By Nancy Mattie, CTW Features
If you can envision yourself happily floating aimlessly in your backyard pool or playing Marco Polo with the kids on hot summer days, now’s the time to investigate what it would take to install a pool on your property. Here are some things to consider:
Buying a pool doesn’t come cheap: According to Forbes Advisor, the average cost to install an inground pool is $35,000. Once you’ve gotten it installed, you’ll have to pay to maintain it, whether you plan on doing the work yourself or hiring a pool service.
2. Backyard suitability
There are many factors to take into account when thinking about getting a pool. Do you have enough room out back for the pool size you want? Can the builder’s trucks and machinery get easy access to your yard? Do you have the right soil consistency? Make sure you ask yourself, and any contractors these questions before putting any deposits down.
A key responsibility for a pool owner is regularly monitoring the water’s chemical levels to keep the water clean and safe. “Without proper maintenance, pathogens like Cryptosporidium and E. coli can grow,” says Sabeena Hickman, president, and CEO of the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance. They could potentially make you sick. “Poor water quality, such as low circulation, also creates ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes, other pests, and the diseases they may carry.”
Another maintenance chore: removing debris like insects and leaves so they don’t interfere with the pool’s filter.
What’s your dream pool? The many possibilities include having a sloping pool entrance or steps, maybe even a tanning ledge, a mosaic pattern on the pool’s floor, a swim-up bar, wooden decking, and a center island. You can also include water features like waterfalls, fountains or even a water slide.
You have a choice of material to construct your pool with—fiberglass, vinyl, or concrete. Hickman says that which one you choose depends on budget, location, size of the pool, aesthetic preferences, and what the pool will mostly be used for. Plan on meeting with several builders or installers to talk over your wish list and what type of pool will best fit your needs.
How can you keep a pool safe for children and pets? Hickman’s group advocates having undistracted adult supervision at the pool at all times and having secure barriers in place such as fencing, drain covers, and alarms. Tell children before they get in the pool that there is a no diving rule, which the supervising adults should enforce. Also, take all pool toys out of the water and store in a safe place when pool time is over, so children and pets aren’t tempted to get back into the water later to retrieve a toy.
Will it bother you if your neighbors can see your pool and its occupants? If the answer is yes, plan on using landscaping such as trees and shrubs to block the view. Fencing will work as well. You may want to consider also adding a shaded area nearby to get some sun-relief, even while you may be supervising kids or other swimmers.
Some cities and towns require homeowners to get a permit before breaking ground. Licensed local builders will know what’s required in your area but you could also check with your municipality for details.