Home Money We are thinking about buying a house with a pool: how much would it cost to maintain it?

We are thinking about buying a house with a pool: how much would it cost to maintain it?

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Waste of money? A This is Money reader wants to know how much pool maintenance costs (file image)

We are house hunting in our local area and have found a four bedroom house with a garden pool measuring approximately 20ft x 13ft, with a depth of 6ft.

This £700,000 house ticks a lot of boxes for us, but a pool wasn’t a box that needed to be ticked.

We have two small children, so a pool might be a good option, but we are worried about running costs.

Waste of money? A This is Money reader wants to know how much pool maintenance costs (file image)

Approximately how much would it cost to run year-round in terms of heating and regular maintenance such as chlorination and cleaning?

Currently it does not have a cover either. How much would it cost approximately to have a high-end automatic cover to be able to use it all year round?

The other option would be to simply fill it. Would it be a smart move or would it instantly devalue the house?

We’re also not sure what that entails or how much it would cost to do so. Any advice would be appreciated.

Jane Denton responds: He’s shown me the house he wants to buy in Essex and it looks pretty fabulous for the price.

However, purchasing a home with a large pool, especially when you have two small children, should not be taken lightly.

If you plan to purchase the property and keep the pool, as you point out, there are multiple maintenance costs to consider. Pools can be money pits.

To give just a few examples, an adequate pH and chlorine level must be maintained, the bottom of the pool will need to be vacuumed, and the filtration system must be checked and maintained regularly.

Browsing would become part of your daily vocabulary.

You also have to take into account the additional energy and water costs involved in running a pool, which can be substantial.

Safety will be paramount, so it’s wise that you don’t plan to skimp on a decent auto holster.

Another possibility would be, as you say, to fill the pool.

You will need to carefully evaluate how much the pool would realistically be used throughout the year and consider whether the benefits would outweigh the costs and inconvenience involved.

Fill time? Filling a pool can be expensive, but it helps save costs in the long term

Fill time? Filling a pool can be expensive, but it helps save costs in the long term

Pete Simpson, of Pete The Poolman in Surrey, says: Buying a property with a pool can be an exciting prospect. They are attractive and, in theory, a great addition to a home.

However, once you’ve moved in and lived with a pool for a while, reality isn’t always so good.

As a starting point, before buying the house it would be a good idea, if the seller agrees, to get an expert to take a look at the pool.

Pete Simpson, pool expert

Pete Simpson, pool expert

They will be able to tell you, for example, whether there are leaks, whether the electrical system meets required standards, and the condition and type of heating equipment on site.

Resolving problems like this can be expensive.

Finding and repairing leaks can cost thousands of pounds. It pays to know what you’re buying before you take the plunge.

In terms of future costs that might be involved, owning a swimming pool is like owning a boat, only the water is inside.

Heating a pool of the size you are looking at with a modern gas heater for a season without a cover would cost approximately £100 per week, but would be considerably less with a cover installed.

Heating costs vary depending on the outside temperature and the required pool temperature.

Another option is to purchase a heat pump. These can be expensive and can cost thousands of pounds to purchase.

They require the pool to be covered and ideally need an ambient temperature of 12 degrees or higher to function effectively and reach a comfortable swimming temperature.

In addition to heating costs, running the pool’s electric circulation pump during the summer season would cost approximately £1,000.

Some pool owners choose to run the circulation pump for limited periods of time. However, I don’t think it’s a good idea. It is a false economy.

Firstly, the heating can only operate with the pump running, so valuable heat is lost during pump downtime. Secondly, the pool would need more help from chemicals to maintain the water quality.

The pool that comes with the home you are considering purchasing does not come with a cover.

A good quality automatic hydraulic pool cover could cost you up to £25,000 for a high-end one, although there are some less expensive alternatives available.

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A hand roller or blanket might cost as little as £2,000 or so, and the latter offers good heat retention, but is not safe for children or pets in my opinion.

Pools need regular chlorination and cleaning.

Depending on the disinfectant you choose, you should allocate at least £100 a month towards it.

The pool should also be professionally closed during the cold winter months and opened in spring in the same way.

If you decide to keep the pool, the best way forward would be a good program of weekly routine maintenance and servicing, and perhaps paying as you enter the turnstile for all the new friends you acquire when the mercury rises.

Weekly service charges vary from company to company but would be reasonable between £55 and £75 per week, excluding chemicals.

You may decide that the best option for your family would be to fill the pool. Prices vary, but can cost thousands of dollars to do so.

To begin, the pool should be divided into the bottom and the sides.

The walls would have to be knocked down more than three feet to allow for landscaping. A rough estimate for the pool in the house you want to buy would cost around £20,000 and the possibility is much more if there is no access for machinery.

In essence, a swimming pool is an expensive toy that can be enjoyed for a few days in summer and is a wonderful garden decoration that will impress guests.

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