Showing posts with label Pools. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pools. 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 -

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

Ric Moxley
Contributing Writer

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Pool Savings - Healthy Solutions

Salt Water Pool
My Pool Oasis
We are in the thick of Summer and I am sure a lot of you are thinking it's time for some pool fun.  Some of you may have pools and some of you are thinking that you need to get one.  As for my family, we do have a pool and I don't know what we would do without it.  Our teenage girls are fishes and pretty much live in it all summer along with all their friends.

When we first decided to build a pool my husband Phil searched through a lot of information on regular chlorine pools and the new rave of salt water swimming pools.  As for me I just wanted something that didn't turn all our hair green or leave our skin feeling starchy and smelly.  So of course I said a salt water pool all the way.  I really didn't know if it was better for us, all I knew is that my hair wouldn't look like the Wicked Witch of the West by the end of summer.

pool for you
Who wants to go swimming?!
With all of Phil’s research we decided to go with the salt water pool mainly because he is a penny pincher and this was the cheaper route plus the benefit of lower swimming pool maintenance.  In addition to big savings, we also discovered this was a healthy pool solution for a family who swims all summer long.  Our choice of swimming pool water means my family has green free hair, soft skin, and every now and then we get a taste of salt that makes us feel like we are at the ocean.  Plus Phil doesn’t have to work too hard to keep it looking crisp and clean.

Salt Water Pool Information and Supplies
The original set up was about $400 (we have a 30,000 gallon pool), which paid for the salt water system and the 12 bags of salt which lasts all summer.  We built our pool six years ago and since then the cost of a salt water system has almost doubled, but it is still worth it since you are not always having to go buy chlorine.  The generator actually regulates the chlorine through the salt that you initially add in the beginning and keeps the pool’s chemicals balanced.  So instead of having to check the pools chemicals everyday and constantly maintain it; the generator does it for you.  The generator has its own little brain that thinks for you.  The salt level has to be between 1600-2400 parts per million and if it isn't, the generator will let you know if it is too high or too low.

healthy Pools
Marco....Polo....pool fun.

What's Lurking in Your Pool

I have to admit that I never checked into the health aspects of a salt water pool until after we built one. Then I started to wonder what the effect of chlorine in the water does to you and can chlorine cause any health issues?  I decided to look into the health benefits of salt over traditional chlorine pools.  I found out that both salt and chlorine pools disinfect and kill the germs that naturally occur.  The difference is that in a chlorine pool the levels of chlorine are harder to keep under control and this can cause germs and bacteria to form more quickly if the levels aren’t maintained correctly.  Traditional chlorinated pools also have a lot more chemicals then a salt water pool.  With a salt water pool you have the salt generator to maintain it at all times and you are less vulnerable to having unwanted germs in your pool.  The generator keeps a steady and continuous supply of chlorine flowing through the pool which keeps the chlorine levels at the recommended amount.  If they aren’t maintained you will definitely know.  Have you ever been in a pool and all of a sudden your eyes start stinging and then they become blurry or the odor of chlorine is so bad that you want out?  These are big signs that the pools chlorine levels are out of whack and chemicals are on overdrive. Studies at Southern Illinois University School showed that swimmers who have been in a poorly chlorinated pool have had asthma like symptoms, lung irritation, red irritated eyes, and skin rashes.  Once I read that, I knew we made the right decision on going with the salt water pool.  

I hope this helps you choose the right pool for you.  If you are looking to save on pools, then salt water pools are for you.  You will also have a healthy pool and have huge chemical savings down the road.

For us, it is so nice to have a refreshing plunge in the heat of the day into a pool that is odorless, clear, and free of unwanted harsh chemicals and germs.  We definitely have a healthy and fun pool that everyone can enjoy. 
Pool Fun
Back dive or half twist, diving into a healthy pool is fun!