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The thought of diving into the cool, pristine waters of your very own swimming pool on a sweltering summer’s day is enticing to say the least. A swimming pool can be a great addition to your home, as it provides an outlet for leisure and fitness activities while increasing the overall value of your property.
However, there are several costs and considerations you need to take into account before building a swimming pool. From purchasing costs and safety regulations to ongoing running expenses, it’s important to know exactly how deep the water is before you dive in headfirst.
Before we can take a closer look at the ins and outs of installing a pool, we first need to look at the types of pools available and decide which one is right for you. There are three types of pools you can choose from:
There are several factors you need to consider before deciding on the right pool for your home, including:
Do some research about potentially using a home equity loan if you’re planning on going all out for your pool renovation. You’ll have to factor in costs for labor, fencing, pool toys, proper filtration and much more, especially for a fiberglass or concrete in-ground pool.
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Once you’ve decided on the type of pool you want, there are still a number of decisions that need to be made to ensure that your addition is safe, affordable to maintain and suitable for your lifestyle. You’ll need to consider a wide range of factors before your pool project is complete, including all of the below.
There are two main types of pool fencing options:
Glass pool fencing often tends to be more expensive than metal fencing, especially if you want the frameless look. To give you a rough idea of costs, wrought iron fencing will set you back around $25 to $30 per linear foot, while semi-frameless glass fencing could be anywhere from $100 to $150 per linear foot.
While some countries have very strict safety guidelines surrounding pool fencing, it’s not mandatory in the US. However, Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas all have their own laws regarding pool fencing, and you’ll need to ensure you comply with all the relevant regulations.
While pool fencing isn’t required in the US, the International Code Council outlines strong safety standards for swimming pool fences:
If you want your pool to be ready for you to dive in at any moment, you’ll need to put some hard work to keep it clean. Beyond regularly removing leaves and other debris, you’ll need to consider the following cleaning system options:
There’s a lot more to keeping your pool in perfect swimming condition than just running the vacuum over it once a week. You’ll also need a filtration system to remove pollutants and other debris, as well as chemicals to kill off bacteria and maintain an acceptable level of water quality.
There are three main types of filtration systems to choose from:
You will most likely need housing for the filtration equipment to protect it from the elements.
The best way to control bacteria levels in your pool is to add chlorine, but there are a few options available for chlorination:
Chlorine is sold in granular, liquid or tablet varieties, and prices vary depending on the option you choose.
Finally, invest in a pool testing kit ($30 to $50 for good entry-level kits) so that you can check things such as the pH, alkalinity and calcium hardness of the water.
If you want to heat your pool so that it’s suitable for swimming all year round, you have three options to choose from: solar, electric or gas heating. Each system has its own advantages, but the best option depends on your climate and budget.
If you want to protect your pool from the elements, a pool cover is an essential investment.
There is a wide range of solar and thermal blankets available that trap heat in your pool, lowering your heating costs and minimizing water evaporation.
Prices start at $70 or $80 for basic leaf-blocker covers and range up to $500 for more advanced solar and thermal blankets. Expensive safety covers are also available, but you’ll need to pay well over $1,000 if you want a cover that can be deployed automatically.
There’s nothing like taking a dip to cool off on a hot summer’s night, but to do that you’ll need a lighting system in place. The right lighting will not only provide essential safety for those night-time swims, but it can also turn the pool into an attractive feature of your home.
Underwater lights can either be the traditional halogen or the more energy-efficient LED. They can be flush-mounted, meaning they’re in line with the surface of your pool, or surface-mounted, with the latter providing the benefits of easier and cheaper installation.
Then you need to consider lighting options for the surrounding garden and outdoor area, as well as feature lighting if you want to give your pool some night-time “wow factor”.
Expect underwater lights to start from around $300, but total costs vary substantially depending on the size of your pool and the lighting options you choose.
For less expensive items like lights and pool covers, consider applying for a low or no interest credit card.
If you install an in-ground swimming pool, you’ll need paving around the perimeter. The paving will obviously need to be slip-resistant and you’ll also need to take care of the pool coping.
Pool coping is available in a square-edged or bull-nosed finish, and could be limestone, sandstone, slate, granite, concrete, brick or even clay.
The cost of completing the coping and the paving to the wider pool area varies substantially depending on the size of the job and the materials chosen. The coping itself could cost anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000, but it’s best to compare quotes to find out how much paving the rest of the pool area will set you back.
Finally, for an above-ground pool you may need timber decking, which could add $1,500–$2,000 or potentially more to your total bill.
While pools undoubtedly have their benefits, there are several costs and maintenance factors you need to take into account before you can choose the right swimming pool for your home.
Having a pool is a surefire way to beat those hot summer days, however, you should look into financing for your backyard oasis before you start digging. While a home renovation can add value to your home, carefully consider how even a minor remodel could affect your family financially. If you’ve done the calculations and it’s feasible within your budget, then by all means, jump right in.
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