Backyard swimming pools are a great way to bring fun and fitness to your family home. Choosing and caring for an inground swimming pool is an investment of your time and money and should be undertaken with care.
There are three main materials that are used in inground pools: gunite, fiberglass and vinyl. Gunite pools are the most expensive type but offer great flexibility as they can be built to any custom shape. Gunite pools are permanent and reinforced with concrete and plaster that is laid into an excavated area. In contrast, vinyl pools have a reinforced shell and a vinyl liner. Although slightly less expensive, excavation costs can still make this type of pool a pricier option. Fiberglass pools are the least expensive inground pool option. They are made and installed as a one-piece shell, available in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Keeping an inground pool clean is of great importance not only for the life of the pool but also for your family's health. Daily care should include vacuuming, skimming your pool for surface detritus such as leaves, and testing and cleaning the pool water. There are two different systems for keeping pool water clean -- salt water or chlorine. A salt water system uses a chlorine generator to produce chlorine so that you do not have to add it to the water yourself. Chlorine pools, in contrast, require the manual addition of chemicals to the pool on a daily basis.
Having an inground pool provides hours of family entertainment and fitness; however, it is not without its hazards. Small children, regardless of their swimming ability, should not be allowed in the pool without an adult, and should not ever play around the pool by themselves. Pool chemicals can be very caustic and should be used with great caution. Older children should be taught proper methods of handling chlorine and other agents and safe operation of the pump and pool equipment. They should be closely supervised until able to demonstrate safe handling skills consistently.
Before getting an inground pool installed, you will want to find out about the regulations regarding pools in your community. Your contractor can answer questions regarding building permits. However, you will need to investigate on your own as to any special neighborhood or city requirements for pool owners. Most municipalities require a specific type and height of fence surround the pool to reduce the likelihood of accidents. It is a good idea to invest in additional insurance as well to protect yourself against any injury claims that might occur.
An inground pool is not only an enjoyable feature for your family to enjoy, it is also an investment in your property. An above-ground pool generally does not increase a home's value; in fact it may even decrease your property value. The added value of inground pools, however, is around 7.7 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Geography has a lot to do with the equation as well. For example, in Arizona seven out of 10 houses have inground pools, and a home without a pool could actually be harder to sell. NAR states that although having a pool can play a role in a home's sale and price, the primary reason for having an inground pool installed should be your family's enjoyment.
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