Buying Your First Pool

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A pool can be a great addition to any home; a place for the kids to splash around during the summer or for you to relax on the weekends. This is a major purchase, however, and not one to be rushed into without careful thought. If you are geared up to buy your first pool, here are some helpful tips to guide you in the process.

Why?

The first step in buying your first pool is figuring out exactly why you want one in the first place. Is it for personal or family recreation? Are you hoping to make it a centerpiece of your entertaining activities at your home or is it more for therapeutic purposes? Answering these questions will help you decide the best type of pool to meet your needs.

What Type of Swimming Pool?

There are two basic types of pools—inground and above ground. The former is obviously much more expensive and has a more complicated installation process due to things like excavation and more intense labor. However, an inground pool can add significant value to your home and may be a good choice if you are thinking about selling it in the future. Above ground pools are much easier to install and therefore, are much cheaper. In many locations, you will not face property-improvement taxes for installing an above ground pool. They come in a variety of materials, but many believe the best above ground swimming pools are of the steel variety.  The best pool for you will depend on numerous individual factors, such as the amount of space and your budget.

Extra Costs

Owning a pool will come with a host of expenses. In most areas, you will be required to install a security fence. You will need to purchase a quality pool cover as well as filters, skimmers and pool chemicals. Other expenses that typically accompany a new pool include the cost to build a deck around the pool, lights, diving boards and heating equipment. If you purchase heating equipment, you will need to have a structure that will protect the machine from the elements. Depending on where you live, the builder may also strongly recommend screening the area to keep out insects. Then you must be ready to lay out money for any sort of repair or regular maintenance; above ground pools typically require less money to fix liners, etc.

Paying for Your Pool

If you are purchasing an above ground pool, you will likely not require any sort of major financing since they tend to be very inexpensive. In ground pools may be another matter altogether. Many builders offer financing plans, however, they can vary greatly between providers. Because an in ground pool can really boost property values, banks may see it as a good investment and you may be able to get a loan.

Choosing Your Builder

Choose your builder with caution; many unscrupulous people may pop up during the spring and early summer when most people install their pools, offering too-good-to-be-true deals. A few warning signs to look for include steering you towards more expensive pools, claiming the ones on sale are not good, offering a discount because your pool will be used as a model, and using aggressive, high-pressure tactics to get you to sign a contract. Speaking of contracts, review them carefully. It should clearly outline everything about the pool and the building process. Every expense should be listed clearly. Anything that was agreed upon orally should also be written down in the contract.

About the Author:Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who blogs about all things home improvement and recreation.

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