Owning a home with a pool can be a lot of fun. You can throw pool parties, or just take a family dip to cool off on hot summer afternoons. Your kids will love playing in the pool all summer long, and owning a pool can be great for your physical and mental health, because it can help you get more exercise.
But many homeowners find that owning a pool, like anything else, comes with its own set of problems. It can be difficult to maintain a pool, and if your pool isn’t well-maintained, you won’t get nearly as much enjoyment out of it. If you’re thinking of buying a home with a pool or having a pool installed, read on to learn about the most common problems homeowners with pools face.
1. Maintaining a pool is a pain
The biggest complaint most homeowners have about owning a pool is the maintenance. Pools require weekly maintenance when they’re in use, in order to keep the pool pump and other components running smoothly and the water safe and clean. You need to check the pH levels in your pool water each week, and add chemicals to make sure it’s neither too acidic nor too alkaline. You’ll also need to skim floating leaves and debris off the surface of the water, brush the pool walls, clean the filter, and vacuum the floor, and all of this also needs to be done at least weekly, if not more often.
You can do pool maintenance yourself, which is a lot of work, or you can shell out for a maintenance service to do it for you. It costs an average of $177 a week to maintain a pool. And that doesn’t even consider the costs of repairing it when something wears out or breaks down.
2. Pools raise your homeowner’s insurance costs
Pools are dangerous. Very young children, pets, and wild animals can easily drown in a pool. Most homeowners find that the risk of pool ownership raises their homeowner’s insurance liability and premium costs. You may need additional umbrella insurance to protect yourself from liability if someone is injured in your pool.
It doesn’t end there. Pools are considered an attractive nuisance under many state and municipal laws, because local children and teens will try to sneak into your pool to use it behind your back. You may be required to protect your pool with a locking fence.
3. Many pools are poorly designed
One complaint many pool service and repair technicians have about backyard pools–or even public pools–is that they’re poorly designed. Pool builders often construct pools according to code regulations, without considering how easy the finished product will be to maintain. When it’s time to replace your pool pump, heater, or other components, you or your service technician could struggle to access, remove, and replace these parts because of the way the pool is designed.
For example, your service technician could find that there’s a big pipe sticking up out of the ground right next to the pool pump, making it difficult or impossible to completely remove the pool pump cover and access the pump itself to diagnose the problem with it. This can drive up the cost of pool pump replacement and cause headaches all around.
The Complete Guide to Pool Safety
Staying up to date on pool safety can help prevent water emergencies in and around the pool. Here’s a complete guide to pool safety, including general safety tips and recommended equipment for your backyard swimming pool.
If you thought maintaining a pool was expensive, wait till you get the bill for repairs. A small tear in your vinyl liner can cost $200 to replace. Replacing the whole liner costs $1,700. Repairing a small leak in your pool can cost $350. Repairing a larger plumbing problem could cost $1,000 or more.
That’s why, if you buy a house with a pool, it’s a good idea to add pool coverage to your home warranty plan. Home warranty pool coverage can defray the cost of repairing or replacing many components of your pool, including pool pump replacement, blower motor and timer replacement, pool sweep replacement, and plumbing and electrical repair.
5. Resale value isn’t as high as you’d expect
Many homeowners install a pool hoping that it will boost the resale value of their home. However, pools do not add enough resale value to your home to recoup the cost of installation. Most homeowners who add a pool are disappointed to find that they can only recover about half the cost of installing the pool when they sell. Surveys have found that a backyard pool is the least appealing of all outdoor features among home buyers, many of whom are put off by the amount of maintenance a pool requires.
Of course, that’s not to say putting in a backyard pool isn’t worth it; you and your family will get many hours of enjoyment out of your pool, and even more so if you live in a region where pools can be used year-round. And, while a pool might not attract every buyer, it only takes one person to buy a house. Add pool coverage to your home warranty, so you can make the most of your pool without facing big surprise repair bills.
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About our partner
House Method partners with American Home Shield to give our readers expert advice from the company that’s been in the business longer than any other home warranty provider. In fact, AHS founded the home warranty industry when it was established 48 years ago. It is also a founding member of the National Home Service Contract Association.