5 Reasons NOT to Put a Permanent Pool in Your Backyard

If you're like most people, you love swimming pools. Perhaps you've even flirted with the idea of getting your own backyard pool to enjoy for years to come. If so, you may have talked to people or read articles online encouraging you to "take the plunge."

Easy for them to say. It's not their money or theirbackyard. And of course, a lot of the information you find about swimming pools comes from pool companies who - call me cynical - have something other than your best interests in mind.

The truth is, there are plenty of reasons most homeowners should not get an inground swimming pool. Here are five of the most compelling things to consider.

#1: It's Hugely Expensive

Stepping in PoolEveryone knows that building a swimming pool isn't cheap, but do you truly know what you're in for? Before getting ahead of yourself, know that the average inground pool costs between $25,000-50,000. You can save a lot by choosing a vinyl pool, but you'll have to pay for a replacement liner down the road. You can save a lot more by doing the project yourself, but the pitfalls involved in that are immense and worthy of their own discussion. Bottom line, for most people, building a pool puts a major dent in their personal finances.

#2: Maintenance Requires a Lot of Work and Money

Unlike other home improvement projects that cost a lot initially but little or nothing afterward, a swimming pool continues to suck time and money from you. To keep the algae at bay, you have to continually treat your pool water with chemicals like chlorine. There's also general cleaning, as dirt and leaves find their way into the water. You can hire a pool service or buy robotic cleaners to do the work for you, but that's more money.

#3: You Might Not Get Enough Use Out of It

In most parts of the United States, there are only so many days where the air temperature rises above 70 degrees. With work, school, vacation, and other activities, you have to ask yourself if you'll be able to swim enough on those days to make it worth the investment. Also, hard as it might be for non-pool owners to believe, many people get bored with their pool after a few years and regret getting it.

#4: It Takes Up Lots of Space

For the average suburban home, a pool isn't just in the backyard - it is the backyard. If you think you have plenty of room for a good-sized pool, keep in mind that you have to allow space for a deck around the pool. There are smaller pool designs that are much easier to squeeze in, but if you're looking for the "classic" pool experience, you may have to be prepared to give up your whole backyard - and all the other activities you could be enjoying there.

#5: It Might Not Improve Your Home Value as Much as You Think

A lot of people choose to build a pool on the assumption that it will "pay for itself" in increased property value. There's some truth to this, but it's also a bit of wishful thinking. It's rare that a pool doesn't increase the value of your home at least somewhat. However, you're very likely putting more money in than you're getting out. Keep in mind that not everyone even wants a pool (for some of the reasons above), which could make it more difficult to sell your home.

The Verdict?

Hey, I'm not out to single-handedly kill off the pool construction business (those guys have been through enough with the housing crash). I just wanted to present a side of the argument you may not have heard before. A lot of people are rah-rah about getting a pool. Somebody's got to be the voice of reason.

If you still want to "take the plunge" after mulling over the five points above, you may be exactly the sort of person who should have an inground pool. Otherwise, you might want to consider an above ground pool or one of the many other alternatives.