Purchasing a swimming pool is a huge investment. The cost of an in-ground swimming pool in Canada can run you on average between $90,000 to $110,000 for installation and another $1,200 a year for maintenance. That’s a lot of money!
Overall, the price of owning and maintaining a swimming pool and the work involved in keeping it clean and safe is a large investment for anyone, but is it worth it? Are there other substitutes that would work?
We picked the brains of leading experts to get some ideas. We wanted to know the PROS and CONS of owning a swimming pool and some things that we should consider before taking the plunge.
Below is what we learned.
CON: You Can’t Swim All Year Long
One of the biggest drawbacks of purchasing or installing a swimming pool in Canada is that your pool can’t be used year-round. A Canadian is looking at May to September as the prime time for using their new pool, though there are several ways you can extend that season.
Use Solar Blankets
Your cheapest opinion is to use a solar blanket (Click on the link to price one out on Amazon) on your swimming pool. Solar blankets are designed to keep heat from escaping your pool and giving you a longer swimming season by a couple of weeks. The best practice for using a solar blanket is to cover your swimming pool on colder days and uncover your swimming pool on hot summer days.
Swimming Pool Heaters
Using a pool heater is going to significantly increase your odds of swimming further into the fall. You would eventually be forced to shut it all down once your heating costs go through the roof.
The Hayward H250FDN Universal H-Series (Link with take you to Amazon with the best price) is a good example of a pool heater. This heater gives you full control of the temperature of your pool and has lots of power with 250,000 BTUs.
Make It an Indoor Pool
This is probably not an option for most people, but you can enclose the pool and make it an indoor one. You would have to ensure that it’s insulated, has a water-proof and non-slip floor, and a good ventilation system to eliminate any steam and moisture. It’s a great idea if you can afford it, but it’s a tough sell to most people.
Purchase A Hot Tub
A great substitute for a swimming pool is a hot tub. Hot tubs come in so many different shapes and sizes today that’s it’s easy to find one that will fit your budget. They are also easier to maintain than swimming pools and cost less to heat.
You can purchase an Inflatable Hot Tub like this one on Amazon for those with a smaller budget.
I use my hot tub all year round. Not like a swimming pool, even on the coldest day of the year, I can sit in my hot tub and relax.
Purchase An Above Ground Pool
Another great substitute for spending thousands of dollars installing an in-ground pool is to look at purchasing an above ground pool as a tester.
What if you spend all that money on a pool to realize you don’t even like pools or, worse yet, no one even uses it. Before you dive in, maybe a smaller pool is a good way to test the waters.
The Bestway Steel Pro MAX Above Ground Swimming Pool is a great choice. It’s a large 12′ x 39.5” pool, and it comes with a filter and pump. It’s a great baby step to seeing how deep you want to go with your pool dream.
If you decide that owning a pool is the direction you want to go, you can always sell the above-ground pool second-hand and recoup some of your money. It’s a small amount of money to pay to see if that’s something you really want to do.
You may just decide to keep the above-ground pool instead.
CON: Swimming Pools Don’t Add Much Value to Your Home
Another CON to adding a swimming pool to your backyard is that you won’t recoup that money in home equity.
According to Houselogic.com, “At most, your home’s value might increase 7% if all circumstances are right when it comes time to sell.”
This means that on a $100,000 pool installation, you may gain $7,000 on the price of your house. That’s not a lot.
When it comes to adding a pool to the home, it should come down to something you want and not done to increase the value of your home.
CON: Swimming Pools Can Be Dangerous
If you have small children, you probably already considered how dangerous a swimming pool can be.
According to lifesavingsociety.com, in 2015 there was 423 unintentional deaths in Canadian waters. Anytime you have a child around a swimming pool, you have to be vigilant.
I know firsthand how fast a swimming pool can harm a child. My 5-year-old daughter fell in my mother’s pool while we were eating lunch one day, and I didn’t even hear a splash. I looked up, and there she was at the bottom of the pool. My heart sank! In just a few seconds, I pulled out of the water and into my arms.
My daughter is older now, and she absolutely loves the water. In fact, she would be the first in line for any pool.
I’m trying to discourage you from getting a pool; I’m just giving you an honest assessment of the PROS and CONS. If you get a pool with small kids, make sure you’re aware of the dangers before making your final decision.
PRO: Swimming Pools Are Great For Family Gatherings and Entertaining
There is a great lifestyle associated with owning a swimming pool. Swimming pools can also encourage family togetherness, and friends love coming over to the house with the pool.
Pool parties are also a great time, and entertaining is easy when the centre of attention are the splashes and laugher.
There is no doubt about it, owning a pool will give you the edge in eterntaining in the neighbourhood.
It’s important not to assume that owning a pool will give you more reasons to stay at home and spend more time in your backyard – maybe it will or maybe it won’t. Just because you give yourself a reason to stay at home doesn’t mean you actually do it.
PRO: A Pool Can Be Great Exercise
Swimming is good for you. It keeps your heart rate up but isn’t hard on your body. According to the Better Health Channel,
“Swimming is a great workout because you need to move your whole body against the resistance of the water.
It keeps your heart rate up but takes some of the impact stress off your body
Builds endurance, muscle strength, and cardiovascular fitness
It helps maintain a healthy weight, healthy heart, and lungs
Tones muscles and builds strength
Provides an all-over body workout, as nearly all of your muscles are used during swimming.”
PRO: It Looks Great!
Although a swimming pool doesn’t add much value to your home, it does give it a real luxurious look.
I have seen some pretty awesome-looking pool designs; maybe you’re like me and love watching the Pool Kings on HGTV. Custom pool designs are not only built for your family and lifestyle, but they look incredible.
You don’t have to have a million-dollar pool design to give your backyard an elegant look. Most swimming pools with clear water and nice surroundings will do the trick.
I find that you always get that “resort” feel when you’re around a pool, and it’s even better when it’s at your own home.
There is no perfect answer to whether or not you should add an inground pool to your backyard. It depends on your taste, budget, family, and whether or not a pool would fit in your lifestyle.
It certainly isn’t a decision that you should rush in to. Take your time, and as the Good Book says, make sure you count the cost.
A swimming pool is not only a large sum of money to install, but it also costs a lot for maintenance and repairs.
Maybe it’s a good idea for you to begin with an above-ground pool. From there, you can decide if owning a pool is a good fit for your family.