Swimming pools are a refreshing place to escape to in the midst of hot and uncomfortable weather, and when that pool is in our own outdoor living space, it’s even more convenient and enjoyable. Having a pool installed in your own home depends on a few factors such as the size of your outdoor space, personal preferences, and of course your budget. Although prices range significantly due to the wide variety of pool options available (from simple above-ground pools to in-ground concrete infinity pools), the average homeowner spends about $50,000 for an installed fiberglass pool with concrete apron.
Lending Tree collected data from the 50 largest US cities and ranked them based on the percentage of homes in the city that included pools. We have used that data to create the below visualization as well as learn how a city’s climate is a major factor in determining the percentage rate of pools, and whether this is going to change in the near future or not.
Top 30 Largest Cities With Most Amount of Swimming Pools
The visualization above displays the top 30 largest US cities and ranks them in order of which has the highest percentage of homes with a swimming pool installed. This percentage is represented by the height and color of each bar, with the tallest and darkest blue having the highest percentage. The bold number indicates the city's ranking from 1 to 30.
Phoenix, with a desert-type climate, is at the top with 32.7% of homes having a pool installed. Taking the second, third, and fourth spot on the list are all cities in the hot and humid climate of Florida. In Miami, 30.6% of homes have pools, Tampa has 27.7% of homes with pools and Orlando is just behind at 25.9%.
Aside from those top spots in Florida, the remainder of all but one of the top 10 cities are in the West. Las Vegas, another desert-type climate, has 23.8% of homes with pools and sunny California hosts four cities, in sixth to ninth position. Los Angeles has 19%, Riverside follows closely at 18.3%, and San Diego and Sacramento round it out at 17% and 14% respectively. Dallas, Texas finishes out the list at number 10 with 13.8% of homes having pools installed.
Cost of Building and Owning a Pool
The cost to install a pool is directly related to the type and size of pool you’re installing. Building an above-ground pool ranges between $3,000 to $7,500; whereas, in-ground pools range from $35,000 to $90,000 on average, depending on the material, with concrete inground pools coming at a price of $50,000 - $90,000, fiberglass ranging from $45,000 to $85,000 and vinyl, the most affordable option, between $35,000 and $65,000. There are pros and cons to all types of pools in terms of their invasiveness, appearance and longevity and it will often come down to personal preference and budget when making your decision.
Pool maintenance can be performed by homeowners themselves, but many will opt to hire a pool company for convenience and peace of mind that it is done properly. For seasonal pools that are open in the summer months only, the cost of pool service comes in at $180 per month. For an annual pool service, you can expect to pay around $1,850.
In addition to annual pool maintenance, there is the matter of adding proper chemicals to keep your pool water safe and both above and in-ground pools require this upkeep.
Benefits of Having a Pool
Pools can be costly and require regular maintenance and upkeep; however, it’s quite clear that many homeowners still choose to move forward and install one. The South and West US regions have the highest rates of pool owners, most likely because of the year-round heat and a constant desire to cool off. The percentage of homes with pools drops off significantly once you leave those regions. Areas like the Northeast have a max rate of 8.3% in Buffalo, NY. This part of the country does indeed experience hot summers; however, they’re usually short lived so it could be that the expense of installing a pool is not worth the benefit of only being able to use it for a short season each year. Yet, it will be interesting to watch any changes in the trend after this year’s unprecedented heat wave in this area and several other regions.
Pools do have the ability to add value to your home, but only under the right conditions. Most important to note is that above-ground pools often turn-off potential buyers and can lower the value of your home. For in-ground pools; though, there is an opportunity to slightly increase the value of your home and recoup some of your investment. The home’s location is often key as a homebuyer in the Miami area will likely prefer a home with a pool versus a homebuyer in the New Jersey market. In addition to the location, for a pool to add value, it must match the home and neighborhood. A pool that is either too underwhelming or too elaborate could turn off buyers.
Has the Pandemic Influenced an Increase in Swimming Pool Installations?
Swimming pools offer a private spot to have leisure time with friends and family, but that does not necessarily mean they are suitable for every backyard. However, as it became clear that coronavirus was not going anywhere in early summer last year, many pool companies started experiencing a boost in swimming pool installations. Many homeowners decided or had no other choice but to stay at home, which may have led to an increase in pool additions, a great feature to enjoy summer safely.
In fact, according to a recent study of Google searches conducted by Renofi about possible home improvement trends influenced by the pandemic, the words “Pool Installation” experienced a 49% increase across the US compared to the previous year.
Twenty-one common home improvement projects were analyzed and six states came out with having pools as the largest increase in searches from the previous year: Michigan and Nebraska led the pack with a 243% and 200% increase respectively. New Jersey followed with an increase of 125%, and Idaho, Iowa, and Indiana all increased their searches by 100%.
These states all have a shorter swimming pool season than further South; however, with many folks staying at home more often and continuing to improve their own outdoor living spaces, it is possible that there may be a shift in which areas of the country are looking to install a pool over the next few years.
The types of pools available vary widely, as do their costs, and homeowners should take care to consider their own personal needs and tastes when investing in a pool. Whether there will be an increase in pool installations in the near future is yet to be seen. However, it is clear that pools are a great way to cool off in hot summer heat and they can be a great option for a refreshing staycation.