Here in the Triangle, where it’s warm enough for outdoor swimming nearly six months out of the year, it’s quite easy to imagine the pleasures of your own backyard pool. Whether you imagine happy children frolicking and laughing, or sitting by the pool with a favorite beverage in your hand, a house with a pool is appealing!
Some buyers are looking for homes in the Triangle that already have pools, but we also see a significant group of buyers looking at houses with enough room to add a pool. Here are some variables to consider if your vision for your next home includes building a sparkling backyard pool.
First things first! If your community has an HOA, there may be restrictive covenants that prevent private pools. Ask, and don’t assume you can easily get a waiver to build. HOAs may restrict private pools to only in-ground pools and not allow above ground. There may also be community rules regarding setbacks from lot lines, septic lines, and the back of your house, porch.
If the property is on septic, you must be aware of where your septic lines are, along with the location of the "repair area" for the septic lines. Cities and towns have their own guidelines for where the boundaries are, so be sure and check out those specific to your location.
Once you know that you can legally build an in-ground pool, the fun begins. Are you envisioning a big rectangular pool or a more unusual shape? Looking for a hot tub at one end?
First, you need to make sure you have the proper-sized lot. A good rule of thumb is to plan your pool and the surrounding area to occupy about 25% of the whole backyard. Especially, if you have children, they’re going to need plenty of space to run and jump and play!
When it comes to the construction of a new pool, there are three main types of materials typically used for in-ground pools - concrete, fiberglass, and vinyl liner.
Concrete is a good choice, indeed the traditional choice, for in-ground pools. Concrete is extremely durable and gives you the most flexibility for the size and shape of a custom pool.
Its disadvantages? Concrete yields a rough interior surface, takes longer to install, and requires more effort and/or costs to maintain. And because concrete is subject to algae invasion, these pools require more chemicals to keep the water clear. The water must be recycled twice a day, adding to your electricity bill.
Vinyl liners can also be customized to a specific shape, but they are also subject to algae growth along the seams, the liners need to be replaced every 5-9 years, starting around $4K, and even more if regular maintenance isn’t done. And saltwater applications are not recommended for vinyl liners due to possible corrosion of liner material.
Fiberglass pools are easy to maintain and can be installed quickly. They are exceptionally durable and have the least maintenance costs; the cost of chemicals is 60% less than costs for a concrete pool. However, fiberglass pools are limited in size to no more than 16’ in width, so if you’re looking for several nodes to a pool or a swim-up bar, fiberglass might not be your best bet. Fiberglass pools are covered in a gelcoat, which only needs to be replaced every 20-30 years.
All in-ground pools are going to add to your electric bill - running the pump/filter system, heating or cooling of the pool, and buying chemicals. If you’re not a DIYer, you also need to include costs for daily or weekly maintenance - skimming leaves and debris out of the pool, cleaning the surface and bottom of the pool. Keeping up the maintenance on your pool can save you bigger costs and headaches down the road.
As nice as it is to jump into a pool on a hot summer day, there are a few other less-than-great factors to consider as you’re making this big decision.
Will having a great pool help with the resale value of your home? Will you be able to recoup the money you put into a pool when you sell your house?
Good questions! The cost for an in-ground pool can range anywhere from $25,000 to over $100,000. Resale value may increase a little, but only up to about 7%, and no, you will not recoup your costs. You’ll be lucky to get back one-half of your costs in added equity in the home, not a great ROI. Bottom line - don’t add a pool if adding value to your home is your primary motivation.
Of course, there are safety concerns when installing a pool. In North Carolina, residential pools are regulated by the state, the county, and the city. Most rules require some sort of barrier around the pool.
Many insurance agents think of residential pools as “attractive nuisances,” something on your property that might attract a child and also pose a risk to that child. You, as the property owner, are liable for any child who uses the “nuisance,” whether the child has permission or not. Many homeowners increase their liability insurance to $500,000 to cover these risks.
In the end, adding a pool to a house, or buying an existing home with a pool, is a personal decision. It’s a long-term commitment, an investment that is probably not going to pay for itself monetarily. But enjoying a pool for many years, creating happy family memories, is also no small benefit!
Come on in, the water’s fine!
Below is a complete list of all homes for sale in the Triangle that have private pools. This covers Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and the surrounding areas. Please contact me if you have any questions, or would like to schedule a showing.
If you are interested in browsing homes with private pools by city, follow these links:
Listings provided courtesy of Triangle MLS, Inc. of NC, Internet Data Exchange Database. Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. © 2021 Triangle MLS, Inc. of North Carolina. Data last updated .