Swimming Pool Frequently Asked Questions
If you're thinking of installing a swimming pool, chances are you have questions. Here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked swimming pool questions.
Does an Above Ground Swimming Pool Require a Permit?
The answer isn't clear cut. Different cities have different regulations. It's quite common for cities to require a permit for an above ground pool; but it's also quite common for you not to require one.
Check with your local zoning department.
Do Pool Alarms Work?
Yes, but not 100%. Pool alarm technology has come a long way. Today pool alarms can detect when an object that weighs about what a child weighs falls into the pool and sound an alarm.
Pool alarms should be used as a last resort. Don't use it as a primary way to keep your kids safe. They do work, but they can't be relied on.
What Should I Look for in a Construction Contract?
Any verbal agreement made between you and your contractor should be made in writing. Any promises that aren't in writing aren't valid.
Make sure that all the financial agreements and expectations are spelled out in a crystal clear manner. Make sure the amounts and the payment terms are clear.
The exact work and materials used to construct the pool should be in the contract.
Make sure there's a clause in the contract that says what happens if the contractor is late on completing the work.
It helps to have a lawyer look over the document before signing it.
Is a Swimming Pool a Health Hazard?
Having a swimming pool is safe, as long as kids around the pool know how to swim and the pool is properly maintained.
Improperly maintained pools can cause illnesses. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC,) rates of pool-related illnesses have actually been going up.
If you're going to buy a swimming pool, make sure you really understand how to maintain the pool to prevent bacteria growth.
How Often Do I Need to Service My Pool?
Ideally you should service your pool once a week. The first few weeks will be a learning curve, but once you get the hang of it servicing your pool doesn't take more than an hour a week.
Every once in a while, something may go wrong. If that happens, then you'll have to spend a bit more time on maintenance.
You'll probably want to invest in a Robotic Pool Cleaner as soon as you can.
Some pool cleaners can climb walls while others cant. If you get one that cannot climb walls, you’ll have to scrub them yourself. Some can do walls but struggle with stairs.
We did the research for you, and recommend the #1 Top Rated Automatic Pool Cleaner on Amazon.com - the Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus:
BUT - If your pool tends to collect a lot of debris (leaves, bugs, etc) on top of the water, we'd suggest going with a pressure side cleaner such as the Polaris 360.
The Polaris 360 not only cleans the bottom of your pool, but it uses your pools return water to create a suction vortex which essentially pulls junk from your swimming pool into the bag attached to the top of the device.
Unlike many pressure side cleaners, a booster pump is NOT required to use it, as it uses your swimming pools pump for circulation!
Check out the Polaris 360 on Amazon, here.
Should I Buy a Cover?
If you have kids who can't swim, or if you plan on going for long periods of time without using your pool, then yes, you should absolutely buy a cover.
If you have more questions, the best place to get them answered is to talk to a pool professional. Most will be happy to answer your questions for free.
How Much Does a Swimming Pool Cost?
Cost is going to be a major consideration when it comes to selecting a swimming pool to purchase. Just how much does a swimming pool cost to purchase and install? The answer: It really depends on the type of pool you purchase.
The Most Affordable Option
The most affordable option is to purchase an above-ground swimming pool. These pools are much less expensive, because there's no custom building. The swimming pool sets are all pre-built.
Furthermore, you don't need to excavate the ground. Instead, you just build up the swimming pool. Both of these make the whole thing a lot more cost effective.
Building an above ground pool will generally be a lot more affordable than their in-ground counterparts.
These will generally set you back $5k to $10k for the pool and installation, but you can also opt to set it up yourself if you're feeling handy.
- Blue Wave Zanzibar 21-Feet by 41-Feet Oval 54-Inch Deep Metal Wall Swimming Pool Package
- Blue Wave Samoan 27-ft Round 52-in Deep 8-in Top Rail Metal Wall Swimming Pool Package
- Intex 24ft X 12ft X 52in Ultra Frame Rectangular Pool Set
The Fiberglass Option
A fiberglass pool is a pre-built pool that's simply lowered into a hole in the ground. The construction crew comes to your house, digs out the ground then puts the pool in. Because the pool is pre-built, the whole process is much faster and cheaper.
A fiberglass pool will set you back approximately $12,000 to $20,000 for a moderate sized pool. A large sized pool will set you back between $15,000 and $30,000.
This will include the installation and the pool itself, though you may have to purchase other additions like pool lights and pool covers.
Custom Built Pools
Building a custom pool out of gunite or concrete will enable you to design your pool exactly the way you want it to be built. A construction crew will come in, dig out the hole, then use rebar and wire to create the foundation for the pool. They'll then use concrete or gunite to create the pool from scratch.
This is both the most time consuming and the most expensive option. You're generally looking at about $25,000 to start with for a moderate sized pool, not including tiling or automated cleaning functions.
If you're looking at a larger pool that has automatic cleaning functions, then by the time everything is installed you'll have easily spent $50,000.
The Range of Costs
As you can tell, the range is vast. You can have the pleasure of owning a pool for as little as $5,000, or you can go all out and buy a custom built luxury pool for $50,000 or more.
Make sure that you don't just take a contractor's numbers at face value. Get quotes from several different contractors to make sure you're really getting the best deal. Rates between different contractors can vary by as much as 30%!