A backyard pool can be an enjoyable addition to any home. Inground pools are often at the top of homeowners' wish lists because they lend themselves to luxurious designs and creative styling. However, if you are thinking about installing an inground pool in your yard, there are several things you should know before you move forward. Weighing the negative aspects of inground pool installation can help you make a better-informed decision.
One of the main reasons that homeowners may be dissuaded from installing an inground pool is the cost of installation. According to Swimtown Pools, it generally costs 10 times more to install an inground pool than it does to install an above-ground pool, with the installation price for an inground pool averaging $21,919 as of March 2011.The exact price of an inground pool's construction will vary based on its size, the type of material used to line the pool, and any extras that are added such as a slide, waterfall or spa. Inground pools with a vinyl liner are usually the least expensive, ranging in price from $7,000 to $16,000, while fiberglass pools come in at the middle of the pack with prices between $15,000 and $25,000. Concrete pools are the most costly type of inground pool, with installation expenses reaching as high as $45,000 depending on the pool's design.
Because inground pools are rarely small, they require extensive plumbing and filtering systems, as well as large doses of chemicals, to maintain proper water chemistry. As a result, maintenance fees for inground pools can be quite high. Typically, fiberglass pools are the least expensive to maintain because their smooth shells prevent many problems that occur due to improperly balanced water. According to Viking Pools, the average maintenance costs for an inground fiberglass pool over a 10 year period is $4,200. Vinyl-lined pools can average $11,500 in maintenance costs over the same period, while concrete pools cause the most significant drain on pool owners' wallets, with maintenance costs averaging $16,950 over a decade.
Compared with aboveground pools, which can be installed in a day or two, inground pools involve long installation periods. Fiberglass pools can typically be installed in as little as a week, but vinyl-lined inground pools require four to six weeks of construction. Concrete pools generally take the most time to construct because they must be built in layers, which can take anywhere from four to eight weeks. Not only can these long installation periods be inconvenient for homeowners, but labor costs must be paid during the entire process as well.
Unlike aboveground pools that can easily be disassembled and moved, an inground pool is a permanent structure. If you decide that you no longer want a pool, you will have to have it filled to restore the look of your yard. In addition, when you move, you cannot take the pool with you to your new home.