Swimming pool a costly addition

  • By Angie Hicks
  • Tuesday, June 10, 2014 2:12pm
  • Life

Are you considering taking the plunge to add a pool or update an existing one?

Do your homework before you dive into making a hot summer’s daydream come true. Our team recently interviewed top-rated pool pros and gathered the following trends and tips to help your project go swimmingly:

Cost: The average starting price for installing a pool made of concrete or similar materials, such as shotcrete or gunite, is $50,000. The cost of additional pool components can range from $20,000 to more than $100,000.

Finishes: A pool’s interior finish material will make the biggest design statement. Popular choices include basic white plaster or quartz. Other options include pebbles and crushed abalone shells. The pool finish alone can cost $8,000 to $10,000.

Features: Options include sun decks, tanning ledges, waterfalls, bubblers, fountains, water arcs and zero-entry. When it comes to the pump, which can cost $1,000 or more, consider a variable-speed type that you can program.

Shape: At a 5 percent to 10 percent increase in cost, a pool can be custom-shaped to reflect your property and lifestyle.

Automation: Systems are available that automatically provide water-chemistry readouts and control temperature, lights, music, the pool cover and more. Automation features cost from $500 to several thousand dollars.

Lighting: LED lights in white or other colors are popular. They cost more initially than other bulb types, but can last at least six times longer.

Decking: The material surrounding the pool can be as simple as brushed concrete, at an average cost of $5.50 per square foot installed, to something more upscale, such as flagstone, which averages $26 a square foot.

Travertine tiles, at $8 to $11 a square foot, resist mold and heat and are slip-resistant. But because they’re soft, they need to be sealed annually if you have a saltwater pool.

Saltwater: Saltwater pools are popular because they offer high water quality and are relatively gentle on eyes, skin and hair. But be aware that saltwater can damage softer decking materials. If you want a sandstone pool surround, for instance, it will need to be sealed.

The cost to convert an existing system to saltwater ranges from $1,500 to $2,000, about the same price as including a saltwater system with a new pool. Be aware that the quality of a saltwater system’s cell, which converts salt to chlorine, can vary. The metallic coating on some cells may erode, requiring replacement that can cost about $900.

Angie Hicks is the founder of Angie’s List, a resource for local consumer reviews at www.angieslist.com.

More in Life

Beer and cupcakes: Snohomish brewer, baker form unlikely duo

Pacific Northwest Cupcakes uses SnoTown’s brews to make beer-infused sweet treats.

The art and science of weathervanes

They told the direction of the wind and aided in forecasting the, well, weather.

Hundreds of ways to pamper your home and yourself

Find fancy fridges to sparkling jewelry under one roof at home and gift shows in Everett.

This is exactly how a cleaning expert organizes her space in 20 minutes

Try these realistic and attainable tricks to land yourself a cleaner home.

Snohomish brewer flavors beer with chilies from mom’s back yard

Beer of the Week: Smoked rye forms sturdy foundation for SnoTown’s well-balanced Loose Rooster.

Fall is just another blooming season

October can be a time of spectacular colors in your garden.

Woodward Canyon Winery continues to weave masterpieces

Owner Rick Small uses grapes from vines he used when he made wine in his back yard in the 1970s.

Music in the mountains: ‘It’s a weather-dependant hobby’

Anastasia Allison of the Musical Mountaineers reflects on making music at the summits.

Great Plant Pick: Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Diabolo,’ purple-leaf ninebark

Grow it with shrub roses and perennials, and it combines with with ornamental grasses.

Most Read