• Melanie Evans

Should You Add a Swimming Pool to Your Waterloo Region Home?

Updated: May 11, 2021

As we’ve discussed here on the Team Pinto blog before, and as a recent report from REMAX confirmed, the COVID-19 pandemic led to a significant increase in the number of outdoor living space renovations being undertaken in Ontario, including in the Waterloo Region. One of those was the addition of a swimming pool.

The relaxation adults can indulge in, and the fun activities that the kids can enjoy in the summer is the big appeal of a pool, while upkeep and safety risks should be taken into account by homeowners before they purchase a swimming pool.

If you’re considering buying a swimming pool, or plan to have one built, let’s look at the pros and cons of adding a pool to your Waterloo Region home, whether you plan to sell in the near future or not.

Home Swimming Pools and Recreation

There is no doubt that adding a swimming pool to your Waterloo Region home’s outdoor living space is a great way to encourage the whole family to get more exercise. Swimming is an effective, low impact exercise that offers all the following health benefits:

  1. Keeps your heart rate elevated while reducing impact stress on your body.

  2. Increases your endurance, muscle strength, and cardiovascular fitness.

  3. Aids in the maintenance of a healthy weight, heart, and lungs

  4. Provides an all-over body workout because nearly all of your muscles are used.

  5. Is a peaceful and relaxing form of exercise.

  6. Reduces stress

  7. Enhances coordination, balance, and posture.

  8. Offers low-impact therapy effective for certain injuries and conditions

  9. Is a great way to cool off on a hot day!

Swimming pools, on the other hand, can be dangerous when there are kids and those who do not know how to swim in the family. If you decide to add a swimming pool to your home, make sure you have the proper safety fencing and door locks installed to prevent children from going to the pool without supervision. Homeowners can also be held liable for injuries caused by neighbors or friends in their pool, something else to keep top of mind as you make your decision.


Swimming Pool Installation and Financial Considerations

Swimming pools are now much more affordable than they were a few years ago, thanks to the current state of the construction industry. The cost benefit is also reflected in your home’s resale value. A home with a pool may appeal to a buyer more than one without, especially in a post COVID era when people are still expected to spend more of their leisure time at home, even after everyone has been vaccinated.

However, there is no guarantee that a swimming pool will increase the resale value of your home. If a pool is not the norm in your neighbourhood then it can be a double-edged sword.

Some buyers will indeed gravitate towards you home over others because they love the idea of having a pool. Others may be put off, by the expense of upkeep or the dangers presented to kids.

Speaking of upkeep, maintaining a swimming pool isn’t cheap. Cleaning and chemicals aside, as well as winterization in the Waterloo Region, your homeowner’s insurance will almost certainly increase.

Swimming Pools and Waterloo Region Home Resale Value

A pool may not increase the value of your home either, so installing one with the expectation of getting good ROI on the investment if you sell your Waterloo Region home is not always realistic.

However, only an expert appraisal from an experienced local real estate agent can tell you how much increase your swimming pool is worth at the time you choose to put your home on the market. In general though if you are going to install a swimming pool do so primarily for your own benefit, not with an eye to securing a sales price increase (unless your home is the only one in the area without one.)

Alternatives to an In-ground Pool for Your Waterloo Region Home

Not sure an inground pool is right for you, but still interested in adding swimming as a recreational option to your outdoor space? Here’s a look at some ‘swimming pool alternatives’ to consider.

Above Ground Pool

In comparison to an in-ground pool, an above-ground pool costs between $1,000 and $5,000 to install, with annual maintenance costing around $1,000. These pools are typically sold as do-it-yourself kits, resulting in lower purchase and installation costs. Above-ground pools also enable homeowners to “test the waters” and determine whether or not owning a pool is right for them. The best part is that they are simple to dismantle and resell.

Above-ground pools have become a permanent fixture in the yards of many homeowners. While not quite as attractive as in-ground pools, they can be just as impressive with the right landscaping.

There are various types of above-ground pools. The inflatable type is usually the cheapest. This will cost less than $1,000 and will require little maintenance. Inflatable pools, on the other hand, usually only last one or two summers.

If you want a more durable material for an above-ground pool, go with steel or resin. Steel is one of the most cost-effective materials to use, with a purchase price of around $1,000 and annual maintenance costs of around $1,200. Steel above-ground pools have an average lifespan of eight years. Those made of resin, on the other hand, are more expensive, costing around $5,000, but they have a longer lifespan. These pools can last anywhere from ten to fifteen years.

Swim Spa

Swim spas are ideal for those looking to incorporate swimming and exercise in their daily routines. They also provide the advantages of massage therapy. Despite the fact that top-of-the-line swim spas can cost $10,000 or more, they are less expensive to buy and maintain than traditional pools. Major construction is not required for installation. A swim spa is an excellent pool alternative if you have a small yard.

A swim spa, unlike an indoor pool, can be used all year long at a low cost. Lower utility bills are a result of its energy-efficient construction and insulation. Swim spas also use less water to operate, allowing you to save even more money. Because the surface area is smaller, their filtration system can easily sift out floating debris. Swim spas, on the other hand, have an antimicrobial acrylic surface that eliminates the need to scrub them on a regular basis.

Swim spas do not allow for laps because their propulsion systems are designed for swimming in place, but you can still enjoy all the benefits of swimming and more. Because of the water’s natural resistance and buoyancy, you can go for an aqua walk, stretch, and strengthen your muscles. Swim spas are popular among people who want to improve their mobility. For aquatic exercises, some spas include rowing bars and resistance bands.

Another benefit of owning a swim spa is that you can use it throughout the year. You can change the temperature of the water without having to pay hundreds of dollars in utility bills. Because swim spas have smaller tanks and built-in insulation, they will only cost $1 to $3 per day to run their pumps and heater. This is less than half the cost of maintaining a typical in-ground pool.

Water Feature

Not really that interested in swimming, but love the idea of relaxing by water? Then a pond or other water feature may be a better idea. Here are just a few water feature ideas that a good landscaper will be able to help you achieve.

Koi Pond

Nobody can deny the aesthetic appeal that koi ponds can bring to your property. It doesn’t matter, whether you have hired a high-end designer to get these ponds designed or you may have designed the ponds yourself, a Koi pond can add an unparalleled elegance and style to your property or garden.

When you add a Koi pond to your backyard, it will also encourage the growth of eye-catching and colorful plants near the pond that will attract butterflies and birds, thus creating your own natural and peaceful space. And scientific studies have found that having a koi pond in your yard to sit by can significantly help reduce stress, anxiety and even high blood pressure.

Fountain Feature

Besides their eye-catching appearance, the calming trickling sound of the falling water of a fountain is soothing, calming, and mesmerizing. Their relaxing ambience easily enhances the serenity of a garden or yard. They can also mask and/or lessen the intensity of loud, unpleasant noises such as traffic noise or noise from the neighbour’s loud music!

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