools are less expensive, easier to install, and much easier to remove.

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Kim Brown

Kim Brown is a writer for Condo Control Central with a passion for writing, and sharing stories with other people.