I don’t know about you, but summer time is my favorite time of year! Going to cookouts, packing up for beach days, spending long lazy days basking in the rays of the sun and getting to take some breaks from the heat by taking a dip in a swimming pool! If you are lucky enough to have your own or are thinking about the purchase of one to your property, there are some things you need to consider.
First and foremost, if you are contemplating the purchase of a pool, do NOT expect the pool to change your home’s value. Some folks LIKE pools, but equally as many DO NOT. Adding a pool to your property will add nothing to the bottom line value of the home’s appraisal. Unless you have the money sitting around or have ample equity in your home, you will not be able to recoup the expense of the addition. So, bottom line – if you are going to add a pool to your property make sure you really want one and you will use it!
There are many costs that come with the ownership of a pool that many don’t think about. It doesn’t matter how large or small it is, or whether the pool is above ground or in-ground. If it holds water, you will need to TREAT that water. Salt water pools are fantastic and relatively easy to care for. The salinator on a pool takes salt and converts it to chlorine and circulates it through the pool. While this sounds effortless, and often is, the upfront costs of the addition of this can be costly. If you do not have a salinator you will need to treat the water with chlorine tabs or bromine, which can be an eye-opening expense, especially upon initial purchase. Having had many types of pools in my life, I will say that salt water is easier and less harmful on the eyes than straight up chlorine and it leaves your skin feeling soft, but the upfront costs were a bit pricey. Chlorine and bromine based pools were cheaper upfront to put in, but over time, you spend more in chemical maintenance. So it really is a personal choice in how you choose to spend your money.
My friend Tom Vanburg who recently purchased an in-ground pool himself said that you will also need to have your water tested weekly, regardless of the type of pool you may own. He owns a company that has nothing to do with pools, but he services both Virginia Beach and Chesapeake VA areas, so he’s seen plenty of other pools and spoke with homeowners there about their pool ownership struggles and took on their advice. He also mentioned that a professional pool store will test your water for free and give you pointers and suggestions on chemicals to add to extend the life of your pool and keep the water clear and clean. The purchase of chemicals like flocculants, alkalinity, PH balancers (plus or minus), algaecide or shock can cause a new pool owner’s wallet to go into cardiac arrest. But with direction from a professional you can be directed on what to purchase that is necessary for your pool’s particular needs. Tom also referenced this article regarding best and worst trees to plant around your pool, since it’s his area of expertise.
If you’ve read a bunch of scary thing about pools, don’t listen! Be sure to take all necessary precautions when building to avoid things like this:
If you have the money to spend, it might be worth your while to hire a pool professional to come to your home at the beginning and end of each season to help you prepare the pool for the season. At the beginning of the season, your pool might need to be balanced and cleaned before you can swim in it – and if it’s bad – it can take awhile for the water to become swimmable. At the end of the season, winterizing the system and the pool would be a good way to extend the life of the pool and equipment and make for a simpler opening the following season. Unless you have the know how to do this yourself, hiring someone with the professional experience may be your best bet.