Deciding to install a permanent, in-ground pool in your backyard is a huge commitment. Not only does it cost thousands of dollars, it alters the way you spend your time in your backyard and consider child and guest safety.
Let’s talk about how you can decide if you’re really ready (and committed) to the idea of an in-ground pool or if you’re better off sticking with a temporary inflatable option that costs substantially less. Here are some tips for making a smart decision.
1. Consider Your Children’s Safety
If you don’t have children, you can probably skip this consideration. However, if you do have young ones, this is the first and most important thing to think about besides price when installing a pool.
According to the CDC, roughly ten people die from unintentional drowning every day – and two out of those ten are under the age of 14. It’s extremely common for children to fall into pools and enter dangerous situations when not supervised by adults.
When you’re planning to install a permanent pool, you can’t just think about adult supervision – you need to think about gates, pool alarms, floaties, and other protection measures you’ll implement to keep your children safe.
If this sounds too risky or like too much work for your family, you might be better off sticking with an inflatable pool that you can put up and take down as often as you want. Instead of posing a perpetual threat to children, inflatable pools are low-risk simply because they aren’t always full.
Another option – if you’re hesitant to commit to a traditional in-ground pool – is to think about setting up a more permanent above-ground pool. Although it will still be present 24/7, an above-ground pool is often easier to protect with gates, stairs, and walls.
Now, implementing a permanent above-ground pool setup should not be done lightly. Be sure you take the time to weigh your options, constraints, usability, etc. Do yourself a favor and look into an above ground pool guide to learn more.
2. Think About Your Local Climate
We’re not going to lie – some people will get substantially more use out of a pool than others. For instance, if you live in Texas, you might use your pool almost daily during the blistering summers. If you live in Michigan, on the other hand, a pool would not see as big of a return.
Considering that the average inground pool installation cost is somewhere around $50,000, you need to feel extremely confident that your investment will be worthwhile in the years to come. If you’ll really only use the pool a couple of months out of the entire year, are you okay shelling out tens of thousands of dollars upfront?
That’s not even considering how a permanent pool will raise your water bill or require fixes, cleaning, and maintenance for years to come, all of which cost money. A pool isn’t just an upfront purchase – it’s an investment you take care of for the long haul.
Another thing to evaluate is how much a pool increases your home’s value and/or draw depending on where you live.
As this article on Investopedia points out, adding a pool to a home in a warm area where most other homes have pools will give potential buyers a better comparison between your house and others. Having a pool isn’t just a leg up – it’s something you’ll need to compete.
However, if only a few other people in your area have pools, yours could still boost your home value substantially. It’s up to you to determine if that value boost is worth spending thousands on upfront, especially if you live in a place where you won’t use the pool as frequently as you’d like.
So, at the end of the day, you need to consider if (a) you’ll use your in-ground pool enough to feel that it’s a worthwhile investment and (b) if the pool will boost your home value enough to make it a smart installment.
3. Ask Yourself Why You Want a Pool
At face value, this question sounds a bit silly. Why do I want a pool? Because who doesn’t want a pool to swim in, relax by, and entertain guests with?
What we mean is to consider your reason for wanting a permanent pool. Temporary pools can provide a fun time for guests and give you a similar experience for thousands of dollars less – so why do you want an in-ground pool instead?
There are numerous reasons why you might consider installing a permanent pool. Maybe you want to raise the value of your property, like we talked about in the point above. Perhaps you want to make your backyard more aesthetically pleasing, or you’re tired of blowing up and taking down temporary inflatable pools every summer.
Whatever your reason is, you need to be aware of it upfront. Don’t fall prey to installing a pool just because you want some summer glamour or you feel like it’s something every homeowner needs.
Pools require a great deal of maintenance and spending. If you’re not 100 percent committed to your reason for wanting to install one, then you might be better off sticking with temporary or semi-permanent pools that aren’t such a huge investment.
Having said all that, if having a pool in your backyard is your dream, that’s great! Just be totally aware of the costs that come with it so that nothing takes you by surprise in the installment process or beyond.
Hopefully, this piece has given you some great food for thought as you consider installing an in-ground pool, above-ground pool, or a temporary blow-up option. All are great, but they work for different people and circumstances.
Before you make that call to your pool contractor, ensure you’re totally aware of all the costs, maintenance tasks, and risks that come with owning a pool. The more you know in advance, the more committed you can be to your investment in the long-run.