home with a pool installing a pool in backyard
Home Improvement

The Total Cost of Owning a Pool: Installation, Maintenance, and Insurance

For many, having a pool is a luxury that can’t be passed up, but are pools a good investment overall? We’re looking at the true cost of owning a pool.

In the hot months of Summer, there is nothing better than knowing you have a cool, relaxing getaway just a few feet from your back door. For many, having a pool is a luxury that can’t be passed up, but are pools a good investment overall? Homes.com sat down with Lori Strickland, David Stasie, and Michelle Sbabo, our panel of experts, to get you some answers on the true costs of installing, maintaining, and insuring your summertime necessity.

Costs of Repairing and Maintaining a Pool

Unfortunately, installing a pool isn’t just a one time cost. After the construction of your pool, there are the costs of upkeep and repair that need to be taken into consideration. We talked with Michelle Sbabo, co-owner of Northwest Arkansas Pool and Spa, about the expected and even the unexpected costs of pool ownership.  The first cost pool owners need to think about is maintenance throughout the Summer months. At minimum, Sbabo suggests budgeting $50-$100 per month to maintain the pool chemicals.  Along with monetary costs, if you decide to do the upkeep yourself, there is quite a time investment for general upkeep that requires at least a few hours of your attention every week. 

Read: Can Adding a Pool Increase Your Home’s Value?

backyard pool true costs

In addition to general upkeep, there are larger maintenance projects that occur every once in a while that you need to be prepared for. Pool equipment tends to have a shelf life, especially equipment that is left outside or used much more often. Pool pumps, for example, have motors and bearings that can burn out unexpectedly and need to be replaced.  Michelle suggests setting aside $500-$800 minimum per year for unexpected circumstances like this that need to be addressed from time to time. 

 

Down the road of pool ownership, say 10-20 years, there are also some major projects such as pool resurfacing, vinyl liner replacement, etc. that occur way less frequently but are definitely expenses that you need to be prepared for.  These projects tend to be in the five digit range for costs and although they happen less often, they can creep up on you and these expensive projects are something to keep in mind when considering owning a pool.

Pools and Insurance: Things You Need to Know

There are added safety and liability concerns that come with the responsibility of pool ownership which can make or break your pool experience if you aren’t properly insured.  We got some great advice from expert David Stasie, co-founder and co-CEO of Young Alfred, a marketplace to compare and buy home insurance, on getting your pool insured and the hurdles you may need to jump in the process.  

Read: 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Installing a Pool

home with a pool installing a pool in backyard

When getting your insurance carrier to underwrite your pool, there are some features that need to be installed and/or considered:

  • A fence at least 4-feet tall to enclose your pool.  In more 
    • Rural areas:  If houses are separated enough by land, that can be considered the barrier of entry to your pool.  
  • Once your pool is installed and has proper fencing, take another look at your insurance policy and ensure your pool is covered in the policy.  
  • If your pool is attached to your structure, you want to ensure that your pool is now covered by your original policy so that, in the event of a natural disaster or unexpected circumstance, you aren’t losing money on your hard earned investment. 

Diving boards and slides are a load of fun, but there are some things that you should keep in mind if you are adamant about adding these features to your pool.  When thinking about installing one of these features, Stasie points out that you are essentially reducing your options of carriers that will underwrite your policy by 70%.  Unfortunately, these are features that come with added liability and safety concerns that insurance carriers do not take lightly, and some carriers will exclude the liability associated with any incidents that happen at the pool.  Stasie suggests taking caution with these features and making sure that you are aware who the liability falls on, whether it’s yourself or your carrier. 

Ashley Shoop
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Ashley is currently a student in Marketing Management at Virginia Tech.  Go Hokies!  She loves being outside in the sun, can’t live without Taco Bell or coffee, and loves interning with Homes.com!

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