With travel and social distancing restrictions due to COVID-19 still in place, many of us will be spending our summer vacations within the confines of our own backyard.
Families that usually spend their hard earned money on relaxing summer vacation destinations are now investing in “Staycations.”
Taking money that would normally be spent on a family vacation and using it for home improvements to change your backyard into a poolside paradise is quickly becoming a summer trend in 2020.
MarketWatch, a subsidiary of Dow Jones that provides financial and business information, has reported recently that the pool industry is booming.
According to MW, the sales of pools and pool related items have almost doubled since 2019. These figures not only include the installation of inground and above ground pools, but also pool maintenance chemicals, lawn furniture, patio decor, and smaller, temporary pools like blow up pools and kiddie pools.
Although there is still great concern about spreading COVID-19, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread through the water in swimming pools.
The CDC website also states that proper operations and disinfection of pools should kill the virus that causes COVID-19.
Experts from both the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine and the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health both agree that maintenance chemicals in swimming pools inactivate the virus, making the possibility of catching COVID-19 from treated pool water to be effectively zero.
However the risk still remains to spread COVID-19 from person to person in the pool area. Due to the possibility of large groups of people gathering together without social distancing, many public swimming pools in the area still remain closed.
To keep within social distancing guidelines if a pool installation is in your near future, hold off on the big pool party and keep pool attendance to less than 10 people at any one time until social distancing guidelines change.
Cost is another immediate concern for most when planning your own poolside getaway.
Installation of an inground pool is a large endeavor to take on and can be expensive. The average budget for an inground pool can range between $35,000 to $75,000, but you can also expect a properly maintained inground pool to last 25+ years or much longer.
An above ground pool will cost far less to install, with an average price of $1,100 to $3,500. However, the life expectancy of an above ground pool is only about seven to 15 years.
If neither of these options are within your budget, you can still turn your backyard into a private summer oasis without breaking the bank on your “staycation.”
If you have young children or grandchildren under the age of five, or if you are very limited in outdoor space, kiddie pools and blow up pools can still fill the bill to cool off on a hot day. These pools are very budget friendly, with a cost of $15 to $40, and with a little imagination, can be a fun summer focal point in your yard.
With the addition of a few new lawn chairs, umbrellas, outdoor lights, and maybe an inflatable palm tree or other fun decor, you can create a fun play area for the kids and a relaxing oasis for you to sit back, soak your feet and enjoy a tropical drink!
If your kids are a little bigger, but your wallet is not, you may want to consider a temporary, blow up above ground pool. These pools come in sizes between eight and 15 feet wide and can be as deep as almost four feet. The cost range can vary from retailers, but run about $150 to $300. They are also equipped with a filter pump and require maintenance chemicals, so there is no need to change the water and the pool can stay set up for the summer months.
Remember, all pools, besides kiddie pools, require a permit from the town. Each town has their own set of rules and regulations regarding swimming pools, so check with your town’s building department before you make any pool purchases.
Many pools are required by town safety rules to have some type of locked fence around the pools, so keep this in mind when trying to make a budget for a new pool.
When setting up a kiddie pool, always be sure to empty the pool every time you are done using it for safety and cleanliness purposes.
If your family's “staycation” will be including the addition of a pool to your yard this summer, be sure to do your homework first.
After you set a budget, be ready to make plenty of phone calls. Besides asking for referrals from friends and family, check for any complaints against the company online or through the Better Business Bureau.
Don’t be surprised if you are put on a waiting list for a pool, as the high demand of pools this summer is causing some contractors to turn away new clients until next season.
Even kiddie pools are becoming hard to find, and you may need to turn to the internet to find what you are looking for in a small pool.
If all else fails, you can always go “old school style” and take a run through the lawn sprinkler. It is not the same as, say... an inground pool, but it is sure to cool you off, be a fun distraction for the kids, and you probably already have one in the garage!