There’s something great about swimming pools in summertime, but the smart money says it’s even more magical when you’re not in charge of the maintenance. The question, though, is swimming pool upkeep really that expensive?The answer probably depends on how we’re defining expensive, so let’s break it down.Above-Ground vs. In-Ground Swimming Pools
Everyone knows that in-ground pools are more expensive than above-ground pools, but how much more are they, really?Depending on the size, you can find above-ground pools priced anywhere from $500 to $5,000
. There’s definitely a lot of flexibility in the market.There’s flexibility in the in-ground market, too, particularly when it comes to installation and type. Here’s a quick breakdown, including installation:- Vinyl liner pool: $20,000- Fiberglass shell or concrete: $20,000 to $100,000Fiberglass and concrete are both arguably better choices than vinyl liner, but cost more depending on a) size, b) depth, c) and d) standard accessories.Swimming Pool Extras
“Standard accessories” are those items that don’t come with the pool but are necessary for its upkeep, like pumps, filters, covers and the like. Extras are all the other goodies that aren’t essential, but that people usually get:-
Diving boards- Lighting- Decking- Ladders- Floats and toys
These are often sold in packages, but still tack on about $5,000 to the cost.Swimming Pool Maintenance
Then there’s the maintenance, which is always what makes people nervous, but is really a drop in the bucket (pool?) compared to the initial cost – unless you opted for concrete.Concrete has its benefits (namely, a more luxurious look and feel), but costs more to maintain. Over its lifetime, concrete pools benefit greatly from regular professional maintenance, in addition to acid washing and re-plastering.Vinyl pools will need at least one (and probably two) liner replacement during its lifetime, which can run up overall maintenance the costs.Finally, fiberglass is the easiest to maintain, and requires only the chemicals and electricity it needs to run, which can still run as high as $500 per year.Swimming Pool Costs vs. Family Fun
So, are swimming pools worth it? Meh – it’s hard to say and definitely depends on your budget. You can have a lot of other kinds of fun for $50,000 to $125,000, which is how much you’ll spend on a nice pool over 10 years.For a lot of families, that breaks down to a family vacation every summer, or a “staycation” with a pool every summer. And, looking at it that way doesn’t make it any easier to choose.