7 Things to Consider Before You Get a PoolIs there anything better than jumping into a crisp, cool pool when it's 90 degrees outside? It's our first official heatwave here in NYC and today is Day 3 of hazy, hot and humid. Just getting on and off the subway is a lesson in restraint. But knowing you are going home to a cool, sparkling pool can make the commute bearable. Unlike the beach or a public pool, your own pool is private, clean, and always available. Sure, having your own pool in your own yard has immense benefits, but it can also be a headache. I've learned a lot of lessons from being a pool owner. Before you dive into this big purchase, here are 7 things to consider:
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Home Insurance1. Home Insurance
Your home insurance will go up slightly. Obviously having a pool is a hazard. You'll also need to have a fence enclosed around your yard with a lock on your gate so children can't get into your yard without your knowledge and fall in the pool. Liability insurance will vary from place to place, so it's best to ask your insurance company before you purchase.
Above-ground or in-ground? If you have very young children, you might feel more comfortable with an above-ground pool. All it takes is one minute for a child to open a door and fall into an in-ground pool. If that thought weighs heavily on your mind, you might feel better with an above-ground pool, which you can remove the ladder from when you're not using it. Yet even if you choose an above-ground pool, there is a still a myriad of safety concerns to address. Children need to be supervised at all times, the pool chemicals need to be balanced each day, and proper safety equipment needs to be readily available (think life preservers and floaties). And if your child can't swim just yet, now is a good time for a swim class.
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It takes work to keep your pool crystal clear. A few days of rain can leave your once crisp, blue pool looking a bit cloudy or even green. Checking your pool's PH, chlorine and acidity levels must become a routine, like taking out the dog!
While it can be expensive initially, a pool in your own yard will keep your kids busy for so many days this summer that the extra money might just be worth its weight in gold (or sanity!). But, you will have to factor in the cost of the pool itself, plus its upkeep, including replacement parts when something breaks (like our pump which recently gave way and cost us $500). In addition to the price of the actual swimming pool, you'll have additional expenses such as chemicals, safety equipment, pool accessories and toys, ground leveling and installation fees, and as mentioned earlier, possible fencing.
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Germ Factor5. Germ Factor
One of the things that gross me out about the beach and public pools are the seen and unseen things floating in the water that children share. Think dirty diapers, bodily fluids, saliva, etc... Sure, the chances of someone getting sick from shared water funk is relatively low, but I can't lower the gross factor in my mind no matter how hard I try, and for this I am truly grateful to have a pool.
If you get a pool that doesn't fold up and go in the basement once summer ends, your yard will lose a bulk of its space, which means less area for ball games, gardening, doggy spaces, and general room. I have a 4-foot year-round above-ground pool and I can tell you that when summer ends, I only wish I could fold it up and store it away like my much smarter sister-in-law does with her 4-foot collapsible pool.
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Having a pool is a gateway to making a ton of memories with family and friends. A pool enhances every barbecue and summer party. Plus, the instant cool factor on a stifling summer day is priceless!
- By Danielle Sullivan
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