Be Smarter Beat Your Pool Service Company & Home Warranty Providers
The Largest Pool Ownership and Warranties Research in the USA. 2021 Updated.
A pool is supposed to be a haven for stress-free relaxation. If your pool develops a major maintenance issue, however, it can quickly become a nightmare. Not only must you arrange for the repairs, but you’ve also got to shell out for an enormous, sudden bill. Such unexpected expenses can shatter your household budget and frustrate your plans.
If you’re protected by a home warranty, the outcome could be different. If you have a good warranty on your side, which covers your swimming pool, the burden of paying for sudden, expensive repairs is lifted off of your shoulders.
What is a home warranty and how does it work? A small fee is usually all that’s asked to have the home warranty provider locate a repairman, arrange and schedule the service, and cover almost all of the cost. All you need to do is make a phone call and submit a claim. It’s not long before you’re back to enjoying the pool you’ve invested so much in. If you’re a pool owner, a good home warranty has the potential to make life much easier when things go wrong.
But how do you find the good ones? The last thing you want is an inadequate or shoddy home warranty policy, especially for such a specific issue as pool repairs. How do you tell the difference? For most consumers, it’s nearly impossible to cut through the noise. When making the important decision of who to trust with your most valuable possession, your home, you need the best information possible. If you have a swimming pool, you need to ensure it’s completely covered. That’s why we’ve put together this unbiased guide to pool coverage in home warranties.
The Cost of Pool Installation Varies
The installation of new inground pools ranges from reasonably affordable to very expensive, depending upon the homeowner’s budget, preferences, and how much space they have to work with.
The average cost of building a new inground pool depends upon on the type and method of installation. Self-installation can result in substantial cost savings, and may only cost between approximately $12,000 and $30,000 total 3, 4, with some estimates placing the figure as low as about $6,200 5.
For many people, however, self-installation is not an option. Attempting, by themselves, to install a massive pool shell in a hole in their backyard just isn’t high on their priority list. That’s when they call for a professional installation, in which case the cost can rise substantially.
We consulted a range of sources to determine an average of pool installation costs. Vinyl pools, the cheapest, ranging from $9,000 to $18,400. For fiberglass pools, a full professional installation ranges from an average of $12,900 to $39,200 6. By far, however, concrete pools are the most expensive. Almost without exception, these are professionally installed, and costs range from $25,900 to $54,300 7. The highest-end pools often cost much more than that.
The author Earnest Hemingway famously installed a massive pool at his luxurious home in Key West, Florida 8. The only residential pool for 100 miles around when it was built, it was filled with fresh saltwater pumped from below the water table. At 60 feet long and 24 feet wide, it held 80,784 gallons of water. When it was built in 1938, it cost Hemingway $20,000. Adjusted for inflation, the same pool built today would cost over $344,000!
Obviously, most swimming pools are far simpler than Hemingway’s backyard oasis. Even still, every pool, whether self-installed or professionally installed, represents a major investment.
The Average Costs of Pool Maintenance
Once the pool is installed, it must be maintained. Maintenance costs money. A self-reported survey of pool owners revealed various monthly costs associated with the maintenance of their inground pools 9.
These homeowners reported maintenance costs ranging from a low of $30 per month to as high as $240 per month. On average, they spent between $85 and $95 per month on pool maintenance.
Maintenance costs depend on many factors. For instance, a simple pool vacuum may cost as little as $20 for a basic-version, or as much as $600 for a robotic model. If that or anything else breaks, having a professional out to maintain the equipment or do other cleaning services will cost, on average, $75 to $100 per hour.
Other regular expenses include filters, which can range from about $12 to $75, maintaining pH levels, for which testing kits run $8 to $15, and chlorine, which can cost between $7 and $70. A pool cover will set you back about $600.
Maintenance is not glamorous, but it’s essential for keeping a pool in top condition. As with changing the oil on an automobile, it’s part of the cost of ownership. Without proper maintenance, a swimming pool may become a health hazard. There is a long list of illnesses that you can catch in a filthy swimming pool. These include parasites, E.Coli, norovirus, and many more. This is why maintaining a swimming pool is essential for your well-being.
When Something Major Goes Wrong
Unfortunately, even proper maintenance cannot prevent major problems from occurring. The well-maintained car can still have expensive issues that arise, such as radiator or transmission failure. With pools, similarly, many things can go wrong.
One of the most expensive problems that can arise is a leak in the pool itself. Many warm-weather states, where pools are more popular, have soil conditions conducive to shifting. This is why homes in these states often have foundation problems, and a pool is not immune to such issues.
If a pool leaks, the minimum cost is $200 for a professional repair. Concrete pools must usually be completely drained and sanded down to be prepared, which adds an additional amount ranging from $800 to $1,550 10.
Filter and pump systems can break down over time and must be repaired. Depending upon the type, a filter replacement may cost from $150 to over $500, and a pump can cost between $185 for a smaller .75hp motor to $350 for a larger 2.5hp one.
Many new pools are also equipped with heaters. Pools in cold-weather climates often have heaters installed so that homeowners can enjoy the pool year-round. These, too, are prone to breakage over time. The average cost for heater repair is about $400 but can easily climb to over $1,200 in some cases.
While maintenance costs can add up, it is these major repair expenses that can most frustrate the experience of owning a pool.
The Total Cost of Pool Ownership
The total cost of pool ownership, then, is a combination of the regular maintenance of the pool and the breakage of major components that must be repaired. Inevitably, every pool owner who has their pool long enough will have to deal with, and pay for, both.
In the long run, pool owners can expect to pay varying amounts for pool ownership depending on the type of pool they have, what accessories they’ve added, and the environmental factors their pool is exposed to.
Generally speaking, fiberglass pools are the least expensive pools to maintain. However, there are still regular costs involved in ownership beyond potential repairs. This includes electricity usage and chemical usage 11.
Vinyl pools, the least expensive kind, tend to cost more to own in the long run. The replacement of the liner becomes a factor, in addition to electricity and chemical costs. Vinyl liners only last 5 to 9 years, on average, and can cost $4,000 or more to replace.
Concrete pools carry the greatest cost. Sanding and resurfacing the pool every 10 to 15 years can cost $10,000 or more. Every 3 to 6 years, a concrete pool requires an acid washing that can cost in excess of $500. Further, concrete pools still incur regular costs for chemical and electricity usage. These all drive the cost up substantially.
Pool ownership can certainly be expensive, but when important components break, the cost can truly skyrocket. For this reason, and for general peace of mind, many pool owners may be interested to learn that home warranties often cover pools.
As stated previously, however, choosing the right home warranty to cover a pool is a major task. Let’s turn, then, to consider what these policies actually cover, and what they don’t.