L.Z. asks from Saint Louis, MO on March 04, 2007
Want Opinions on Having a Pool
Not being a fan of Dallas summers, I think it would be nice to move to a house with a backyard, in-ground pool, but my husband is wary of the maintenance involved. I would love to hear from those of you who have a pool: (1) realistically, how much time, effort, and money is required to keep it up properly, and (2) do you find that you use it frequently, or not really enough to justify it? Thanks in advance!
H.G. answers from Dallas on March 05, 2007
Talk to you pediatrician- he will advise against having a pool with such a little one. Just a thought. Maybe you could move into a neighborhood where there is a private pool....
N. answers from Dallas on March 06, 2007
If you already have a home with a backyard, I would suggest purchasing an above ground pool at first. Target should start stocking them soon.
We bought one during our daughter's first summer. This will be our third summer using it. She totally loved it even from the start. No fear of being in the water at all! We got her a little whale boat to ride in. Last summer she was tall enough to stand in the pool and we got her some arm floaties so she could get around in the water on her own. She keeps asking me if it's warm enough to put out the pool yet (When the weather cools off, it goes back into its box and goes in the garage. No winter maintenance!)
For less than $300 you can get a 15' pool that is about 3 feet deep. (lots of other smaller sizes available too. We got a 12' softsided one ourselves). This is plenty of water to get in and cool off, but its not big enough for any real "swimming" obviously.
They are very easy to set up; a filter and pump are included. If you are in a Water Restriction area you can still fill one of these pools. Last year, some cities were not allowing new inground pools to be filled.
You don't have to worry about a child falling in one of these, the way you would with an inground pool, but obviously, you'll have to be vigilent when your child is out in the backyard if they have unrestricted access to the pool.
Maintenance is pretty simple. You check the chemicals about every other day and add whatever is needed. Target also sells the chems for these pools. It takes a little getting used to remembering to do that, but it would be the same for a larger pool as well. (We set our pool up as the saltwater variety with a chlorine generator, so we just let the pool take care of making it's own chlorine. I just check the water chem every other day to see if it needs anything else.) It takes only a few minutes to clean any leaves or grass out and I would suggest that you get a brush, vacuum hose and pole from a pool supply store to sweep vacuum up dirt on the bottom.
My parents have an inground pool. They go in now about twice a summer. They probably spend an hour a day on cleaning, checking the chemistry and then several times during the year they have to do a major breakdown on the filtration system to clean it. My mother threatens to have it filled in about mid July every year. There is also the issue of off-season maintenance as well. Even when it's freezing cold outside, the pool needs attention.
The inground pools are really nice, but unless you're committed to spending lots of money building one and lots of time on maintaining it, or you can afford to hire a maintenance company, I would try the above ground pool route first. They use the money you would have spent on the inground pool and go to a really nice hotel or waterpark when your child is older.
Oh, and if you're thinking of add an inground pool to your current backyard, be aware that you will not recover the cost of building it when you sell your home. Even in this crazy hot summer area, new pools don't add value to a home's resale price. I have gotten that information from both realtors and home appraisers.
I will be glad to answer any questions you have about the above ground pools.
S.S. answers from Dallas on March 05, 2007
We have had a pool for the past 15 yrs. We used it religiously for the first 10 yrs, but lately we only use it a few times during the summer. A few yrs. ago we had it redone (new tile) and that was really pricey. My husband is constantly working on it. I love the pool, but my husband is tired of it and wants to buy a house without a pool.
Now that we have our daughter we are going to put a mesh fence around it. We had Protect A Child come out and give us an estimate. It is not as expensive as one would think. www.protectachild.com
M.P. answers from Dallas on March 05, 2007
My best advice about a pool is to make sure that you get one with a very high fence around it, and make sure that the gate is locked. When I was younger, my grandmother had a pool and it was great. But the neighbor's kid were always getting in there, and it can be a liability if you don't have it fenced in and one of the kids gets hurt. Also, you want to make sure that your own child can't get in there with out you around. The maintenance can get pretty expensive if you hire someone to do it, but me and my brother took care of most things for my grandmother, and she said that the costs were pretty reasonable.
R.J. answers from Dallas on March 20, 2007
It takes alot of time and money to maintain. In the heat of the summer you will spend at least $3 a day for Chlorine, as it heats it uses more and we all know how Texas is in the summer. As far as time, it takes alot and if you have trees or your neighbors have trees you will be scooping off leaves alot, then there is the ants. They are called carpenter ants and there is a certain time of year they love the water. Truthfully the best advice is to try and find a pool service if you really want a pool. It is not that expensive and they provide the chemicals. I will tell you it is sometimes difficult to find a service. And when you do they often quit. I speak from experience and I am happy to report that my husband and I had our pool taken out this year. YEAH!!! No more cleaning no more chemicals. I have never been so happy to see dirt than I was when they hauled in the 15 louds it took to fill in the hole. Good Luck.
I. answers from Dallas on March 07, 2007
We came to Texas 12 months ago, and decided to buy a house with a pool. WE LOOOOOOOVE IT. We use it every day, and very often two times a day. (me and the kids in the afternoon, and my husband and the kids between dinner and bedtime).
First thing you have to do is place a fence around it!
My kids are now 5, 3 and 1,5. The two oldest can swim (learned last summer) But you need to have eyes in the back of your head,just in case. (hence the fence, they are not allowed to go in without one of us)
We have a salt water pool (we didn't build it, we bought it with the house). You have to spend money on chemicals. Maybe 800 a year. (but we have a HUGE diving pool, with a normal size it is less) You bring a sample of water to the store, (in summer once 3 weeks, winter once 2 months) and they tell you what to add to the water. It's that simple, and really not much work. Once a month you have to backwash, but that's 15 min work. You buy the "self driving vacum cleaner" (polaris) and have to clean the trash collecting bag regularly (1 min work)
We are moving this summer, and we're so sad to leave the pool ...
Make sure you have a large surface that's shallow. For a 1 year old that's nice to play on. An other idea: our neighbors bought a floor for in their spa, (to make it shallow) so that's their kiddy pool for the time being.
I would say: GO for it!
M. answers from Dallas on March 06, 2007
we've had an in-ground pool for the last 6 years. it was already installed for about 10 years when we bought the house. i LOVE it!! it was a pain at first getting used to the care. we got spoke with the previous homeowners through our realtor and they told us what they had been doing and also who built it. that was really helpful. prior to that it was a lot of work trying to keep the chemicals up. after we spoke to the previous owners everything was much easier. we just need to add chlorine every so often and clean the skimmers.
our friends love it and we really enjoy having the parties at our house in the summer. we have a 19 month old and so now we're trying to figure out the gating issues.
we've had to replace the vacuum cleaner about 4 times in the last 6 years, but we really run it much more than recommended. we've had to replace pump parts also - maybe total of $1000 for those over the years. we've also had to recaulk once. otherwise it's still beautiful and works great.
the fall is a complete pain with all the leaves. if you build and landscape, look for trees far away from the pool or with small leaves that fit into the skimmers and vacuum. we have a sugar maple with HUGE leaves and it really sucks in the fall.
a hot tub is also great by the pool and really nice for the winter to swim with the kiddos.
i really don't feel it's a lot of work or money and in texas you pratically require a pool to survive the summer!!
J.S. answers from Houston on March 05, 2007
I've had one for the past 4 years, and I refuse to live without one. We are in the pool 3 or 4 times a week...if not more. The maintenance was hard to get used to at first, but once you learn how to do it, it's not so bad at all. Once my
son is older, he will be helping out with it a lot more.
The chlorine tablets are about $70 for a huge tub of it, and you can go about 1 1/2 to 2 months for each tub. Other cleaning equipment wears out just as much as a regular broom does.
Things that I would require in a pool:
1. a heater--it helps in those few months that the sun can't heat up the water
2. a built in vacuum--we had one in our other pool and not in this one--I miss it!!
3. I heard that salt water pools are easier maintenance.
4. Make sure the tile (or whatever surface) around the pool is
not slippery. Our other pool had a slick tile around it, and we had several people slip and fall.
K.L. answers from Dallas on March 05, 2007
My parent's own Aquatan Pools in DeSoto and I am the secretary and in charge of warranty and repairs. I would be more than happy to answer any questions you have about a pool. We build custom inground gunite/plaster pools. We also install Kiddy Safety Fences (Pool Barrier of DFW) Also here is our web site in case you are interested in finding out more. www.aquatanpools.com
We have a retail store in Desoto. If you do end up getting a house we offer pool school....our service guy will come out and show you how to use all your equipment and balance your water.
Please feel free to e-mail me anytime with questions.