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Adding a pool: will it add value?

Over 2.7 million Australians live in a home with a swimming pool, and we have the highest rate of pool ownership per capita in the world. If you’re thinking of adding to that number, there are a few things to consider besides your backstroke technique.

DO POOLS ADD VALUE?

A recent Swimart survey found that 90% of pool owners think their pool adds value to their home, but is that really the case? Usually, that depends on your property and its location.

Pools are more likely to add value if:

  • You live in an area where property values are high on average.
  • There are a high proportion of families in your area.
  • You live in the suburbs, away from the city centre.
  • Your property has plenty of space and the pool doesn’t overwhelm the rest of the home and garden.
  • You’re located in a prestigious area where most homes already have pools.
  • You live in an area where the weather is hot, like Darwin.

If your home ticks all those boxes, it’s likely that a swimming pool will add anywhere from $30,000 to several hundred thousand dollars to the resale value of your porperty.

On the other hand, it might not be a good idea to add a pool if you live in a central area where space is a priority, or if the locals are mainly students, young professionals or first home buyers who are unlikely to pay more for a pool.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO ADD AND MAINTAIN A POOL?

Swimming pools aren’t cheap. Home Improvement Pages estimates that installing your own inground pool could cost anywhere between $35,000 and $100,000 depending on its size, design and finish. Above ground pools are much cheaper – as little as $3,000 – but they’re unlikely to add any value to your property.

Once you’ve installed your pool, the costs don’t stop there. There may also be council fees, pool registration fees (in NSW) and the cost of landscaping and fencing. After that, the pool could cost as much as $2,000 a year to maintain, or more if you’re regularly heating it.

CHOOSING AN INSTALLER

If you’re sure a pool is a good idea and you’re prepared to spend the money, choosing a licensed, qualified and experienced pool installer is the next step.

Make sure you pick someone with all the relevant licenses and insurance, and always get references from past clients. If any of your family or friends has installed a pool recently, ask them about their experience, as you should be able to trust their referral. Make sure you receive a fully itemised and all-inclusive quote before works begin so you can be sure of the costs.

DESIGN AND LOCATION

Before you start ringing installers, you should get an idea what type of pool you’re after and where you’ll build it. A few key things to consider are:

  • Fencing: Do you want clear fencing so that you can see what the kids are up to from inside the house? What are the rules and regulations around pool fencing in your state?
  • Location: Is there a sunny, raised area in your yard that’s sheltered from the wind, away from trees and other plants that could drop debris? If so, it could be the perfect spot for a pool.
  • Access: Will a crane be able to lower the pool into your backyard or are there trees or powerlines blocking the way? Are there any sewerage or electrical lines running under your yard that could be disturbed during installation?

If you’re thinking about adding a pool, take some time to consider if it will add value, think long and hard about the design and choose the best possible installer. Make the right decisions now and you could inject your property with a dreamy, holiday house vibe – and add thousands of dollars to its value in the process.

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