Why It’s Great to Have a Home with a Pool
Greetings, and welcome to the WRX Property Group website and blog! With spring just around the corner, we’ve decided that it’s time for a new article that might make waves amongst our readers. Never nervous about causing a splash, though, we’ll just dive right in to the subject at hand: why it’s great to have a home with a pool, and how to be a responsible pool owner.
If you’re curious as to how we suddenly have so many bad, water-related puns, it’s because we’ve been pooling our resources for a while now, in anticipation of this article.
You might be looking to buy a home with a pool, or to purchase a condominium with a shared pool. Perhaps you already have a home with a pool and are just looking to learn a bit more.
Finally, a small percentage of you may just be here for the puns. In any case, let’s start off by setting the scene: it’s a hot, sweltering day in the middle of summer (Canada, and especially southern Ontario, does indeed get quite hot during the summer), and it hasn’t rained for days.
You’ve just finished a long, hard day of work (or school), and are heading back home. You remember that the air conditioning hasn’t been working lately, and ruminate on such things as life and what the core temperature of the sun must be.
Your thoughts move slowly in this heat, though… slow as molasses. As you make your way up the driveway, you notice one of your neighbours across the street, sweating, standing over an egg on the sidewalk.
You wonder if he intends to fry and eat this egg, or if he does it for the sport, for the science of it. Your thoughts turn back to the heat. If only you had a pool…
Pools are great. There are few things as refreshing as jumping in a pool after a long, hot summer’s day. Beyond cooling down, they’re also great exercise. Swimming is a useful skill to have, an enjoyable pastime, and an excellent way to stay active and healthy.
And if you like having friends and family over for a visit, there are few things more enticing than a pool party. Yes, a pool is an investment – it takes both a financial and a time commitment – but for many people, it’s an investment with a solid return (particularly if you’ve got the genes and determination of Michael Phelps).
So to summarize: pools are a healthy way to have fun and socialize; they’re great for just about anyone, from families to retired couples; they’re a great way to justify your extensive collection of pool noodles (if you have an extensive collection of pool noodles); and they can add value to your property, depending on the area.
Types of Pools
There are quite a few ways to split up pools, with overlap between each group. But let’s break down two of the main choices pool owners will have to make, to give you an idea of what kinds of pools are available, and what their relative merits are.
Above ground versus inground pools: Above ground pools literally stand above the ground in a steel frame with vinyl liner on the inside. Inground pools are built into the ground, with several options for materials: concrete and fiberglass are two of the most common, with concrete being more customizable and fiberglass being faster to install.
There are certainly benefits to both above and inground pools. Above ground pools are typically less expensive than comparable inground pools, but they also add less value to the property, even proportionate to their respective prices.
Above ground pools are less permanent, which some may see as a benefit, but some prefer the look of inground pools, which can be a factor, as well. Inground pools typically offer more customization options – particularly concrete models.
Inground and above ground have nearly identical maintenance needs. However, on the one hand, inground pools tend to be more durable, but on the other, when they do need repairs, they tend to be more expensive than repairs to above ground pools.
A helpful tip: if you’d like to do everything you can to keep your pool well-heated, dark plaster in the pool helps retain heat after long-periods of sunlight. It’s something worth considering if you’re installing a new pool, or looking to renovate an existing one.
Chlorinated versus salt water pools: You will likely find advocates for both varieties, and again, there are benefits to both. Salt water pools require a salt water generator, which is a fairly large initial monetary investment, as well as the cost of running and maintaining the generator.
Once installed, though, salt water pools more or less self-regulate. Chlorinated pools are a bit more finicky to maintain. You need to monitor the pH balance (kept to a few degrees above or below 7.4), as well as the alkalinity (around 120 parts per million, +/- 20) and calcium (around 250 parts per million, +/-50), and you need to manually purchase and add the chlorine.
Salt water pools, just to note, are chlorinated, they just create their own chlorine through chemical electrolysis (they also have less chlorine overall, and particularly less of a chemical smell). Chlorinated pools have more costs over time, and more time needed to keep them clean and running optimally.
It boils down to salt water pools costing a lot more up front, but being more cost and time-efficient over time. Both are viable options, and one is not significantly safer than the other.
Owning a Pool 101
Alright, let’s take a look at some of the key pointers important for pool-owners to know. First of all, keep it clean! We went over aspects of chlorine/pH maintenance earlier, but it is advisable to ‘shock’ your pool once a week or so.
There are a variety of shock products on the market, and they are instrumental in keeping the pool clean and running well (just as two examples, shocking your pool kills bacteria and helps filtration). Algaecides help keep pesky algae away; some products are more preventative, whereas others target specific types of algae (particularly green algae).
Finally, using a pool cleaner to skim debris from the pool, keeping the skimmer baskets clear, and running a pool vacuum to keep all the walls and floor clean are all important tasks that responsible pool owners can derive a degree of satisfaction out of – the satisfaction of having the cleanest pool on the block.
Winterize that pool. We live in Canada, and as much as it can feel like the warm spring and summer months will last forever, we must never forget that winter is coming. The time to start thinking about closing your pool for the season is when the water temperature starts to consistently hover around 18 or 17 degrees Celsius.
Some people opt to hire a professional to ensure their pool is winterized perfectly, but if you plan to do it on your own (and many people do), be sure to do your research (you can find thorough guides online) and follow each step carefully.
Finally, be safe. The pool cleaning products themselves can be harmful to children and animals, and you should carefully read instructions to keep yourself safe, too. Pools should have a self-closing, self-latching fence to ensure children can’t get in unattended.
And being aware of pool safety is vital: backyard pools often aren’t deep enough to dive, the area around the pool should be kept clear of clutter, and less confident swimmers should not swim alone.
Pools can take a bit of work, but for many people, it’s worth every second (and dollar). Swimming is good, healthy fun, no matter what your age is. So if you’re looking to buy a home in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, or Guelph, and a pool is one of your priorities – we at WRX Property Group would love to help ensure your home buying experience goes swimmingly (couldn’t resist one, final water-related pun).
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions, or if you’d like to look at homes in the area with pools.
Written by Will Kummer