It’s been just a few weeks since we heard the phrase “polar vortex” for the first time here, and only days since we experienced “thunder sleet,” so it seems surprising that it’s now time to talk about swimming pools.
But as we all know, before long North Texas will heat up and this cold weather will be a distant memory — and for me and many others, the season of backyard enjoyment will return.
While many people already have pools, some homeowners may be trying to decide whether they should have a pool installed or not.
Pool aficionados will tell you that life is too brief and too fragile to spend without a swimming pool.
For these pool owners, it’s hard for them to consider not having a swimming pool.
On the other hand, there are some pool owners who would probably be better off without a swimming pool.
They may not be able to take the time to enjoy or maintain the pool.
Even though it’s not good for my business to think this way, I realize that a swimming pool is definitely not for everyone, and I do not believe for a second that everyone should have a pool. Owning a pool is a commitment that takes time, much like having a motor home, boat or lake house.
So I’m offering a list of pros and cons for homeowners considering whether to move forward with a swimming pool.
Family: This is probably the biggest reason for the popularity of pools — swimming and being around the pool together is enjoyable and encourages family togetherness.
Lifestyle: Relaxing by the pool is another common reason that pools continue to be popular.
Poolside reading and meditating may not come to mind when purchasing a pool, but they often become popular activities once the pool is installed.
Health: This has become an increasingly popular reason to own a swimming pool. Swimming is a favorite recreational activity for many people. Activities such as lap swimming and water aerobics can help promote weight control and heart and lung conditioning.
Convenience: Being able to stay home to beat the heat is much more desirable than having to go to another location to enjoy a swimming pool.
Nothing satisfies the mind and body like a refreshing dip in the pool on a hot day after mowing or working in the yard.
Entertaining: Backyard cookouts become even better when you have a pool to keep guests entertained.
In addition, for birthday parties, anniversaries, holidays — you name it — there is no better place to celebrate a special occasion than poolside.
Aesthetics: Pools have evolved into the centerpiece of the backyard.
Today’s consumers are adding the natural look to their backyards, creating a tropical paradise right at home.
Time: Many people are so busy that having something that they do not use does not make sense — this can be said for a motor home, boat, lake house, etc. If you are rarely at home, a swimming pool is probably not for you.
Financial: There are several costs of owning a swimming pool. Typically, pools are financed — for example, a $35,000 loan at 8 percent interest for 25 years results in monthly payments of about $270.
In addition, monthly chemical and utility costs (electricity and water) add up to about $100 to $150 for the average-sized residential pool.
If you do not use the pool or could use the money elsewhere, then purchasing a swimming pool is probably not a wise financial move.
Lifestyle: Oftentimes people think that if they had a pool, they would be home more or they would exercise more. If you really believe that, maybe you are correct. But most of the time, simply getting a pool does not change your lifestyle any more than buying a pair of running shoes makes you a runner.
Hopefully these questions will help you make the right decision when considering whether or not to purchase a swimming pool.
MATT GOHLKE owns Gohlke Pools, which has earned national awards, certifications and recognition in the pool industry. He can be reached at 940-387-7521 or firstname.lastname@example.org.