Sunset Pools and Spas

Budgeting for Building a Pool

While building a swimming pool can add tremendous personal value to a home, there can also be unforeseen costs associated with building one.

Some of these costs may become more apparent as you begin working with your pool contractor and settle on an appropriate design to fit within your means, but others may not be quite as obvious and can creep up on you if you aren't prepared.

If you are planning to build a pool, it's important to know in advance what other costs you may incur other than paying for the design and construction.

Regular Cleaning and Maintenance

An article published by U.S. News and World Report called, “How Much Will That Swimming Pool Cost?” reminds us that swimming pool maintenance is a regular and necessary expense that pool owners incur. However, I will be the first to tell you this is not an expense to try to work around. If you are someone who is on top on home improvement work and likes to take care of all your home care responsibilities yourself, that’s great. You might save some money. But if you are the type of person who will require a professional to attend to the regular cleaning and upkeep of your pool, be sure to budget for it in advance.

Other Seasonal Responsibilities

If you want to keep your pool in tiptop shape, it’s important to remember that in addition to regular maintenance, pools also require seasonal maintenance, which may require hiring a service. This includes properly prepping and closing the pool for the colder months and setting it back up for use in the warmer months. Sunset Pools & Spas recommends hiring trained professionals to prevent expensive mishaps. More information about what goes into opening and closing a pool can be found here.

Unforeseen Repairs

If you already own a home, you know that surprise repairs are actually no surprise. They may seem unforeseen at the time, and when they happen, there isn’t always a way to prepare for them, but at the end of the day, they are inevitable. The same can happen with a pool. Pipes or pumps may require repairs, and sometimes it’s necessary to call in a professional. The article from U.S. News and World Report also mentions these hidden costs.

Are You Prepared?

The above costs are not the only ones you may encounter during the life of your pool, but hopefully, this list will ensure you know what to expect when budgeting for the long-term maintenance and upkeep of your pool.

It finally happened. The temperature in Chicago and the surrounding areas dropped to single digits this week.

Given the frigid air we experienced, I doubt you’re thinking about the next time you have to mow your lawn or trim the bushes in your yard. But it can’t hurt to close your eyes, think ahead and imagine a warmer, greener time of year—right?

Look no further for daydream inspiration than to one of our recent client projects, pictured here.


This backyard is more than just a beautiful picture that can temporarily make us forget the frosty temps; it also demonstrates how tiny hints of nature can enhance an entire poolscape.

Natural Rock

The natural bluestone squares surrounding this pool are a symmetrical and elegant addition to the yard. However, these steps have a practical use as well, as they are slip resistant. This type of enhancement is not only visually appealing, but it adds an extra element of safety around the outside of the pool where kids are prone to running and where it tends to get slick from splashing water.

Grass and Greenery

The neighborhood where this home rests is full of greenery. The grass surrounding the pool helps to bring out the other trees, bushes and grass in the area, and makes the entire picture look like one cohesive landscape.

Hints of Natural Water

And of course, we can’t forget about the pool. The inside of this particularly grand pool—which is 50 feet long and 20 feet wide—was designed with a black interior so the water would match the color of the housing development’s lake. This detail invites more of the natural beauty from the surrounding area into the backyard.

Overall, this poolscape is a beautiful reflection of the nature surrounding it, and hopefully provides some inspiration as we daydream about the warmer and greener months ahead.

The pool design featured here, a recent project of ours, is a prime example of how the right finishing touches can turn a simple pool and spa into a luxurious—yet still practical—getaway for night or day.

This pool features more than just a standard place to swim. For example, the overflow of water from the stone spa into the pool is not only visually appealing, but effective, as well. While the sound and design of the waterfall provides an extra element of relaxation, the water from the spa helps to heat the pool as it spills over the spa steps. Enhancements like these can take a simple spa add-on and transform them into an upgrade for your yard.

Additionally, with the help of the underwater lighting, this pool provides a relaxing and glamorous vision for any time of day or night, while simultaneously enhancing safety for those who like to swim or lounge after dark.

However, not all pool accessories need to have a practical attribute. Sometimes it’s ok to add some flair for the fun of it. The shooting jets of water provide just that. While it can be fun to swim underneath them or for kids to create a game around them, they can also be there just to enhance the look and feel of your pool.

As demonstrated here, the smallest design details can determine the entire ambiance of a pool. Even simple finishing touches, such as lighting or accessories, can transform any pool into a spot for entertaining, family or luxury.