This is the crappy little kiddie pool I put up for the kids at my house. It was only $18 bucks at Walmart and it's 8 feet wide and about 18 inches deep. It's the perfect size for my 7 and 3 year olds. It's also big enough that I can somewhat comfortably float on a full size pool lounger thingy and do little circles while enjoying a cold beer.

I let it sit too long in one spot and it looks like I killed the grass pretty good. Of course, I have to drain it and clean it and refill it every week/ten days because it obviously doesn't have a filter or chemical system or anything like that.  But it does the trick.

Let's say you are thinking of installing a "real" pool at your house. In ground, with maybe a slide or a diving board. Something the whole family can enjoy for years. Think of the fun! Your house would be the most popular on the block and suddenly your kids have a lot more friends than usual. It would be awesome, right?

Not so fast. You should really think twice before taking the plunge on installing a permanent pool.  Here are a few reasons:

  • They are ridiculously expensive to install. The average initial cost for a pretty basic, in ground pool runs around $20,000 - $30,000 and can easily approach closer to $60k for something nicer.
  • After the initial cost, you're looking at pretty hefty annual cost to maintain the pool.  You'll likely pay the pool guy every spring and fall to winterize it and prepare it for the season. Think around $1500 yr for basic maintenance. Add in utilities (heat/water) and any other maintenance and you are probably looking at more like $3000 a year.
  • They don't really add much value to your home. According to the National Association of Realtors 2010 report, they said you can figure only 4-6% in added home value.
  • If you ever decide to remove the pool, this can cost up to $10k for demolition costs and refilling the giant hole and replacing sod or grass.
  • Your home owners insurance will go up a little, but the liability that comes with owning a pool goes up substantially. Even if it's fenced and secure. Because when that neighbor kid or your drunk friend at the pool party drowns in your pool you can pretty much expect the lawsuit of a lifetime.
  • And the number one reason... it's Montana. Our summers are like 3 months long. So you can only realistically enjoy your beautiful, expensive outdoor pool like 9 months out of the year. At best.

Maybe when I hit the Powerball I'll rethink a "real" pool. For now, I'm gonna stick with what I've got.