Buying a House With a Pool
Choosing a home to purchase is a big decision for anybody. Buying a house with a pool might have been your priority when looking at real estate if part of your house dream includes spending summers with friends and family lounging around the deck.
Of course, you can always design and plan your pool if your house doesn't have one installed. But if you can buy a home with an inground pool already built, here is a guide for what to know and some common questions you might have.
Inground vs. Above Ground Swimming Pool
The two most common pool types are inground and above ground. Visually, it is easy to spot the difference.
Inground Swimming Pools
Inground pools are laid into the property. They come in all shapes, from holiday-style organic curves to the swimming enthusiasts' rectangle shape for laps and diving.
You can add all types of features to guide the pool into the style you want. Some ideas could be changing the lining to adding waterfalls, colorful lights or a fountain.
Inground swimming pools let the entire family have an outlet for fitness and recreation. Your loved ones can learn to swim and practice jumps, and pools make great gathering places for social events. You can swim whenever you want and even integrate it into your workout regime. There is nothing like jumping in and doing a few cooling-down laps after a hot jog and workout.
Inground swimming pools are a permanent feature of your home and an investment for your life ahead. They could last you a lifetime with the right maintenance and service to keep it looking and operating well.
Inground pools typically fall into one of the following categories:
Concrete and gunite pools: Professionals use gunite to line concrete pools. Gunite is a type of textured plaster that is applied evenly with a hose on-site. Tints are added to the gunite to give blue, green, white or grey hues. Mosaic tiles in standard or customized shapes are placed at the top to give the pool a decorative edge.
Vinyl pools: For vinyl pools, inserted wall panels create the pool's structural shape. They are traditionally square or rectangular. Materials used to create wall panels include aluminum, steel, plastic or pressure-treated plywood. Vinyl lining is then inserted to waterproof and insulate the whole pool. You can also have customizations with vinyl pools, such as a lining printed with detailed mosaic patterns or intricate textures.
Fiberglass swimming pools: Professionals create fiberglass pools offsite. The pool arrives ready to be inserted in the ground. Options for size and shape are a bit more limited than other pool types because of the transportation required. That said, fiberglass pools can come in curved shapes with more organic lines.
Above Ground Pools
Above ground, pools are built on top of the soil or partially in the ground. They are smaller than inground options and get moved or dismantled if you ever decide to leave the house.
You can quickly install the pool, as there is no digging or permanent infrastructure required. Some above ground pools are compatible with extra features, like ladders or small diving boards. Some above ground pools are available as part of kits, while others will need a professional to install them.
Maintenance Requirements for Pools
Pools require constant maintenance to operate as they should. Stagnant water grows bacteria and algae, and water can evaporate if left unattended. If you are considering having a pool as part of your new home, here is a list of some of the services that will soon be part of your life routine:
Weekly maintenance: A weekly routine involves clearing out any of the larger debris that has floated into your pool. Other maintenance includes cleaning the filters and adjusting the chemical levels if need be. You will also need to sweep around the pool to prevent further leaves, twigs or grass cuttings from entering.
Visual inspection: You should inspect your pool at least once per month and as needed, such as after storms or between seasons. Inspections involve checking that the pool's lining is still in good condition. Evaluate the pumps and heater if you have one. Other things to check are whether trees are getting too large near your pool, as their root system might damage the infrastructure or branches could drop from above and cause damage.
Seasonal changes: As winter approaches, you must close your pool up for the season if you live somewhere with cold temperatures and snow or ice. Closing the pool helps keep it clean and damage-free during harsh seasons. You must correct the water chemicals and place a winter cover on it. You can remove the cover in the late spring or early summer to open the pool once more. Some alternations and cleaning will need to be done before you jump in.
Be prepared to replace the tools you use for your pool, such as the lids to the filters or pumps, brushes, nets and covers, regularly and as needed.
Tips to Keep a Low Maintenance
Here are a couple of tips for reducing regular maintenance for your pool so you can spend more time swimming and less time with upkeep:
Keep the water moving: Stagnant water is more inclined to grow algae and go green than moving water. Keep the pump in tip-top shape and ensure an unobstructed cycle.
Get cleaning devices: You can install a pool-cleaning skimmer where the outlet is. It alters the pool cycle to move all floating debris into a catchment before it can float to the bottom. A creepy crawly will aid in keeping the bottom of the pool clean. The more these devices clean, the less you will have to.
Periodic little maintenance is easier than a big job: If you can check your pool daily and remove the easy debris, the pool water will stay cleaner longer. If you leave the pool too long without any cleaning, the water will turn green, and it will be a larger task to get it right again.
If keeping up with your inground pool's constant maintenance seems like a lot of work, consider hiring a swimming pool maintenance professional to take care of it. Professional maintenance includes everything from weekly cleaning to repairs and maintenance. Trained professionals also have all the right knowledge, tools and products to get the job done quickly, safely and efficiently.
Questions to Ask Yourself When Buying a House With a Pool
Before considering a house with a pool in the backyard, there are a few other questions to consider.
What Is the Life Expectancy of the Pool?
How long a pool lasts depends on several factors, such as what material it's lined with, original installation quality, how the previous owners cared for it and environmental conditions. Ask the previous owners what their maintenance routines was to get a better idea of how well the pool was cared for.
If you are uncertain, consider chatting with a professional and scheduling a consultation to get the pool inspected from top to bottom. A professional can determine the pool's overall condition, including any signs of damage or poor maintenance. They can also provide an estimated time frame for how long your pool may last with proper maintenance and upkeep.
Do I Need Pool Liability and/or Insurance?
Contact your insurance to assess if your home with a pool is part of your home insurance. Each town in the United States has its own definition of what constitutes a "home pool." If your insurance does cover it, check the figures. Depending on your region's weather and other factors, you might want to increase your coverage amount. Ideally, your insurance should cover incidents like the pool getting damaged during a storm or natural disaster.
Insurance companies may require certain factors before they agree to cover the pool, such as:
Maintenance: Your pool must be in suitable condition throughout the year to prevent wear and tear.
Barriers: They might insist on a barrier such as a fence to avoid accidents with pets and small children.
Safety devices: Have emergency flotation devices and a protocol for aiding pets or people that may fall into the water.
Pool alarm systems: Alarm systems and new technology alert you if someone has fallen into the water.
Diving boards and slides: Insurance companies might not cover extra features added, like diving boards and slides.
Make sure you ask guests if they know how to swim. Another great idea is for you and other family or loved ones living in your home to learn basic emergency water rescue skills for peace of mind.
Maintain Your Pool With Quantus Pools
If you're buying a home with a pool, Quantus Pools is ready to handle all your inground pool maintenance needs. From weekly care to seasonal. Contact us for a consultation on your new pool, and learn how we can support you in maintaining it.