How To Decide If You Should Install A Pool In Your Backyard

Having a pool in the summer is a pretty great situation. You'll be the most popular house on the block, with plenty of friends and family members happy to allow you to play host for every get-together. Pools are not only wonderful to cool down in, but they can also be aesthetically pleasing. Today's pools come in a variety of shapes and styles, truly allowing you to make it both a functional and beautiful focal point in your yard. 

But, like any large renovation or home installation, building a pool in your backyard can also be a headache. According to Forbes, they are expensive to install and maintain. They are also unfriendly to drought and inclement weather. There are many things to consider before you install a pool in your backyard. The pro and con lists are quite long, and only after researching and weighing your options will you be able to make a decision that's truly right for your family. 

Con: Consider the cost

If you are considering installing a pool, the biggest question you have is likely related to cost. How much does it cost to install a pool, and can it be affordable? The short answer is no. Pools are never a low-budget addition to a home, and the current economic climate has shot up the costs of many supplies. According to Investopedia, the cost of pool installation ranges between $17,000 and $45,000, with the national average being $30,500. If you live in a warmer, more temperate climate, your price tag might be well above that, as pool builders and materials are in higher demand. Smaller-sized pools or pools made with cheaper materials such as vinyl or tile are typically less expensive than traditional concrete pools.  

It isn't just installation that costs a pretty penny — pool maintenance can easily run you between $500 and $4,000 each year. You will regularly need chlorine and other pool chemicals to keep the water clean and balanced, as well as pool accessories and other items you might not anticipate before you've broken ground. 

Pro: How a pool can be a money saver

While pools are expensive to install and maintain, they can also save you money in certain situations. This is especially true if you decide to sell your home. Depending upon where you live, having a pool can really increase your home value. It's all about location. According to Real Simple, home buyers will be willing to spend, on average, an extra $95,000 for a pool in Los Angeles, while the increase in Tampa is only around $30,000. On the other hand, there are regions where pools actually decrease home value. Homes with pools in Boston, for example, sold for about $15,000 less than average. 

Pools can also save you money on a monthly basis by inspiring you to use your air conditioning less as you are busy playing outside. They can also encourage you to stay at home to swim and invite over friends and family as opposed to spending money doing other activities on the weekends. Having a pool is never a frugal choice, but it can save you some money here and there if it's the right set of circumstances. 

Con: Safety risks

Safety is another consideration when you are thinking about installing a pool in your backyard. Having a pool is obviously a great perk for family and friends, but it poses a distinct liability to the homeowner as well. There are a few different safety risks that come with a pool that should be recognized before breaking ground. 

According to GMFM Law, some pool hazards to be aware of include chemical irritation, electrocution, and of course, drowning. Putting a fence around your pool is an additional expense but a worthy safety investment. Consider using a pool professional weekly or monthly to keep your pool clean and properly balance your chemicals. You might also want to have lifejackets and floaties available for guests, especially young children. 

While accidents are relatively rare, drowning is a devastating circumstance. Make sure you set rules with your family and invest in every safety precaution you can prior to getting your pool installed. 

Pro: Get exercise

Physical fitness is a huge reason to get a pool. Add this one to your pro and con list as a definite pro — water is a wonderful way to exercise and stay fit. According to The Street, a pool can double as your gym if you're a swimmer. And even if you aren't, anyone can swim laps, follow along to a water aerobics set, or simply burn calories playing with kids in the pool. 

Swimming is also a great exercise if you are recovering from an injury because the water takes the weight off of your body and allows you to recover or get in shape without putting as much strain on your bones and muscles. If you struggle to motivate yourself to get to the gym, climb into the pool instead. Swimming laps not only burns calories but it will also give you a rocking tan for summer. 

Pro: Bonding time

Having a pool can be a wonderful bonding activity for your family. From cannonballs and water basketball to relaxing and soaking while having heart-to-heart talks, there are so many ways to spend time together in the pool. Swimming gets the kids outside in an era where electronics are a focal point, and mom and dad can join in the water fun too. 

According to Medallion Energy, having a pool in your backyard is also a great way to connect with extended family. A pool can host summer barbecues, birthday parties, baby showers, and any other event you would like to share with loved ones. Even if the pool is only used by your children and their friends, this can be valuable when they are older. You will not only have your kids around more often, but you will also get to know their main influences. A pool to enjoy and a chance to be more involved in your teenager's life? Not too shabby of a deal.