Does a Pool Add Value to a Home?
Published: July 10, 2013
Related: What Home Projects Give the Most Value? (http://www.houselogic.com/photos/roofing-gutters-siding/cost-v-value-exterior-remodel/)
However, a pool can add value to your home in some cases:
But we can put a price tag on how much a pool costs to build and maintain.
The Cost to Build a Pool
Add in details like safety fences (most states require them), waterfalls, lighting, landscaping, and perhaps a spa (http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/pools-spas/what_to_consider_before_building_spa/), and you're easily looking at totals approaching $100,000.
Costs also depend on the type of pool you choose.
Gunite is the most popular in-ground pool. Gunite is a mixture of cement and sand, which can be poured into almost any shape. It has replaced concrete pools as the sought-after standard.
Fiberglass shells and those with vinyl liners fall on the lower end of the budget scale, but the liners typically need replacing every 10 or so years. Changing the liner requires draining the pool and replacing the edging (called coping), so over time, costs add up. Most homebuyers will insist that you replace a vinyl liner, even if it's only a few years old.
Related: Fences for Pool Safety (http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/pools-spas/pool-fence-safety/)
Filtration and Heating
If you're planning to heat your pool, gas heaters are the least expensive to purchase and install, but they typically have the highest operation and maintenance costs. Many pool owners opt instead for electric heat pumps, which extract heat from the surrounding air and transfer it to the water. Heat pumps take longer than gas to warm the pool, but they're more energy-efficient, costing $200 to $400 less to operate per swimming season. Regardless of heating system, covering the pool with a solar blanket to trap heat and reduce evaporation will further lower operating costs.
Related: Solar Pool Heater Costs and Facts (http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/pools-spas/solar-pool-heaters-can-lower-energy-costs/)
These days you have a variety of options, including systems that use bromine, salt, ozone, ionizers, or other chemical compounds that can be less irritating to skin. Chlorine remains the most popular because the upfront costs are reasonable, and you don't have to be as rigid about checking the levels on a set schedule. But as far as your wallet is concerned, they all even out in the end.
In a seasonal swimming climate, budget about $600 annually for maintenance if you shoulder the chemical balancing and cleaning yourself; in a year-round climate, it's more like $15 to $25 per week.
To save yourself the task of once-a-week vacuuming, you can buy a robotic cleaning system for between $500 and $800 that will do the job for you. In locations where the pool must be opened and closed for the season, add another $500 each time for a pro to handle this task.
Related: Natural Swimming Pools (http://www.houselogic.com/photos/pools-spas/natural-swimming-pools-9-myths-busted/)
Insurance and Taxes
It costs about $30 a year to bump coverage from $100,000 to $500,000. Many underwriters require you to fence in the pool so children can't wander in unsupervised.
In some areas, adding a pool may increase your annual property taxes (http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/property-taxes/property-tax-appeal/), but it won't necessarily add to your home's selling price. For that reason, try to keep your total building cost between 10% and 15% of what you paid for your house, lest you invest too much in an amenity that won't pay you back.