A swimming pool can bring people together. It can become the center of a home and help host great social gatherings. Not only this, but it can become the driving force of people’s health – having your own pool to regularly swim in is proven to be one of the most beneficial things you can do for both the body and mind. Heck, swimming even improves your mental health.
Of course, the issue tends to come down to costs.
Building a swimming pool isn’t cheap, and buying a home with one already installed adds a premium too.
It is estimated that the cost of a home pool runs $80 to $300 per square foot (in the USA), and the average size is about 600 to 900 feet. Hence the average cost would start at $4,800 to $27,000 and that’s for a “standard” inground pool, nothing flashy or overly extravagant.
Additionally and importantly, as any swimming pool owner will know, there is an abundance of maintenance that goes into these things, and a lot of potential breakdowns that can rack up a big bill.
Pool Maintenance Costs
Pool maintenance usually runs up to around $100 per month, although it can sometimes be as low as $30 – depending on which pool you have built and the level of maintenance you would want. Additionally to that, you would want to add your pool into your home insurance (by default, it is not covered in the policy) for liability which would cost you several more hundreds dollars each year. This is a significant amount, but usually doesn’t even include when something really major goes wrong. Replacing a pump motor or heaters & tubes is usually a few hundred dollars, but can sometimes reach over $1,000. Replacing a collapsing wall may cost as much as $2,000 (per wall).
The worst part of it? Pools require more maintenance and repairs than any other system you would have at home. Even more than your HVAC.
Mitigating Costs Through Home Warranties
One way to mitigate the large repair costs is to have your home pool covered by a home warranty This won’t reduce the time you spend on maintenance, as this will always be the reality of owning a pool (unless you hire a regular pool cleaner). But insurance is certainly a cost you should be aware of when exploring the idea of getting a pool.
Reasons to buy a home warranty that includes a pool coverage
- Home warranties will usually cover most of the pool’s systems
- Faster repair (usually under 2 business days)
- Reduced costs, especially when a major system breaks down (you will get a replacement up to a certain limit)
- Reduces the stress of unexpected large costs
- Some coverages avoid unexpected lawsuits in case of a third-party injuries
How much does this kind of home warranty costs?
The cost of swimming pool coverage from home warranty companies is on average around $150 per year*, but have a wide-ranging coverage limit. Some companies like Select Home Warranty offer a limit of $400, whilst First American Home Buyers Protection offers $1500. Generally, you should aim for a minimum of $1000 coverage limit, because this is how much a heater & tube system replacement can cost.
Ultimately, it is down to people’s appetite (or lack thereof) for risk. Nevertheless, this article will explore the benefits behind having insurance for a swimming pool and the way in which it can save you big time. You have to be careful of coverage, however. Some companies may not be very clear about what is covered, and may only cover half of the potential issues that could go wrong. Furthermore, most won’t cover major injury, and thus separate insurance may be necessary for that level of coverage.
|With a home warranty||Without a home warranty|
|Time of repair||Under 2 business days||Varys and depends on availability. 1 to 7 business days|
|Cost of a minor repair||Just the service fee (often $75)||$50 to $300|
|Cost of a major repair||Service fee + anything above the limit. Between $75 and $300 for most companies||$500 to $1,500|
|Monthly insurance fee||Average of $15||$0|
* $150/annum is the approximate average premium for adding a pool coverage into your home warranty policy. A comprehensive home warranty policy would cost $500 per year, on average, so one covering a standard home pool should be about $650 per year. Please pay attention that home warranty policies are automatically renewed.
What kind of things should you should do to properly maintain your pool?
First and foremost, you must fully understand your swimming pool. You can google the general composition of swimming pools, but your own should also be examined. You can split the composition into four main categories: the water, the interior, the filter system and the skimmer and returns.
Signs of algae or cloudy water is a sign that you’re not properly maintaining its circulation. This means running the filter for a minimum of 10 hours per day in order to keep circulating and filtering the water.
You should also backwash the filter, meaning you reverse the water flow in order to get the dirty water out. This can easily be learnt by anyone, and isn’t really something you need to hire a professional for. It’s also crucial to get his kind of maintenance right if you don’t want claims to be rejected regarding the home warranty.
Cleaning the pool is a fairly manual job, but again, very straightforward. It’s not just aesthetic cleaning either, dirty pool water can cause serious bacterial contamination. You should brush, skim and vacuum the pool each week. This means collecting out the leaves and wiping down mold off the interior walls. You can buy automatic pool cleaners, but these will never fully automate the process.
You’re going to need a water testing kit which will understand the pH levels, how much alkaline it has and its sanitizer levels which concerns itself with chlorine. You essentially need to learn the optimal metrics, and then add chemicals to tweak it towards them.
Health and Safety
The most dangerous thing about swimming pools is probably slipping on its external deck and falling in. Of course, this depends on if you have guests who dive into the pool without knowing how deep it is.
Here are some safety tips to mitigate some of these risks:
- Build a fence around the pool. This is perhaps the safest thing you can do and will eliminate the chance of falling in when dark, or drunk, and prevents children going in when unsupervised.
- This logic can be boosted with an alarm system, which will alert you if your child has gone in the pool
- Don’t have a diving board
- Put down non-slip flooring around the pool
- Have a first aid kit and floats nearby
- Have a sign saying how deep the pool is to prevent diving.