Things to Consider When Planning an Outdoor Pool
An outdoor swimming pool is a major investment to make. There are a number of considerations that will determine the viability of this project. If you want a pool in your backyard, keep reading. We cover everything from the cost of installation to your insurance cover.
Above or in the Ground?
You have a choice to make between an above-ground pool and an in-ground pool. Both carry different advantages and disadvantages.
An above-ground pool is installed rather than built. They’re more economical and people can build them by themselves with the right level of expertise.
The most basic pools are small and don’t require filtration equipment. These splasher pools can cost less than a thousand dollars. Larger above-ground pools can include decking, accessories, and filtration equipment.
In-ground pools do carry larger expenses. They’re placed into a hole in the ground. You need to consider fencing, patios, and other safety features. Most basic in-ground pools start at about $20,000.
They do tend to last longer and are less of an eyesore in the yard, though. You can also do far more with them, in terms of lighting and fountains.
You have to think about more than the cost of installing a new pool. There are so many potential on-going expenses. Make sure your budget adequately covers these monthly expenses.
Chemicals – Chemicals keep the pool clean and safe. The costs depend on how big the pool is. An average pool might have chemical costs ranging from $50-$100 per month.
Opening Up – Each summer, you’ll need to open the pool up again. This requires a professional with the right expertise. It can cost up to $300 for every opening/closing.
Maintenance – The interior finish will be the main maintenance expense. Vinyl liners last for about five years. Any concrete paint lasts five years. A plaster finish could last up to ten years. These are less common expenses, but you still have to take them into account.
Equipment – It’s impossible to give you an idea of your equipment costs here. There are so many brands and quality levels. Check out your local pool equipment supplier for more information on this. Equipment costs are largely dictated by how well you take care of your equipment.
Utility Bills – Utility bills tend to rise each year. Monitor your bills and budget for any increases. Also consider switching suppliers, if your current supplier’s costs are too high.
Will Your Pool Work?
Swimming pool builders need to know that your yard is suitable for a pool. This is a job for an expert that will require a contractor. They need to measure the soil type, the gradient of the land, and the yard’s dimensions.
There are also practical aspects to the building process. One consideration is can a contractor get their construction equipment inside?
Get someone to inspect your yard first. Your only option might be a specific type of pool. And if you have rocky soil, this will change the construction process, which could make it more expensive.
How Big is the Pool?
Your pool size is entirely up to you. You’re only constrained by the size of your yard. Decide whether you want to retain any grassy areas for flowers and other plants.
Make sure your contractor has the latest zoning information. The chances are you’ll need a permit for a pool. Any swimming pool buildersneed to know how to apply for a permit.
Who’s Going to Build My Pool?
Unless you’re an expert, we don’t recommend attempting to build a pool yourself. The potential cost associated with something going wrong is too high.
Shop around as much as you can. Talk to any candidates over the phone and ask them pointed questions.
Here are some of the aspects you should consider when looking for a contractor:
Do they have a good reputation in the local area?
How long have they been installing pools?
Do they have a portfolio of previous work they can show you?
How much are they asking up front? You should never have to pay the full amount before the work has been completed
Is the work completed by them or people they subcontract to?
The Construction Times
Construction times largely depend on the size of the pool and the restrictions of your yard. If you’re in a hurry to have a pool completed for summer, this can become a determining factor.
Building a pool tends to be a dirty job, especially if it’s in-ground. Beware that your yard might become a mud bath if Mother Nature refuses to play along.
Generally, in-ground pools can take about 12 weeks to install (maximum). Above-ground pools take anywhere from a few hours to a few days.
Please remember that these timings are rough guidelines. If there are special requirements for your yard, it could take longer. And these timings don’t take into account applying for any required permits.
What about Insurance?
If someone gets injured in your pool, you need insurance cover. Your homeowners insurance package will cover swimming pools. You do need to talk to your provider about your pool, though.
Be prepared for a rise in premiums. Some insurers have policies where they will increase premiums. If it’s a big rise, think about switching insurers.
You have to tell your insurers about your new pool. If you don’t, and someone does get injured, this can be grounds for the insurer refusing to pay for the claim.
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