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Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Taking the Plunge: Is Adding a Swimming Pool to Your Home a Smart Move?

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You and your builder will also need to be aware of all municipal regulations which could include rules regarding fencing, property lines and more. Insurance is another factor to examine carefully. While your homeowners insurance policy may already cover swimming pools, check with your insurer and consider bumping up your liability coverage while you’re at it.

All in all, a nicely designed pool that is in good condition and in keeping with the overall size of your yard can help cool off your family now and heat up your listing price when it comes time to sell.

Impact
With their water use, energy use and chemicals, there’s no getting around the fact that swimming pools are an environmental concern. With that in mind, the environmental organization the Sierra Club offers a few tips for mitigating some of the impact: First, cover your pool to prevent evaporation, maintain water quality and reduce heat loss. Second, invest in an Energy Star-rated pump and lastly, consider incorporating a seminatural or natural filtration system that uses plants, rather than chemicals, to keep the water clear.

Fiberglass pools arrive as a pre-made shell ready to be placed directly in the ground. Fiberglass is also the fastest way to get to go from inspiration to pool party.

Value
Now that we’ve addressed the costs and options associated with swimming pools, we must answer the question most homeowners have top of mind: Will adding a pool increase my home’s value? Chief among them is whether you live in a warm climate where pool use is feasible year-round and whether you live in a community where most of your neighbors have swimming pools.

And do swimming pools add value to your property? To answer these others and questions, let’s take a deep dive (pun intended) into the wonderful world of swimming pools.

Considerations
Before calling your local pool installer, take a moment to consider your property’s overall suitability. Large, level lots with good soil make installation cheaper and easier, while sloping yards, high water tables and rocky or sandy terrain will add to your excavation costs. When it comes to placement, you’ll want to consider which parts of your yard get sun and shade throughout the day, where you’re willing to sacrifice any existing landscaping and how the flow from patio to pool to the house might work best.

Water
While our childhood memories may be filled with the pungent aroma of chlorine, today’s swimming pools are likely to be maintained by more earth-friendly– and less smelly– means. Saline pools have higher upfront costs but lower operating costs.

Costs
Costs for installing a swimming pool vary widely based on size, type, terrain and more. Home improvement website HomeAdvisor outlines several of the cost considerations involved for straightforward installations, pegging the price of a gunite or concrete pool at $35,000 to $100,000 with fiberglass and vinyl installations running closer to $20,000 to $60,000. The total bill for ongoing operating costs, including filtration, maintenance and heat, can reach $4,000 per year for concrete or gunite, $1,500 per year for fiberglass and $1,700 for vinyl.

With the latest innovations in pool construction, even city dwellers can enjoy their own watery paradise thanks to plunging pools, jetted lap pools and pool-jacuzzi combos– many of which can be installed within an urban townhouse roof or basement.

Construction
When it comes to swimming pool materials, homeowners have more choices than ever. While the typical poured concrete method is still popular for in-ground pools, gunite– which uses a rebar framework spray-coated with a concrete and sand mixture– is a durable option that offers excellent flexibility and shorter installation times than plain concrete. Despite its durability, however, the porous surface of gunite pools makes them more prone to algae growth than other materials, and they may require an occasional resurfacing.

In vinyl pools, a vinyl liner is applied to a structure of wood, steel, polymer or cement to create a flexible and smooth pool that is resistant to cracking and algae. Vinyl pools are customizable in terms of color, size and shape, and they are among the cheapest to install. Even with the most meticulous care, the vinyl liner will need to be replaced every 10 years or so, and owners must be diligent about spotting any tears or leaks that could cause the pool liner to shift and bubble up.

When preparing the budget, you’ll also want to plan for the paving or decking surrounding the pool, and for the cover that will go on top of the pool when it’s not in use. At high-end properties, the addition of a pool house or cabana would add to the ultimate indoor-outdoor living experience.

Another alternative is a mineral pool system which uses magnesium chloride, sodium chloride and potassium chloride to keep things clean while cutting chlorine use in half. The water in mineral pools feels silky and soft without the corrosiveness of saline systems.

Humans have been building pools as communal baths and gathering places for thousands of years, but it wasn’t until the post-World War II era that their popularity skyrocketed in residential use. In those early days, private pools were seen as a coveted luxury and a celebrity status symbol, but over time, in-ground pools have become more accessible and prevalent to all homeowners.

In vinyl pools, a vinyl liner is applied to a structure of wood, cement, polymer or steel to create a flexible and smooth pool that is resistant to cracking and algae. When preparing the budget, you’ll also want to plan for the paving or decking surrounding the pool, and for the cover that will go on top of the pool when it’s not in use. With their water use, energy use and chemicals, there’s no getting around the fact that swimming pools are an environmental concern. Now that we’ve addressed the costs and options associated with swimming pools, we must answer the question most homeowners have top of mind: Will adding a pool increase my home’s value? Chief among them is whether you live in a warm climate where pool use is feasible year-round and whether you live in a community where most of your neighbors have swimming pools.

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