I dunno dude, I’m not in favor of that plan. First, that hand rail would need to be properly bonded to the pool, so I don’t see how adding that later would be cheap. I would personally go the sleeve route now.We were going to put in a sleeve for a handrail but the sales guy said that since we are just doing salted concrete it would be easy to put on in later if we wanted and not very expensive. Now that I've been in and out of the pool a few times I think that boulder next to the stairs is going to get used as a handrail quite a bit. Its in a perfect spot for it.
You should watch and "older" person get in and out of a pool with a handrail. My 72 year old mom uses both hands on the rail and inches down into the water. Once in she is fine. My pool doesn't have a rail but I will probably get one this summer just for her. Someone helps her in right now.I was told it would be about $1000 to add a rail later too. The issue when talking to several people about it was how we put the stairs and boulders in. We would want the rail in about the same spot as the boulder. So instead of a rail, a friend of mine is going to design an artistic looking handrail that we are actually going to attach across the boulder. Either that or we thought about putting in small hand holds about bike grip size along the top edge of the boulder. Another guy I talked to that does stone carving told me he could basically grind some smooth handholds into the top of the boulder that would look really cool. I'm not sure what way we are going to go yet. We are in our 40s and getting in and out of the pool isn't a problem yet but I can see where I'd like to have something put in down the road.