Swimming pool - to buy or not to buy?

01/03/2010 - 10:45

Hello, I am thinking of building a pool at my house in Italy. The house will in time be partislyh rented out to holiday makers, and I am thinking it will create mote interest if we have a pool for people? not sure if it is worth the money? also, has anyone had any experience of this, and does anyone know of a website or company that may be able to install a fibre glass pool in the frosinone area of Italy? Any thoughts and ideas would be greatly welcomed! Thanks, David.



Hi David I used to think that a pool made a difference to rentals - but I've decided now that you first have to decide  who you are renting to.  Many people seem happy to rent without a pool.   So research your market first - and do a cost/benefit analysis.  It will take a long time to recoup the cost of the pool in the possible higher rentals. That said, I wouldn't be without our pool - but it's a lot of hassle for those few summer months. Do you have someone who can: - open it in the summer and deal with any nasties that have crept in over winter? - ensure that the pool cover remzins in place throughout the winter storms? - keep it chlorinated and cleaned etc whilst it is open (a twice-weekly job) - close it down and "winterise" it at the end of the season - deal with the problem of wild animals getting in and ripping the liner Don't want to put you off, but even after the cost of building - the ongoing costs/hassle need to be set against the glorious though fleeting ability to float about on the pool with glass of wine in hand - which of course risks maximum sunburn! Others will be able to give you an idea of cost - but the cheapest is probably going to set you back 15k or so. Though overground pools are a lot cheaper and do the same job (that is - the floating around bit.  Not so good for diving or olympic swimming trials)    

In reply to by Annec

Hi Annec, Thanks for all the advice - seems there is quite a lot to think about - it's not just a splash in the water, it's a hole in the bank...but who dares wins? Do you mind me asking if you rent your property out and whereabouts is it, in relation to the sea and summer temperatures etc? If so, did you ever rent it out before you had a pool? I was thinking about going along the lines of a non-chlorine pool as they do seem to be slightly - and I use that term loosely, less maintenance. Is yours a chlorine pool and what size is it? I would be able to get somebody to maintain the pool in the summer months and periodically throughout the winter, but am not sure of the running costs of this. How long do you spent preparing your pool to swim in during the summer months? Thanks for all your help, apologies for the barrage of questions - look forward to hearing from you! Regards, David.

 I would budget E40k for total solution delivered, ready to swim in, pump and housing installed. Ongoing costs of some E3k per annum for opening/closing, electricity costs, winter and summer chemicals. You will likely on top of this need a winter cover (budget E2k). For a (circa) 4 month period it's a costly item, but I wouldn't be without mine ! Go and do it! S

 when we looked around for villas to rent with pools in Lazio there were very few - it is definitely an attraction, especially as in Frosinone you are quite a trip to the beach. It will add value to your home but will come at quite a cost -particularly the ongoing maintenance. You can cover it over for winter and forget about it but if you are not on site, someone to check it twice a week when you have guests in Summer is a must. I'd go for it personally if you are planning to rent out.

Thanks for the advice - it's nice to hear from people with experience and see the subject from two different points of view. I do agree it is an expensive luxury, however the temperatures at our house reach over 35C in the summer, and it is a rather relaxing thought that you could take a dip in a pool during that time! If you don't mind me asking, what made you choose the Lazio region to visit? Do you have a place to stary when you visit Italy, and if so does it have a pool there? Thanks again for the advice, and look forward to hearing from you, Regards, David

We We have an overground pool coming up to its third year and when put in a black bin bag for the winter seems to be OK so far. It has a little pump and filter and with a quarter block of chloriney stuff in a floating device keeps beautifully clear all summer. I guess it is like a giant kid's pool with a doughnut inflatable rim and when our visitors return from a summer day's sightseeing in Rome it really is appreciated. I think it would increase your chances of profitable rentals in summer, particularly if a bit more elaborate than ours. But as so wisely was said , the kind of clientele might make a difference! Now David, why Lazio? because it's BRILLIANT, we love it particularly Southern Lazio where we reside for much of the year. You can be close to Rome yet in rural tranquility with lots of property, even broken down farmhouses and cattle byres which for some strange reason some folks pour money in to in the quest for restoration. There are beautiful hilltop villages and a wealth of places to visit and in general fast access to Rome. Oh and you will not be bumping in to Quentin and Jocasta in the supermarket as this is real Italy. The Italians hereabouts have always been very welcoming and tolerant of my less than brilliant Italian!

Hi Elliven   Many thanks for your reply. Our house is in Cassino. My knowledge of the area is not so good as yours, I do agree though that it very nice & tranquile. I wish I had time to enjoy Italy more but the house is newly built plus a large garden, so plenty to do.  Thanks again  David

 Hi David, The first thing I'd say is that re-couping the cost of installing a pool shouldn't be your prime mover for your decision. When deciding to instal our pool, we firstly researched our target market and whether a pool would be a deciding factor. The prices you can charge are limited by your competition and whilst a pool is a big plus, it is unlikely to enable you to charge greatly higher rental prices and hence recouping your outlay will take many, many years. Our place is about 45 minutes from the coast and likewise summer temperatures reach 30c+ most days. Many of our guests spent lazy days lounging around the pool, taking dips to cool off. Being the only b&b around here with a pool, it secured business for us that we would otherwise not have had. We decided to go for a natural chlorination system for several reasons, the main one being environmental. Whilst you have the initial outlay for this system, the benefits are well worth it for many reasons and as you do not have to buy expensive chemicals, it will pay for itself over less than 5 years. The water remained crystal clear all summer, no chemical smell, no sore eyes and great for people with sensitive skin. Cleaning is a daily task when the winter cover is off, but that's a job I love to do early in the morning. It only takes about half an hour (pool is only 8m x 5m). Apart from that and checking Ph and salt levels and cleaning the filters regularly,there's not much more to it than that. Overall installation costs will obviously depend on size/design, although I'd say that 15k is a bit optimistic for a below ground pool when you add on excavation costs, landscaping and housing of the equipment and extras like sun loungers, umbrellas, etc. 25k plus would be nearer the mark in my opinion. Overground pools are much cheaper and we have friends that have one at their holiday rental property and it has proven to be a great hit with their guests. I have been told that planning permission isn't required for this type of pool, although have also heard conflicting views on this point, so check thoroughly with your commune. So, if your budget allows, I would definitely recommend you have a pool and if you can, heat it to extend your season, as the sun will only get it up to comfortable levels from early to mid June to mid September. One last very important thing, check the regulations in Lazio on maximum pool depth. There are parameters whereby if the depth exceeds x metres,  a full time lifeguard will be required! Regards, Russ

 Russ - we were swimming in our unheated pool mid-May last year, without any sign of mal di stomaca!! I've also heard there are rules in some places about colour (of liner, cement etc) , in order to try and prevent the stand-out turqoise takeover that is too many pools in a small area. And I think you need a geological survey before planning permission.  

In reply to by Annec

 ..... and yes, if the water temperature is below 24c, there is no way I'll venture in! We did have one brave soul who took the plunge in late October, when it was only 15c. She was blue when she emerged, but enjoyed it nonetheless.

We have just had a pool put in during our recent renovation of our property in Piedmont. Our decision was based upon: 1. Researching current rental prices - you do pay more for a property with a pool 2. Which nationality will rent? - we asked at places we stayed during the renovation and found out that alot of potential rentals in the area are Scandanavians who we heard like to actually spend nearly all their time in a pool rather than site see/visit places of interest/wineries. Germans seem to be similar. Americans like to mostly site see, Brits about 50/50. This was by no means extensive(or scientific) research. No doubt others will disagree with my wild generalisation(!), but it was a consideration. 3. Would we want a pool during our visits? - Yes definately, when you've seen all the sites then what do you do?! 4. Asthetics - it looks great (most rental decisions are based upon what a property looks like in my opinion) Cost wise: 8mx5m concrete case below ground pool (complete) - approx 27K Geological Survey - 1K (if this had come up with problems piles to bed rock would have massively inflated the prices, probably beyond aceptable levels, so if I was buying a property and definately wanted a pool I would probably invest in this first) Pool Tax - 1K Surround Paving (to consider) - 1K + Ongoing Maintenance Hope that helps.

A good post ianj. Would agree with your nationality breakdown. I would also add that a pool does not seem to be a big plus point for Italians but being close to the beach certainly is. Interesting, how prices vary between regions. I agree completely that piling will add significantly to the price. Comune charges for permissions are around €3k here and surrounds which are often in grantite cost around €3k as well. Landscaping around €3k and internal tiling with fixing agent grout such as Kerapoxy a further €3-€5k.

  To everyone who has replied, I cannot believe so many thoughts & facts many thanks. I have another question please dont shoot me down. What about a fibreglass pool?  eh I`ve said it! look foreward to any replies.Thank you David

 David, I have a house a stones throw from you in Picinisco on the Cassino/Sora road. We did think about a swimming pool but decided against that as we have four superb ones within 5 or 10 minutes drive and the beach 45 minutes away at Scauri or Gaeta (half an hour from you).   I am intending to do art holidays in four different types of glass art for about 4 or 5 months of the year.  I have a studio set up which is lovely and cool for most of the day but have thought about having a dip pool or a large hot/cold tub with lovely sitting area around/shade etc., We can use this in the winter enjoying the view of the snow capped mountains and cool off in it in the summer.   These are our thoughts but would be interested to know if anyone else has has this type of pool (if you want to call it a pool) installed. And if so at what sort of price etc.,  We decided against a full sized pool because of the high cost, high maintenance and the fact we have such lovely facilities so near to us. And would we use it to get our monies worth in the long run.  This is an interesting thread. I get such a lot of valuable information from this site. Maralyn

 Maralyn, I think that you are on the right track. I would not consider a swimming pool as it is too expensive, requires lots of maintenance, you can only use it for a limited time of the year and you have nearby facilities that can be used. I have owned several homes in the past with swimming pools (not in Italy) and my husband says that he would not go through that experience again. On the other hand a "jacuzzi esterno" may be a great idea and can be used throughout the year by adjusting the temperature to your needs. We installed one in a house we had in Granada (Spain) and it was terrific. Our daughter also has one at home in San Francisco and she loves it. Here is some information that could assist you: http://http://www.lapiscina.com/Pages/Spas-Jacuzzi.html Good luck!

A question left hanging was about fiberglass pools.  We looked at these and decided against on the grounds of (a) accessibility (could not get the unit to us easily), (b) concerns over longevity and how to repair if damaged.  Without doubt the projected costs looked smaller than for a concrete cassette and liner solution. Our pool project was probably not typical (I wrote about it in the old forum some years ago), as we did some substantial ground works, walls and gates as part of the project and unless and until we came to sell the place I don't suppose there is a sensible RoI case even though we are convinced that bookings and achieved rates are higher with a pool than without. Pool pics here http://www.stayinpiedmont.com/pages/tosee/relax_by_the_pool.html On an average installation I would say double the estimate you get from the pool company to reach the likely final cost (typically their quote does not include excavation, legal fees and taxes, pool surround or fitting the border stones or the construction of the below surface level technical room for pump and filter etc.  Additional plumbing and electrical work to wherever you site the pool may also be required.  Also consider where the water is coming from to fill the pool, some locations may prohibit filling it from your domestic supply or ban topping it up when there is a drought. Looking after the pool has not proved too much (we put in the computer controlled salt pool system which we find to be excellent) but as said on this thread it does need closing up before winter and opening in spring.  I spend one to a couple of hours per week "vacuuming" the pool floor (depends on wind etc.).  More of a pain is that the extremes of summer/winter do terrible things to the large amount of rendered walls that surround out pool, requiring annual work to patch cracks and holes and scraping off and repainting peeling surfaces. Pool liners to discolour a little over time (or in the case of some friends of ours with a small hotel - a lot).  We find a scrubbing brush and some barkeepers friend works quite well, this is a couple of hours work best done when the pool is warm and you can do it whilst in the pool.   Talking of our friends, their pool lined was punctured and they have taken it out this winter, I think to be replaced, but as their pool gets a much more commercial pounding it is probably unfair to say that is normal.  We do insist that our guests do not take glass anywhere near the pool and provide plastic wine glasses etc. Phil 

How about a Endless Pool? It is a lap pool with a counter current for swimming. Big enough to splash in but small enough to heat if you wanted too. You can also have it lit & with jacuzzi jets. It is a kit so can be dismantled and moved to another property if you ever moved and can be fully in ground, partially in ground or above ground. They cost around €20,000 - €25,000.

In reply to by Penny

We have just returned from Bagni di Lucca, we are thinking of putting in a pool and made a few enquiries. We were asked if we wanted a salt water pool or a chlorinated pool. Does anyone have an opinion  regarding the merits of  a salt water pool versus a chlorinated pool? Thanks for any opinions/experiences in this matter

Hello Saffie, This is maybe not very green, but I would go every time for the chlorinated option. We had our pool built eight years ago.  For the first couple of years we ran it as a salt water pool. Everything was fine in the spring and autumn but when temperatures really rose in the summer the water quality really deteriorated. Big algae bloom which no amount of additional salt would remove. Since switching to chlorine everything has been great. Properly controlled there is absolutely no smell and you can swim one to two hours after cleaning with no problems whatsoever.

firstly i apologize if this reply is too long and tedious.We have an agriturismo in the marche WITHOUT a swimming pool.We have been open for over 10 years.We do quite well and have people from 15 countries and around 1.500 x annum.We charge more than most places in the area (which reflects the level of the services/food/clientele etc. We do however have a jacuzzi outside under a gazebo in the garden,which is well used.I have seen what people call pools around here.Mostly they are: poorly done,lack style,character and are generally rather boring.I have seen a book made by an architect/photographer of absolutely fantasticly designed pools referring to their form -position/colour/artistic aspects landscaping/illumination and so on.The bottom line is IF you want ANYTHING really nice you'd be looking at Euro 50-60.000 +, OTHERWISE ,and personally i wouldn't bother.Because it's nicer to be in a lake/river/sea if it's not too far........

I can highly recommend you the fiberglass pools! I have one for approximately 10 years from small company which is located in  Czech Republic and still works and looks great. It has costed around 4 000 EUROS, but it was 10 years ago.. if you need a tip for a great pool ´s company from which we have get our perfect pool, do not hesitate to contact me directly at my emai (I don´t want to do advertising to the company publicly here)   LukrecieW@centrum.cz

Hi,I am a Builder and last year I built a B&B and then helped the owner on renting,  and for my own experience, if you want to make a swimming pool for renting your property, you can just buy a plastic one for less than 2000,00 €, of course it is not like having a proper one, but the customer never complained yet, then you have just to make few decorations with stones, the basement underneath etc. You can see one in my website just to have an example, then you can choose from Hidromassage or 10 mt. long, it' everything up to the pricehttps://www.lunigianabuilders.com/home-finder-management-holiday