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Can I Afford a Backyard Swimming Pool?

by Francine Huff, All About Lawns Columnist

Who hasn't dreamed about lounging around their own backyard pool on a hot summer day? But while a swimming pool can provide loads of entertainment and fun for your family and friends, it's important to understand the scope of the investment--in time and money--that's involved with adding a pool to your backyard design.

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In-Ground vs. Above Ground Pools
Installing an above ground pool typically costs an average of $1,500 to $5,000. The average cost of an in-ground pool can range from $7,000 to $16,000 for a vinyl lining, $15,000 to $20,000 for a fiberglass shell, or $17,000 to $45,000 for concrete. However, the actual cost of building a backyard pool may be higher if you add customized details such as landscaping, lighting, electrical outlets, sheds, fencing, a new lawn, and other features to complete your backyard design.

Backyard Pool Maintenance
Pools need regular maintenance, so you need to decide who will be responsible for handling those chores. Your pool should be drained and refilled according to the season, and you traditionally need to add appropriate chemicals to the water. The pH level of the water may also need to be tested regularly. Appropriate tools and brushes are also necessary for cleanings. A pool service can take care of the maintenance, but charges typically average between $75 and $165 per month. Doing the work yourself should average $20 to $100 a month.

Other costs associated with having a backyard pool include excavating your lawn and getting any appropriate building permits. A pool can enhance your backyard design plan, but make sure you're really ready for everything involved with such a big investment.


About the Author
Francine L. Huff is a freelance journalist and the author of The 25-Day Money Makeover for Women. She has appeared on a variety of TV and radio shows.

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