As the coronavirus outbreak has made it impossible in most places to go to the beach or schlep to the community pool for the time being, it almost seems like a backyard pool would be an ultra-convenient way to cool off — and, in better times, welcome friends. Think twice, though: Despite all their warm-weather appeal, pools have some serious downsides that may not be readily apparent when the temperature (and pool temptations) are high. Here are 20 reasons to reconsider getting a pool at home.
It’s Pricey to Maintain …
The expenses don’t end once installation is over. HomeAdvisor estimates an average $115 a month going to pool maintenance, though that figure is skewed by pool owners who use professional services. Still, DIY maintenance isn’t cheap, either: You’ll have to pony up for supplies including a skimmer, chlorine, a pH kit, a pool vacuum, filters, and a quality pool cover, ranging from $30 to upward of $10,000 for a mechanical model.
One-time pool repairs outside a maintenance budget can be a real wallet-buster, experts tell Angie’s List. A busted pool pump motor can be around $350, and around $800 to replace. Resurfacing a leaking pool starts around $6,000, while replacing a vinyl lining starts around $3,000. A new pool filter may cost around $600.
… and Structural Insurance, Too
An in-ground pool is an investment, so don’t forget to protect it by increasing your "other structures" coverage, Insurance.com warns. Most policies include this coverage up to 10 percent of a home’s value — if that’s not enough, each additional $1,000 in coverage may bump up a premium about $5. Above-ground pools may fall under personal property coverage, but make sure there are no pool-specific claim limits.
Pools Are a Critter Haven
If you’re not a wildlife lover, be forewarned: Animals love pools. Some of the most common visitors include frogs, snakes, ducks, and geese; you may even find alligators if you live down south. The CDC warns pool owners to keep a close watch for raccoons, which can harbor a parasite that can cause a serious neurological illness in humans.
… and the Water Bill, Too
Water is relatively cheap — it’s combined water and sewer bills that can be the real killer when filling up or topping off a pool. The bill could more than double for the month you fill a pool — depending on the size, you may need 15,000 or more gallons on top of the 12,000 a family may normally use in a month. That could mean as little as an extra $65 in some cities, or well over $360 in others, based on increases tracked by Circle of Blue.