Time Well Spent – Outdoors

Flip flops on deck with text: "Time well spent outdoors"

In the heat of the summer, there is nothing more refreshing than going for a cool swim in your pool. Overall, pools are great for relaxation, exercise and they even have lots of health benefits. The season is also perfect for spending time outdoors and yard games are a great way to get everyone off their smartphones and play! Keep the fun going with landscape lighting, which accentuates your landscaping and provides an opportunity to extend your time spent outdoors!

Pools Are Perfect for Cooling Down

Before you make the big purchase, make sure you are ready for the big expense. First, ask yourself if you want an above-ground or in-ground pool.

Above-ground pool costs:

For an above-ground pool, there are costs to consider such as site preparation, electrical service and ladders. The average, above-ground pool can cost less than $10,000.

In-ground pool costs:

An in-ground pool will be more expensive due the additional yard preparations, materials and energy involved. Selecting a pool liner to other interior surface options may keep the cost down, as will other decisions from the ladder or steps, slide, diving board and other recreational options! Please note: most city codes require homeowners to build a patio or fence around an in-ground pool and/or require a cover when the pool is not in use. Check your area’s local ordinances to ensure requirements are followed.

General pool costs:

For both types of pools, the cost of a pump, filter and heater are costs to consider before deciding on which pool is right for you. It’s also wise to anticipate an increased water bill for the initial fill and for on-going maintenance to ensure levels meet minimum requirements for the filtration system.

If making the investment in a pool, consider emphasizing this cool yard feature with landscaping and hardscaping elements. A professional landscaper can help property owners design surrounding plants and grasses to deliver the atmosphere of your dreams. Many clients aim to create a tropical-feeling landscape, which may require additional time to maintain. Others enjoy easy-care options with less leaves, mulch or bugs near your pool. Consider potted plants placed near the steps, on the surrounding deck and around a pool’s border for a pop of color which doesn’t cost a lot!

The most memorable and high-impact pools go the extra mile toward creating a backyard oasis and include some of the following options:

  • Waterfalls and fountains add a great visual appeal and can help move water to prevent it from becoming stagnant.
  • Outdoor showers ensure swimmers don’t bring dirt and grass clipping in the pool and make rinsing off convenient. Pet owners can also benefit by using an outdoor shower to rinse muddy paws or move regular bathing sessions outside.
  • Water basketball and volleyball are popular pool games and get the whole family involved in the fun.
  • If activity isn’t on your To Do list, having pool floats is a must!
  • Don’t let the party stop once the sun goes down! Landscape lighting allows the pool to stay open after sundown. Outdoor lighting options range from spotlights, pool lights and even tiki torches. Spotlights are the brightest option and may help increase safety measures for those walking between the house and pool. Pool lights are installed in the pool and can help keep night-time swimmers safe. Landscape lighting emphasizes the landscaping you’ve installed and enhances flower beds and up-lighting for trees to bring a yard to life. Tiki torches might be the most fun and some are available with citronella to help ward off pesky pests.


Regular pool maintenance will keep a pool in good condition for years of enjoyment to come. On average, homeowners can expect weekly cleaning and treating pool water with chlorine after testing with pH testing strips or salt, depending on the filter option selected.

Saltwater pools are healthier for your skin, require less regular testing, don’t leave a lingering chlorine smell and have become comparable in maintenance costs. They remain slightly more expensive on the installation side. Chlorine pools remain the most common pool type in spite of the additional maintenance and chemicals required.

Several options also exist for managing pool maintenance. You can hire a professional to take care of all necessary tasks, do it yourself, or consider a hybrid approach. This blended option may include working with a pro to open and close your pool each season, while you handle the weekly care. For those taking the DIY approach, investing in a pool cleaner with a sweeping option will ensure debris collecting on the bottom does not damage the liner and can prevent algae build-up which is an ideal environment for other unwater water bugs. A simple net on an extendable pole will also make removing floating debris a breeze. Deciding to pay a pro or DIY is important when considering the overall time and financial investment you are willing to make.

Return on investment

Determining a pool’s return on investment (ROI) first depends on frequency of use. If you are in the water every weekend of the summer, then a pool may well worth the investment as well as your enjoyment factor. Property value can also be impacted by a pool, especially an in-ground pool with water and hardscape features, as well as overall appeal.

If you need help with landscaping, landscape lighting, hardscapes for your pool area or yard, contact the professionals at The Grounds Guys!

For Further Reading:

Health Benefits of a Saltwater Pool

Planning Your Landscape Lighting

Build a Backyard Oasis