Is a Pool Worth it? What to Know Before You Install

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Australians are known for their love of sports and athleticism. In fact, 9.3 million Australians participate in at least one sport!

And do you know which sport Australians participate in the most?

Swimming!

Over 6 million Australians swim, which is more than any other sport, according to a recent survey. Swimming in Australia has mass appeal as women and men both participate in the sporting activity.

And with this widespread love of swimming, it’s no surprise that at least 12% of the Australian population live in homes with private pools – which is more swimming pools per capita than anywhere else in the world!

On top of that, about 90% of Aussies believe that home pools add property value.

But is that really true? Do private home pools actually add up? Most importantly, are they really worth it?

Before you invest in a home pool, make sure you know the facts!    

Home Pool Considerations

There are lots of things to consider before installing a home pool. Ask yourself these questions before you commit:

1. Why do I want a pool?

What is your intended purpose for your pool? How you plan to use your pool will ultimately determine other details about the installation. For example, if you plan to use your pool to swim laps for exercise, you will want to install a pool that is rectangular and long enough to get an efficient workout. Or, maybe you should consider an Endless Pool.

However, if you want your pool to be more of an entertainment area or a play place for children, you could consider pools with more abnormal shapes and varying depths.

2. What is my budget?

Considering the wide range in costs and knowing and sticking to your budget is very important when installing a pool. The average in-ground, concrete pool will cost about $50,000 to install, while an above ground pool will be substantially less – closer to around $15,000. Of course, pool size, depth, construction materials, and amenities (like slides and fountains) also contribute to the costs of a home pool.

3. Do I have space for a pool?

Many newer homes have smaller backyards. These size restrictions could severely limit your options in choosing and installing a private home pool. The good news is that pools come in all sizes, and, odds are, you will be able to find one to suit the size of your backyard. If you have an exceptionally small yard space, you could even consider installing a home spa.

It’s also important to consider the layout and slope of your yard. If your backyard is not completely flat, you may not be able to get a totally in-ground pool without extensive excavation, grading, and retaining walls – which will add to your costs.  

4. What are the local regulations of my area?

You should make sure to contact your local council as soon as you start thinking about installing a pool. There are several regulations that go along with pool installations and renovations. Make sure that you are able to meet them and include them in your planning process. \

5. Is DIY an option?

If you are planning and installing an above ground pool, DIY could be an option. Be aware that pool installations are not for the faint of heart or for those without construction experience, but they could save you a lot of money.

6. Do I have the right contractor?

If DIY is not right for you, it is imperative that you choose the right contractor.

You should make sure that your pool installation will come with a sufficient warranty and that your contractor has adequate insurance. After all, you don’t want your contractor to do severe damage to your home and/or yard only for you to never hear from him or her again.

With that, you should also make sure that your contractor provides a detailed quote and that you understand all of the line items in that quote. Don’t settle for just a lump-sum estimation or proposal. Make sure that you understand exactly what you are paying for.

It is also important to make sure that you have evidence of your contractor’s abilities and feel comfortable with his or her past work performance. Get your information through customer reviews, testimonials, referrals, and portfolios.

7. Have I evaluated any safety concerns?

While pools can be a fun and beautiful addition to a home, they are also a source of immediate danger.

In Australia, there were 21 drowning deaths of children between 0-4 years in 2015-2016. Fifty-two percent of those deaths occurred in swimming pools.

So, it is of the utmost importance to ensure that the people in your home are safeguarded if you do decide to install a pool.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

While most Australians think that adding a pool will be a great investment, it is important to look at the total cost versus benefits of owning a pool.

In addition to the initial installation costs, homeowners must consider the additional upkeep costs to keep their pools operational. And considering that a pool can account for up to 30% of your yearly energy bill, those upkeep costs can get quite expensive.

Considering the costs to run the pump, heat the pool, keep the pool full, and maintain the pool; homeowners spend around $1,400 a year to keep their pools functional, beautiful, and safe.

And that average yearly running cost does not consider unforeseen costs, such as equipment breakdowns, inspection fees, and other regulatory costs.

Furthermore, contrary to popular belief, adding a pool will not necessarily add value to your home.

If you live in a cooler climate, you might notice that not many homes have pools installed. That is likely because they are not in demand in your area. In fact, they could work against you, as people who do not want a home pool will automatically cross those with them off of their home search list.

If you live in a warmer climate and near water, you may notice that a lot of homes have pools installed. This is probably because in these seaside communities, the water is a way of life. In these cases, adding a pool might not necessarily add value to your resale, but not having a pool could decrease your home’s value.

But ultimately, the decision to install a home pool should revolve more around your personal preference and lifestyle as opposed to whether or not it could add value to your house. As with all renovations, you should make your decisions based on what will make you the most comfortable in your space. If you are an avid swimmer, then a pool might do the trick. However, if you only swim a few times a year, the cost of this addition is probably not worth it.

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