When hot weather arrives, there's no better way to cool off than in the water.
While thoughts of a backyard pool can conjure up images of cannonballing into cool water on a hot summer’s day, the reality is a bit different. Pool upkeep is a lot of work.
Before diving in, you may want to look at the reality of owning a place to take a dip. Here are eight reasons not to own a pool.
1. High installation costs
Building an in-ground pool is expensive. The average cost ranges from $39,000 to $70,000, depending on style, size and materials used, according to Angi.com, formerly Angie's List, where consumers can compare professional contractor prices. For a 12-by-28 foot pool, concrete is the most expensive choice, with an average installation cost of about $50,000; fiberglass is about $40,000; and vinyl, the least expensive, comes in at about $30,000. If you're looking for something custom, expect to invest $80,000 or more.
As for an aboveground pool, Angi.com estimates that the average cost ranges from $1,037 and $6,009 depending on pool type, size and add-ons. You can get a DIY kit for as low as $800, but you’ll need a pro to install a custom pool with a deck, water features or other extras.
Don’t forget to add in the costs for site prep (tree removal, perhaps), as well as fencing and gates, which nearly every municipality requires.
2. Pool maintenance expenses and time
You can DIY weekly pool upkeep in about five to 10 hours of your spare time, but don’t forget that you also must purchase all the supplies: pH kit, chlorine, pool vacuum, pool brushes, filters (replacements), skimmer, pool cover. And right now, the chlorine you need might be hard to find — and more expensive. A shortage that began when the nation's second-largest chlorine manufacturer was destroyed by fire is still impacting availability and price.
Costs for pool vacs vary widely depending on size and functionality (scrubbing, leaf removal). Big home-improvement chains sell leaf vacs for as little as $25, but also offer robotic in-ground pool cleaners for $1,445. Just wading through the options could give you a headache.
Home improvement website HomeGuide estimates the one-time cost for a pool maintenance kit with a telescopic pole, vacuum, skimmer net and wall brush is around $35. Chemical kits can run $20 to $100 per month.