Read on for 5 things you should know before you take the plunge.
1. THE COSTS
Above-ground pools range in price from about $4,000 to $12,000. Remember, that price doesn’t always include associated costs for things like retaining walls, electrical work, landscaping, pool accessories, or a fence around your pool. You should ask a pool company for a comprehensive quote.
Don’t forget to consider the ongoing cost of maintaining your pool – electricity, chemicals, cleaning service, and replacing the liner. This can add up to hundreds – or even thousands – per year, depending on the type of pool you build.
If you are among the lucky ones that can afford an in-ground pool, know that depending on size, the average vinyl-lined pool starts at about $20,000. Fiberglass costs even more, while concrete (gunite) pools can cost between $50,000 to $100,000.
Regular water testing and sanitizing is vital, since microorganisms thrive in pools. Even clear water could be contaminated with bacteria that can cause ear and stomach infections and skin rashes.
To properly maintain your pool:
- You should test your water balance for sanitizer levels, pH, total alkalinity, and calcium hardness using a good quality test kit or by your having it tested by a pool dealer. Regular water testing is required for most manufacturers’ warranties
- Follow the label directions for all chemicals, and always wash your hands after handling them
- All pool chemicals and devices used to control microorganisms and algae must be registered by Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency. You can find more information using Health Canada’s Pesticide Label Search
3. THE RISKS
Pools offer hours of fun, but they can be dangerous too. Drowning is the most obvious risk of all. Never leave a child unattended, not even for a second. Too often, a child drowns when a caregiver is not paying attention, or when the child enters a pool area that doesn’t have a self-closing and self-latching gate.
Here are simple steps that can keep your swimmers safe from harm:
- Build a fence at least 1.2 m high with spacing between bars less than 10 cm
- Ensure the fence has a self-closing and self-latching gate
- Enforce pool rules always swim with a buddy, adult supervision, and no glass containers around the pool
- Make sure you have lifesaving flotation devices readily available, plus a working phone and first aid kit
- Lifejackets or PFDs should be worn by children and non-swimmers, but they are not substitutes for proper supervision
It’s important to tell your insurance company if you install a pool. Although basic coverage is provided by most homeowners’ policies, you may need additional coverage to ensure you are protected against certain damage claims. You also need to ensure you have enough liability coverage in the event of an accident. All pool insurance coverage requires the policyholder to comply with municipal bylaws (things like fence height or a latching gate). Pool owners are also responsible for maintenance and draining the pool in the winter to prevent damage.
5. MUNICIPAL BYLAWS
Check with your city or town to learn the local bylaws and regulations governing backyard pools, as they vary from one city to the other. In Canada, only Quebec, New Brunswick and Manitoba have enacted province-wide legislation, although most jurisdictions require things like an enclosed fence around the pool. For example, you may be required to obtain a pool enclosure permit before beginning construction, build a fence with a minimum height requirement, or install a self-locking gate for safety.
So now, are you ready to dive into this project for a summertime of fun? We certainly hope that you’ve found the information you needed to help you decide!
For more on this topic, visit:
Red Cross safety tips for your backyard pool
The Personal refers to The Personal General Insurance Inc. in Quebec and The Personal Insurance Company in all other provinces and territories.
The information and advice in this article are provided for informational purposes only. The Personal shall not be liable for any damages arising from any reliance upon such information or advice. The Personal recommends using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, expert advice.