What to Consider Before Putting in a Pool
Posted by Karli Ostle on Fri, Jan 2021
Us Aussies love our outdoor living. Many homes these days are being built to seamlessly integrate our indoor and outdoor living spaces, so we can spend even more time outside. Outdoor kitchens, lounges on the deck and abundant entertaining spaces are all popular lifestyle requirements for today’s homeowners. But there’s nothing quite like a beautiful pool area to really cement that outdoor luxe feel.
During the hot summer months, it’s easy to imagine your family and friends spending long lazy days by your very own pool, sipping cold drinks while lying on nearby sun lounges and diving in to the pristine blue water for a refreshing swim. While you can quickly get caught up in the excitement of such an idea, before you go spending all your savings on such a big-ticket item there’s a few things you need to consider.
It’s not only expensive to install, but a pool is not cheap to maintain. Before you even begin, you will need construction permits, a surveyor or engineer to sign off on the position (to ensure you do not run into gas or water lines) and a landscaper to make sure it blends seamlessly into your existing outdoor space. Then comes the pool itself – materials, construction, pumps and fencing. If it’s to be heated, an electrician or gas plumber will need to connect it to your power source. The planning and installation of a pool can run into the many tens of thousands and can take weeks or even months to build.
Ongoing maintenance of your pool will also set you back several thousand per year. This can include things such as cleaning equipment and chemicals, energy costs for heating, pool covers and structural upkeep. While it’s a lot of outlay each year, keeping your pool in top condition will help you avoid very costly repairs down the track.
Safety is a key issue if you are considering putting a pool. With such a large amount of water, it can be extremely dangerous. Accidents can easily happen, especially if you have small children. Current Australian laws state that all pools with a water depth over 30cm must have suitable child safety barriers and include self-closing and self-locking gates. Keeping the gate propped open is unlawful and can result in a $5000 fine. Your pool builder should be able to advise you of the required safety measures needed, but it pays to ensure you are aware of these laws also. These may differ slightly from state-to-state, but Victorian pool safety regulations can be found here: https://www.vba.vic.gov.au/consumers/swimming-pools
While it might seem like a good idea to put a pool in now, you do need to stop and consider how you and your family live and will continue to live over the next several years. If your kids will be leaving home, you’re planning to travel, or there’s a chance you will need to move, you may want to stop and think about whether it’s really the best time for such a big investment.
The jury’s out on whether a pool adds value to your home or not and will likely come down to the individual buyer. Given the cost of the pool to install and the ongoing maintenance required, it’s probably unlikely you will recoup these costs when it comes time to sell. It is best you speak to your Agent about how best to position your home to appeal to the right type of buyer.
Yes, a pool is costly and there’s a lot of pros and cons to weigh up, but the lifestyle benefits of having one are also huge. If you’re the type of person who loves to entertain at home, your home will become a hub of activity in summer! You can avoid having to plan and organise lots of holiday activities because you can easily keep the kids entertained at home. Feeling stressed? The sight of rippling water in your backyard will most definitely have a calming effect. And the memories you will make with your family and friends will last a lifetime.
If it’s something you’re seriously considering, it’s a great idea to give your local Hodges representative a call to discuss the effect it may have on your home’s overall value.