This page provides general information if you’re looking to buy a pool home or add a pool to an existing home. You can find names and contact info for pool installation and pool maintenance companies in the Service Providers page.
If you’re like we were before we bought a pool home, you may not know much about what they cost or how to maintain them properly. We didn’t either but we discovered it’s really not hard, expensive or time consuming to own a pool, other than the initial cost. We’ve had our pool for over 10 years and can enjoy it almost all year-round. (Many of these pictures are of our pool during and after construction)
Your choices are limited only to your imagination and budget.
This page will help explain typical pool construction, maintenance, heating options, deck types, finishes, size, and approximate cost.
How much does a pool cost?
Your first question is “How much does a pool cost?”
If you’re buying a pre-owned home and want to add a pool, a “typical” concrete pool of 10 to 12 thousand gallons with a screened pool cage, pump and equipment will cost $25,000 to $35,000 depending on the size, type of pool, the deck, finish, water type such as chlorine or salt water and heat source (if any). Please read more about many of your options below.
Annual pool maintenance cost can vary, depending if you do the work yourself or have a professional do the work for you. The cost will vary from about $25 per month for DIY to $60-$100 per month for a professional to do it for you.
Electric cost will vary from $250-$350 annually to run the pump, depending on the size of the pool and how long you run the pump.
If you heat your pool, the cost will depend on the type of heater, how often you use your pool in cooler months, etc. Read more about pool heater options below.
The First Phase of Building a Gunite Pool
Gunite pools are the most popular design in much of Florida. There are other types such as above-ground and fiberglass in-ground, but this only discusses how a gunite pool is consructed.
A hole is dug, the plumbing is put in place and framework assembled with a grid of 3/8-inch steel reinforcing rods (rebar). The rebar rods are spaced about 10 inches apart and secured together with wire.
When the grid is in place, a heavy coating of gunite, a mixture of cement and sand, is applied around the rebar. The sprayer unit combines dry gunite mix with water just before spraying — this produces the wet concrete material. The gunite is trowled smooth and after a week or so the final finish is applied to the surface. Gunite pools are highly durable and can be built in any shape or size.
Types of Pool Finishes
There are several popular pool finishes but your imagination can run wild when designing the shape, size and choosing the colors. We aren’t the experts but will give you some of the options available.
We included links to websites that can give you more information or simply contact a pool installer. We don’t endorse or recommend one pool finish over the other.
Types of Pool Decks
There are three main deck choices; Kool Deck®, ceramic tile or brick pavers. Each have there own positive and negatives so be sure to do some research before you decide.
Heating Your Pool
A common misconception is a pool heater isn’t necessary in Florida but like most States, Florida does cool off in the winter and so does the water. It’s not uncommon for pool water temperature to drop into the mid-60’s from December through April so a heater is a necessity if you want to swim during these months without turning blue!!
You have four main choices when selecting a heater; Heat Pump, Gas, Solar Panels and a Solar Blanket.
The least expensive is a solar blanket but depending on how much sun the pool gets will determine its efficiency. Solar blankets are good for summer and to use in conjunction with another heat source in the winter months
The heat pump is a popular choice but can be expensive to run if you use your pool often in cooler months. Using a solar blanket helps to keep the heat in the water.
A gas heater is “on demand” so using the pool on weekends or a few times a month in winter, a gas heater may be a good choice. There are other costs to consider with a gas heater such as the propane tank if natural gas is not available. Gas will heat the pool quickly and a solar blanket helps to retain the heat.
Solar panels are a good choice but you must be careful not to cause leaks in the roof. An alternative is to use panels that sit on the ground if you have enough space in your yard to put them.
We recommend speaking with professional companies that sell and service pool heating equipment. They’ll be able to fit you with the right heater for your situation.
Pool water and filters options
There are two different types of pool water and each requires its own pump and filtering system. The first and most common is a chlorine system. It consists of a pump, catch basket and fiber filter. The second is a salt water or saline system. It also has a pump, catch basket but most use a sand filter.
For more information on maintenance of each, read the section below.
Pool maintenance is easy once you get the hang of it but it MUST be done weekly. Proper PH balance is important and there are many basic things you need to keep your chlorine pool in good condition.
The most important item is a test kit. It includes what you’ll need to check the water for proper chemical balance.
EXTREME CAUTION is required when adding chlorine and acid to your pool water. Improper mixing can cause a violent and deadly reaction. If you have any reservations, please hire a trained and license pool maintenance company. You can find them in our Service Provider page.
Your pool will require weekly brushing of all surfaces, vacuuming and cleaning the pool filter.
You’ll need pool salt for a saline pool and acid.
Be sure to consult with your pool installer for proper care. (the pictures of the items you’ll need are representative only. You may require additional items for proper maintenance.)