Everybody, into the pool! But not quite yet. You already know that buying a pool is a great way to increase your home’s value and have fun at the same time. By one estimate, there are 10.4 million residential pools in the United States, so you’ll be in good company once your pool is up and running. However, these things are also expensive, and you need to be fully prepared for all aspects of owning a pool. Here are some questions to ask yourself while getting ready to sign on the dotted line.
How Often Will I Use It?
Arizona comes out on top when you rank the states based on the number of pool service companies per capita. Florida is second, followed by Nevada, but there are some surprises on the list as well.
Take New Jersey, for instance. It’s surprisingly easy to find a swimming pool contractor in New Jersey, as it ranks ninth on the list. People in the Garden State love to swim, even if they have to close down the pool earlier than someone who lives in Florida. That suggests that the length of summertime doesn’t matter as much as your enthusiasm for swimming. You could even argue that pool owners in New Jersey will appreciate their backyard pool more than a homeowner in Arizona who knows that they can use their pool pretty much any time of the year. Scarcity has a way of creating value.
Who Can Access It?
Close your eyes and imagine a shimmering pool on a warm July day. Whom do you picture swimming in it? Will you limit it to just family members and close friends, or are you OK with owning a pool that’s open to your neighbors as well?
This is an important question, because adding a pool makes you potentially liable for any injuries that happen in or around said pool. You can’t just open it up and hope for the best. For one thing, your insurance company may want you to install a fence around the pool area. A fence is a way to keep random people from wandering into your backyard and falling into your pool. And don’t assume you can install a diving board, either. You may think it’s fun, but your insurance company looks at that diving board and sees an enormous liability—one so enormous that many companies will cancel your coverage.
This isn’t to say a pool isn’t worth it, because it is. But we live in a world full of civil lawsuits, and you have to make sure that you protect yourself. No one plans a swimming pool accident, but they still happen. In the summer of 2017, at least 163 children age 15 or younger drowned in a pool or spa. The majority of those kids were younger than age five. You have to protect your kids, but you must also take reasonable measures to protect other kids with access to your pool area.
Will I Maintain It Myself?
Pool maintenance is a dirty job, but somebody has to do it. All the chlorine in the world won’t matter if you aren’t regularly looking at the chemical levels inside your pool. The Centers for Disease Control recommends checking chlorine concentration and pH levels at least twice a day.
You should be able to perform basic pool maintenance on your own, but there’s no law that says you can’t hire a pool service company to come out once or twice a week and do things like remove debris. Budget for it like you would any other home maintenance bills. Whether you’re hiring a roofing company in Howe, IN or a pool cleaning company in Miami, your goal should be to take care of your home without going into a lot of debt.