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Thread: Do you have pool regrets?

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    Do you have pool regrets?

    My husband and I are considering getting an in ground pool. We live in the Sacramento area and temperatures are mid-high 90's and well into the 100's from, typically, May to October. It's hot. We have three kids (ages 2, 4, 5) who all love to swim. We've had two companies come out to give us estimates, and we are having a difficult time deciding between taking a loan out for (the majority of) $30-35k and enjoying the pool each Summer, and saving the money and being either cooped up indoors and/or using public pools when they are open. Since almost all of you have pools, I was wondering if anyone regrets getting an in ground pool, given the cost of it?

    Also, my husband says it is not just the initial cost, but the monetary cost of maintenance (we would use the TFP method) and the additional electric charge for running the filter (no solar though). What do you find these expenses to be, in general?

    Though my post sounds biased, both of us are undecided and having a difficulty picking a side on this!!! Such a difficult decision.

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    Mod Squad Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Do you have pool regrets?

    I was totally opposed to a pool a few years ago, and every time my wife mentioned it, I didn't know what to do. We have the coast, rivers, waterparks, etc, so why a pool? But now that we have it, I can't imagine the backyard without one. Our water is always clean & clear and I get goosebumps when I go to other man-made water establishments. Operating and caring for the pool is not that exhausting either manually or financially when done correctly. That's where TFP and "proper" testing comes into play. If you do decide to invest in a pool, come back here with quotes and a list of equipment and we'll be glad to give you some pointers. Good luck!
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Do you have pool regrets?

    I'm the same. I was 100% against a pool for quite a few years. I lost. I love our pool and use it more than anyone else. Our variable speed pump costs a little under 12 bucks a month to run 24x7 for filtering skimming and making chlorine with the SWG. I buy some CYA, bleach, muriatic acid and a TF-100 test kit refill each year. I really don't know how much I spend, but my guess is a couple hundred bucks a year for the pool and hot tub.

    My regret is that we didn't build a pool 15 years ago.
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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Do you have pool regrets?

    I think most people here will tell you if they have regrets it will be about design issues, not in pool ownership. There is always a grass is always greener, the pool should have been deeper, the pool should have been shallower, sort of thing. The truth is all pools are compromises regardless of the size, look at the olympics they even have diving pools and lap pools, and neither one of those would make a good backyard pool even if you had the money and space for one. The one thing we never hear though is anyone saying, I wish my pool was smaller.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Do you have pool regrets?

    It can be hard to pull a loan for that much money, especially for a pool which will have minimal impact on the resale value of a home (a kitchen/bathroom remodel adds more to the value of a home than a pool). But as Ike said, our only regret is that we did not know about TFP before owning a pool

    As for on-going costs, if you follow the TFPC Method of pool care and you make wise equipment choices (variable speed pump, oversized filter, maybe salt-water chlorine generator) and you stay away from all the hype and nonsense (UV/Ozone/Mineral sanitation), you can run a pool very cheaply. The biggest costs for a pool will be running the pool pump (minimize it by using a variable speed pump), running a gas or electric heater (keep the pool covered) and water loss from evaporation (again, pool cover is key). My pool is open all year round and it costs very little to run...I haven't done the math for this year but I would be surprised if I spent more than $500 on running my pool.

    It's a huge decision, so please take your time, get lots of quotes and feel free to post any questions you have here on the forum and many, many, many people will be happy to help you. Our "Under Construction" sub-forum is one of the busiest each year with lots of new pool builds so there's an endless supply of ideas and lessons-learned to help you think through the process.

    Best wishes to you!
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    GaryT58's Avatar
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    Re: Do you have pool regrets?

    My wife had wanted a pool forever, but I was the one against it for many of your husband's same reasons. We built this spring (April 2016). Loving the pool. Still hot here (low 90s). My cover is keeping the water warm (84 today), so just came in from a relaxing afternoon in and at the pool reading with my wife. Grandkids spent the night last night - swam until 7pm with led light on, and then they swam this morning at 7:30am.

    So no regrets on building it - none. My only regrets are not finding this site until after the build, and doing some more research first. I swapped out the original fix speed pump for a variable speed pump which cost me only $5/month to run. Had I read up more first, I would have gotten it in the first place. The price difference would have been made up in 3 months anyway.

    Also, I wish I would have built a couple removable fountains in my concrete pad to cool water in summer. I use ones that go into a couple of my return jets, which work well, but would rather not to have to put them in on hot evenings.
    38'x16' Fiberglass pool - 3.5' - 8' deep - 19,000 gallons. AutoPilot Total Control SWG (RC-52 cell), Pentair SuperFlo VS, Pentair SD70 Sand Filter, Coverstar Automatic Cover, 10' board, PAL Treo lighting, Polaris 9550 Sport robot, Lamotte ColorQ Pro 7 test kit.

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    Re: Do you have pool regrets?

    Of course the answers here will be biased. We are after all a pool owners forum.

    Ours isn't built yet but we also have 3 little kids. We had the same debate you are having, our debate lasted about 2 years. We also took out a similar sized loan. Here was our deciding factors:

    - Our younger kids will use the pool a ton at the young age and it will be endlessly easier to entertain at own house vs packing everyone up for the beach, community pool, water park etc. It also allows for more sporadic last minute swimming.

    - It will make our yard so much more usable (we currently do not have a deck and it is terribly hot in south Florida). We love to entertain but have always found our guests congregating inside. We think the pool and patio will change that.

    - interest rates are at an all time low. The cost of a pool financed today is not much different than saving the money and paying the cash in a few years.

    - we also debated the resale value. You're right, it certainly doesn't add much value. If at all, in certain areas of the country. But outdoor entertaining space (patios, Lanais, outdoor kitchens etc) typically does, if you are including that in your project. We realized that the purchase wasn't about the equity or resale value but about the value to our family. Does your family like to swim often?

    I'm sure you've thought of most of these, but I hope it helps your decision making!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Brian - UNDER CONSTRUCTION: 17K gal SW Gunite IG. 17'x23'(w/shelf)x34'. 650sf. 114' perim. 3.5'-5' depth sports pool. 7'x11' sun shelf, 6'x8' spa. Intelliflow VSP, IC60 SWCG, CC420 filter, 4 LEDs (2 Globrite and 2 Intellibrite). Hayward 140K BTU heat pump. Pentair EasyTouch 8 automation. Ivory travertine deck. 8"X16" travertine coping. NPT lightwaves Aquamarine spa tile and marker tiles. Undecided on plaster/pebble finish.

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    RyanMcC's Avatar
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    Re: Do you have pool regrets?

    I'd say we regret not doing it sooner, but waiting until the kids were capable swimmers made us feel better.

    The extra costs are there, but what we get for them is amazing- and with TFP they're minimal: some electricity, some bleach and every once in a while, some testing chemicals.

    "Using the pool" is more than time spent swimming. That's amazing enough, but sitting out on the deck by the pool is way better than sitting out on the deck before it had a pool.

    Swimming isn't an errand (or worse, expedition) to the Y or the town pool any more, it's just stepping out your back door to swim, to sit with your feet in the water or just to enjoy your own oasis. Oh, and your pool is open whenever you want it to be. You don't need to schedule your walk out the door (much less a whole family expedition) around swim lessons, hydrorobics classes and swim team practices.

    Having a pool changes what a pool is to you. We all do more swimming now because it's easier. It's not a packing list and a car trip, it's a spur of the moment decision.
    "...chemistry is not an exact science" -Mario Andrada, Rio 2016 Olympics spokesman
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    Re: Do you have pool regrets?

    Thank you everyone for your responses. It sounds like my husband and I are not the only couple who have been at odds over this decision! A friend said "why don't you ask some pool owners if they regret getting a pool, I don't know anyone who does", which is where I got the idea to post this. (I've been on the forum for the past few months, mostly for our hot tub, but also looking at pool design and learning TFP method).

    grumpiebk, how old are your children? And what do you plan to do about safety? That is another immediate expense that we will need to incur. I don't trust the door alarms by themselves, and would like to have a physical barrier to keep my little ones from getting to the water.

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: Do you have pool regrets?

    IMO, if you have to take out a loan, forget it. Save for a few years and pay cash.

    The thought of having to pay $1000 a month for a pool is crazy.
    16 x 32 17500 gallons
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  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Do you have pool regrets?

    We have really little ones. Our first is almost 3 and is just about swimming on his own (lessons every week). Our youngests are 8 month old twins who haven't started lessons yet. We are definitely pool people though. We go to our community pool at least once a week and sometimes find ourselves filling up our $10 plastic pool in the backyard on the grass for the kids.

    For safety we are going with a child fence around the pool. Here in Florida you have to have one or the other, a fence or an alarm. I think it runs around $12 a linear foot here for fencing. Although it doesn't look as nice, it will gives us some piece of mind.

    One cool kiddie concept we are doing is also installing child fence post holes along the edge of our sun shelf so we can choose to fence off the pool but not the 6" deep sun shelf and bubblers to keep the "kiddie pool" open when we are outside with the little ones and not using the full pool. And then when we want it completely cut off, we can move the fence to close off the shelf. With all of the pool options these days, you can design something that works best for your needs and concerns.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Brian - UNDER CONSTRUCTION: 17K gal SW Gunite IG. 17'x23'(w/shelf)x34'. 650sf. 114' perim. 3.5'-5' depth sports pool. 7'x11' sun shelf, 6'x8' spa. Intelliflow VSP, IC60 SWCG, CC420 filter, 4 LEDs (2 Globrite and 2 Intellibrite). Hayward 140K BTU heat pump. Pentair EasyTouch 8 automation. Ivory travertine deck. 8"X16" travertine coping. NPT lightwaves Aquamarine spa tile and marker tiles. Undecided on plaster/pebble finish.

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Do you have pool regrets?

    I have four kids. When we got our home and pool, my oldest was 8, my middle boy was 5 and my youngest boy was barely a year old. Here's what we did for safety -

    1. All doors leading outside are alarmed and will set off a chime when opened. No one leaves (or enters) the house without me hearing the beeps.

    2. All doors leading outside have "pool code" deadbolts on them - regular deadbolts at normal height and another deadbolt set 32" from the top of the door. No child under the age of ~8 yrs old can reach the top deadbolt.

    3. Standard wrought-iron pool safety fence with self-locking/self-closing doors. This is required by county code.

    4. Swimming lessons every season for each kid under the age of 10 or until they are proficient swimmers. My 4 year old can now swim in the pool without support and knows how to safely get to the coping. My other boys are both proficient swimmers.

    5. No one goes in the pool unless I am present at home and outside on the pool deck. If I have to go in the house to answer a phone or be otherwise distracted, all kids have to come out of the pool and sit on the lounge chairs until I get back - no exceptions!

    Finally, if you have babies in the house (12 to 24 months), you can also consider a program called ISR - Infant Swim Rescue. This is specialized training course that teaches babies how to flip over onto their backs in water and float to the pool wall/coping and grab on. You can look it up online here - ISR Self-Rescue® Survival Swimming Lessons
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    ned8377's Avatar
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    Re: Do you have pool regrets?

    Taking care of a pool using TFP is not that bad and not that expensive. Doing the actual taking care of and then having a loan on top of that may be a problem.
    True L 45,000 gal Hayward vinyl pool. Hayward Tristar 2.40 THP; 1.5 FRHP/1.60 SF. Hayward Model # S244T Sand Filter. Aqua Rite T-15. Aqua Comfort 154,000 BTU Heat Pump.

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Do you have pool regrets?

    Without knowing your financial situation, income, cost of living, etc. It is hard to give advice about taking out a loan. Having said that it is probably easier to take out a loan and pay it back vs waiting to save up the money for a pool, all the while the kids are growing up without a pool to swim in, and they do grow up fast, they will be grown before you know it. As to cost of ownership, it is much like looking at the cost of ownership of a car, it is easy to just look at the cost of gasoline and maybe oil changes, but not count in those longer period recurring cost like tires, brakes, alternators, starters, and remember eventual vehicle replacement. Pools are much the same way chemical use and electricity are fairly easy to predict sort of like fuel expenses with cars, the harder part if predicting when that $500+ pump motor is going to fail, will it be next year or 5 years from now, or what about that $4,500 replaster job, will that be in 10 years, 15, ....

    Ike
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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Do you have pool regrets?

    Jkrup, like most things in life, pool ownership is about priorities. People don't think twice about spending that on a car, for example, or on cumulative family vacations over 10 years, for example. As a pool owner, I'd personally rather have the pool than a new car (I buy used) and I've travelled enough in life that I wouldn't mind forgoing trips if push came to shove in season, I don't even want to travel

    With that said, in terms of the impact of a pool on a family budget, there are a few considerations. First of all, its great to be the "place of gathering" - which happens pretty quickly when you have a pool. If you're the type of hosts who are inclined to provide guests with food and drink, you will likely spend more on steak and ale than you could ever spend on liquid chlorine and muriatic acid in a season

    Utility costs to operate are in my area pretty low - eg $20-$40 mo. for a regular pump depending on run time, less on a variable speed pump. Heating a pool -- necessary in my particular location due to shade, overnight temps, and a desire to swim in warm water at dawn, CAN be expensive but also can be dramatically reduced by using a solar cover. Due to a tight footprint, I've not historically used a solar cover and we keep the pool at 88. Our average gas bills for constant heat run about the same as our winter house heating costs - generally $200-$300, a bit higher in early May or Oct. But any people run pools without heat and ergo have no associated expense. We could too...we just don't want to

    Lastly, your sunk cost on construction isn't the "final" cost to a amortise over the life of the pool. If vinyl liner, for example, you will need to replace it at some point, and would be best to plan on so-doing in approx 10 years. Current costs for vinyl replacement run in the neighborhood of $4,000. Heaters are good for an average of 7 years. I'm on year 15 of my pump and sand filter, but my equipment is enclosed in a heated pool house that seems to extend the life of the equipment.

    There's not a lot else to go wrong if you follow TFP pool maintenance. Depending on size, you might spend between 40-80/ month on supplies such as liquid chlorine, muriatic acid, etc. -- more if you're on well water and use sequestrant. If you use a Salt Water Generator, most people get between 5-7 years or more out of a $400 cell.

    My only child is now 25, and I've had this house and pool for 5 years. My only regret was that I didn't have this house and pool when he was young But with that said, time flies. Don't get a pool if its strictly for the children -- the pool will outlast their youth. Be sure that YOU will want and enjoy the pool long after they've flown the coop! I do know people with pools who "got it for the kids" and aren't themselves daily swimmers. I think the happiest pool owners are ones who love to swim, obviously. So make sure you and your partner fall into that category before pulling the trigger.
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    Re: Do you have pool regrets?

    Quote Originally Posted by Swampwoman View Post
    As a pool owner, I'd personally rather have the pool than a new car
    Funny in that it was when I was talking with my wife about her getting a new car that she said she'd rather have a pool. 3 months later we were swimming.
    38'x16' Fiberglass pool - 3.5' - 8' deep - 19,000 gallons. AutoPilot Total Control SWG (RC-52 cell), Pentair SuperFlo VS, Pentair SD70 Sand Filter, Coverstar Automatic Cover, 10' board, PAL Treo lighting, Polaris 9550 Sport robot, Lamotte ColorQ Pro 7 test kit.

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Do you have pool regrets?

    ^makes sense to me I drive a now-15 y/o Audi Allroad, so I'd be trading a lot of pool for new car But I'm quite content to be the second or third and final home for a vehicle and to buy cash. This of course requires that you like your mechanic and you don't mind sending his kids to college...
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: Do you have pool regrets?

    Same here, we do not have car payments, our only debt is our home mortgage. And the pool loan would be about $240 per month, not $1,000. Looking at our budget, we'd be able to pay it off in 5 to 6 years, paying extra with tax returns. We can AFFORD it, but we are on the frugal side (and a single income family), so it's not chump change either.

    I am leaning toward the opinion of.... it's worth the 5 to 6 years of having the debt and being extra frugal. I have side work now aND then which will continue to go into my Disneyland fund, so we wouldn't have to choose between a pool and a once in a while family trip.

    We do love to swim (myself included), and spent the Summer at my sister's apartment pool after she gave us the key. The apartment managers eventually realized they did not recognize us and kicked us out, LOL. We also have season passes to the local water park that we took advantage of on weekends but no way I could bring the three kids there on my own during the week, not safe.

    Good ideas on the deadbolts for the doors, and I do want a fence as well (additional cost of course....)

    Thanks everyone for your opinions, I am going to ask my husband to read this thread today. He can see how many of you also had to "give in" to your wives and actually are glad you did!! Haha.

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Do you have pool regrets?

    Having to finance can be a pain, if you asked me a year ago I would have said wait till you can pay cash. We were lucky enough to be able to pay cash and I am of the general opinion for most things if you can't write a check for it you can't afford it. However my opinion has moved somewhat where a pool is concerned as mentioned above people finance large ticket items all the time, many of them luxury items like vacations, RV's, boats, cars. With the possible exception of cars these type of items typically get used a fraction of the time that a pool does so the cost per hour of use can be hundreds even thousands where a well used pool will be tens of dollars or less especially for a young family in a hot climate. Not having owned a pool before I was concerned about cost of maintenance and would we use it all that much once the new wore off. Everyone we talked to sad it was going to be thousands a year to take care of the pool and unless your are factoring in a future replaster or remodel we have found that is just not the case. I have not kept precise records for maintenance cost of chemicals, electricity and testing supplies but if I had to guess I would say we are going to end up at around $400 to $500 a year. I have not noticed an appreciable rise in electrical usage, I suspect the reason is two fold one the VS pump uses very little electricity, especially if you follow TFP and keep the pump run time to what you need and two we are outside in or around the pool during times we would have otherwise been inside watching TV and using the air conditioner. Our sunglasses and sunscreen budget is about 5X what it was though

    We have had the pool 11 months now, its just my wife and I and have spent well over 200 hours in it, she is probably closer to 100 hours. I have been swimming even more in the last week or two because I am worried the weather is going to turn and it will be the last time for 7 months So if we keep up this pace of use and I have nothing to suggest we won't, the pool will be the most well used luxury, now necessity we have ever purchased.

    If you are sure you are going to get a pool at some point keep in mind the pool is not going to get any cheaper material cost and labor goes up every year. The better the economy is doing the faster the costs rise, so while not financing might save money there is an opportunity cost to be considered if you wait.

    Somewhat of a rambling post but bottom line I vote for getting the pool.
    12,300 Gallon, IG PebbleFina, built Oct 2015, 3 ft sheer, 2 Jandy nicheless LED lights, Jandy Pro 1.5HP VS pump (A.O. Smith Motor), PB4-60 Booster pump, Polaris 280, Jandy cv340 cartridge filter, Zodiac z4 control panel W/iAquaLink, 10GPDStenner for chlorine, 3GPD Stenner for MA, TF-100. You can support TFP wiht AmazonSmile

  20. Back To Top    #20
    RyanMcC's Avatar
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    Re: Do you have pool regrets?

    I'm not a swimmer. I spend way more time in the hot tub. But the kids get a lot out of it and I do really enjoy the times I'm in it.

    An above ground paid for in January is a nicely low cost way to do it, but even if we'd gone higher end and had payments I'd still love it. The down side is it doesn't keep us from driving 30 minutes to the local pool 3 times a week- both kids are on the swim team now! It's a good problem to have.
    "...chemistry is not an exact science" -Mario Andrada, Rio 2016 Olympics spokesman
    21' x 52" Radiant Metric Round ~10K gal AGP with Hayward S180t pump/sand filter.
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