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Putting in a Pool? What to Think About Beforehand

May 17, 2021

Adding a pool to your home sounds great as we enter the summer months. It would be hard to beat swimming with your family and friends along with a barbeque, including some cool drinks to go with it all.

However, it’s wise to consider the full cost of installing and maintaining a pool. We’ve pulled together a few quick facts to help jump-start your consideration.

What Type of Pool?

There is a long list of types of pools. That includes above-ground or in-ground. Then it goes on to building materials, sizes, and types of pools. We’ll limit our discussion to in-ground pools. Here are the three materials used for in-ground pools along with building costs, maintenance costs, and expected lifetime. 

Material

Average Cost

Annual Maintenance

Expected Lifetime

Concrete/Gunite

$35,000 to $65,000

$2,700 to $4,000

50 to 100 years

Fiberglass

$20,000 to $60,000

$500 to $1,500

25+ years

Vinyl Lined

$20,000 to $40,000

$1,100 to $1,700

Replace the liner at 10 years

Data Source: Home Advisor

 

What Size Pool?

Of course, the size of your pool will also factor into the costs. Prices for in-ground pool construction run from $50 to $125 per square foot. That’s with a depth of six-and-a-half feet. If you choose a deeper pool—the Red Cross recommends at least nine feet for diving—the costs will climb substantially. Here’s what the costs look like for various sizes at a mid-range $85 per square foot at the standard depth.

Key Factors to Consider 

As you can tell, installing a pool is a significant investment. That means you should start the project by taking into account all the key factors before hiring anyone.

  • Do you really want a pool? As you can tell from the chart above, a pool is an expensive proposition. Then there are the ongoing maintenance tasks you can either do yourself or hire a pool company. How often will you be using the pool? These are all things to consider before embarking on a costly and lengthy project.
  • Establish your budget first. After you start looking at all the options available, all of which look fabulous, the price can quickly escalate. Establish your overall budget well before you start talking to contractors. This will help keep you on the right path for the pool that fits your budget.
  • Determine the features you want. The list of pool features is long. Consider waterfalls, fountains, heaters, lighting, decks, shade, and more. It might be wise to prioritize your list of those items you must have and those that would be merely nice to have. That can help you trim costs to fit your budget.
  • Determine your space needs. Most people spend more time sitting around the pool than actually in the pool. Make sure you have sufficient space for the features you’ve listed, as well as a patio, walking areas around the pool, any landscaping, and for the needed pool pump, filter, and other equipment.
  • Consider the landscaping requirements. If you have a slope to your yard, you’ll probably need to adjust it to compensate for any rain runoff. You don’t want the rain to wash dirt and debris into your pool. You may also need retaining walls and other landscaping just to fit the pool into your yard. That would also include tree and rock removal.
  • Review installation access. This is something to take up with your potential contractors. How will they access your property with excavation equipment, concrete pouring, and so on? If you have a yard that’s tough to get to, it could increase the costs substantially.
  • Get quotes from three to four contractors. It’s essential to get quotes from multiple contractors. Ideally, those should be ones that friends and neighbors have worked with and recommend. While it may be tempting to extend your search to more contractors, that can become more confusing than helpful. It’s best to stick with just a few quotes.
  • Read the quotes and the contracts. Spend time thoroughly reviewing the proposed contracts to fully understand what’s included and what’s not included. Make sure everything you discussed is included. Verbal agreements don’t work; they must be in writing. This is also the time to verify the pool warranty and talk with contractor references.
  • Required permits, fees, codes, and restrictions. Your contractor will probably take care of permitting, include fees in their estimate, and take into account the codes and restrictions in your area. For example, safety features, such as fencing, may be required. It’s best to make sure all that is covered in your contract. 
  • Contact your homeowner’s insurance company. Installation of a pool may impact your insurance premium. It’s best to contact your insurer to make sure everything is covered and that they are aware of the project.

All of that is a great deal to consider. It’s also wise to take into account any impact the pool and its installation may have on your existing concrete walks, driveways, and even your home’s foundation. You don’t want pool construction to adversely impact your basement or crawl space. 

As you consider your options for pool installation, the experts at Groundworks can help review any potential impact on your home’s foundation. Sign up for a free inspection from your local foundation repair experts.