Angie's List: Weighing the costs of installing a pool

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A pool can provide hours of entertainment, but it's also a costly project that you should research thoroughly. In-ground pools can cost between $20,000 and $70,000 and above ground pools are usually between $1,000 and $5,000. Ask yourself ‘what will it cost versus what will I get out of it?'

"In the heat of the summer a pool might sound like a fantastic idea," says Angie Hicks from Angie's List, "but the reality is unless you are the only house in your neighborhood that doesn't have a pool you should skip it. Pools tend to scare off potential buyers of your house and you usually only get about 50 cents on the dollar return on investment."

You should also factor in maintenance. Regular tasks include vacuuming the pool floor, balancing chemicals and checking the pump. Weekly care plus opening and closing a pool can run about $2,000. Building that perfect pool depends a lot on who you hire. Installing a pool can be a lengthy project, so develop a good dialog with your contractor.

Pool Builder, Bill Lambert says it's a big undertaking.

"This is sort of like open heart surgery on your backyard. So it's going to be messy. We can try to contain the mess as best as possible, but you are going to have dump trucks, there's going to be a lot of dirt moved around. Generally the pool company gets the permit and any pool company that does it another way that's probably a bad sign. There's a swimming pool permit. Note different communities require more permits."

Before building a pool, Hicks says you should contact your local building department and/or homeowner's association for a complete list of rules, regulations and required permits. Don't be afraid to ask about a warranty.

"Remember a pool is going to be with you for a long time so you want a find a reputable pool company who is going to stand behind their project," says Hicks. "You want to know what kind of warranty is going to be on the pool. And remember this is a project that can take a long time, especially given that you might hit some rainy days during installation. You want to have a well laid out plan to make sure you hit your deadlines."


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