Showing posts with label Pool Tips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pool Tips. Show all posts

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Five Stay-Cool Pool Savings Tips

Most of the year, the phrase “Stay cool” makes a person nostalgic, reminded of that most common of wisdoms written in high school yearbooks.  But with many of our readers living through one of the hottest summers on record, “staying cool” is just wishful thinking … unless you’re lucky enough to be one of the 10.5 million U.S. households1 who already have an in-ground or above-ground pool.  If you are, then you know what a blessing it can be to walk out your door and take a refreshing plunge on a hot day. 
Pool Savings
Above-ground pool or built-in pool? A tough choice.
But if you’re one of the remaining 114 million households2 who do not, then each heat wave serves as yet a another reminder that you don’t have your own pool—above ground or built-in.  Is that you?  If so, then you may be already seeking ways to justify a swimming pool purchase  to help you and your family douse the fiery heat this summer. 

Stink or swim? Don’t sweat it!

Here’s some good news; the idea of “Cheap pools” is no April fools joke!   There are indeed many ways to make your pool-cool dream a reality.  Use even just one of these five money-saving pool buying tips and getting that cool splash in your own back yard could happen this summer.

Solution #1: Above ground pools

Above-ground pools were all the rage in the ‘60s and ‘70s, but they are gaining in popularity today in many communities because they offer so many benefits. 
  • The most obvious benefit:  cost savings.  Above ground pools are cheaper pools.  Not only are the raw materials significantly cheaper for above-ground pools, but installing one can be a do-it-yourself project, saving you tons over the cost of hiring a contractor and a crew to build an in-ground pool.
  • An above-ground pool is less disruptive to the environment, since you’re not displacing and removing earth, as you must for an in-ground pool.
  • Above-ground pools are portable pools!  If you’re not sure how long you’ll be at your current address, definitely consider a pool above ground; not only is a built-in pool an unreliable investment for property value reasons, but (stop me if you’ve heard this) you can’t take it with you when you go.  That is, not unless you are smart enough to go above ground in your planning. 
For a more in-depth look into the advantages of an above-ground pool, read this PoolGear Plus article or this article at Pool Solutions for a look at both the ad- and disadvantages of an above-the-ground pool.

Solution #2: Think small, save big

Think about this for a moment; who in your family will most use a pool if you buy one? For most families, it’s the kids who take the plunge most often.  If that’s the case for you, and if your children are very young, consider going to your local toy store and picking up an inflatable pool.  Advantages of these blow-up pools:
  • Inflatable pools take just minutes to set up or take down.
  • Inflatable pools require the least amount of water.
  • Inflatable pools cost the least of any pool solution. 
It may be a sufficient solution to cool down the kids, and save you a bundle in the process.

Solution #3: Go hybrid with an In-ground vinyl

Like any in-ground pools, the vinyl-lined in-ground pool begins with a big hole but...after adding some reinforcing framing of wood or other material, the hole is lined with a vinyl material similar to the walls of a standard above-ground pool.

While more expensive than an above-the-ground pool, a vinyl-lined in-ground pool is much cheaper than a typical in-ground pool.  Of course, it’s also less sturdy; the lining typically needs replacing after 10 years.  But the lower up-front cost gives you all the benefits of an in-ground swimming pool without the upfront dent in your budget—particularly worth considering for those whose current finances are recessed, but likely to improve with time.

Solution #4: Consider a Saltwater pool

Save Money on Pools
Cool Savings on Pools!
If you are considering taking the plunge financially with an in-ground pool, take a good look first at our previous FamilyWize blog about Salt Water Pools.  There are both cost and health benefits of saltwater pools over traditional chlorine pools.

Solution #5: Be shallow and save!

When you make your plan for an in-ground pool, consider that the greater the depth, the greater the cost—not only to have your pool built and installed but to maintain it as well. 

So ask yourself how you plan to use your pool:
  • Do you have a budding Olympic diver in your family? If yes, then you need a deep pool.  But you may be able to save by shortening the shallow end.
  • Is it primarily for exercise, such as doing laps?  If so, doing laps doesn’t require a deep-end at all.
  • Do you plan to use it mostly for water sports, such as water polo, Marco Polo, or water volley ball?  For most water sports like these, a deep end makes it difficult or impossible to play.   Plan for a more even pool depth and you’ll increase enjoyment and save money.

Resources and statistics for further research

To see the resources used in this article or to get more information on saving money on outdoor pools, take a look at the following links:
Whatever option you go with be sure to stay cool this summer!

If you have a pool, please share what type of pool you have and why you like it! Share a picture of your pool and friends on our Facebook page -  Facebook.com/familywize.

1The Association of Pool and Spa Professionals estimates 10,573,780 in ground and above ground pools in the contiguous 48 states and Washington DC.
2Number of U.S. households: see   www.census.gov.

Ric Moxley
Contributing Writer