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Do any of you regret having a pool?

June 1, 2008

My husband really wants a pool, I'm keen on the idea, our children are 13, 10 and 9....we have a farm and a couple of horses so the idea of sweating like pigs working with the horses then jumping into a fresh pool just seems like a dream! So, today when my Dad came to help me finish a project I told him about considering a pool and he told me to really think about it, that he's never known anyone 5 years down the road that didn't regret it....he says they complain about upkeep costs and the fact they really don't use it anymore...I think now would be a great time and I plan on working with the horses for a good long time...so the sweat factor will always be there...plus swimming would be such a low impact exercise for me as we go into our mature years! (We're both 40 now)...any comments to make me feel more confident heading into this? Thanks so much!


Comments (38)

  • jennifer_in_clyde

    I'm only entering into my third summer with a pool, but I can NOT imagine regretting it. Every time we are in it - even my husband who really had to be talked into the pool - says how glad he is we put it in and how it was worth the money and aggravation!

    I think some people are water people and they will always be glad to have pools, time at the beach, lake etc...and some aren't. People who put it in for their kids or to entertain MIGHT grow out of it - water lovers IMO will always be happy. (My grandparents moved out of their home where they had a pool for 20 years...10 years later they really wish their yard would accomodate one - and were really happy when their daughter (my aunt) who lives only a few miles away put one in...).

  • aqua_man

    We're also entering our 3rd swim season. Our kids ages are 10 & 5 and my wife and I can't wait until they are older/busier, so that we can have the pool to ourselves :-)


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  • sharlanet

    We're also going into our 3rd summer with a pool. This year we've had so many problems- heater, lights, leaks, seems like everytime we turn around we're having to shell out more money to fix the pool. It's been a frustrating spring and I have had regretting thoughts. BUT, I can't imagine life without it. If we moved to a home without one, it'd be near the top of my list to add again.

  • snookums

    "our children are 13, 10 and 9"

    Do you really need any other reason? In the BLINK OF AN EYE they will be grown and here, now, you have a chance to really create some great childhood memories. Get the pool.

  • reno_fan

    I've had a pool of some sort in my last 3 homes, in a time period spanning 8 years.

    I literally cannot imagine *not* having a pool.

    We spent our entire day outside by the pool yesterday. DH and I alternated working in the yard and swimming. The kids had friends over. We cooked grilled chicken. It was great. Even when we're not in the pool, I love sitting poolside with Jack Johnson playing, the wind chimes going, and my ceiling fans on overhead. You just can't beat it.

  • jmck_nc

    We moved last summer to a home with a yard in which we were told we could never put in a pool due to so many huge rocks, sloping lot, etc. We were without the pool (had one for 8 years at previous home) for those few months and immediately decided we needed to put one in again. We love hanging out at home, having friends over, jumping in after yard work. I think if you are a water person you will love it. If you are a world traveler, maybe not so much.

  • arlie

    We have had a pool for over 25 years. We now have three grown children, with their children loving to come to grandma's for days on end - can't get them out of the pool. The cost of our pool has been paid back ten-fold.

  • Boby Huffard

    Just remember, you are asking this on a pool forum, where people are pool enthusiasts. Once in a while someone chimes in with questions about how to fill in/get rid of a pool, so we can assume there are some who have regrets. Maybe it would be interesting to post the question on a family finances or family recreation forum.

    Now PERSONALLY, I think if you have horses you have plenty of space for a pool and would love the chance to cool off when ever you want. Do you get horseflies? Locate the pool as far away from the source as possible. About one day a summer we get some nasty big ones that land on your head and you have to duck under water to get away, and even then they try to hold on! (Neighbors have horses). I remember this as a kid too. Also, having animals means you can't always drop everything and travel, right? So why not have a vacation in your yard.


  • lmhall2000

    Boby, you are so right, we only have 2 horses right now but taking off is really hard to do...I keep composting all our "piles" everyday and move them as far from the property as possible..that has helped with the flies...I think I will post it on the family recreation page...interesting to see the results...I figured if there were few responses here than it was a big issue...I think my father (the king of common sense) has an aversion to them because he views money as investment opportunities and sees nothing but a money pit...but he was all for us buying the horse farm...don't think that will be a money pot...so who knows??? I have a few pool contractors coming out this week and I'll pick their brains...thanks!!

  • Lisa Hayes

    I asked the same question last summer as we were in the middle of our build. My DH and I are both emptynesters 50+ in age. We do have two grandchildren. I love to garden, but I have some weird medical syndrome named Harlequin Syndrome, which basically has caused my sweat glands to quit working on the left side of my face. It's nothing serious, but let me tell you, the right side really gets hot when I'm out working in the yard, so I love having the pool to run and jump in to cool off fast. I even joked with DH about the pool being a tax write-off for medical reasons. Our pool has been open about a month and I asolutely love it. My only regret is not doing it sooner.

  • barco

    Its a lot of work.

  • aqua_man

    "Its a lot of work"

    Define "a lot"

  • barco

    Well if your taking care of your pool theres brushing, removing the vac and cleaning the bag, reinstalling the vac, checking cool chemicals, cleaning the skimmer basket, removing solar covers, removing and putting up toys, skimming the top of the pool for leaves, removing dead animals, cleaning the pump basket, buying and adding chlorine, mineral cartridges or salt, and then the big job cleaning, back washing the filter or replacing media in the filter.

    Some folks think that they will save on the work involved in cutting and maintaining a piece of lawn by replacing with a pool instead.

  • janey_g

    Here's what mine takes:

    *Brushing: None (vinyl pool)
    *Manual vacuum: 1-2 hours a week
    *Checking pool chemicals- 20 minutes a week? Less?
    *Cleaning skimmer baskets: 3 minutes a day, max
    *Removing/replacing solar cover 15 minutes each time
    *Removing/putting up toys: 5 minutes? often they just stay in the pool
    *Skimming the top of the pool for leaves: 10 minutes a day?
    *Removing dead animals: 2 minutes when it happens (toads, mice)
    *Cleaning the pump basket: 2 minutes a day

    *Buying and adding chlorine: 0
    *Buying salt: Once a year
    *Adding salt 1-3 times a season: 20 minutes
    *Removing, cleaning and replacing cartridges: 1 hour at start; 3 hours mid-season and end of season.

    Compared to caring for horses, this is NUTHIN'! Keep in mind one person can be skimming the while another checks skimmer and pump basket; an auto vac will cut down that vacuuming time, taking a solar cover off a rectangular pool is easier than a freeform, an auto cover would be even faster.....


  • lmhall2000

    Good points barco...and I will cover that with my husband, I pretty much do 99% of the horse care/training so if he'll agree to take on the pool maintenance (he's a stickler with his truck...and caring for his "toys" so I know he would do it without grumbling...I on the otherhand would grumble..all that grunt work to keep a pool clean is not so much fun for me....so that's something to keep in mind!! Now that you've mentioned it, is it easier to clean one pool over another? Are gunite's less work than liner or fiberglass?


  • donnawb

    My regret is that I am not a pool person and never have been. My DH and of course kids wanted it. I find that girls when they reach the age of 12 - 13 they no longer want to use the pool because then they have to do their hair again. It didn't bother them when I had to do it. It is nice to look at but as my girls are getting older and using the pool less (DH is disabled and can't use, but never did that much) if and when I move I don't think I would buy another, think I would do a spa.

    I do go in occassionly when I am doing gardening, etc. and get hot.

    On the other hand my Dad had one and went in every day, they moved to a 55+ and if you used that pool you couldn't splash, etc. and he no longer enjoyed the pool.

    I think if you are a pool person you will get many years of enjoyment out of it.

    It really doesn't take that long to care for as long as you stay up on it and check them chemicals. When they chemicals get out of balance then it takes a while to bring it back.

    If you feel that you will use it often and can afford it then it would be a good thing.

  • barco

    Well I think all the work is worth it. I would have to cut the grass underneath it and I guess more exercise from the pool and its cooler for a similar amount of work....if you add the filter cleaning...its a little more work.

  • willweeverbedone

    Wow, look at all the old gang...Hi guys!!!

    Anyway, we're also at 3rd (or is it now 4th) swim season...some problems, some work, but balanced against the memories w/ all the fun times w/ the kids...love it! Like others have said, if I moved a pool would be on the short list of upgrades.

    Good luck...


  • nanhsot

    We're in our 3rd summer and absolutely LOVE it. I do 90% of the upkeep, my dh checks the chemical balance and pours in acid....he does any major equipment repair (which has been minimal so far). I do the vacuuming, emptying skimmers, general leaf cleanup, etc. It is a chore that I enjoy greatly, it's a very satisfying job for me personally. I truly do not find it that time consuming. I love a crisp clean pool so keeping it looking that way is something I enjoy. There's a time in fall that is irritating with constant leaves in there, but we're not swimming then so it's not as urgent a task. With a SWG, we are finding it really easy to keep the water clear, the auto vacuum keeps the bottom mostly clean, just needing a quick vacuum every now and then to get the spots it misses.

    We have a large group of kids over here at least weekly (20+ kids and moms), so our pool gets a lot of use.

    My kids are 13 and 10, and we're horse people too, there's nothing as refreshing after sitting around a hot arena for HOURS watching your kids compete (mine do speed events) and then immediately jumping into the pool when you unload!! It's awesome. No big fly issues here, knock wood, I keep those nasty bags around that traps them, if they get bad we're considering fly predators.

  • lmhall2000

    I'm off to order my fly predators tomorrow! :) How fun to do eventing with the horses, ours are just ground work pets right now! :) Just finished the round pen so we're finally going to get some riding in...hope to be on trails in time.

    Thanks so much! Gotta go create a dream page to give to my pool contractors and see which ones look the most competent, I was considering acting as the GC on this project but think it's too much to take on...hope they're prices are reasonable!! :)

  • snookums

    brushing - not very often - once very 1 or 2 weeks. 10 minutes. Navigator does most of the work.

    removing the vac and cleaning the bag, reinstalling the vac - ours is attached - Hayward Navigator. No bag.

    checking cool chemicals - 5 mins once a week.

    cleaning the skimmer basket - 5 minutes or less, once a week.

    removing solar covers - don't have them/don't need them

    removing and putting up toys - this is what kids are for??

    skimming the top of the pool for leaves - Navigator/skimmer does this. Never done it.

    removing dead animals - hasn't happened

    cleaning the pump basket - do as the same time as the skimmer basket - 5 mins.

    buying and adding chlorine, mineral cartridges or salt - we do not add chlorine, and add salt maybe once or twice a season. Salt doesn't evaporate.

    We do add acid about once a week. Again a couple of minute job.

    back washing the filter or replacing media in the filter - once every three months, takes about 30 minutes.

    BTW we don't also ever have to add water or drain water out due to the overflow drain and the autofill valve. And thanks to the Goldline system, everything is fully automated. We really don't do much but swim.

    The time spent enjoying my family? Priceless!

  • reno_fan

    I timed myself this morning. It took me longer to water my patio planters than it did for me to start my Polaris and turn the pump on to clean the pool. (We have an old pool, so we don't have anything fancy, but it does have an auto-chlorinator and a polaris.)

    It takes just a few seconds to empty the skimmer baskets (we have a lot of trees, so we have a lot of debris), and the rest of the chemical stuff is easy if you maintain the levels.

    I told my DH I'd rather just have *all* concrete and pool for a backyard, as I hatehatehatehate yardwork. I think the pool is by far easier to maintain than grass, flower beds, and trees!

  • smbnobles

    Hey reno_fan! Your name is a blast from the past for me. It was your kitchen cabinets that influenced the color of my own kitchen, when we did our remodel about three years ago! :-)

  • tresw

    I have a friend that is in the process of filling in his pool (with dirt). He has used that old saying several times: "the two happiest days of your life are the day you get your pool and the day you fill it in with dirt". LOL! But these days with salt water generators and automatic pool cleaners (etc.) upkeep can be much easier than the "old days". We're only into our 4th month of pool ownership, but I must say that I have been impressed with how little upkeep is required.

    My wife and kids have been big on swimming for years, but I wasn't too hot on the idea of getting a pool. But now that we have it I do love it! We spend a lot more time outdoors than we normally do this time of year. We've been going through some upper 90 temps here already and the pool really takes the edge off when it's hot out!

  • reno_fan

    ((((waving to smbnobles)))) I remember your gorgeous kitchen re-do! The funny thing is that my current kitchen and yours look even more similar! I have a small/narrow island that looks a lot like yours. You know what they say about great minds and all!

    I've been lurking here, and have seen the progress on your stunning pool. I have *major* pool envy! My pool is about 20 years old, and was built at a time when it seems the pool builders just built "pools". Now it seems that pool builders are building "environments"!

  • blessednFl

    Our regret is not having the pool when our kids were younger. They are both adults now, no grandchildren yet, and they love it when they visit. I remember when I first started talking about a spa, there were those who told me I'd never use it.
    When that proved wrong I went for my pool. The most negative person is the one who shows up with her towel
    all the time.
    Living in Florida I am in it yr round, I was in it before work this morning and plan on it after work today.
    Sat evening three of my girlfriend were in it with me at 10pm. My husband is my "pool boy" and he insists it's no problem because he loves seeing me enjoy it so much.

  • tommyw

    Poolowner for over 25 years .... A pool is a hole in the ground in which you throw money. For some it is worth it .... others regret it.

  • smbnobles

    Reno, I did see that you've since moved and while I can't exactly remember your new kitchen, I remember loving it! We do have similar tastes, don't we?

    I agree about today's pools. My PB is fixing to start another one that it out of this world. It'll even have one of those huge outdoor chess sets! Can you imagine?

    Pool remodeling has come a long way too. Are you considering it?

  • barco

    removing dead animals - hasn't happened

    Sometimes you can get two field mice in the pool at the same time and they have little races as they go around and around....kind of a marathon swim competition. First one to stop swimming drowns.

  • ducter

    New owner here.
    Taking care of the pool is next to nothing. The only thing is manual vacum is a pain but I only do it once in a while. Get the best auto cleaner possible since it makes life easier. I open and close my own pool and the only real work is the cover, all else easy.

    The only downside is safety and cost. Dont skimp on safety. also you will know where your kids are going to be instead of out getting into trouble. Now you can actually meet the friends.

  • smbnobles

    Am I the only one that has owned a pool and never had to use the vacuum? Even during Tropical Storm Allison - which dumped an unGodly amount of water on the Houston-area for days, all I had to do was run my cleaner.

    I'm on my second pool, and I wouldn't even know how to use it (of course I haven't had my new pool school yet, either - so I'm sure I'll learn!).

    With dogs swimming, we have far more work than the average pool owner, but even then, it's not a big deal at all.

  • houseful

    Like SMnobles, I have never had to vacuum my pool. My navigator works wonders and when we have our huge summer monsoons, all I have to do is make sure I get out any large debris with a skimmer.

    My pool really takes less than 10 minutes a day. We don't even bother backwashing. When my pressure rises by 10 lbs., I disassemble the entire thing and rinse the DE filter. We can do it in about 30 minutes.

    I don't regret for one minute putting in a pool, but maybe that's because I live in Phoenix. We don't have to open and close our pool like some of you.

    So, Lmhall2000, where did you order your fly predators? My friend swears by them. Our horses are fairly close to the pool, but the flies seem to stay on the horses and don't bother us -- so far!

  • smbnobles

    True about opening and closing the pool. I never thought about that. We swim year 'round here too.

  • lmhall2000

    Hey houseful and renofan you inspired my kitchen as well!!! :) Still no backsplash at my house but atleast we're in! :)

    I'm getting the predators through Arbico (do a google and their site pops up) the flies are horrible and I've got those nasty yellow striped horse flies that are causing severe discomfort for one of my horses...praying this works, a great article said give it two years, you may not see results this year but doing it 2 in a row greatly decreases your population...can't wait to rid them of these!! :)

    I told my Dad about the responses being mostly positive and he said to ask two things 1. Who's lying and 2. How many have had their pools more than 5 years...I guess you can never convince a critic! :) Had the first Pool contractor out today and like the Roman pool/vinyl option, but his quote seemed pretty up there for the little I asked for...will compare at the end of the week....thanks everyone!!

  • davegvg

    Regret having a pool no.- after being a 10 year owner I understand "dads wisdom here, and I know why some people fill them up with dirt.

    I regret not having spent the money on solar, a chlorinator, good quiet pump, big filters, 400KBtu heater, a suction cleaner and an automation system 10 years ago though. I would have enjoyed it a lot more.

    As long as you put in he good stuff up front, maintenance will be minimal and you will love it. Cut a bunch of corners (no solar) and it's an expensive science project.

    Commit the money to do it right or just wait.


  • scrapula

    This is our second summer. Our biggest regret is not getting a pool sooner. DH loves to get home from work and go for a swim to unwind. I usually swim in the morning before work. There is no work involved other than adding acid every week or two, stabilizer every few months and a bag of salt twice a year. Obviously, we have a salt system. We added solar last year. It shuts off when the pool reaches 89, which is around 10am.

  • houseful

    Thanks for the info on the predators, Lmhall. It looks like you are supposed to start them right after the first frost. I'll contact them to see if it's too late.

    Any decision on a pool? I was just watching my kids and their cousins swim yesterday while sitting at my breakfast table. I said to myself (outloud actually), "that pool is the best thing we ever did!"

  • steve_fl

    Good to see some of the "old Timers" are still here from when we were on this board daily during our builds.
    Would I do it again?-----ABSOLUTELY!!!!!!!

    With the screen enclosure (no critters/leaves to skim), the salt system (have to add acid once a week-5 minutes), the Goldline automation, and the auto-fill, my maintenance time is about 1/2 hour per week-MAX.

    Nothing better than spending quality time with kids, (not to mention that when the kids have friends over, I know where they are-they are here, not getting into trouble somewhere else)!

    It's even great to sneak home a bit early some days, jump in the pool, grill out and eat on the patio, then get in the spa to relax before bed.

    Like Nike-JUST DO IT!


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