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The Hidden Costs of Buying & Maintaining A Swimming Pool

By on Jan 14, 2016
The Hidden Costs of Buying & Maintaining A Swimming Pool

A bright swimming pool on a sunny summer afternoon is always filled with smiles, laughs and all around fun. Swimming pools are great for the family and increasing your home’s value, but they also come with many maintenance items that will lighten your pockets.

Before installing a new outdoor swimming pool, be sure to see the most common costs of buying and maintain a swimming pool.

Costs of Inground vs. Above Ground Pools

Off the bat, all homeowners should know that inground swimming pools are more expensive to install than above ground. You will have to dig a very large hole to place the pool and this can only be done by a swimming pool professional. On average, the cost of installing a new inground swimming pool runs between $14,961 and $21,649. Choosing a pool installed at the ground level won't require excavation (save $$$). In fact, the cost of an above ground pool is typically a third of that price. They rarely cost more than $4,500 to purchase and professionally install. To see the price in your area, check out our swimming pool installation cost estimator.

Costs of Pool Materials

Like any other home remodeling project, the materials you put into it have a great effect on the durability and price. Swimming pools are no different. Solid concrete pools are at the highest end of the spectrum and are designed to last the longest. Vinyl and fiberglass pool shells, which can be simply installed rather than crafted on site, are slightly cheaper than concrete. Customized tiled pools are also expensive because of their higher labor costs.

Costs of Pool Accessories

Many families want more than your average circular swimming pool. We want action. We want more fun. We want jaw-dropping designs. We want extra pool accessories.

Swimming pool slides generally cost around $1,674 for purchase and professional installation. Diving boards, while still providing just as much fun for the kids, are far less at an average of $384.

Other common accessories like pool lighting and tile mosaics have a wide range in prices. A professional pool contractor can help you narrow it down and determine the best ones for your new pool.

Costs of Pool Maintenance

Below are the costs many homeowners don’t consider before buying a brand new swimming pool. Since the pool is exposed to the outdoors 24/7, it will require regular maintenance throughout the year. Understanding some of the most common maintenance items will help you determine the true cost of owning a swimming pool. 

Maintenance Costs of Natural Pools

Natural pools are often chosen because they use fewer chemicals and create a peaceful look on your property. While they do require less maintenance overall, they are not cost-free additions to the home. Expect to pay a minimum of $78 monthly for the maintenance of any plants in the pool, keeping the filtration system operating efficiently and cleaning debris from the surface. 

Maintenance Costs of Standard Pools

Most likely, you will be installing a standard swimming pool that will require you to maintain the water’s pH balance with chemicals. Sodium hypochlorite will raise the pool’s pH while granular acid will lower it. It’s important to test the water’s balance once a week. You should also provide additional treatment for your pool following a storm, intense heat or growing algae.

There are additional chemicals you must add to kill algae and bacteria. Chlorine is the most popular chemical. It comes in the form of liquid, tablets and a powdery substance. The tablets are often a better choice because they dissolve slowly over time and do not require much maintenance.

On average, expect maintenance to cost $178, but know that the costs will be heavily dependent on the size and quality of your pool.

Inground Swimming Pool

Costs of Pool Covers

You will not be using the pool 24/7 and therefore, need to protect it from snow, leaves and other harmful items. Every pool owner needs to have a pool cover.

One of the most affordable types are mesh pool nets that cover the tops of both inground and above ground swimming pools. While these won't necessarily warm the water or stop it from freezing, they do prevent leaves and debris from falling in and blocking the filtration system. Expect to pay anywhere from $40 to $200 for a mesh pool net cover.

Some pool covers are designed to heat the water of the pool, which makes it a viable swimming option for much of the year. These covers can be made for inground or above ground pools and they are often a thick blue insulated material. The low-end price for these covers is $139, but professional installation and high-quality solar warmth may cost as much as $1,305.

Finally, winter pool covers are designed to stay in place for several months at a time, and it secures the pool from leaves, debris or snow. Expect to pay upwards of $59 for a winter pool cover.

Cost of Resurfacing A Fiberglass Pool

Gouges, chips or cracked fiberglass pools are unsightly and not safe for children. Rather than replacing the pool entirely, bringing in professionals to resurface the material can give the pool a fresh new look. On average, resurfacing costs between $655 and $744.

Cost of Liner Replacement for Above Ground Pools

Despite its lower cost for installation, above ground pools may eventually need substantial repair. The biggest problem is a ripped liner, which will have to be replaced entirely. Expect to pay $700 for this replacement, with $500 going to the costs of labor and $200 going to the replacement liner itself.

Conclusion

You should be prepared to dedicate at least four hours a week to pool maintenance. On top of the maintenance costs, this can be a large time commitment. But remember, the hours spent in the pool will undoubtedly make it worth your while.

If you are looking for more pool tips, be sure to check out Swimming Pool Maintenance.


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