If you found yourself wishing for some relief from the unbearably steamy Louisiana heat and humidity this past summer, the cool, pleasant months of winter and early spring are the perfect time to install a home upgrade we all dream of having: an inground pool. It’s a home feature that lets you relax, exercise when you want to, entertain family and friends, and enjoy the added financial value of well-built outdoor living spaces.
Usually, financing a swimming pool through a personal loan or home refinance is a common way of making that dream happen, so we’re offering some tips to help you plan and see your project through to completion.
- Location: Where would you like your pool to be, and what is there now? Trees, tree roots, utilities and utility rights of way, property boundaries, underground tanks or supply lines, irrigation systems, soil quality and other obstructions may require some form of remediation or accommodation before your pool can be dug.
- Power Supply: Filters, pumps and lights, for example, require a permanent power source—electrical service that will be able to support the pool’s electrical load without disrupting home service. You may need the help of a licensed electrician and your power company to increase your capacity for electrical use with a new or expanded service panel, for example.
- Access: Many people want their pool to be close to their home’s common living areas, often just a few steps from a patio. Especially if you have small children or pets, carefully consider how you will grant access to the pool from the house and the rest of the yard. Also, consider any open areas that may let in uninvited guests. Attractive, well-lit fencing, railings and gates that can be secured offer privacy and safety — and are often required to comply with building codes.
- Type of Pool: Have you always wanted to be able to simply walk out the back door in the morning and do your laps, or are you more interested in coming home and diving deep in cool depth? Do you just want a fun place for the family to gather and splash around? How many giant floaties will be in the water at any given time? Intended use is key in determining the size and depth of the pool you want. It may also govern what materials and systems will work best for your particular pool.
- Pool Features: Steps or a shallow offset can be a lifesaver for small children, pets, wild animals or even adults who won’t be able to climb out otherwise. Lighting safely extends your pool use into the hours of darkness. Pool chillers can cool water in warm months while pool heaters will warm it a bit in cooler months, letting you make the most of all seasons. If you want to include features like ladders, slides, tubes or diving boards, ensure that your pool’s construction, size and depth will safely support their use.
- Zoning Laws and Covenants: You’ll need to comply with local zoning laws or homeowners association covenants governing pools. Many HOAs ban above-ground pools and set guidelines detailing everything from the placement and visibility of inground pools to permitted size and depth. Some areas may specify pool capacity and sourcing for pool fill water.
- Homeowners Insurance: Your homeowners' insurance carrier may also have rules regarding pool size and depth as well as security measures like fencing, safety features like steps or ladders, and recreational accessories like diving boards or slides. Be sure your policy includes appropriate coverages for your pool and its users.
- Landscaping and Hardscaping: A finished patio or ground-level decking is more than just pretty. It keeps swimmers from tracking dirt and debris into your pool and provides a good place for adults to watch the kids while they swim. Pool-friendly landscaping gives your pool area context and a finished look and can help define and beautify boundaries. When choosing plants, think durable but not thorny or spiny, pretty but not a magnet for bees or stinging things, and hardy but low maintenance.
- Pool Maintenance: A clear, sprawling oasis is the dream, but keeping a pool algae-free, sanitary and safe for swimming in the hottest weeks and months of summer requires maintenance. Pool chemicals or salt to match your filter system, robotic cleaners and regular water testing are basics. Evaporation will require that you regularly add water and maintain proper chemical balances. Systems like pumps and skimmers, for example, will need regular attention to ensure they’re working efficiently.
- Bells and Whistles: Pool covers offer protection through winter, while solar covers will also let you extend your swimming season. A pool alarm can sound the alert if anything disturbs the surface and potentially save lives. A small pavilion, porch or pool cabana complete with ceiling fans can provide cooling shade and a place to keep pool toys and towels. Screen it, and you can eliminate pesky bugs like gnats and mosquitoes. Do you want a small powder room available poolside to limit drippy traffic into and out of your home? A simple outdoor shower lets swimmers clean up before and after a swim, and patio furniture ensures there’s always a comfortable place for everyone.
Plan Now & Make a Splash Next Summer
Overarching all considerations, of course, is making your dream pool match your budget for a pool. Installing an inground pool is an investment, but in an area like Louisiana—where summers are long and hot—it’s a dream feature for many homeowners and potential home buyers.
If you want more information about financing a pool, La Cap is ready to help you explore your options. We have cash-out mortgage refinance options that are perfect for pools and many other home improvement projects that will let you live the lifestyle you deserve. Reach out to our team directly or learn more about a home refinance today, and let us help you make summer your favorite season.
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