Are pools expensive to maintain? – Reduce Your Pool Maintenance Costs

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Once the spring lets summer takes over, it’s quite hard to resist not to create your own small-scale paradise right in your backyard. A pool, just the right outdoor grill, a bar, and lounges will transform your backyard into a tropical oasis. While this does sound just perfect, owning a pool might not be for everyone, as it involves certain costs, to keep it in good shape and running.

Moreover, aside from money, you’ll have to spend a lot of time and energy in its maintenance and cleaning, as well. If you’re not exactly sure if you can afford a pool, this guide will help you get a better understanding of what does a pool requires and how you can reduce its costs.

Pool Type

According to what type of pool you own, outdoor or indoor, the costs will differ.

  • Outdoor pools – regardless if they are in-ground or above-ground, professional cleaning services can charge you anywhere between $60 and $100 per hour. Both types require a thorough sweeping, bottom and sides, to ensure there are no microbes and bacteria attached to it. An in-ground pool will be a bit trickier to clean, as it is larger and more difficult to access than an above-ground type.
  • Indoor pools – the monthly cost for these types reaches around $15 – $30, as the maintenance is less complex compared to the outdoor type. Since they are indoors, there are no leaves you’ll have to clean, while the ‘dirt’ it accumulates can be easily cleaned by its filters. Additionally, you should consider investing in a cover, as it will keep the water warm, will reduce the overall humidity level, as well as will prevent dust from reaching the water.

Construction

The cost of installing an in-ground pool can reach, an average of $35.000-$40.000, and it can go as high as $55.000-$60.000 depending on what facilities you want it to have decoration and features. Lightning, covers, decks, or waterfalls and water jets, for example, can add costs up to $10.000. However, there are other aspects you’ll have to pay attention to, as well.

  • Material – depending on which type of material you want your pool to be made of, the prices, as well as the maintenance costs and time resistance will vary.
    • Vinyl will cost around $20.000- $45.000 to be installed, will require yearly maintenance of at least $1.350, and it needs to be replaced every 10 years.
    • Concrete requires an installation cost of $30.000 – $60.000, it has yearly maintenance of almost $3000, but it will last you for more than 50 years.
    • Fiberglass can range anywhere between $17.000 and $65.000-$67.000 for its installation, will require maintenance of around $400-$500, and it will last for more than 20 years.
  • Size – the larger the pool, the higher the costs, as it will require more materials and more work to have it done. Therefore, a small pool (10×20) can go anywhere from $18.000 – if it’s made from vinyl, up to $27.000 – if it’s made from concrete, while a large pool (30×50) starts from at least $135.000 and can go up to $200.000.
  • Design – if you plan on having it custom-made, you’ll have to be aware of the additional costs it comes with. For example, a beach-entry type, which allows you to slowly and gradually walk into the pool, can cost anywhere between $50 up to $130 per square foot. On the other hand, if you plan on making a lapping-pool, it can easily go from anywhere near $20.000 up to $70.000-$80.000 depending on what materials you want to use, and on what size you plan to make it.

Maintenance

These types of cost can be split into 3 main types: monthly, annual and seasonal.

  • Monthly – there are at least 7 services you can ask for when hiring professional cleaning: water pH test, equipment, and filters check, brushing, vacuuming, skimming, robotic cleaner check-up, and emptying the traps and baskets. Depending on what services you want as well as the company that provides you with them, the cost will range. It can go from $60/month, up to $150-$200/month.
  • Yearly – it can go anywhere between $1000 and $6000. The costs include the possible repairs, filters, and damaged equipment, as well as chemicals, electricity, water, opening and closing procedures and insurance.
  • Seasonal – closing and reopening your pool can also generate costs, depending on how you wish to keep it during winter. Opening and closing the pool requires vacuuming, cleaning the filters as well as preparing them for winter/summer, which, in turn, will generate a cost of around $650. Moreover, consider what type of cover you plan on using for winter, as each type costs differently. Don’t forget about the water’s pH, as it will need to be around 7.2 or 7.5.

Cost-reducing Tips

  1. Water temperature – if the nights are chilly, the pool’s heater might be overworked. Keep the water temperature comfortable for you to swim, but don’t overheat it.
  2. Cover – consider investing in one as it comes with several benefits. Not only will it prevent water from evaporating, but it will maintain the heat as well. Even more, there will be fewer leaves in the water for you to clean.
  3. Water pH levels – to enjoy the pool at any given moment, it is best to keep the pH level stable at all times. Therefore, you should regularly measure the pH levels and balance it accordingly, to prevent future health issues.
  4. Water pumps – a good water pump is vital for your swimming pool, and while you have plenty of options to choose from, you should consider the best. You can select from a single-speed model, a double-speed type or a variable-speed unit, according to your preferences and pool type. However, if your budget allows and if the pool size matches, it is recommended to pick either the double-speed or the variable-speed type, as it will help you save money in the long run.
  5. Routine cleaning – you don’t have to wait for a professional cleaner to come and keep your pool spick and span. You can manually do that yourself, as all it requires is a little bit of time. Brush your pool at least once a day, skim it and vacuum it up at least once a week. Check the filters and remove the leaves. Or, if you don’t have the time, you can allow a robot pool cleaner to do it. While there are plenty of choices to pick your robot from, the best robotic pool cleaner comes with smart functions, so the process of using it is simplified yet it provides great results.
  6. Reduce the chlorine levels – while you might be tempted to pour large amounts of chlorine in your pool to keep algae away, a less costly alternative to it is available. Consider investing in a solar ionizator. Not only will you be able to reduce the chemicals used, but the ions will ensure there are no algae in the pool. Not to mention that it works on solar energy, so there will be no rise in your energy bill.
  7. Seasonal DIY preparations – you can easily close and open up your pool on your own, without spending money with professional services. There are plenty of kits that allow this DIY operation, ranging from $20-$21 to a maximum of $90-$95. Therefore, by doing it yourself, you’ll be able to cut from the seasonal costs.

Conclusion

All in all, are pools expensive to keep and maintain? The short answer is: Yes. However, there are certain aspects which can help you save money in the long run. But you’ll have to invest time and effort into it. Therefore, carefully consider both advantages and drawbacks of owning a pool, as well as all the costs involved in the process, as once you’ve decided to have a pool, it’s a long-time investment.