Summer is here and you’ve decided that it’s time to finally get that backyard pool that you’ve always dreamed of. While it’s true that you might have to get in line to secure the supplies and labor to get that pool ready to go (with more people than ever wanting a pool), the good news is that pools are offering a higher ROI than ever before and buyers are looking for homes with pools.

In a recent survey from the real estate experts at HomeLight, 68 percent of agents said that there is a surge in backyard pools in their markets. Moreover, before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, a house with a pool brought in an average of $16,000 more at sale than one without one, and in 2021 that number increased to $27,199 more.

The options are endless when it comes to selecting the right pool and you’ll need to work with an expert to navigate finding the price and design that’s a fit for your home and lifestyle. Here are some considerations to weigh as you plan to create that backyard staycation vibe with a crystal clear pool.

Find the right fit

We know that empty space in your backyard is just calling for a pool and backyard pools can also add to your home’s value. But how do you determine just how much of it should be dedicated to your pool and how much you should leave for lounging, a garden, or a grilling area? Pools are sold and priced by the square foot, so there are some compelling reasons to consider a standard size (commonly 12 by 24 feet) when finding the ideal dimensions for your space. The size of your pool is said to account for about 75 percent of its cost, and according to Pool Pricer, some dimensions to consider are: 10 by 20 feet, 15 by 30 feet, and 20 by 40 feet. That doesn’t mean you can just measure your backyard and get the biggest pool possible. Some factors to keep in mind are: How are you using the pool? Is it for swimming laps, diving, or a place for you and the kids to cool off when the temperature rises (with a shallow area to accommodate the little ones)?  With backyard pools, don’t forget that you’ll want to leave room for a deck or patio, landscaping, and lounging area.

Shapeshifting

Rectangular, oval, or kidney-shaped? How do you know which pool shape is best for your backyard? And how much will that pool cost you? A contractor can advise you on the best options, but you’ll want to keep in mind that a rectangular pool will typically be the least expensive, while freeform, kidney, or oval-shaped pools will set you back more. Differently shaped pools vary in price because the form you select will determine the materials that can be used for your pool. An unconventional shape may need to be concrete, while a standard design can be made in more budget-friendly fiberglass or vinyl. Vinyl is considered to be the lowest-cost pool material, which is also the fastest and easiest to construct with an average cost of around $37,000. Fiberglass is next in line at around $50,000 and is considered mid-range in terms of price, but with limited shape and size options due to the molds used to create them. Concrete will cost you the most at upwards or $50,000 and with the longest construction time at around 12 weeks. However, with concrete’s added costs come advantages like durability and flexibility when it comes to a unique design.

 

Chlorine vs. Saltwater 

Crystal-clear pool water doesn’t happen naturally, and you’ll need to consider how you are going to keep that water clean. With saltwater or chlorine, there are advantages and disadvantages either way. For chlorinated backyard pools, you’ll need to add chemicals and keep their levels in check to ensure safety for swimmers. With saltwater, a generator will keep the water free of harmful bacteria using electrolysis. Saltwater pools will save you on chemical costs, but you will need to buy a saltwater generator. However, the cost of that generator can pay off in the end. The best strategy is to consider both options and see which one is the most cost-effective for the shape and size of your pool.

More than you bargained for

Like buying a house, the purchase cost of a pool is just one expense to consider. Pool upkeep and its associated costs should also be included when you are weighing the overall expense of your pool overtime — for you, and future buyers. While the costs will depend on the specific needs of your backyard there are some general costs to keep in mind such as getting your yard pool-ready by leveling it out or creating a deck or patio that will fit along with your pool to accommodate loungers and umbrellas. To keep the temperature ideal, a pool cover can be a worthy investment. For safety, especially with kids or pets around, a fence is a must, and some states or communities might even require you to install this feature. When working with a contractor for price breakdowns, adding up associated costs will give you a more realistic picture of how much that pool will really set you back.

There’s nothing more relaxing than spending a long summer afternoon by your backyard pool, and potential buyers in 2021 will surely see a pool as a major selling feature. Your best strategy to make this appealing home addition is to do your homework about the many options to consider, along with hiring a professional to get the job done. You’ll find the best solution for your space and you’ll be floating in that warm water before you know it.

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