Who doesn’t want a pool at their home? Just thinking of the memories that you can make with friends and family while sitting poolside during sunny summer days is enough to make anybody excited by the prospect. But is a pool the right decision for you? There’s a lot to weigh up when you’re considering a pool and landscaping concept for your home. Some factors you may have not even thought of yet – like monthly maintenance costs and what size pool would work best for your lifestyle. Building a pool is a big decision. That’s why it’s important to break down the costs and benefits to ensure you make the right choice for you.

What are the costs?

Cost is possibly the most important consideration when deciding whether you should build a pool at your home. Pools cost more than you think. The original “sticker price” alone is incredibly high. The average inground pool installation costs just over $44,000. The usual range for upfront installation costs is anywhere between $20,000-$80,000. That’s a lot of money to dish out up front! However, only you can decide if the price is within your budget and if the pool itself will be worth the expenditure. Still, the upfront costs are not the only expenses associated with having a pool.

After you build and install your pool you’ll have maintenance costs to budget for, as well. The average maintenance costs for an inground pool is $243/week. Where do these high maintenance costs come from? Pools are a lot of work. They require regular skimming, vacuuming, chlorine treatment, shock treatment, filter changes, covering, and testing. There are ways to keep these costs down, but the first step is to be aware of everything that goes into maintaining and keeping your pool in healthy working order.

What size pool do you need?

This is a big question – and, quite honestly, there is no right answer. One way to decide what size pool you need is to evaluate your lifestyle. What are you going to use your pool for? Different pool sizes are best for different purposes. For example, if your pool will be primarily used for swimming laps or doing other water sports, exercise, or fitness activities, you’ll be looking at a 30’ pool on average. However, if you’re primarily looking to use your pool for a fun, easy way to stay entertained and keep cool during the summer you may be able to build a smaller-sized pool.

Another consideration is your family size or the number of people who will be regularly using the pool. For example, you may be newly married with no children now but if you’re planning on expanding your family, getting more involved with lap-swimming or water fitness, or changing your approach to household entertaining in future years, you should account for that in your pool planning.

How do you clean your pool?

Cleaning your pool is the best way to keep future repair and maintenance costs low. However, you must know how to clean a pool to get started! Caring for your in a ground swimming pool doesn’t have to be difficult if you make it part of your routine. Some basic cleaning tasks include: skimming the pool to remove debris, maintain pH and chlorine levels, vacuum the filter regularly, shock the water regularly, clean the surface of the pool.

Are “extras” worth it?

When you’re building your pool, you’ll have to decide whether some pool “extras” are worth the extra cost. For example, building your pool to function in an environmentally friendly way or adding a jacuzzi. If you’re interested in building a “green” or “natural” swimming pool, the upfront labor and cost may be more. Digging a natural pool that requires plant life and an ecosystem to maintain balanced, healthy water is tricky and difficult. However, long-term maintenance costs will be lower. A jacuzzi is a fun and relaxing addition to a pool, and you can use many of the same tools you use to maintain your swimming pool to maintain your jacuzzi. However, beware of the additional specifications that a jacuzzi can come with as they can add up (think: special lighting, unique tile design, etc.).

Can a home warranty help?

Some home warranty plans (only 7% based on data) can help you reduce the large expenditures that a pool or jacuzzi repair can incur for a low monthly payment. A pool is a long-term investment, and with regular maintenance and care, you can continue to enjoy it for a long time. However, if something should break or should a piece require replacing, your investment can feel way too expensive. A home warranty can protect you against these costs, and offer you peace of mind as you enjoy your brand new swimming pool.