7 On Your Side: Pool installations

7 On Your Side: Pool installations
(Source: MGN Online)
(Source: MGN Online)

A pool can be a great go-to spot for family fun, but a pool can be a lot of work.

In this segment of 7 On Your Side, we get tips from Angie's List about what you should know about pools before taking the plunge.

Homeowner Shannon McCollom added a pool to her backyard last fall.

"We decided to have a pool installed because 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," McCollom said.

A pool can provide hours of entertainment, but it's also a costly project that you should research thoroughly. According to Angie's List, in-ground pools can cost between $20,000 and $70,000 and above ground can run up to $5,000.

Ask yourself, "What will it cost versus what will I get out of it?"

"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," said Angie Hicks, of Angie's List.

You should also factor in maintenance. Regular tasks include vacuuming the pool floor, balancing chemicals and checking the pump. Angie's List says weekly care, plus opening and closing a pool, can run about $2,000.

Building that perfect pool – and keeping it that way – depends a lot on who you hire because installing a pool can be a lengthy project, sometimes taking a month or more. Experts say you should develop a good dialogue with your contractor.

"This is not a surgical maneuver. This is sort of like open heart surgery on your backyard. So, it's going to be messy. 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," said Bill Lambert, a pool builder.

"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. And remember this is a project that can take a long time, especially given that you might hit some rainy days during installation. You want to have a well laid out plan to make sure you hit your deadlines," Hicks added.

Lambert said it's also important what builder you go with.

"There's a craft to it. There's a lot below ground that you're just going to have to trust your builder to do right because if there's something wrong, the way they build it underground, the piping they use or the way they do their perimeter drain, culverts and those sort of things underground. If they're not done right, you may not discover it for five or six years," Lambert said.

According to Angie's List, 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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