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Expectation vs Reality: installing a swimming pool in your backyard

Last modified: 2020-06-10 | Approximate reading time 4 mins

Amanda Harvey

The summer season is approaching and you may be thinking about installing a swimming pool in your backyard to make the most of it! No doubt your loved ones and especially your children would be delighted with this addition. Of course, if you’re already imagining a pool in the backyard, whether you opt for an above-ground or underground model, it’s only natural to skip the hard parts and envision yourself drinking a poolside glass of lemonade.

But is installing a swimming pool only positive? Will your expectations be met?

A summer swimming pool: between pleasure and obligation

You'll be able to let loose!

femme dans la piscine_Soumission Rénovation_woman in pool_renoquotes

There are plenty of reasons why we want to install a swimming pool: it’s good for entertaining friends, having a drink while lying on a deck chair and offering everyone a way to cool off when the weather is hot. There is no doubt that these moments of joy can will happen if you purchase a swimming pool that suits your needs and those of your family. What's more, if you don't have indoor air conditioning, you'll appreciate it even more!

Does this mean that everything will be fun and games from day 1? Unfortunately not! Whether you choose a large or small pool, you’ll need to maintain it properly if you really want to enjoy it. What type of maintenance will it require? Here’s an overview:

  • filter the water on a daily basis and clean the filtration system from time to time
  • make sure that the filtration lasts long enough (divide the water temperature by 2 to know the duration);
  • disinfect the water (with chlorine, bromine or active oxygen) and make sure to correctly dose the amount of product;
  • check the PH at least once a week (it should be between 7.2 and 7.4). If it’s too high or too low, readjust it;
  • when necessary, remove debris from the surface of the water using a pool net;
  • use a special vacuum cleaner to clean the bottom of the pool.

A pool: fun for everyone, but what are the constraints?

enfant dans une piscine_Soumission Rénovation_child in the pool_renoquotes

Being able to enjoy a swimming pool does imply quite a bit of maintenance and you will also have to comply with a number of safety rules.  In short, this mainly concerns the need to install a fence of at least 1.2 meters for above-ground pools less than 1.2 meters in height and inflatable pools whose height is less than 1.4 meters.

There are also certain rules about the location of the enclosure as well as other aspects, including the space between the bars and the fence-locking method. To learn about the safety measures that you should apply, check out our article: Swimming pool installation regulations.

Similarly, it’s essential to remember that the carefree nature of hot summer days and vacations can quickly make us forget about the presence of danger, although it is omnipresent.

Far from wanting to cast a shadow of negativity on your swimming pool project, we must still recognize that far too many accidents happen each year. In some cases, these are caused by excessive alcohol consumption or by a' lack of adequate supervision (if only for a few minutes).

This prompts us to reiterate the importance of following some very important safety rules, mentioned on the Red Cross website:

  • avoid using glass containers near the pool
  • don’t run around the pool 
  • avoid alcohol consumption while bathing
  • do not dive
  • make sure to have a first-aid kit and a buoy near the pool
  • make sure you have a phone handy
  • don’t leave toys lying around the pool
  • empty toddler pools after each use
  • never allow young children to play in the pool without supervision
  • don’t bathe alone

Can a pool offer affordable entertainment? 

The cost of an above-ground pool

Although the maintenance of a swimming pool doesn’t cost a fortune (on average between $300 and $700 per year), the fact remains that this purchase will still require a certain budget, which can be quite considerable.

How much are we talking about exactly? To purchase a standard quality 21-foot above-ground pool, you can expect to pay around $3500 (including the filter, the vacuum cleaner, the water purifier, the lighting, the staircase, a stopwatch, installation and taxes).

Is everything included in that price? Contrary to popular belief, such is not the case. Indeed, you’ll have to pay an additional $200 so that the pile of soil resulting from the excavation doesn’t remain on-site. Also, note that installing a 110-volt outlet with a ground fault circuit interrupter near the filter costs approximately $300. Many cities also require a permit to install a swimming pool (between $25 and $50).

Finally, it must also be taken into account that the ladder supplied with the swimming pool often only attaches to the deck. Therefore, you’ll have to pay an additional $115 for your ladder to comply with current safety standards. As for the canvas, expect between $60 and $100.

An inground pool: what's the cost?

enfants dans la piscine_Soumission Rénovation_children in a pool

Looking specifically at a 16 x 30 model, the inground pool will require an investment of around $20,000. This sum includes the vacuum cleaner, at least two lights, a ladder, a sidewalk and a filter.

To this amount, you’ll have to add between $50 and $300 for the municipal permit, a minimum of $500 to repair the damage caused to your landscaping and approximately $2000 for the use of light machinery (if necessary). In addition to this long list, there are also the costs relating to the water heater and the 220-volt electrical installation of the latter and the filter (approximately $900).

Are you ready to dive ... or rather take the plunge? Do not forget to plan your budget, as this will avoid any unpleasant surprises!

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