During these times of prolonged social distancing, and with summer right around the corner, many families are considering putting in a (new) pool. If you have been hoping to do the same, there are a few things to look at before taking that step.
1. Decide which type of pool is right for your family
In the planning stage, one of the first things to figure out is what kind of pool you will be installing. The two main types are in-ground or above ground pools. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. The decision will largely depend on your budget, as in-ground pools are significantly more expensive. But there are other factors to consider, too.
If you are truly hoping to have the pool ready in time for this summer, for instance, an in-ground pool is probably not the right choice as it could take several months to complete, especially with contractors experiencing delays in some areas due to COVID-19. However, if you are looking more long-term and are hoping to increase home value, an in-ground pool can be a terrific investment.
2. Plan where to put the pool
Depending on the layout and overall size of your property, there may or may not be many options for a location. If there are, it is important to think carefully about where you would like it to be. Think about the logistics as well as aesthetics. Can large equipment access the desired site of the pool, or are there obstructions that may create issues? Is the property sloped in some areas? Do you prefer more shade, or to have maximum sun exposure? And how visible will the pool be from inside your home, as well as from the street and neighboring homes?
3. Consider safety concerns
While it is easy to get caught up in the excitement of a pool, they can pose some dangers and these need to be considered in depth before installing your pool. Obviously strictly blocking children’s access to the pool without your supervision is of the highest importance, as well as keeping the chemicals at proper levels, but there are numerous other things to consider, too.
Check out this list of rules to ensure kid safety near and in the pool.
4. Count the cost
You’ll definitely want to have an estimation of your budget as you make all the previous decisions. But once you’re certain of the type of pool and all the additions or changes you may need to make to have it safely installed, you should be getting a pretty good picture of what the total initial cost will be.
But don’t forget about the ongoing costs of maintaining a pool. One of the biggest mistakes people make when planning a family pool is budgeting only for the initial build. Avoid this by researching all the costs of maintenance and planning accordingly. For instance, there is the increased utility cost of adding water—this can be much higher for an in-ground pool, potential rise in your home insurance, as well as life and liability insurance. It’s also wise to budget for future repairs, as these can often come unexpectedly and tend to be a bit costly.
But if you plan for these extra expenses, and leave room in the budget—perhaps by compromising some luxury features that aren’t as important, you can avoid any unnecessary financial headache.
A pool can be a terrific investment and might be just what your family needs to feel a sense of normal during not-so-normal times. Just be sure to plan responsibly and prioritize safety, and you’ll be ready for many years of summer fun!
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