Most homeowners recognize that a house is a money pit. There are endless expenses involved in maintaining a house. So when they plan to purchase a home, they know to include those costs in their budget. However, many homebuyers overlook the costs of a pool. If a house comes with a pool, that creates a whole new set of expenses. If you plan to install a new pool, you may be aware of the construction costs, but you also have to consider the ongoing costs. And we’re not just talking about the weekly, monthly, or annual costs. You need to think about the costs over 5, 10, and 15 years. The real cost of owning a pool cannot be given as an exact number, there are just too many variables. But we can give you some ranges and an idea of the costs so you can better plan.

The Real Cost of Owning A Pool [infographic]

The Cost of Maintaining a Pool

The cost of owning a pool can be broken up into a few major categories. First, there is the cost of installing a new pool, which covers a huge range depending on the type of pool and optional additions. For our purposes, we will leave that out of the discussion. A pool construction company can usually give you a reliable estimate, and it is a one-time cost. What we are concerned with is the cost of owning the pool once it is built.

The most regular recurring cost of owning a pool is the weekly and monthly maintenance costs.

On top of that, you have the cost of your pool cleaning tools. You can choose higher-quality tools that last longer but cost more up-front, or you can spend less on your equipment with the knowledge that you will be replacing it more often.

Another less regular cost is the maintenance on your pool equipment such as your pump, filter, and optional heater. All of these require maintenance, and occasionally that can be expensive.

Some more expensive costs crop up over 5, 10, and 15 years. These include replacing pool equipment, refinishing concrete pools, repairing the deck, repairing the security fence, and other structural costs. These costs are not that different from the cost of maintaining the rest of your house. Nothing lasts forever, in your home or your pool, so some hefty repair and replacement costs will hit you in the long-run.

Monthly Recurring Costs

The most regularly incurred expenses are the cost of weekly and monthly maintenance. Many homeowners grossly underestimate these costs. If you do the work yourself, expect to spend $500-$800 a year on chemicals and equipment. You will need to purchase chlorine regularly. Other recurring materials costs include chemicals for raising and lowering the pH, shocking the pool, and otherwise maintaining well-balanced water. You can also expect to spend about $15 a month on testing equipment.

In addition to the chemicals, you will need to purchase pool cleaning tools. Skimmers, brushes, and vacuums all cost money and eventually need to be replaced. Other niceties include an automatic pool cleaner, which will set you back anywhere from a few hundred to a thousand dollars or more. It’s a significant up-front cost but can save you a lot of time and elbow grease.

In considering weekly and monthly maintenance costs, you also have to consider the value of your time. Granted, the value of your time is not something you can really include in your family budget, but it is worth thinking about. Maintaining a pool yourself takes a few hours a week.

If you don’t want to do the work yourself, you will have to hire a pool company to do it for you. The cost of having your pool professionally maintained on a regular basis will vary by region, size of your pool, and ultimately from one company to the next. Contact The Pool Butler today for your personalized quote. On average, the cost of pool maintenance is around $100 a month.

Running your pool equipment also costs money in utilities. Expect to spend about $300-$500 on electricity annually.

Opening and Closing Your Pool

Another recurring cost is the cost to have your pool professionally opened and closed at the beginning and end of each swimming season. Expect to spend between $150 and $300 to open your pool, depending on how much cleaning it needs. Winterizing your pool will be another $200-$300 and usually has to be done over multiple visits.

When you think about closing your pool for the winter, you will also need to invest in some type of pool cover. We strongly suggest a safety pool cover. It fits tightly over your pool and keeps people and animals from accidentally falling it. It also provides the best coverage for your pool to keep out debris and minimize maintenance. Pool safety covers vary widely in cost. The most significant factors are the size of your pool and the quality of the cover. A basic cover for a small pool can run you about $500, while a larger pool cover can be $1000-$2000. A really high-end cover can cost $3,000 or more. Then there is the cost of installation.

If you are not particularly handy, it’s best to get a safety cover professionally installed. In most cases, you should buy the pool cover from the same technician who will install it and warranty it. Many technicians won’t install a cover you just bought online. Expect to pay $1,000 to $2,000 for an average-sized cover plus installation.

Sporadic Costs

In addition to your monthly maintenance costs and your opening pool, there are some costs that are more sporadic. For instance, any type of pool filter needs to be maintained eventually. Filter cartridges need to be replaced. DE filters need new DE powder. Sand filters eventually need new sand. How often you need these things depends on how heavily you use your pool and they type of filter you have. Costs also vary. But expect to spend around $100 or more a year on average.

Other less common costs include repairing leaks in the pool or damage to pool equipment. For example, pool pumps will break down and may need a new motor. Heaters can break, pipes can leak, returns can clog. These are the sorts of costs you would associate with homeownership, things that eventually break with regular wear and tear. Having a pool just means there are more things in your home to break down over time.

If you have a concrete pool, you will need to completely drain and refinish it about once a decade. The process is not cheap. It can cost $4,000 or more for a reasonably-sized pool. Vinyl liners also need to be replaced from time to time.

Professional Pool Maintenance

To keep your pool at its best, we recommend at least some professional maintenance. If you want to make your pool maintenance free (for you), we offer regular service packages that require almost no extra work from. If you’re going to do the everyday maintenance tasks yourself, we still recommend occasional professional cleaning and maintenance. Of course, if there is anything wrong with your pool or equipment, we are also standing by to fix your pool problems. Contact us today for an estimate on any service or repairs you need.

The Pool Butler