Summer weather can make people dream of owning their own pool. Whether that dream is a cool blue oasis or a watery, financial nightmare is another matter. Should you take the plunge? Take a look at our pros and cons of installing a pool and decide for yourself!

The Pros: Relaxation, health, convenience, great family time

Having a pool is like having a vacation in your backyard. Got an extra 30 minutes? Walk out your door and there it is. Pools are great for spending time with your family, and they are great for entertaining friends. Mention to neighbors that you’re thinking of having a pool party and a half dozen people will probably be at your door with food and beverages within minutes.

Additionally, pools are wonderful for relaxation and exercise. There’s nothing like having a cup of coffee by a pool before you start your busy day. Or having a quiet drink by the pool to wind down at the end of one. Just looking at the soft motion of the water can make you feel better. Also, swimming is great full-body exercise – and it’s fun! It’s easy on your joints, you stay cool while you workout, and you can exercise anytime you like without leaving your home.

All that sounds great, right? So are you saying “Show me the papers and tell me where to sign!” right now? Well…

The Cons: Money, time, and then more money

Before you do, get out your calculator and family budget. The cost of installing a pool varies a bunch depending on where you live and what kind of pool you choose. That said, in-ground pools can often cost between $25,000 and $50,000.

This cost includes digging the hole, materials, installation, and maybe fees for permits and inspections depending on local regulations. You’ll need to build a patio and put a fence around the pool. Keep in mind, pools can be big construction projects and take time to get done.

The costs don’t stop once construction is complete and you take that first blissful dip. To keep your pool a sparkling blue comes routine pool maintenance. You’ll need to treat the water and clean the filter and skim off leaves and grass clippings. It’s pretty typically for people to spend $100 a month on chemicals and electricity to run the pump. If you want to pay someone to do pool maintenance, you’ll save time but spend more money.

Finally, your insurance advisor may recommend you increase the amount of liability coverage you have on your homeowners policy. Because accidents do happen.

Bottom Line: Figure out how much you’ll really use your pool

Think long and hard about how much you’ll really use that pool of your dreams. Because you’re likely going to pay the same amount of money whether you swim once a day, once a week, or once a month. How much the pool is worth to you is the most important question to answer.

A pool is just one way to make summer plans. Our summer survival guide offers you five more.

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