Should You Have a Backyard Pool?

Pros and Cons of Swimming at Home

Having a swimming pool in your back yard can be a summer dream come true. Know the pros and cons, risks and benefits before deciding to install a backyard pool.

If you spend your summer carting kids, beach balls and floaties to the public pool or swim club nearly every day, chances are you’ve flirted with the idea of putting in your own backyard pool.

Swimming pools are a source of summer fun, instant recreation for your kids, and a plus for your property. They’re also expensive to install and maintain, time consuming, and a safety concern.

Before you sign off on plans to install a backyard swimming pool, consider the pros and cons for your family.

Your House Becomes Fun Central With a Swimming Pool

As a pool owner, be prepared for your neighbors and your children’s friends to be lining up at your door, goggles and beach towels in hand. Having your own pool is an advantage if you have teens and older children and you’re looking for a way to keep them at home. Your children will never be able to say, “We don’t have anything to do” when they’re not in school. For children from toddler through teens, water is a source of fun.

A swimming pool is an attractive asset to your property and is a great place to entertain, not to mention a theme for any party.

A Pool Helps a Child’s Swimming Skills Improve

Having a swimming pool in their own back yard allows children regular exposure to the water, which improves their confidence, swimming skill, and safety. The American Red Cross says that one factor in a child’s ability to learn to swim is how often they’re in the water and how frequent they’re using and practicing techniques.

Like any sport, the more often a child swims the quicker he masters the task, improves his technique, becomes more confident in the water and is a better, safer swimmer.

Health, Sports and Fitness Benefits of a Backyard Pool

No matter what athletic interests your family has, swimming is a great way to stay in shape and train for any sport. Swimming is highly aerobic, a good cardio workout, and is easier on the muscles, joints and bones than running or biking.

When children are in a pool – even if they’re just tossing a ball back and forth or playing Marco Polo – they’re getting exercise.

Safety and Liability Concerns of Backyard Pools

Installing a pool on your property carries with it an added responsibility in backyard safety. Before installing a pool, be aware of local requirements for fencing. A responsible pool owner goes beyond legal requirements and sees to it that the pool is protected by a high fence with a locked gate. Consider pool alarms, door alarms that can be set at night to prevent toddlers from going to the pool during the night, and the best safety covers for when the pool is closed.

Talk to your insurance agent about an umbrella policy that covers any accident at your home, at the pool, in the pool, or anywhere on your property.

Swimming Pool Expenses

The cost of installing a backyard pool ranges from high – for an in-ground cement pool – to lower – for an above-ground pool. Having the pool installed is just the beginning. Fencing, a cover, equipment and landscaping add to the initial cost of a swimming pool.

Chemicals, cleaning, heating, maintenance, repairs, closing your pool in the winter and reopening it in the summer are all additional expenses.

Some expenses are offset by the cost of a swim club membership, beach passes or trips to a public pool.
Your Time at Your Pool

Pool owners become part-time pool cleaners and full-time lifeguards. You’ll find yourself spending part of every day either cleaning the pool, checking filters and baskets, and checking and adding chemicals, not to mention being present while any child is in the water.

Doing your own pool cleaning, however, has a side benefit advantage. A backyard pool is cleaner and more sanitary than a public pool.

And as lifeguard, you’ll be sure your children are being watched over. Don’t hesitate to set strict rules – no diving, no jumping onto rafts, no running on the pool deck, no glass at the pool, and when the adult in charge has to leave the poolside area, no matter how brief, everyone gets out of the water.

After weighing the pros and cons, if you decide to take the plunge and install a backyard swimming pool, being prepared for the expense and safety concerns will help you to enjoy your pool even more.