10 Things to Know Before Building a Swimming Pool

a large swimming pool surrounded by a stone patio.

You’re considering installing a swimming pool for your Raleigh home, and no wonder – with summers so hot, having a pool is the only way you and your family can stand to be outside for any length of time! The idea of spending leisurely weekends relaxing while the kids splash and swim is definitely an appealing daydream for any homeowner. 

But, you also know that installing an in-ground pool is a big decision to make, and you’re not sure if it’s worth the maintenance and cost that goes with it or if you have the space for it. In fact, we recommend specific questions to ask before building a swimming pool.

To help you make your decision with confidence, here are 10 important things you should know before contacting a Raleigh pool company.

1) Inground Pools Raise Home Value

In Raleigh, having a pool is a selling point for a home, and having one can increase the value of your home by as much as 7 to 10 percent. This can provide you with an excellent return on investment when it comes time to sell your home in the future, while providing you years of fun and memories in the meantime.  A custom concrete pool or vinyl lined pool can be a great option to help raise the value of your home.

2) Pools Can Be Energy Efficient

Even if it’s hot outside, the pool can stay chilly long into the summer without a pool heater. Electric and gas pool heaters are an effective solution, but they can cause your energy bills to skyrocket. Instead, you can consider a solar blanket to heat your pool. These sheets look like bubble wrap and allow the sun’s rays to heat the pool while the cover’s bubbles keep the heat from escaping at night. Your pool heats quickly and stays warm, while offering added protection from leaves, debris, and evaporation, meaning your filter doesn’t have to work as hard and you don’t have to use additional water to fill it!

3) You Can Install a Swimming Pool with a Home Equity Loan

Depending on what kind of pool you get, you may not have the money to pay out of pocket. Because installing a pool is considered a home improvement, you may be able to take out a home equity loan where you borrow against the value of your house. In many cases, home equity loans offer a lower interest rate than other types of financing, saving you money in the long run.

4) Owning a Pool May Affect Your Insurance Rates 

Because owning a pool can increase risk of accidents, you should check to make sure your homeowner’s policy covers swimming pools. In Raleigh, this typically isn’t a problem because pools are very common around here. 

Whether you add coverage or increase your liability coverage, you may see an increase in your premiums, though this is often only around $50 to $100 on average per year, and a small price to pay for peace of mind. Also, your pool installation company can help you choose safety measures that will reduce the increase in premiums. 

5) Consider A Pool Maintenance Schedule

Maintenance is often one of the biggest causes of hesitancy when it comes to building a swimming pool. While opening and closing the pool are lengthier tasks, those are only done twice a year. Regular maintenance includes: 

  • Skimming the pool for leaves and debris (if there are trees around your home there will be more)
  • Check and backwash your filter
  • Test your water chemistry once a week 
  • “Shock” the pool with a chlorine treatment after heavy storms or if the pool seems murky.

Your pool installation company will provide you with a more in-depth guide, but it’s pretty easy to keep up with!

6) Automate Your Pool Maintenance

If you really want to avoid maintenance, including cleaning, testing, and checking the filter, you can automate your maintenance. Consider:

  • A pool chemical monitor that checks your chemical levels and tells you exactly what you need to add to achieve balance.
  • An automatic pool cleaner that cleans, scrubs the walls and floor, and vacuums debris
  • An automatic timer for your pool pump or heater to connect to your breaker.
  • Electric solar cover reel

7) Installing a Pool Improves Fitness 

Swimming and just walking in the pool is a low impact activity for adults that is gentle on joints and muscles. For kids, instead of staying inside during the summer, they’ll want to be out in the pool playing games, swimming, and being active. 

Having a pool makes it easy and convenient to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle, and the result is a healthier, more fit family! 

8) Discuss Your Pool Installation with Your HOA

If your neighborhood has a homeowner’s association (HOA), having a pool installed may require some paperwork or specifications. For example, many HOAs require pumps to be “hidden” from view, while the pool itself must be a specific distance from your property line.  

The same applies to your city, check your city ordinances to determine what permits your builder may need and if there are any limitations on what you can have. This will save a lot of headache in the future!

9) Almost Any Yard Can Fit a Pool

If you’re worried about how a pool will fit in a small yard, pools can be custom designed for your needs! Most homes in Raleigh have lots large enough to accommodate a pool, whether you want a narrow lap pool or an L-shape. A custom pool builder will work with you to achieve a lovely pool that works for your property. 

You can learn more about selecting the proper pool shape for your yard here.

10) You Can Add Extras Over Time

If you want a custom pool with all the bells and whistles (slides, lighting, automatic maintenance) but your budget says says no, you don’t have to have an all-or-nothing pool. As long as you have the pool, a pump, filter, and the wiring and plumbing infrastructure set up, you can add the extras at a later time!