How Much Does It Really Cost to Own A Pool (& Tips for Saving Money Along the Way)
Cost is one of the biggest factors to consider when it comes to above ground swimming pools. Between purchasing the pool itself, maintenance, and other factors, costs can add up quickly. However, there are a lot of tips and tricks that pool owners can do to keep the cost of owning a pool manageable. So, if you’re wondering if you can afford a pool, how much you should save/budget, or even how to lower your ongoing pool-related expenses, keep reading. We’re breaking down the costs of pool ownership and sharing some of our best money-saving tips.
Initial Purchase & Pool Installation
The cost to purchase an above ground pool can vary greatly depending on several factors, including size and brand. However, you should expect to pay between $600 and $3,000 to purchase an above ground pool. However, that doesn’t include other factors such as a professional installation or installing a deck or patio area to accompany the new pool. Professional pool installation can range from about $1,000 to $3,000 depending on size, whereas a deck or patio may cost $15 to $40 per square foot. If you opt for both of these, your total purchase and installation budget may somewhere between $6,500 to $11,000.
How to save money on your pool purchase and installation:
- Look for sale or clearance prices (particularly at the beginning or end of a season or holidays).
- Use cost-effective materials for your deck or patio, such as wood-alternatives.
- Cut installation costs by installing the pool yourself if you feel comfortable.
- Opt for a smaller sized pool or patio area.
Obviously, pools take water and utilities to operate, which means you’ll likely see an increase in your utility costs. Again, your utility costs are going to vary greatly depending on where you live, how frequently you’re using your swimming pool, and how efficient your pool pump and filter are. Here are a few cost estimates:
- A 2-speed pump/filter system: $30-$50/month
- A 1- speed pump: $75 – $150/month
- Heat pumps: $50-$250/month
- Increase in water bill: $4 to $20/month
Again, these are only guidelines since every pool, pump, and filter system is different. On average, if you use a 2-speed pump system, you could expect to pay between $408 to $840 per year in additional utility expenses. Some averages and estimates show it’s closer to $800 to $1,200 per year extra. However, that cost is cut in half if you’re in a climate where you only run your pool 4-6 months of the year.
- Keep up with pool maintenance to keep the filter and pump operating efficiently.
- Use a pool cover to keep heat in when not in use.
- Invest in solar products, like solar pool covers, for your pool. While some solar products cost more money upfront, they quickly pay for themselves in lower utility expenses and extended outdoor swimming seasons.
Cleaning & Maintenance
Pool maintenance comes with the territory of pool ownership. General maintenance tasks include regularly cleaning the pool, monitoring and adjusting chemical levels, and maintaining all parts and equipment. In general, you can expect to spend $100-$150 per year or less on pool maintenance, such as chemicals and brushes. Here are a few other costs to consider:
- It is recommended to have a professional come and clean your pool at least once a year. This generally ranges from $100-$300.
- Pool vacuums or robotic pool cleaners are one-time expenses that start around $100 and go up depending on what you buy.
- Some pool owners opt to hire a regular professional pool cleaning service or handyman which typically costs between $75 and $150 per month, plus additional costs for pool opening and pool winterization.
How to save money on pool maintenance costs:
- Buy chemicals and cleaning products when they’re on sale (generally the beginning or end of the season).
- Make sure all humans and pets rinse off before getting in the pool to avoid the need for additional cleaning/chemicals.
- Keep the water chemistry stable to avoid algae growth and other issues that require extra chemicals.
Another cost that homeowners may not think about before owning a pool is insurance. Before installing a swimming pool or purchasing a home that has one, you’ll want to talk to your insurance agent. On average, pools can add an additional $240-$300 in insurance costs each year for increased coverage. You may need to install a protective fence, child-proof gate, or pool alarm to qualify for coverage as well, all of which are an additional cost.
How pool owners can save money on home insurance costs:
- Make swimming pool safety and maintenance a top priority in order to avoid a claim.
- Shop around for competitive rates.
- Bundle your home insurance with other policies (like auto) for lower costs.
- Go with a higher deductible, which reduces your monthly costs.
- Understand how pool accessories, like a diving board or slide, can impact your coverage (and rates) before installing them.
- Talk to your insurance provider about other possible discounts, such as senior discounts, long-time customer discounts, or gated-community discounts.
Repairs & Replacement Costs
Of course, you’re going to need to budget for repairs and replacement parts. However, it’s hard to give a cost estimate on this, since so many variables come into play — from how frequently you use your pool to your maintenance routine to weather. To be on the safe side, you should budget about $200 to $250 a year for repairs or replacement costs.
How to save money on repairs:
- Keep up with regular maintenance and cleaning. This is the best way to spot minor issues before they turn into expensive problems.
- Follow all instructions and guidelines for cleaning or storage to avoid damaging your pool equipment and accessories.
Pool Games & Accessories
This is a total splurge category, but it’s worth mentioning. Why have a pool if you’re not going to have some fun? Again, you can spend as little or as much as you want in this category, but we recommend budgeting $50-$150 to get some fun new pool toys and floats each summer or throw an awesome pool party with your friends.
How to save money on pool accessories and games:
- Buy games and pool accessories secondhand or when they’re on sale or clearance
- Clean pool toys and accessories properly to help them last longer
- Play free swimming games, such as Marco Polo
Other Tips & Tricks To Save Pool Owners Money:
- Always compare prices online when looking for pool parts, accessories, and services.
- Look for great warranties on your swimming pool, parts, and accessories.
- Check into local regulations regarding pools to avoid fines or unexpected costs.
- Get the pool inspected before buying a home with a pool to avoid surprise repair or maintenance costs.
- Keep an eye out for swimming pool leaks and fix them quickly.
- Buy pool chemicals in bulk for the best deals.
- If you hire a pool cleaning service, make sure to check reviews, insurance, and certifications to make sure you’re not getting ripped off.
Hopefully this helped break down the costs of pool ownership a little more and provide you with some easy and effective ways to keep the cost of owning a swimming pool manageable. If you have questions about various costs or just want some additional insights into pool ownership, we’re always here to help. Just leave a comment below!
P.S. If you’re looking for a long-lasting, affordable liner for your above ground swimming pool, we’ve got you covered there too!