A home swimming pool sounds like a winner, but there are pros and cons. Sam Funnell from Fine & Country Rugby gives some tips on what to consider when you’re deciding on a dip.

On a warm summer’s day, diving into your own swimming pool might seem a splendid idea, but adding a private pool in this country comes at a cost and there’s an ongoing debate over whether a pool adds that cost to the value of a property.

There are about 210,000 privately owned outdoor swimming pools in Britain, so it’s clear there is some demand. On the plus side, a pool can increase the resale value of your homes and may shorten the sale cycle if you find the right buyer. On the down side, some potential buyers see issues like maintenance and safety as detracting from a pool’s desirability.

Before adding a pool to your home, it’s worth considering your medium to long-term intentions. Are you preparing your property for sale and wanting to add value, or will you be living there for a good few years yet? If you’re looking to add value, your pool is competing with a number of alternatives, such as a loft conversion, double garage or media room. If you’ll derive enjoyment from the pool over a number of years before selling, it’s a worthwhile investment.

Once the decision is made, there are a number of practical elements to consider. A pool is more than an area for swimming. A well-designed and landscaped pool is part of the architecture of your property; it’s a feature, which should complement the garden and landscaping. As with any property design feature, it needs a good dose of forethought before committing.

The first consideration is financial. Building an in-ground pool is an expensive endeavour. According to the Society of Pool and Allied Trades Association (SPATA), the average is £25,000 for a liner pool and £40,000 for a reinforced, concrete, tiled pool. And that’s just the pool. Don’t forget the associated landscaping costs and equipment such as pool covers and cleaning mechanisms. Then there’s the constant maintenance and running costs. Ironically, even a ‘maintenance free’ pool requires some maintenance, from flushing filters to replacing pumps.

Think about the space you are planning to use, too. With outdoor pools, if the garden is too small, the pool will take up most of the space, which may affect the property’s value. For a basement pool, it’s worth weighing up the alternative use of the space, and its impact on the current living areas.

The positioning of a pool is also important. If outdoors, the pool should be well-screened and not too close to the house. Indoors, there’s likely to less choice, but you’re more likely to use it all year round.

With all of that said, houses with large grounds and pools do attract more interest, especially in the summer. And let’s face it; the appeal of taking a dip on a leisurely weekend is immense.

Think of a pool as in investment in pleasure. If you love to swim and don’t have easy access to alternatives, installing a pool may be the best thing you’ve ever done. Be realistic and think of it as a lifestyle investment that may or may not pay itself off in property resale terms.

For advice on selling or buying property, please contact Fine & Country Rugby on 01788 820062 or visit www.fineandcountry.com