Taking the Plunge – the Expense of Adding a Pool

The summer sun is blazing and the kids are bored and climbing the walls… sound familiar? If you live in Las Vegas, the scorching temperatures are sure to have you daydreaming of a way to beat the heat and maybe seriously considering adding a pool. But before you jump in, you should know what you’re getting into. There are a number of things to consider including initial costs, maintenance, safety, and even resale value down the line.

Staying cool doesn’t come cheap. You’ll want to be prepared to invest some money to create your backyard oasis. HomeAdvisor reports the average cost to build a swimming pool is around $18,523. That average came from the survey results of nearly 1,000 members and includes both above ground and in-ground pools. “Obviously in-ground will be on the higher end of the range of what most homeowners spend – between $7,488 and $30,002,” the site explains. The bigger the pool and more complicated the shape, the more expensive it will be. Where you live can also mean higher excavation costs. Desert landscape, like here in Las Vegas, contains more rock and is more difficult to dig up compared to other areas that have softer soil.

Keep in mind too that the pool isn’t the only larger expense of the project. Home improvement site Fixr reminds us, “most in-ground pools will also demand some sort of surrounding patio installation as well as a need for fencing.” The CDC recommends installing a four-sided pool fence that is at least 4 feet high. It should “completely separate the pool area from the house and yard” and should “use self-closing and self-latching gates that open outward with latches that are out of reach of children.” The cost of a pool fence will vary greatly depending on the type of fence you want and the size and shape of your pool. The most popular types of fences include glass, wood, aluminum and mesh. If you’re less concerned with visual appeal and more so with price, mesh fencing can be a good option. It’s effective at keeping children out of the pool, comes in many different colors and can be taken down easily if needed.

Once construction is complete, some costs will continue. Keeping the pool clean and sparkling will be a recurring expense. You can save some money if you choose to do it yourself rather than hire a professional. Fixr estimates “between the chlorine, pH testing strips, and other materials, the average pool owner spends roughly $80 per month for above ground swimming pools and $95 per month for in-ground swimming pools.” Curious what regular maintenance entails? SwimmingPool.com helps break down some of the basics for you with their Pool Care 101:


If you recently bought a house that already has a pool and you are feeling a little lost, many pool companies offer an orientation for a small fee. They’ll show you how the pool works and what specifically you should do to maintain it on a regular basis.

Since adding a pool to your property ends up being such a large investment, many homeowners wonder how it will pay off if they decide to sell their home in the future. A recent study by the National Association of Realtors claims that installing a pool can increase the value of your home anywhere from 8 to 15 percent. However, it’s not always a guarantee. The condition of the housing market at the time you sell will greatly factor into the added resale value, as will the prominence of pools in your neighborhood. If none of your neighbors have a pool, you may have a harder time getting back some of the money you spent. This is because the average price of a similar home in your area will likely not include the cost of a pool. In warmer climates or wealthier neighborhoods, pools might be considered to be a more desirable feature. However, a pool can also turn off potential buyers, whether for safety concerns or the added cost per year of general maintenance.

While it’s good to consider the possible added benefits (like resale value) before breaking ground, at the end of the day, adding a pool is a decision you need to make for you and your family. It should be designed to maximize your personal enjoyment and the memories you can make there. Anything more than that is just a bonus.

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