Should I Add a Pool to My Florida Home?

Our neighborhood has 281 homes, of which about 279 have pools, so residents in our community clearly think having a pool is a good idea.  Is it really?  This blog post is going to be part of an ongoing series of articles about ways to enhance your Florida home, adding value, utility, and a source of family fun.  Will having a pool make the cut?

Adding a pool to a home is a major decision and not one to take lightly.  Like anything in life, there are opinions on both sides of the fence, and so many articles covering the topic focus on the pool installers, who of course suggest that a pool is the best investment you’ll ever make.

How much does a pool in Florida cost?

For new pool construction, you need to budget about $20-$30k at a minimum, and in a busy market pool installers are less generous with price breaks.  In 2016 we have seen the cost for adding a pool increase over prior years, and the time it takes to get the project completed has also increased.

Consideration 1: Safety

Having a pool often means you have small children, so considering the added cost of safety features is important to keep in your budget.  Luckily there are some good low-cost options that will greatly reduce your chances of disaster.  Drowning is one of the most common causes of death in small children, so don’t take this section lightly!

  1. A pool fence and lock (a good option is sold by is a good starter way to drastically reduce the odds of a child getting into the pool without supervision.  Just remember to keep that gate shut.

  1. Amazon sells a $178 pool alarm that will set off a siren if the water is breached by something approximately the size of a baby.  This is not a bad backstop in case the pool gate from #1 is left open, but in our experience the strong winds in Florida are often enough to set off the alarm.  False positives led to complacency and in fact removal of the pool alarm, eventually.

Consideration 2: Maintenance

A pool has not only an initial cost (which does add real estate value in Florida, but not  in some other states) but also has significant ongoing costs.  The value added by a pool is generally less than one to one with cost, so a $30k pool doesn’t add more than $30k, because of the ongoing costs.

Running a pool pump is going to run you $25-$50/mo depending on the pump.  Variable-speed pumps introduced in recent years do help bring down the cost of pumping and cleaning water, but the cost is still there.

Filters are replaced every year or less, and a typical pool filter is between $40 and $100.  Check eBay and don’t forget to replace the rubber gasket when you replace the filter.  It’ll make your life easier.

Chemicals Needed On an Ongoing Basis (Saltwater Pool)

  • Salt – added 1-2 bags/mo at $8.49 each.
  • Algaecides: Approx. $10 and replaced monthly in summer time.
  • Stabilizer: Not sure what this does but needed a few times a year.

Ultimately, a pool may very well be worth it to you and your family, especially in Florida, where it can be used year-round.

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