For some homeowners, there is nothing better than the thought of installing a swimming pool. They have dreams of lounging in the sun and taking a cool dip when temperatures soar. While there are definite benefits of having a swimming pool at home, don’t forget about the costs involved with this upgrade.
Over the past couple of summers, I have learned a lot about caring for a swimming pool after I took the plunge (no pun intended) and installed one a few years back. Here are a few potential expenses that you don’t want to over overlook:
1. It takes water to fill a swimming pool. I know this sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people overlook this expense. Although you may never drain your pool, you will still have to add water from time to time. I added water on two occasions over the past six months. The first was when I opened the pool for the summer. The second was in August, after a dry spell evaporated a good amount of water over a two week period. As you can imagine, my water bill was significantly higher after both fill-ups.
Tip: If your water bill is high due to filling your pool, call the water company and explain your situation. My water company deducted $20 or so since I was only using the water, but not the “sewage service.”
2. You will use additional electricity. From the day I open my pool until the day it closes, I use the filter for hundreds upon hundreds of hours. As you can imagine, this will increase the amount of electricity that you use. When you combine this with the fact that you probably have your air conditioner on, your electricity bill will sky rocket during the hot summer months.
What if I don’t use the filter? If you never turn the filter on, you may be able to save on electricity, but this will also result in poor water quality. And as you can imagine, that is not something you want to deal with.
3. Pool chemicals are expensive. From chlorine tablets to “Shock” to pH plus, you will spend more than $100 every summer in chemicals. If you are going to keep a safe, clean pool, you definitely need to use these chemicals on a regular basis.
4. Repairs come up from time to time. Fortunately, I have not been faced with any big repairs to this point. Of course, I know they are coming in the future. Major repairs can cost $1,000 or more. Items such as a filter and liner can be very expensive. Along with the cost of the item, you will have to pay a professional for labor if you cannot install it yourself.
5. Time, time, and more time. Don’t underestimate the amount of time that you will spend on pool related maintenance. Almost every night I am out at the pool for 30 to 45 minutes, skimming the water and making sure that it has the proper chemical balance. If you are the type of person who does not have a lot of time, you must consider this detail.
At this point, you may be wondering if you want to deal with the cost of having a swimming pool at home. While it is definitely convenient, there are many expenses that you will incur year in and year out.
Rather than buy a home with a pool or install one at your current residence, you may want to consider local options. Is there a community pool close by that you can join? While a lot of it has to do with the pool itself and where you live, an individual summer membership at a local pool usually doesn’t cost more than $100 to $150. If you have a family, you can get an even better deal on the overall cost.
Don’t get me wrong, I love having a swimming pool at home. It is convenient, and I actually enjoy some of the work. Just remember that there are many expenses that will come up on a regular basis that may make you think twice.
(photo credit: titlap)