So You’re Thinking About Installing a Pool?

So You’re Thinking About Installing a Pool?

  • 02/27/24
Question: Is it a good idea to install a pool in my yard or buy a home with a pool?
Answer: For years, selling a home with a pool was much more difficult than selling one without one, but when COVID hit, those numbers shifted as demand for homes with pools increased. Even with COVID restrictions behind us, it seems there is still much stronger demand for pools in Northern VA than there was pre-pandemic.
With that said, there are still many buyers who will not consider a home with a pool or consider it a significant negative factor so many sellers will still experience a negative effect on resale with a full size pool in their back yard. One of the top reasons buyers find pools to be a negative is because they usually take up a huge percentage of the yard space for most homes in Northern VA.

Plunge Pools Are a Great Option

Plunge pools, aka cocktail pools, are becoming very popular locally because they take up less space, cost less, and still provide a lot of the functional benefit people want from a full size pool. From a resale standpoint, in my opinion, a nice plunge pool will have a much higher return on investment than a full size pool because it’s easier to integrate into the landscaping, doesn’t dominate so much of the lawn, costs less to maintain, and costs less to install. You will still attract most of the buyers willing to pay a premium for a pool but will also drive away fewer buyers who don’t value a pool or value lawn space more than a pool.
I connected with Arlington-based landscape architect/designer, Rob Groff of Groff Landscape Design, to discuss the recent trend he’s seeing towards plunge pools. Rob and his team are excellent resources for all pool and all other landscape/outdoor living projects including kitchens, patios, and plantings.

According to Local Landscape Designer, Rob Groff…

Although traditional swimming pools are still in demand, many Northern Virginia homeowners have shifted their mind set.  For some, this is out of necessity due to a smaller property size or municipal related restrictions that won’t allow for a larger pool.  For others, a smaller plunge pool is appealing as many consumers want a reduced footprint, less maintenance, and less energy consumption.
We are finding that many homeowners are opting for a smaller pool size because it allows them to have most of what they want out of a pool while still maximizing other elements of their property in the form of play space for children, patio entertaining and gardening.
I was initially skeptical of plunge pools until my wife and I realized we almost never use the deep end of our pool. We typically find ourselves and our guests huddled near the stairs with most of the pool empty. It turns out, plunge pools are perfect for those longing to sip a cocktail while soaking on a pool ledge or to cannonball in after a long day. They are too small for swimming laps, but they can be outfitted with an artificial current that provides resistance for swimming in place.
Plunge pools typically start at a dimension of 6’x10’ and can reach up to 9’x21’.  The most popular plunge pools are made of concrete in a controlled factory environment.  They are then delivered to the property and installed by crane.  Much of the rest of the installation is very similar to a traditional swimming pool.  The installation will likely take three weeks compared to twelve or more weeks for traditional Gunite or Shot Crete swimming pools.  Plunge pools are also available in fiberglass which may be a better fit for some homeowners with exceptionally poor access where a crane may not be able to reach as easily.
When it comes to cost, plunge pools are not inexpensive, but they are significantly less expensive than a traditional swimming pool. You save on paying for the multitude of subcontractors needed to install a traditional swimming pool, but you can expect to pay extra shipping and crane costs for a plunge pool.
Thank you, Rob, for your insights! If you’d like to talk with Rob more about installing a pool or other landscaping projects, you can reach him at [email protected]s.
If you’d like to discuss design trends, buying, selling, investing, or renting, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at [email protected].


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