How Do You Feel About Pools?

Updated on June 05, 2012
K.. asks from Phoenix, AZ
26 answers

Namely, having a pool in your backyard that you have to maintain & pay increased energy & water costs for? If you have one, is it worth it to you, or not? Do you actually use it enough to justify the costs? Do you wish you didn't have one? Or, is a community pool a happy medium?

I have lived in Phoenix for the last 12 years & am dreading yet another summer without access to a pool & we are considering moving into an upgraded house with a pool. The only downside I can see is having to maintain & pay for it while we're not using it during the non-summer months. I am open to a community with a pool, but I'd rather be able to walk out my back door to one & not have to deal with other people.

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answers from Dallas on

LOVE having a pool in my homeowners association. Would not have an in-ground pool with my 4 1/2 yr old daughter, even though she does know how to swim. Don't want the liability, danger, or maintenance. When she's older, I might consider it, but I'd still have liability and maintenance concerns. I found a house that I loved, and the inground pool stopped me from buying it. Thought about filling it in but decided I didn't want that hassle right off the bat.



answers from Boston on

My father always said that you eliminate 50% of possible buyers since if you do not have a pool they could add one, but if you have a house with a pool those who do not want one will not come look. My husband grew up with ever-larger above ground pools and really misses one. We live less than half a mile from the town pool and even thought the yearly membership fee is high, it is a lot less than the cost of the pool + patio + filter + chemicals + cabana + bathroom in cabana (since I do not see getting everyone out of the pool every time someone needs to pee), etc. etc.

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answers from Redding on

When you live in the desert a pool in the backyard was a staple for me, wouldnt have lived anywhere without one. The upkeep for the short desert winter is well worth the pleasure of having the pool access from April till October and sometimes beyond. An efficient pool pump and kids learning to help maintain the pool makes it fairly cost efficient. Learning to clean a pool is a good thing. I had a good friend that owned a pool building business and I actually worked as a pool cleaner for about 5 years when I was in my 40's, a very fun job in my opinion.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

K.!!! Are you kidding me??? You live in Phx for 12 years and you can't decide if you need a pool or not? Is this a trick question?! lol!!! I have lived here for 10 years and could not imagine not having a pool. I bought a house with my ex, it had a pool. Now, my current husband and I are going on 5 years in our rental home and it has a pool. We pay $23 per week for pool service year round. It so worth it. We are in it every single day in the summer. I could not imagine not having it. I guess a community pool would be ok, but I wouldn't want to live *too* close to it to hear screaming kids all day. When we are ready to buy, a pool is an absolute must, there is no way we will be in a house without a pool. Oh, and sometimes after the kids are in bed (or its our No Kid Weekend) hubby and I LOVE to skinny dip after dark (and that's worth every extra penny to have a pool)!!! =)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

We have a pool and I really don't like it. It is expensive to run (our electric bill doubles bc of the pump, it's about $300 in water when we open it, and if it gets heated at all -- which, in Michigan, we have to at leat get it up a few degrees to take the chill off -- our gas bill goes up too).

More than that I am just super paranoid about the safety issues. I spend all summer worrying about one of the kids going outside unsupervised and falling in -- esp. my 3-year-old. When the pool is open, I feel like I am on perpetual lifeguard duty, and even though we talk to the kids CONSTANTLY about safety and how they can't go outside without an adult. But you know kids... it only takes a second for something to happen. They ALWAYS want to swim too, which gets stressful because it is just a fight to get them to come inside so I can cook dinner, work, etc. I am just poolside from the time I get home from work until bedtime, which sounds luxurious but it really isn't, as there are a lot of things inside that need to be done!! I mean, switching a load of laundry can't even be done without getting everyone out.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Cincinnati on

Above ground or in ground? My parents had an above ground for years, and it cost alot of money (new water every year, running the filter and pump, replacing the liner when there was a whole) so they are not using it this year. But while they did have it they used it alot and so did my siblings and I. And I don't think they would have kept it for so many years if they didn't find it worth it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Lakeland on

I live in Florida and yes we have a pool. There is no way I could live here without one. We use it most of the year, except from Dec thru Feb. We can use it we have a pool heater but that time the air is just a little too chilly for me.

I did not like our pool in PA since we only used it 3 to 4 months of the year. It had to be closed, covered and winterized with chemicals. The cost of having a pool in the colder climates is much higher than somewhere that is warm most of the year. We don’t have to close or shut down the pool here in the winter months.

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answers from Austin on

When we moved to central Texas 20 years ago, the house we bought came with an above ground pool.....

With 4 kids, it was WONDERFUL! It kept them occupied during the summer, and for many years, OUR house was the popular one!

There were expenses..... we had to learn how to maintain it, keep the chemicals balanced, and all that, but we learned....

We finally got rid of it about 10 years ago when the pump failed.... it would have cost quite a bit to replace it, so we took down the pool...... now, with kids gone, I don't see a need for it.

As far as maintaining it during the non-summer months, it wasn't that big of a deal. You can cover it and totally ignore it until you need to open it again in the spring, or you can continue to filter and maintain the chemicals.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

We LOVE ours. We don't even bother to "winterize" since we typically only have a few nights that fall below freezing during the winter (January). We had it installed when we were building our home, and this will be our 7th summer in the house.
My husband and I were discussing this a few months ago and decided that it has long since paid for itself in terms of "was it worth it?". The pool itself wasn't outrageous (in the neighborhood of $12,000 for inground with vinyl liner) and we sprung for a screen enclosure as well. That almost double the cost.

The upkeep (due to the screen) isn't really that much. Either in time or dollars. And as for adding water... I RARELY have to do that. I did last year a bit, as we were in severe drought conditions. But usually, we get enough afternoon thunderstorms or rain from hurricane systems or whatever that I don't have to add much, if any. More like, I am back flushing it to dump the extra (like after Beryl that just went by us last week).

Our pool is smallish, but SO worth it not to have to lug pool toys in the car to a neighborhood pool, and not having to load up in the car in wet clothes/suits to come home. Not to mention, many community pools have restrictions on what you can have in the pool/pool area. Some even say no floats. Some say no food. Etc.
We have snacks, drinks and floats pretty much every time we are in the pool. Entertained by it every summer so far. Just pull the platter out of the fridge and carry it out onto the patio while the kiddos dig in. Or take all the kids a popsicle directly from the freezer--no worries about transporting anything.

We had a "community" pool in our last neighborhood (they FINALLY built it about 2 years before we sold our house there after years of promising...) and we used it a total of 3 times. It was such a hassle to load up the kids. It was too far at the other side of the neighborhood to walk. (It literally was over a mile one way, and in the heat of summer, dragging worn out kids down the asphalt roads isn't worth it, plus you have to carry everything else, too).
You don't even feel "refreshed" after you get home.

Now, my husband jumps in after he does a 5 mile run. Or after he mows the grass. Or after a workout in the garage with his dumbbells. And I can let the kids hop in for 20 minutes to burn off energy and then be done. It isn't any "work" to do so. Just tell them, "Ok, you can get it for a few minutes before we ____."

As far as I am concerned, there is no benefit to a "community pool" vs a rec center or club membership pool somewhere else that you have to drive to go swim.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Hi! If I could have only one thing it would be a pool. There is something special about going out alone, late at night, and floating in the dark. My kids are in the pool ALL the time. I've seen them go in in March, I've seen them go in in November. That may not sound odd to you in AZ but we live in northern MA. They play in the pool, they swim in the pool, they read in the pool. I like knowing where they are, I like that they're not in front of a screen. There is nothing better on a hot day (or night). I can go on but I hope you get the idea... I love our pool.
I can't talk to the cost. Our electric bill is still less in the summer than in the winter (we don't have air). We buy a big thing of chlorine in Costco in spring when they run their coupon ($70 something this year). But we don't pay for testing supplies, DH runs samples at work.
To keep costs down, use a cover all the time, don't over chemicalize your water, and you do not have to run your filter 24/7. There is lots of money to be made in pool supplies and a lot of ways around them.
Have fun!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

it is expensive, and a lot of work for my pool boy (aka dh). but i use it every stinking day and most nights (i loooooooove night swimming with starlight and fireflies.)
we weren't looking for a pool, this house just happened to have one. it's just an above-ground one, but i adore it. can't imagine being without it now.
i'm surprised how little my kids use it.
but my sweet dh says it's worth it because it makes me so very happy.
:) khairete

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Missoula on

If I was in a financial position to have a pool, I would get one in a heartbeat!!! I lived in an apartment complex with a pool, and I NEVER got to use it because it was always so crowded... even though (I was living in Tx at the time) it would have been sooo nice to swim! As long as you stay on top of it, maintaining it in small portions throughout the week, it's really not that much of a hassle. Every so often you will need to balance the levels in it, and do a good cleaning though. You can empty, flush, and line it for the winter when you aren't using it, so that wouldn't be too much of a problem. My one thing is that I would want to make sure that it is fenced in, with a lock to keep any neighborhood kids (or your own, if you have young ones) out of it without proper supervision. :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Good lord I can't imagine living in a place as hot as Phoenix and not having a pool. To give you perspective, I live in New England. We swim, at most, 3.5 - 4 months a year and it's still 100 million percent worth it, IMO, to have a pool. We use ours every day from mid-June to the end of August. Sure, it costs money to run the filter and for chemicals, but it's not a ridiculous amount. It probably costs us about $500 a year to run the pool. I probably wouldn't ever go through the expense of installing a pool, but I was very happy to buy a house that already had one. Ours is a 16 x 32 inground with a 10-ft deep end, a diving board and a slide. It's a blast.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

my mom absolutley hates my pool shes been telling my dad she wants to fill it in with dirt for yeeaarrss now.. we love it i dont know what id do in the summer without it when i was little i spent as much time as physically possible swimming.. the only annoying thing about it is vaccuuming it.. the lower end of the pool thats 3 feet deep is so easy to vaccum the slope going down to the deep end is easy but our 8ffoot end is so freaking hard to vaccum.. well for me .. my dad n my fiance have no problem and automatic vaccuumers are not cheap at all.. i think an above ground pool would be alot easier
as far as paying for it.. you dont do anything with it when its not summer theres nothing to pay for.. once it gets cold we cover it and disconnect the filter so theres no energy cost.. in the summer though it definatley makes our bills go up slighty and it annoys my mom so we just dont run it all the time on days we dont use it its set for a timer it runs for like 4 hours and turns off .. when we do use it we just turn it on or off as needed.. whats really expensive is the gas bill from the heater but its broken so we wont worry about that this year

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

We can barely manage to keep the lawn mowed, so a pool is definitely out of the question for us....

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

My husband and I argue about this every year. He wants a pool. I do not. The reasons I do not want a pool are many:
1. I do not want the expense and responsibility of maintaining a pool.
2. I don't want to be responsible for all the kids in the neighbourhood coming over to swim in our pool.
3. We have at least 3 public pools within an easy drive or bike ride from our home.
4. It is more fun for the kids to go to a public pool where there are other kids (who I do not have to supervise).
5. A pool will negatively effect the property value of our home.
6. I prefer to go to the beach in the summer, but if I am paying to operate a pool I would feel obligated to stay home and use it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dover on

We have a pool. Can only use it late May to late Sept. We do have community pools within 10 miles (several directions) that we could pay to attend. I'd rather have my own. Can swim at our own convenience and not have to worry how crowded it is, the hours of operation, or the cost of fuel to get there. I have to say that my hubby and son maintain it but it was their idea to get the pool and they do use it more than me. My 5 year old daughter thinks she's part mermaid so it is well worth it. When it is not in use, we cover it and prepare for winter.



answers from Honolulu on

We had a pool growing up. I even remember all the work that went into creating it in our yard. It was a real pool, dug into the ground.
But once you have a pool, it may not be used.
And it is hard to get rid of a pool. It costs money to do that too.

For us when I was a child, we did not use it everyday. It was fun for our parties and with the tons of kids we invited over.
And yes, there is daily maintenance of it, buying the cleaning supplies for it, the pump and maintenance of it and doing the cleaning yourself or hiring a pool guy.

I know a lot of people who have pools, and they do not use it, as much as they thought they would.

I also know a lot of people who live in a condo and have the condo pool. They don't use that much either.



answers from Charlotte on

K., I never had a pool and probably never will. I don't want the responsibility of taking care of one.

However, if I lived in Pheonix, I'm sure I'd have to have one. I can't imagine having kids in the kind of heat you have, and NOT spend the hot days you have in and out of the pool. I've never lived anywhere as hot as you, so a community pool was fine. But I am not surprised that you wish you had one - my goodness, it's hot in Arizona!!!




answers from Phoenix on

Pay attention to where people live in their answers. You are unlikely to be overrun by neighbor kids because almost everyone has pools here. Fences are required by law. There is no winterizing (and winter maintenance can be almost nothing.) Pools add a fair amount to the value of your house, especially if your market is families with kids. It was non-negotiable when we moved when my son was one - there's just no better way to cool off on a summer afternoon.

We pay $85/month year around for maintenance, which includes chemicals. We're in it daily from April to September, because we have no heater and we're wimps when the water gets too cold. We have a heated community pool, but changing kids or driving back wet are both annoying options so we don't go all that often.

I will say that I saw the best pool the other day - it had large shallow steps with umbrella slots in them, so you can sit/play in the shade in the water. Like a resort pool but this was in the backyard. I'm totally doing that if I ever redo/build a pool from scratch, because our biggest issue is we don't want to be in the sunshine too long in the summer.



answers from Dallas on

Our maintenance in off season is pretty low, cooler months result in barely any chlorine needs. Just a few sweeps to remove debree. Summer it is a bit pricey,in chemicals. But well worth it in hot climates.



answers from Salt Lake City on

We have a pool in the backyard- it is about 6 feet deep. I love love love it. We usually spend about $150 in the spring to start it up in chemicals. We have a dark automatic cover that we keep on when we are not using it. The cover keeps the heat in and we use the pump to keep the water clean but turn it off when the pool is not being used. We have a had a pool at almost every house I love it but I have to say the 6ft is much much easier to maintain than the 12ft. If you get one don't go deeper than 6ft. not as much maintenance. My kids are older now so I don't have to worry so much about the safety factor they are just not allowed in the pool without an adult home.



answers from Phoenix on

The best time to have a pool is when your children are between the ages of 6 and 12. Before that, it's dangerous, and after that, the kids want to "hang out" with their friends instead. Also, it IS a PAIN taking care of it all year. It's worth it during those ages of the kids, but otherwise, no.



answers from Oklahoma City on

Are you part lizard? LOL> I have a friend who would go to the hotter climate states for vacation and she could be found to be laying out on a rock just soaking up the sun. She loved the sun and flourished in the heat and sunlight. Everyone always said she must be part lizard.

I cannot imagine not spending every minute I had free out by the pool if I lived in your climate. On the other hand if you have good air conditioning you may not venture outside after 10 am...

I didn't realize it wasn't pretty hot there most of the year so I would have never thought about months of maintenance in the off season.

I guess I thought it was mostly over 75 or 80 minimum all year. So that would make it possible to swim every day.

I would be in the water all the time if I had a choice. When I was a nanny they had an in ground pool with a short diving board. The kids were in the water from morning to night. I never had to do anything with them except supervise them lightly. They all knew how to swim and were very responsible, not playing rough and watching out for each other.

I would get a pool where you live now if you wanted to. Why move to have a pool in the yard.



answers from Los Angeles on

My wife and I lived in a house where we had a stream on the property. I had the stream dug out so we had a swimming area. We used the stream (very clear with a shale bottom) almost every day during the summer. We had a wonderful time. We didn't have the cost of chemicals or anything like that because the Good Lord changed the water every day. (I was concerned about the cleaniness of the stream so I had the water tested. The testing company said the bacteria count in our spring fed creek was cleaner than the city water coming from the tap.)

If you think you would use the community pool once per week, you will use your home pool at least 4 times per week. And I bet you will run out to the pool to cool off for 10 moniutes almost every day, where you wouldn't drive to the community pool for that. AND your pool won't tell you, "Time to get out. We will be closing in 30 minutes."

Good luck to you and yours.



answers from Omaha on

Growing up, we had an inground pool at our house and loved it. Our family got a lot of use out of it and the pool deck was a nice place to relax any time of the day. I would agree vacuuming it was the most tedious part of owning a pool, but understanding what chemicals and such to put in was not difficult. Even us kids enjoyed testing the water and adding the chemicals!
There is definitely upkeep to it and it is NOT considered an asset to the home at all when it comes to buying/selling. My husband and I looked for years before we purchased our current home and I wouldn't look at any homes with a pool because we have two toddlers right now. The safety risks far outweighed the benefits at this point IMO. However since you live in AZ I would think most people would expect/want a pool at their home considering your warm climate. So it might be more of an asset for resale.
Our new neighborhood has a pool and clubhouse which I love. It really brings our neighbors together as a community. I feel like I live on a resort. We have all the enjoyment of the amenities with none of the upkeep!
Good luck with your decision!

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