8 Questions to Ask Before Installing a Pool in Your Yard

A fiberglass pool is lowered by crane into a yard.

Installing a pool in your yard is a major change to your outdoor space. Naturally, there are a range of issues to consider before you break ground. What you should think about before you set your swimming pool choice in stone?

1. How often would I really use a pool?

Of course, everyone who imagines getting a swimming pool thinks they’ll use it all the time once it’s up and running, but it doesn't always turn out that way. Consider where you live, the climate, and the routines of your life to get a sense of how much you’ll actually use your pool once it’s finished, after the novelty wears off.

2. How much would it cost?

A swimming pool is a significant expense. In 2019, the average above ground pool cost over $6,000, and the average inground pool cost over $20,000. And the expenses don't stop when installation is complete. Pool upkeep averages between a few hundred and $1,000 a year. Over time, repairs and upgrades might nudge that number even higher. Make sure you take an honest look at your budget as you ponder whether to install a pool.

Pool cleaning tools

3. How much time will the maintenance require?

Pools in active use require a fair amount of maintenance. From keeping a water feature clean, to ensuring sanitizing chemicals are safely balanced, there’s no quick and dirty way to keep up with your pool. Think about whether you have the time to commit, or whether you’re willing to pay someone to keep things clean.

4. Should it be above ground or inground?

One of the most basic decisions to make is whether you prefer a raised or inground pool. Price is a factor to consider (inground pools are more expensive), as is the complexity of potential problems down the line (above ground pools are easier to repair).

5. How will I keep my family safe?

Pools are great places for kids to play, but they also pose some dangers, especially for children. Think about how you plan to keep your pool safe, whether by installing fencing, covers, alarms, or other protective measures.

6. What shape and size should it be?

Particularly for those who go with an inground pool, pool style is another thing to think about. You may want to go with something smaller to suit a cozier yard, or you may want to go bigger if you have the space. Maybe you have a classic rectangle in mind, or perhaps you'd prefer a more natural oasis.

Kids sit by the side of a pool

7. How will a pool change my insurance?

Having a pool could significantly impact your homeowners insurance policy. Discuss potential coverage and any accompanying increases in cost with your provider.

8. What permits will I need?

In most places, building a pool requires permits from a local municipality. Your pool will need to be built to code, making it important to select a reputable company to perform the installation. If you don’t obtain permits and maintain these standards, the legal liabilities will cause insurance issues, and complicate any eventual property sale.

There's clearly quite a bit to think about when considering adding a pool to your yard. Swimming spaces are a great way to make your outdoor areas more beautiful and fun, just make sure you think through all the complicating elements before you make your final decision.