Summer is here, which brings with it warm weather, long days and nights spent outside under the stars. It’s time for barbecues, summer picnics and, of course – pool parties. If you don’t have a pool at home, you might be thinking that you’re ready to install one. But is it the right choice for you and your family? Here’s what you should consider before taking the plunge.
How much does a pool cost?
Obviously, one of the first considerations is determining how much a pool is going to cost you and whether or not you can afford it. Not only do you need to think about what kind and size of pool you’d like, but also what other renovations you may need in the process, such as fencing and landscaping.
Of course, you also need to prepare for the ongoing maintenance costs associated with a pool as well as the appropriate insurance coverage you’ll need as a homeowner. Most insurers will require that you purchase additional liability coverage of at least $100,000 – but some experts recommend even more.
Will it increase the value of your home?
In terms of upgrades that you can make to your home that add to its resale value, installing a pool generally falls pretty low on the list. While many factors can play into this determination, including the area in which you live and whether or not most of the other homes have pools, installing a pool will probably even out in terms of cost vs. value. If you’re thinking about installing a pool to increase value, you’re probably better off making different renovations, like upgrading kitchens or bathrooms.
Does it offer long-term enjoyment?
If you have young children at home, having a pool can be an exciting addition to home life. But as children get older and leave home for college, how often do you anticipate using the pool? If the pool is only going to be for the children, the money you would put towards installation may be better used with a membership to a community pool or a fun summer vacation at the beach.
How often will you use a pool?
Homes in warm climates are great places to install a pool because they can practically be used year round – especially if they are heated. But in northern climates with snowy winters, the number of months that a pool can be enjoyed starts to dwindle. Take into consideration how much time each year will be spent actually utilizing the pool, and whether or not you’ll be interested in maintaining it throughout the year, even if it is unused.
What’s your personal preference?
Ultimately, deciding to install a pool is a personal preference. If you’re on the fence, then the cost and associated maintenance, as well a liability issues, may be enough of a deterrent to decide against it. But if you know all the costs and risks and you still fantasize about diving into the deep end on a hot summer’s day? Then go for it! Your biggest regret may be not doing what your heart truly desires.