Let’s revisit the other Top 10 contributing factors to inground swimming pool costs
- Type of inground swimming pool
- Area of the country
- Length of pool season
- Regular ongoing maintenance
- Scheduled preventive maintenance
- Water chemistry maintenance
- Pool pad equipment
Where you live greatly affects the cost of running and maintaining your swimming pool, its equipment, and its water. For instance, in the northeast, the swim season is short, and temperatures rarely rise over 90ᵒ or dip below 60ᵒ in the hight of the season. This temperature range makes it easier to maintain chemistry. Also, with less evaporation, there’s even less need for chemical replacement. Arid climate maintenance costs are dramatically higher for obvious reasons. Pools are kept open longer if closed at all. Equipment runs longer, evaporation is an issue, and higher temperatures make it challenging to maintain pool water balance due to a higher likelihood of algae growth.
Check out our complete guide to water chemistry maintenance in fiberglass pools.
The type and frequency of dirt and debris entering your swimming pool’s water vary greatly as well. Longer pool seasons lead to more debris in your pool and various regional plant and organic matter must be kept at bay by skimming often.
Rain can cause you the most trouble of all regional issues. Rainwater will dilute your water’s chemicals, often leading to cloudy water. It’s important to test your pool’s water immediately after a rainstorm to replenish what was lost.
When rainwater and landscape runoff enter a pool’s water, they can also alter your water’s calcium hardness, total dissolved solids (TDS) and other chemical levels through the dilution of the chemicals in your pool water. Rainwater is acidic, which will lower your swimming pool water’s pH. It’s imperative that you not let your pH fall below 7.2 Parts per million (PPM). Low pH will make your water corrosive and damage your pool’s surfaces and equipment. And, chlorine will expend itself more rapidly.
Lifestyle also has a lot to do with swimming pool maintenance. Do you throw a lot of pool parties? Do you have a constant stream of swimmers? Do they shower before swimming? While these might sound like personal questions, bathers, the two and four-legged kinds, significantly affect your water chemistry. Hairspray, makeup, soap, shampoo, sunblock, etc., will all throw off water chemistry. Most everything can and will negatively affect your swimming pool water balance. As we’ve repeatedly said in all Leisure Pools articles, test frequently to maintain optimum water chemistry levels.
Properly functioning, sized and efficient swimming pool equipment will contribute to lower maintenance costs. How much depends on what you have on your pool pad. A trained professional can direct you on how you can save energy, water, and chemicals – by right-sizing equipment for your plumbing and pool size. They will also help you consider smarter automated swimming pool equipment that will run only when you need it. They’ll also recommend energy and water-conserving equipment such as variable-speed pool pumps, heat pumps to heat your pool’s water, and cartridge filters that don’t require backwashing. What’s right for you and your swimming pool can only be determined when a pool professional knows your particular application.
Hardscapes, landscaping, and of course features, furnishings and décor are pool dreamer specific. Natural stone decking and pavers will add drama and a higher price tag over other materials. The addition of fire and water features, an outdoor kitchen, and luxurious furnishings that rival your indoors will add comfort and style at considerable cost.
The key to lowering costs in these areas is to plan many of these poolside additions at the same time you’re scoping your build. While some items may need to move out to a 2, 5, or even 10-year plan, there are some economies of scale that can help you lower your costs at build time. Anything such as digging, trenching, and heavy lifting that can be done when your contractors are installing the pool and surrounding hard and landscaping design can lower costs significantly by using equipment already there. Also, there’s less chance of surprises and overages when builders, architects, designers, and various trades work together on an overall plan.