Consumer Watch: Building a swimming pool

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by Andy Treinen

WHAS11.com

Posted on June 10, 2013 at 5:17 PM

Updated Monday, Jun 10 at 5:21 PM

(WHAS11) -- With the dog days of summer fast approaching many families Kentuckiana will be tempted to build swimming pools to keep the kids cool. Before you do, make sure you do your research. Good Morning Kentuckiana's Andy Treinen has today's Consumer Watch.

This is not designed to keep you from taking the plunge, in fact some of my fondest family memories have taken place around a swimming pool. Just know that they can be a lot of work, and they can cost a lot of money.

First up, prepare for a major and disruptive construction project that can take months to complete. "This is not a surgical maneuver. This is more like open heart surgery on your backyard so it's going to be messy,” pool builder Bill Lambert, said. 

Angie Hicks from Angie's List says pools are a poor investment, returning only about 50 cents in value for every dollar invested.

She also says pools can scare off potential home buyers. An above ground pool will set you back about a grand, but in ground pools cost $20-$60 thousand. "And then one of the things homeowners don't think about is the maintenance which can cost around $2 thousand to open and close and maintain the pool throughout the season,” Hicks, said.

If you're going to do it yourself check chemicals 3 times per week and prepare to adjust them depending on sunlight and how many people are in the pool.

Shannon McCollom decided to take on some of the work herself. "We plan to do all the maintenance through the summer on our own, you know checking the water levels and all that stuff and then we will hire professionally to have it opened and closed at the beginning and at the end of the season,"  McCollom, explained.

Before you even break ground on a new pool, understand your builder will already be hard at work with architectural drawings, clearance from the homeowners association and the acquisition of permits.

It's important you trust your builder because some problems that can develop underground might not be discovered for 5 or 6 years. Tracking down a fly by nighter by then isn't going to happen. If you have a consumer issue you’d like us to look into send an e-mail to:  consumerwatch@whas11.com.

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