Building an “outdoor living room” to go with your pool
If you want your pool to be the centrepiece of an outdoor living oasis, you may want extras like fire pits or tables, a cabana, a roof or other covering for your patio area, an outdoor kitchen space or a bar. These items aren’t included in standard new pool price packages and their costs can differ greatly among pool contractors.
Pool decking, water features and landscaping
Sometimes referred to as landscaping, along with the trees, flowers or shrubs around your pool area, the decking—or material you use to cover the ground around your pool—may be equally as, or more expensive than the pool itself. Marc Luff, Co-Owner of Betz Pools in Stouffville, Ont., notes that, on average, premium interlocking stones in a large format can cost $27 to $33 per square foot through his firm, while imported natural stone can run about $40 to $45 per square foot. Flagstone laid on concrete is about $50 to $55 per square foot, and natural Canadian dimensional stone is $65 to $75 per square foot. Decking prices vary among pool and landscaping companies, so these prices are only an example of what you might expect to pay. You may be surprised that wood decks are the priciest option, clocking in at around $80 per square foot; that’s because wood on its own would rots quickly from the pool water, and therefore needs poured concrete installed underneath.
Flowing water fountains provide a zen ambience, but even a small one can add $5,000 or more to your total cost, depending on the materials you choose.
Some pool installation packages include a certain number of lights in the pool, but more will cost extra (on average, around $1,500 each), as will replacement bulbs when needed—anywhere from $300 to more than $1,000, depending on the type of bulb.
Greenery landscaping (trees, shrubs and flowers) is yet another way you can spend enormous amounts of money on your pool installation. (Note that the pool installation itself may obliterate your existing lawn or shrubbery.) Define your budget for greenery landscaping after finalizing the costs of the pool and its decking, add-ons and fencing (if needed)—then work with a professional to help you choose best for your style and budget.
Tech has entered the pool world as well. Phone-accessible pool controls are available for added cost, and Marcos Borges of BC Pools in North Vancouver says automated pool covers are also popular, running on average from $15,000 up to $20,000.
Additional costs you may need to cover
The following are important considerations that need to be researched and discussed with your potential contractor, as they can also affect pricing of a new pool:
Municipal construction permit(s): “Some areas may have special zoning or geographical permit requirements, so check with your applicable municipality then discuss with your pool company, who will obtain the permits,” advises Marc Luff of Betz Pools.