In the heat of the summer months, it’s natural to find yourself daydreaming about how amazing it would be to soak and splash in your own pool. The options are virtually endless in terms of size, style, intended use and maintenance needs, though matching these to your lifestyle is perhaps the most important fit. Let’s look at your options and how they may affect your choices.
Pools and property values
It’s difficult to anticipate exactly how adding a pool impacts your home’s value. Much depends on your neighbourhood, the current value of your home and your pool’s installation costs — and in some cases, it could be seen as a hazard to families with small children. Experts expect that a pool will add, at most, 7% to your home’s value. That’s about $21,000 on a $300,000 home, which doesn’t recoup the professional installation cost of an inground pool, which starts around $35,000. Of course, this calculation doesn’t factor the intangibles of enjoyment. Don’t forget to consider what using the pool is worth to you and your family.
Three types of pools
When it comes to inground pools, you have three choices for construction. Vinyl liner, fibreglass and concrete designs represent the price scale from low to high, but the cost of installation is only one consideration. For instance, a large family who hosts frequent pool parties may be drawn to concrete construction, which offers larger pool sizes than fibreglass.
Choosing a pool construction type is a matter of balancing factors for each style. Let’s take a quick look at the primary pros and cons of each.
1. Vinyl liner pools
• Lowest installation cost.
• Smoother surface than concrete pools.
• Requires less chemical maintenance than concrete.
• Great for use with chlorine or saltwater systems.
• Replacement liners needed every five to nine years.
• Least durable pool construction.
2. Fibreglass pools
• Lowest lifetime ownership and maintenance costs.
• Smoothest available surface finish.
• Shapes aren’t customizable.
• Sizes are limited to manufacturers’ options.
• Initial cost is higher than vinyl.
3. Concrete pools
• Completely customizable in shape and size.
• Widest range of feature options.
• Concrete surface requires higher chemical usage.
• Most maintenance-intensive pool design – often requiring patching and re-sealing over the seasons.
• Slowest pool design to install.
When you have the resources to go upscale in your backyard oasis, it’s certainly easy to take your pool from super to spectacular. As for the planning stage, this is where your imagination can take flight. Customizing your pool may dictate the choice of construction but shopping around may reveal some luxe upgrades as factory options. Some of our favourite high-end features are:
• Beach entry Also called a walk-in pool or zero-entry pool, instead of stairs, you enter your pool through a gradual slope, as you would at the beach. While you may not feel the sand between your toes, this upscale twist is also a bonus for those with little ones or who have mobility issues making ladders and stairs harder to use.
• Water features From a fountain focal point to a full-on waterfall, the sound of splashing water sets an aural stage for your pool area. You can go modest or major here, incorporating the feature in the pool or the surrounding area.
• Decks and landscaping Plopping a water-filled hole in the backyard leaves you with a water-filled hole in the backyard if you don’t consider blending its aesthetic with a landscape design that shows it off. It’s not only about beauty. Decks and patios provide the perfect platform to lounge or dry off and extend the pool party vibe once everyone is out of the water.
There are plenty of pool options to consider if you’re thinking about taking the plunge. But if you’re not quite ready for a permanent plunge, don’t underestimate the appeal of cooling off in a low-maintenance inflatable.