Tired of schlepping to the community pool? Love to entertain? A backyard pool may seem like it would be an ultra-convenient way to cool off and welcome friends during the summer.
Think twice, though: Despite all their warm-weather appeal, pools have some serious downsides that may not be readily apparent when the temperature (and pool temptations) are high. Here are some reasons to reconsider getting a pool at home.
There Are Other Hidden Costs
The pool is expensive enough, but the quote may not include related costs: Will a retaining wall or other costly landscaping be needed? Will there be a deck for an above-ground pool, or a concrete patio for an in-ground pool? What about fancy lighting? And don’t forget all those fun accessories: diving boards, slides, pool floats — they add up.
It’s Pricey to Maintain
The expenses don’t end once the installation is over. HomeAdvisor estimates an average $190 a month going to pool maintenance, though that figure is skewed by pool owners who use professional services.
Still, DIY maintenance isn’t cheap, either: You’ll have to pony up for supplies including a skimmer, chlorine, a pH kit, a pool vacuum, filters, and a quality pool cover, ranging from $7 to almost $600.
… and Time-Consuming, Too
Do-it-yourselfers should remember that they may save on labor costs, but are still paying with their time. A pool owner can spend five to 10 hours a week maintaining a pool with skimming debris, making sure pool chemicals are in balance, and so on, according to a Money Crashers article.
Pools Pose a Safety Risk…
Roughly 10 people a day died after drowning in non-boating accidents from 2005 to 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The highest rates are for children ages 1 to 4, and most of those young victims drowned in backyard pools.
Educate yourself on how to enjoy summer safely. Even pets are at risk, from drowning or lapping up chemical-laden pool water.
Pools Are Polarizing
Who wouldn’t want a pool? Surely it will make the house an easy sell, you may think. Not so fast, real estate agents warn.
While there are some people who find a pool appealing, other would-be buyers won’t want the headaches that come with it, especially if they have small kids.
Getting rid of a pool isn’t exactly cheap, either: It could take $10,000 or more to make a typical in-ground pool disappear.