With the hot summer days upon us, having a pool in your backyard may seem like a refreshing respite. But before taking the plunge, there are some potential unforeseen costs associated with pool installation you need to consider.
Before installing a pool, you first need to consider where you want to put the pool in the yard and see if the area is suitable.
“When a potential client inquires about having a custom swimming pool built at their home, it is often difficult to provide general pricing up front, since every yard is different and every project we take on is custom-tailored to the client’s property and lifestyle,” said Zach Sikkelee, vice president of Greenville’s Signature Pools. “Upon our first visit to the property we’re evaluating things such as access to the desired pool location, terrain, soil types, underground utilities, removal and/or modification of existing structures and things of that nature.”
Among the first unforeseen costs you may encounter is having to level out your yard by hauling dirt in before installing the pool.
“Since the topographical nature of the areas we work in are not flat like in Florida, for example, the overall cost of installation is significantly higher than most of the Sunbelt markets around the United States,” Sikkelee said.
However, custom pool designers may be able to incorporate an infinity edge, elevate the pool beam out of the ground or use boulders to create organically flowing features to compensate for unlevel yards, said Sikkelee.
When you are simply removing dirt from the hole, you may be able to put the extra dirt elsewhere to level out your yard. Depending on the elevation changes where you are installing the pool, you may need to build a retaining wall, said Steve Smith of Greer-based Atlantis Luxury Pools.
Once the land is set up for the pool and installation starts happening, you will have to choose equipment for your pool, such as a filtration system and pump.
“The equipment includes different types of filtration systems,” said Smith. “Sand is the cheapest. Then there’s cartridge and diatomaceous earth systems. There are also different types of pumps, including single-speed, two-speed and variable-speed.”
With the equipment chosen, you will need to explore which chemical system you would like to use to treat the pool. Chlorine is one of the more common pool chemicals, but some systems, such as saltwater, can help reduce the amount of pure chlorine put into water.
“It’s so much easier to operate the pool, and you don’t have the strong chlorine smell in your pool,” Smith said. “You buy salt, and the salt generator turns the salt into a liquid chlorine. Saltwater is so much healthier for your skin. A lot of the chlorine has calcium in it, and it makes you feel drier.”
Finally, some other overlooked costs are electrical, water and gas bills, said Genco Pools pool engineer Pieter Vorster.
Now that you are familiar with some of the costs associated with installing a pool, whether it’s picking a pool pump or filtration system, accounting for increased utility bills or preparing to install the pool itself, it’s time to decide if jumping into owning a pool is the right decision for you.