Installing a pool? Here's what you need to know

Did you know that there are over 10 million residential pools across the United States?

No matter what your budget is, there is a lot to think about when it comes to pools. One question I get a lot is “Will a pool increase my home’s value?” The answer as usual: “It depends.”

There are a lot of factors that come into play including where you live. For example, in Arizona pools are going to be much more in demand than back East-- where you can’t get year-round enjoyment out of it. In some areas pools might be thought of as just a liability and an expense, whereas in the desert Southwest or Western states, not having one might turn away prospective buyers.


This is important though-- a pool is not an investment. It is a lifestyle. There is considerable cost and sometimes aggravation involved--  so what you need to be thinking about is your family’s enjoyment.

Rick Chafey with Red Rock Contractors designs and builds amazing pools.  Chafey says that no matter what your budget, “You should be trying to create an environment that can kind of meet multiple needs. So, you can be there and not swim. You can also be swimming. The kids can be playing, but the adults can be hanging out somewhere else, and just to get everybody in the backyard to stay at home.”

According to the pool designer with any pool there can be value-- or there can problems. “If it is constructed well, your maintenance can be minimized quite a bit, but many pool projects are poorly designed, very inefficient, and can start to deteriorate very quickly and can be very expensive down the road.”

Rick’s wife Linda Chafey is the owner of Southwest Image Realty. She helps buyers evaluate not just the potential house-- but the pool as well.

Says the realtor, “If I put a $40,000 dollar pool in my backyard-- it's not going to add $40,000 dollars of value. We tell them that. It might add $20,000 worth of value-- but that's really not what they're after. They're after that family fun time.”

When potentially buying a property with a pool you’ve got to dig a little deeper than normal and ask a lot of questions:

--How old is the equipment?

--What have the monthly maintenance and repair bills been historically?

--You also need to factor in safety. Will you need to put in safety features, or does the pool already have them built in?

The average cost of putting in an in-ground pool is about $39,000 but that is just the up-front cost. Maintenance, upkeep and repairs are usually not cheap, ongoing costs, pumps and heaters, cleaning, maintenance and chemical treatments.

When it comes to either installing or maintaining your pool, it’s critical to have a company that knows what they are doing.

Mike Christianson from Peak One Construction reminds us, as always, to do your homework. “You have to go through and verify that the contractor is a legitimate contractor , check his background, ask for references, make sure he’s licensed and bonded and insured. It’s extremely important. No different than the inside of your house.”


The good news: As technology improves, costs come down and things are becoming more efficient.

If you decide to install a pool, think about placement, shape, size and how it will fit with the rest of your home. Bigger is not always better. Don’t forget about insurance costs. A pool increases your liability and you want to make sure you’re fully covered.

The thing to remember is that when done right, a pool is not just a hole in the ground filled with water. It should be a key part of an entire outdoor living environment-- and something that your family will use for years to improve your quality of life.