Taking the Plunge on a Backyard Pool

Taking the Plunge on a Backyard Pool

This time of year many Mid-Southerners can't help but entertain the idea of building their own backyard oasis, but it may not be as relaxing as it sounds. In Local 24's Angie's List report, what you should know about pools before taking the plunge.
MEMPHIS, TN (localmemphis.com) - Summer has definitely arrived in the Mid-South and a place to cool off isn't just nice, it's often necessary. This time of year many Mid-Southerners can't help but entertain the idea of building their own backyard oasis, but it may not be as relaxing as it sounds. In Local 24's Angie's List report, what you should know about pools before taking the plunge.

"Our kids love to swim, and we felt like it was a good thing we could do as a family and we have a lot of land so we felt like it was a good use of our backyard," said homeowner Shannon McCollom.

But she had no idea what she was getting into when they opted to build their own pool.

"This is not a surgical maneuver. This is sort of like open heart surgery on your backyard. So it's going to be messy," said pool builder Bill Lambert. "We can try to contain the mess as best as possible, but you are going to have dump trucks, there's going to be a lot of dirt moved around."

It can also be time-consuming and costly. In-ground pools can range between $20,000 and $70,000 and above ground can run up to $5,000.

According to Angie Hicks with Angie's List, "In the heat of the summer a pool might sound like a fantastic idea, but the reality is unless you are the only house in your neighborhood that doesn't have a pool you should skip it. Pools tend to scare off potential buyers of your house and you usually only get about 50 cents on the dollar return on investment."

And then there's the maintenance. Weekly care plus opening and closing a pool can run about $2,000.

"If the homeowner is going to do the maintenance themselves they need to check their chemicals, maybe three times a week. They need to adjust their chemicals because depending on how much sunlight and how many people have been in the pool, they may need more chemicals or less," Lambert advised.

If you're determined to take the plunge, shop around for the right contractor and take your time collaborating on a design.

Hicks suggests, "Remember a pool is going to be with you for a long time so you want a find a reputable pool company who is going to stand behind their project. You want to know what kind of warranty is going to be on the pool."

Before building a pool, Angie's List says you should contact your local building department and/or homeowner's association for a complete list of rules, regulations and required permits.

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