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To pool or not to pool… that is the question

By 13 January 2010 15

The recent hot weather has prompted some heated – pardon the pun – discussions with my 4 & 5 year old about wether we should get a pool or not (I’m opting for a dog as it cost less and is easier to maintain).

Around social gatherings I’ve heard claims of in-ground pools costing anywhere from $15k to $120k depending on the type/style and degree of difficulty of the pool installation but think these prices were tainted by the amount of beer the individual quoting the prices has had. A quick ring around of some of the local pool builders has been some-what disappointing as you never really get a sense of what is possible or the potential costs – not uncommon for tradies I suspect – even after a number of site visits. An arial view of Canberra via Google maps shows a pool in almost every street but we are still unsure if a pool will add long term value to the property (real-estate agents are pretty much 50/50 on this).

I would be interested to hear from Rioters their experiences with local pool builders and any costings and/or recommendations and if it did add value to the property so I can report back to the minister of finance (my wife) and the social club (my kids) on what options we have.

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15 Responses to To pool or not to pool… that is the question
#1
Harriet Vane9:23 pm, 13 Jan 10

For what it’s worth, having a pool would be something that would completely put me off buying a property, because I either have to maintain it, have an empty pool or get it filled in. Just install airconditioning if the heat is primarily driving your decision.

#2
OpenYourMind9:40 pm, 13 Jan 10

We intentionally chose a house with a pool. Sure there’s quite a bit of the Canberra year you can’t use it, but for the times when you do, it’s awesome! Kids absolutely love living in a house with a pool – only catch is keeping all their other friends away. They’re not that much work if you keep them covered. In winter the pool is pretty much in hibernation.

#3
bd849:42 pm, 13 Jan 10

Said to be 30,000 or so pools in Canberra.

Personally, I’d say no as you’d have maintain it and it doesn’t necessarily add value to the property. If they want to go to the pool, it only costs a few dollars still.

#4
kevn10:09 pm, 13 Jan 10

I heard somewhere that it devalues a property, statistically speaking.

I have nothing to back that up.

#5
Kuku11:04 pm, 13 Jan 10

After witnessing the public displays of adolescent affection at the local public pool – not to mention the hair and band aids floating aimlessly at the bottom we decided to put a pool in.

It wasn’t about the value of the house, it was about the enjoyment our kids (okay and us) would get out of it.

It hasn’t been much work – the only surprise I got was how hot they get when they’re covered in hot weather. Oh yes….and how early they will swim after a long winter (September has been the earliest for my two – granted, they were a rather fetching shade of blue when they emerged).

#6
DarkLadyWolfMother8:11 am, 14 Jan 10

I’m curious as to how you swim in a dog.

#7
milsey20109:31 am, 14 Jan 10

DarkLadyWolfMother said :

I’m curious as to how you swim in a dog.

easy…. http://www.trademe.co.nz/Toys-models/Outdoor-toys-structures/Paddling-pools-sand-pits/auction-255894351.htm

#8
DarkLadyWolfMother10:34 am, 14 Jan 10

milsey2010 said :

DarkLadyWolfMother said :

I’m curious as to how you swim in a dog.

easy…. http://www.trademe.co.nz/Toys-models/Outdoor-toys-structures/Paddling-pools-sand-pits/auction-255894351.htm

I rather like that. Though we might differ on ‘swim’ vs ‘paddle’. I think I’ll get one for my dog who loves water – as long as it’s not a bath.

#9
Helen11:08 am, 14 Jan 10

DarkLadyWolfMother said :

milsey2010 said :

DarkLadyWolfMother said :

I’m curious as to how you swim in a dog.

easy…. http://www.trademe.co.nz/Toys-models/Outdoor-toys-structures/Paddling-pools-sand-pits/auction-255894351.htm

I rather like that. Though we might differ on ‘swim’ vs ‘paddle’. I think I’ll get one for my dog who loves water – as long as it’s not a bath.

OT but relevant to this comment – you can get plastic clam shell wading pools from KMart for about $20 a pair. My parents have one for their two dogs and they absolutely love them on a hot day.
However, my partner and I bought a pair for our staffy, and although he loves swimming in the river, he absolutely refuses to get in the clam shell. Silver lining though – we fill them up and sit in them ourselves. With a cool beer in hand, it’s absolute bliss…

#10
indigoid11:54 am, 14 Jan 10

OpenYourMind said :

They’re not that much work if you keep them covered.

… and if you do keep them covered, it’s about as refreshing as swimming in a bowl of hot soup.

Definitely not worth the maintenance hassle IMHO. You can’t AFAIK top it up under the current water restrictions unless you also have a rainwater tank, if even that is allowed/advisable.

Better to spend the money on a rainwater tank and perhaps grey-water system and on making your house far more energy-efficient. I don’t have any data either but surely in the current climate these are going to help the value of your house rather more than a pool will. Further, the energy-efficiency improvements will make your house a nicer place to be in winter as well as summer

#11
s-s-a1:08 pm, 14 Jan 10

If you don’t already have ducted a/c, IMO that would have infinitely greater payoff re property values, as well as increasing comfort for the 21 or so hours of the day when you and/or kids are NOT in the pool.

Personally I would not consider having a pool in Canberra due to the short swimming season. I would also be reluctant to have a pool when my children are young enough to need constant supervision (ie adult inside the pool fence at all times). I would also factor in the cost for some kind of shade over the water so you don’t have to wait until 5pm or later to go out there without sunglasses and a hat.

Thankfully for us (especially in light of 5yo pester-power during school holidays) our retired neighbours are happy for us to use their pool whenever we like. The glare and reflected heat factor is massive until at least 4pm when it gets some shade from their house. Tuesday evening it was bath temperature, so going home to the a/c was actually alot more refreshing…

#12
emd1:09 pm, 14 Jan 10

I used to be put off houses for sale that had in-ground pools. Then the Minister for Household Finance pointed out that we could drain it and let the kids use it as a skate park.

#13
Mordd6:38 pm, 14 Jan 10

All you need is a solar system to heat the water slightly during winter and you can use a pool all year round in canberra. Personally I would go for a smaller pool + a spa though instead of a larger pool, that way you don’t have to worry about heating the pool and you have something nice to use in winter as well!

#14
I-filed6:53 pm, 14 Jan 10

Unless you have a huge yard, a pool is a drag because if you have nice deciduous trees in the yard, they drop leaves into the pool and that’s a hassle. At the back of a big yard they’re fine, but in a small yard they make a big ugly empty space all winter. I’d say a pool won’t add to your property value – so if you get one, consider getting a large above-ground and enjoying it, then any buyer for your house can easily get rid of it if not wanted …

If you’re on a Reid third of an acre, yeah, go ahead and get an in-ground!

#15
misspris3:43 pm, 15 Jan 10

I’d definitely agree that a pool doesn’t add value to your property. They can be costly – especially when things go wrong with filters etc but I was loving ours at 10pm the other night when it was stinking hot. We have solar heating and I reckon we probably get a good four months swimming in. I’d err away from having one put in just for your kids. My teenagers very rarely swim in ours (usually only when friends come to visit). My husband loves it after a stinking hot day at work though and is often seen reclining in the shallow end with a six-pack :)

One downside is that you discover “friends” you never knew you had!

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