a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate
Posted in: Homeowner tips

Want to add a pool to your backyard? Five things to consider

Want to add a pool to your backyard? Five things to consider

Homeowners in Minnesota and western Wisconsin are fortunate to experience the entirety of all four seasons throughout the year. From a crisp fall, to a cozy winter, to a blossoming spring to a sunny summer, it’s important to take full advantage of each season.

As the summer heat kicks in, you (and your little ones) may be dreaming of days by the pool. Here, we share insights you can use as you decide if the addition of a swimming pool is right for you.

Key Insights

  • The best way to experience our warmest season is to have your very own poolside oasis, but planning in advance is key.
  • Above ground and in-ground pools are different in many ways. Determine what cost and aesthetic are right for you.
  • In addition to the initial investment of installing a pool, you’ll want to factor in swimming accessories, maintenance fees, insurance and more.

1. What kind of pool is best for your home?

After making the decision to build a pool in your backyard, you’ll come to the age-old question that every prospective pool owner asks: Should we get an above ground or in-ground swimming pool? Although there is no correct answer to this question, there are some benefits and drawbacks to each pool type. Let’s dive into the details now, so you can blissfully enjoy whatever pool you install later.

Above ground pools

These pools are made of steel or polymer walls which stand above ground. Sometimes, these pools are surrounded by decking which creates the ideal backyard setup for swimmers and sunbathers alike. Nonetheless, these structures have their own set of pros and cons.


  • Ease and speed of installation
  • Typically less expensive to install and repair
  • Minimal maintenance (in comparison to in-ground pools)


  • Size and shape limitations
  • Can be considered unsightly
  • Shorter lifespan

In-ground pools

Built into the ground, these pools are typically constructed of concrete, vinyl or fiberglass. In-ground pools are a popular option for homeowners due to their sleek and attractive appearance. Here are additional considerations you should keep in mind when installing an in-ground pool.


  • More variety and features available
  • Less likely to be damaged
  • Generally last longer


  • Usually more expensive to install and maintain
  • When needed, repairs can be costly and more labor-intensive
  • May require additional safety considerations
  • Not all soil types will easily accommodate installation

2. Pool style and cost

Backyard swimming pools can vary greatly in style and therefore cost. When deciding what kind of pool you’d like, be sure to keep in mind how it will fit in with the rest of your outdoor features and landscaping.

Pool prices can vary a lot depending on the way homeowners customize their pool designs. Here are some of the options you’ll have when determining your pool aesthetics, along with estimated costs for both in-ground and above ground pools.

  • Shapes: This feature is customizable, although standard rectangle or oval designs are typically the most cost-effective.
  • Size dimensions (in-ground): $50 to $150 per square foot.
  • Size dimensions (above ground): $15 to $30 per square foot.
  • Materials (in-ground): Prices start at $18,000 for fiberglass, $25,000 for vinyl and $29,000 for concrete.
  • Fence: $900 to $1500.
  • Fountains: $26 to $300.
  • Slides: $900 to $20,000.
  • Diving boards: $300 to $800.

Regardless of what you choose, an in-ground pool will typically cost more ($28,000 to $55,000) than an above ground pool ($1,850 to $4,977). For this reason, some pool experts recommend starting with an above ground (or temporary) pool. After that, if you’re still loving your backyard pool and can keep up with the maintenance, you may want to upgrade to an in-ground pool.

3. Additional costs to factor in

Aside from the initial investment of purchasing and installing your above ground or in-ground pool, you’ll want to budget for extra costs. The following features are necessary to enjoy your swimming pool safely — and to its fullest potential:

  • Fences
  • Pool covers
  • Poolside furniture
  • Pool toys
  • Professional cleaning and maintenance fees
  • Water test strips
  • Filters
  • Chlorine and other pool chemicals
  • And more!

4. Will a pool add to your resale value?

When determining whether or not a pool will add to the resale value of your home, you have to consider who you’re showing your home to. In the Midwest, pools can only be utilized for a fraction of the year. This means some buyers may not be motivated to maintain and insure a swimming pool that they aren’t able to use year-round.

On the other hand, plenty of homebuyers will see the value in a backyard pool. Not only will they be able to enjoy a dip in the water whenever they want, but they can also entertain guests, exercise and relax poolside within the comfort of their own property. Plus, you can leverage your pool as an asset to your home by staging your home to sell with a swimming pool.

5. What about insurance for your pool?

Swimming pools come with a set of inherent risks and potential liabilities. Therefore, it’s important to consider how you’ll insure your pool before building one or purchasing a house with a backyard pool. To keep yourself, your pool guests and your property protected, discuss your pool with your homeowners insurance representative.

After complying with municipal regulations and insurance guidelines, you’ll likely see an increase in your insurance premium. It may be possible to reduce your insurance costs by taking extra safety precautions (like adding safety covers), which decrease the likelihood of incidents and accidents.

Let’s dive in!

Are you ready to step into your backyard and enjoy a swim after work or a weekend hangout by the pool? If so, check out our outdoor oasis Pinterest board filled with amazing backyards and swimming pools.

Reach out to Edina Realty or one of our agents to find your home in one of Minnesota’s best cities to relax poolside.

Join over {{'43232' | number}} subscribers

Status Definitions

For sale: Properties which are available for showings and purchase

Active contingent: Properties which are available for showing but are under contract with another buyer

Pending: Properties which are under contract with a buyer and are no longer available for showings

Sold: Properties on which the sale has closed.

Coming soon: Properties which will be on the market soon and are not available for showings.

Contingent and Pending statuses may not be available for all listings