The idea of diving into a crystal clear swimming pool on a warm summer day is a favorite of many people. But diving into a pool in the privacy of your backyard is even more enticing to many homeowners around the United States. The interest in pools is clear when you consider the rapid increase in the value of a swimming pool over the past several years. In the South Atlantic region, the value of a swimming pool jumped from $19,005 pre-COVID to over $30,000 in 2022. Homeowners in Orlando, Florida may have seen the increase in value and are eager to jump in on the swimming pool craze. But before diving into an at home in-ground pool you should consider the cost not just of installation but also of long-term maintenance.
Installing an in-ground swimming pool is an expensive project that can require quite a bit of time depending upon the condition of your backyard. The average price to install an in-ground pool is $42,480. However, the cost can rise to $150,000 for higher end versions. With the high cost of installation first and foremost in pool owners’ minds, it can be easy to forget that a swimming pool is a year round project that requires continuous maintenance. Everything from cleaning supplies, to pool system maintenance, to the upkeep of the area surrounding the pool needs constant attention and monetary investment. Of course the amount of monthly and annual expenses to maintain a pool can vary based on the pool size, type, and location. However, the national average monthly cost to maintain a pool is somewhere between $112 and $230. That’s about a $1,200 to $2,700 annual investment.
An often overlooked addition to swimming pool maintenance is maintenance of the surrounding deck. In the Orlando, Florida area, a top concern for home buyers is the surrounding pool deck that is in top condition. The last thing you want is to go to sell your home in a few years and discover that the concrete around your pool is cracking and needs to be repaired. Most pool decks are made of concrete, which is a very durable surface that can last decades with the right care. Your concrete deck should have been sealed when it was installed. The sealant will prevent damage from Uv rays, salt water, mold, and mildew. But that sealant won’t keep away dirt, falling leaves, food spills, drink spills, etc. If you have quite a few trees or heavy pollen carrying plants around your pool, sweep the deck several times a week to remove debris. You can also pressure wash your concrete every couple of months to keep it looking spotless.
Common Pool Maintenance Needs
To keep your pool water free from dirt, dead leaves, bugs, and more you need to cover it. The average pool cover costs anywhere from $2,7000 for a mesh cover to $3,7000 for a solid cover.
Pool filters are one of the most important items to keep your pool clean. Your in-ground pool will come with a filtration system installed, however you will have to cover the cost to replace the filters. While you may be tempted to use a small inexpensive pool filter to save costs up front, your savings would only result in the use of more pool chemicals and larger issues down the line.
You will need to invest in a skimmer to remove debris that gets past the pool cover and into the water. A handheld skimmer, which is a net attached to a long pole will help you skim debris from the water. These are relatively cheap and range from $10 to $25. Another skin to invest in is installed as part of your pool system. It pulls the debris floating on your water surface and traps it in a skimmer basket. You will need to clean this regularly so that it works at full capacity to keep debris out of your pool. Replacing a broken skimmer can cost $1,500.
Skimming your pool will only pick up large debris on the surface of the water. YOu need an automatic pool cleaner that attaches to your pool’s filtration system to keep the bottom of your pool clean. A pool vacuum ranges from $80 to $1,300.
In addition to cleaning tools, you need a wide range of pool chemicals to balance the pH level in your pool. To maintain water that is clear and safe to swim in, you’ll need to test your water daily if not weekly depending upon the humidity and heat during the summer months. Chlorine, bromine, algicide, water stabilizers, and pool shock are the main chemicals you will need. Chlorine tablets need to be used in the pool daily. If you suffer from sensitive skin you can switch from chlorine to bromine, though the alternative is more expensive. A five-pound container of chlorinating tablets costs approximately $22 while a five-pound container of brominating tablets closes closer to $44. Algicide is a necessary chemical to prevent and treat algae. A typical 30,000 gallon pool requires about a cup of algicide a week to keep the water sparkling. A 128oz bottle costs only $17. Finally, a water stabilizer also known as pool conditioner, chlorine stabilizer, or cyanuric acid, will protect the chlorine in your pool from evaporating in the bright Orland, Florida summer sun. A 25-pound pack of stabilizer costs around $85.
Fortunately for homeowners in Orlando, Florida the warm weather means they will not need to worry about closing the pool for the winter. However, pool chemicals will need to be shifted to accommodate varying pH levels. Of course there may be unforeseen repairs that pop up here and there especially as your pool systems age. For instance pool pumps can go out after years of use and will cost an average of $700-$15000 to replace. In addition, your pool tiles could crack, the finish could begin to flake off, and the soil below the pool could settle unevenly and cause cracks in your pool that will lead to leaks and structural issues.
While it may seem like caring for a pool is easy, many homeowners run into trouble with using the correct amount of chemicals. Due to chemical imbalances their pools become foggy, dirty, or unusable. You can prevent this from happening by hiring a professional to care for your pool. He or she will maintain the pH balance of your pool on a weekly basis and provide system maintenance. Remember that an in-ground swimming pool is a valuable addition to your home both in sale price and in enjoyment, but before you dive in consider all of your options. Speak with a trusted Orlando, Florida real estate agent about your financial ability, time constraints, and home value so that you are able to care for your pool for the long-term.