There is nothing more important to you than your health. Good health trumps everything. Sadly, it does not matter how famous you are, or how much money you have in the bank, or even the extent of your assets, if you do not have your health all those material things are for naught.
If you enjoy swimming and have toyed with the idea of getting your own pool for convenience sake, or, just because of how good you feel since you’ve started your swimming regimen, don’t let the cost hold you back. Being smart about your money is good, but being smart about your health is better. If you were to look at the expense of having your own swimming pool in your backyard living area versus using a public pool, you likely would hold off on that pool purchase. But – not so fast. Sure, initially a pool is a large expense and there are costs for upkeep, but in the long run essentially you are better off having your own pool. Here’s a few reasons why you should factor the cost of a pool and its maintenance into your budget if possible.
Health benefits of swimming
If you swim regularly, then you are already aware of the many health benefits of this sport, besides just how good you feel after a water workout.
• relax and de-stress you;
• lower your blood pressure;
• burn calories big time;
• keep your weight under control;
• give you a really great resistance workout;
• tone and condition all visible muscles;
• improve your flexibility; and
• strengthen your heart and reduce coronary disease.
Swimming is also beneficial to aid:
• arthritis sufferers who benefit because swimming permits buoyant exercise to ease painful joints and heated pools provide soothing relief;
• post-menopausal women who will notice improved bone strength; and
• allergy and asthma sufferers who can finally enjoy an exercise regimen they can participate in comfortably
The above comprehensive list should make you want to hop online and search for a local contractor who specializes in pool construction right here in the Stamford area, BUT … the practical side of you might want to zip right past the health aspect and study a few facts and figures about the cost benefits of owning a pool. There are pros and cons, of course, so keep reading.
Location – Where you live is probably the most-important reason you are still niggling over whether to have a permanent pool installed in your yard. In cold-weather states, such as New York, face it – about half of the calendar year is spent in sweaters or parkas or mukluks, and the balance of the year, you might eke out five, maybe six months’ worth of swimming pool time. This past Winter proved that there are not four distinct seasons … Fall morphed into Winter very quickly and Winter just didn’t want to let go, so consequently the time for opening the pool was way behind schedule in 2014. But, you could always heat your pool, though it might be a bit cost prohibitive to do so, but why not rationalize that if you are swimming for health benefits, then why not consider heating your pool to extend its use just a little longer? You might even consider using solar energy to heat the pool – it works well and after the initial expense of the equipment, it’s free!
Convenience – Another consideration for this major purchase would be the sheer luxury of having a pool at your disposal 24/7, an idea no doubt borne from too many frustrated occasions when you arrived at the “Y” or a community pool only to find it closed or crowded. Local high school pools are open when school is in session so holidays and Summer vacation they are not open. If it is a capacity crowd at the community pool, it is difficult to swim laps and get a good water workout done when it is “family night”. Any community pool, whether it is at the high school or involves a membership at the “Y” or a club, is certainly not free – there is always a fee for using them, whether you pay by the occasion, or in advance, and this can get quite costly.
As if you need convincing, you do realize with any exercise regimen, the more convenient it is for you, the likelihood of your sticking with that regimen. Perhaps your entire family has caught the “swimming bug” – well, there are often family plans available rather than singular memberships for swimming privileges but they all add up over time.
Public pool use also may have you and your family members ending up with some unwelcome “freebies” like Athlete’s Foot or E. coli issues because public pools are not always cleaned as often as they should be and become a breeding ground for germs.
Time – Having a pool is not all fun and games and requires more effort than executing the perfect cannonball, getting 20 or 30 laps in every day or hosting the most primo pool party on the block. Pools require maintenance so you must make a commitment to perform upkeep like skimming the water for debris or testing the pH level and administering chemicals to keep the pool bacteria free. Also, you will need to devote an afternoon every Fall to close down the pool and a substantial amount of time in the Spring to get your pool ready for swimming. The actual maintenance time is inconsequential once you’ve mastered the technique, and surely a little work to preserve an item which gives you so much enjoyment is well worth this effort, isn’t it?
Expenses for pool maintenance – Along with the initial cost of the pool materials and installation, bear in mind that upkeep of your new pool is not just a commitment of your time, but there is some expense involved. The initial outlay of money for materials such as covers, nets and water tubes, is necessary as these items are needed to over winter your pool and properly protect it from the elements. Happily, these are just one-time expenses, but you must regularly monitor the pool water to deter scaling or bacteria and this is done by applying pool chemicals, a procedure more commonly known as “shocking the pool”. These chemicals may be purchased at a pool dealer, online or at warehouse clubs. Routine upkeep will keep your pool pristine and bacteria free and is absolutely essential for a healthy water environment.
Precautions and insurance expenses – You will need to check with your homeowners’ insurance agent to determine what additional insurance coverage or safety devices are necessary to help lessen the financial risk associated with having a pool in your backyard. Homeowners are typically held liable for any injuries or deaths that occur as a result of a backyard pool. This is true whether a person is just injured or drowns when accessing your pool without your permission. Therefore you must also carry liability insurance. You will need to add a locked gate with an alarm, or a large fence to thwart the entry of children into your yard.
Cost of water – The cost of water these days might make you pause as to the purchase of an in-ground pool. However, unlike an above-ground pool which must be drained annually when it comes time to close the pool for the Winter, an in-ground pool keeps its water in the pool over the course of the Winter thanks to special winterizing chemicals. Thus, the cost of filling an in-ground pool is a one-time expense, thankfully.
Entertainment for family and friends – Prepare to put a few more burgers and hot dogs on the grill because your new pool will act as a magnet to friends and neighbors. This is not a bad thing. You might even find your kids and their friends hanging around the pool with old mom and dad instead of hunched over their computer, playing video games or hanging out somewhere – you can keep tabs on them easily now.
Live large and enjoy life. Life is not always a beach, as that expression goes, but a pool may make it the next best thing.