NOTE: THIS IS THE FIRST IN A SERIES OF FOUR ARTICLES FOR THOSE WHO ARE CONSIDERING A SWIMMING POOL. THE NEXT ARTICLES WILL BE:
- THE PROS & CONS OF POOL OWNERSHIP
- NOW IS THE TIME TO START PLANNING THAT NEW POOL: DON’T WAIT ANY LONGER
- HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BUILD A POOL?
- TIPS ON HOW TO SELECT A POOL CONTRACTOR
Most home improvement contractors, including pool builders, have been very busy over the last 3-4 years. The main driver was the pandemic and the desire to improve the home, which is where most people were spending their time. Other drivers were the growth of the DFW area and also low interest rates. Now that the pandemic appears to be over and interest rates have increased, the demand for home improvement seems to be returning to pre-pandemic levels.
While many people in the area already have pools, others are trying to decide whether or not they should have a pool installed. Pool enthusiasts will tell you that life is too short and too fragile to spend it without a swimming pool. For these pool owners, it is hard for them to consider not having a swimming pool. On the other hand, there are pool owners that would probably be better off without a swimming pool. Not taking the time to enjoy or maintain the pool are the primary reasons that some are simply better off without a swimming pool.
A few years ago, at the International Pool/Spa/Patio Expo, I attended a seminar presented by Brett Abbott in which he presented a Gallup Survey of existing pool owners. A couple of the survey findings that surprised me were the responses to the following questions:
- “How often do you use your pool?”
- 90% of current pool owners use their pool at least once per week.
- “Would you ever get another pool?”
- Only 10% said “probably not”.
Even though these survey results speak very favorable for swimming pool ownership, pools are definitely not for everyone. Owning a swimming pool is a commitment that takes time, much like having a motor home, boat, or lake house. If you use them, they can be great. On the other hand, if you don’t use them, they can be a real hassle.
Therefore, I offer you a list of pros and cons when considering if you should move forward with a swimming pool.
Family: This is probably the biggest reason for the popularity of pools—swimming and being around the pool together is enjoyable and encourages family togetherness. Many family memories (parties, poolside weddings, prom pics, etc.) have been made while enjoying a backyard swimming pool and the environment that it provides.
Entertaining: Backyard cookouts become even better when you have a pool to keep the guests entertained. In addition, celebrating birthday parties, anniversaries, holidays, you name it, there is no better place to celebrate a special occasion than poolside.
Lifestyle: Relaxing by the pool is another common reason that pools continue to be popular. Poolside reading and meditating are popular activities that are usually not considered when purchasing a pool, but surprisingly so, are very common once the pool is installed.
Convenience: Being able to stay home to beat the heat is much more desirable than having to go to another location to enjoy a swimming pool. Nothing satisfies the mind and body more than a refreshing dip in the pool on a hot day after mowing or working in the yard.
Aesthetics: Pools have evolved into the centerpiece of the backyard. A pool that is designed properly and landscaped properly can be stunning.
Health: This has become an increasingly popular reason to own a swimming pool. Swimming has been rated at or near the top of the list of favorite recreational activities for many years. Lap swimming and water aerobics are very common, but there are also medical benefits of weight control and heart and lung conditioning.
Time: Many people are so busy that having something that they do not use does not make sense—this can be said for a motor home, boat, lake house, etc. If you are rarely at home, then a swimming pool is probably not for you.
Lifestyle: Oftentimes people think that if they had a pool, they would be home more or they would exercise more. If you really believe that you would, maybe you are correct. But most of the time, simply getting a pool does not change your lifestyle any more than buying a pair of running shoes makes you a runner.
Financial: There are several costs of owning a swimming pool. Typically, pools are financed—a $100,000 loan at 10% for 15 years creates a monthly payment due of approximately $1,075. In addition, monthly chemical and utility costs (electricity and water) are approximately $125-$175 for the average-sized residential pool. That makes the cost approximately $1,250 per month. If you do not use the pool or could use the money elsewhere, then purchasing a swimming pool is probably not a wise move.
Hopefully this list of pros and cons will help you make the right decision when considering whether or not to purchase a swimming pool.