Questions to ask when getting your pool ready for Arizona summers
You and your family love your pool. It’s a great escape for everyone from the summertime heat.
But lately, you’ve noticed that the pool is looking a little bit shabby and needs some work. Here are some possible fixes big and small to think about.
What about addressing the plaster walls?
Many older pools have thin plaster wall surfaces that seem to get dirty over the years.
Algae build-up could be the issue. Try an acid wash to make it sparkle again, but acid washing can only be done two or three times during the lifespan of your walls.
An increasingly rough surface on the plaster means that you probably need to resurface the walls. You can go with plaster again for about $2,500 or more, depending on how big the pool is. A quartz or pebble finish can start at $3,000 to $6,000.
At the same time, you’ll have to redo the tile trimming around the edge of the pool that is coated with calcium build-up
Is the deck a disaster?
If the decking is cracking, chipping and heaving, you may need to remove and replace it. This job can range from $3,000 to $20,000 or more, depending on the size of the pool and what decking you use.
If your old deck is still level, you can lay concrete pavers on top for less than $1,000.
A great choice could be light-colored, permeable pavers. They’ll be less hot to walk on and water drains through them into the soil.
It’s probably best to redo the deck in a paving material to match your patio or you maybe you want to redo the patio as well.
Does the water always look dirty?
That won’t happen, said Steve DeCook of E-Konomy Pools in Tucson, if you drain your pool and refill with fresh water every four years. The water will stay in a cleaner condition.
Rent a submersible pump and drain the water into the sewer system or somewhere in your yard. Don’t let water touch your plants.
A pool company can do the job for about $125.
Does your pump keep breaking down?
Although a new pump can be expensive – possibly $950 to $1,300 – it’s worthwhile to buy though if the current pump is getting undependable.
New variable speed pumps can save 70 percent of the current cost of energy for your pool.
Do you need a new fence?
Be sure your pool gate locks securely and that the area is fenced to keep out children when you’re not around.
You might want to put special alarms on the gate or the back door to alert you to the possibility that a child has walked into the yard by the pool.
Want to give the pool a new look?
Pool builders say many homeowners want to make cosmetic changes like building waterfalls, nestled among rocks or tumbling over brick towers. They put fireplaces along the edges of pools.
Should you change the pool’s footprint?
You can renovate the pool in other structural ways to make it more attractive for a daily swim.
How about adding what builders call a Baja sun shelf? This is an enlarged entry step at the shallow end where sunbathers can relax on a lounge chair nearly covered with water.
A change like this can require complete emptying of the pool and rebuilding.
Does the pool seem too big?
You can also make a pool smaller, believe it or not. It’s not cheap to do, but you can move the walls in on a big pool to create more deck space.
Many times, this requires removing all the walls to change the configuration.
In some cases, the fixes we have talked about could cut some water and heating expenses for the pool a little – but certainly not enough to pay you back for the actual costs.
It’s true they require a lot of work and maintenance, but a sparkling, well-maintained pool will be great fun for your family and can be a significant showpiece when you resell your home.
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