Wednesday, July 31, 2013

How Much Does it Cost to Install a Swimming Pool?

     Few home upgrades can bring more enjoyment than a built-in swimming pool. Summer soirees and family gatherings take on an extra element of fun when you can beat the heat by splashing around in clear, refreshing water. 
     Before calling a pool contractor, though, be sure you have a good idea of what a built-in swimming pool will cost in the short term and for the long haul.

Initial Cost
     Although the cost of installing a pool varies depending on what part of the country you live in, you should budget between $23,000 and $50,000 for installation.
     Some factors that determine the cost of an in-ground pool include:

Since pools are priced by the square footage, generally, the larger the pool the higher the price tag. You should expect to pay around $50 per square foot.
Though technically included in the size of the pool, the depth can make a big difference in cost. A deeper pool will require more materials and labor for digging, so deeper the pool the greater the expense.
Just like materials for your kitchen flooring can range from $8 square foot laminate to $100 square foot marble, pool materials come in levels of quality, prestige and affordability.   Fiberglass and vinyl are on the economical end of pool materials while concrete and gunite (a type of reinforced concrete) are more expensive.
Geographic Location
For the most part, a higher general cost of living means a higher price tag for your built-in swimming pool. In addition, costs of building permits vary from state to state. And of course, the market is a factor. Building a pool in Ohio might run more than building a pool in Florida or Arizona where the pool market is highly competitive.
Custom Shape
Simple geometric shapes, squares, rectangles, circles and ovals are pretty standard in swimming pools and will run about the same price, but custom shapes with complex curves and bends will be more costly.

     In addition to these five major factors that determine the cost of building your in-ground pool, many homeowners opt for extravagant extras that increase the pool’s initial cost. Some “extras” to consider include pool and walkway lighting, paved walkways and pool equipment storage. Some people even choose to put a TV and stereo system in their pool. As classy and chic as these amenities may be, they can add up fairly quickly.

Required Extra
     One added expense that will be a necessity rather than a luxury is a lockable fence around the pool. In fact, some states require pool owners to build one, and each state may even specify what types of materials can be used for building fences around swimming pools.
     The addition of a lockable fence may seem like an unnecessary added expense, but according to SafeKids Worldwide, between 50 and 90 percent of all drownings and near-drownings in backyard pools could be prevented if a four-sided fence were installed.

     The most important thing to remember when building a swimming pool is that prices can vary greatly, so be sure to get three estimates before choosing a pool contractor.

Long-Term Cost
     In addition to the initial cost of installing a pool, maintenance and upkeep has its own price whether in actual cost or the cost of your valuable time.
     A homeowner can spend between $500 and $800 annually on the chlorine and other chemicals required to keep the pool free of bacteria, algae and other microorganisms. Even if you purchase the chemicals at a discount store, the price can add up. 
     Of course you could always hire a pool company to maintain your cement pond. If you choose the professional pool cleaning route, expect to pay between $3,000 and $5,000 a year.
     Pool accessories such as liners, electric pumps and pool covers can wear out and need to be replaced, and, sometimes, the pool itself will develop cracks and leaks that require repairs.
     Though having a pool in the backyard can make family gatherings and neighborhood parties fun in the summer months, the sad reality is sometimes people sustain injuries in and around the pool. For that reason, special liability insurance is required for homeowner’s with swimming pools.
     Certainly, owning a swimming pool will make your homeowner’s insurance higher, but there are certain things you can do to help decrease those costs. For instance, building the pool in the backyard instead of the front yard decreases liability, and, therefore, the cost of insurance.

     Most real estate agents agree the return on investment for a built-in swimming pool is ambiguous, at best. If you live in a neighborhood where pools are expected, your pool needs to be as nice as or nicer than others in the area. If you live a less-prestigious neighborhood, pools can detract from the value of your home because they can be expensive and time consuming to maintain.
     Though there is much to consider when weighing the costs vs. the benefits of a built-in swimming pool, the only real consideration is the enjoyment it will bring to you and your family.

Sources: Arends, Brett, “Taking a Bath on Your Swimming Pool,” The Wall Street Journal, Aug. 2010,, How Much Does an Inground pool cost? Let’s Break it Down,, Materials and Construction, Askville by Amazon, How Much Does it Cost to Maintain a Swimming Pool?,, How Much Does it Cost to Maintain a Swimming Pool?,, Homeowners Insurance And Swimming Pools: Will They Hurt You In The End?,, How Much Does It Cost to Have an In-Ground Pool Installed?

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