How Much Value Does A Swimming Pool Add To A House In Cornwall?
If there’s one thing that everyone can agree on, it’s that swimming pools are fun. But whilst your own family might have a whale of a time in a swimming pool, will this large building project add value to your house in Cornwall? Or will it be a damp squib?
Swimming pools can be a beautiful way to add value to your house and garden. They provide entertainment for the entire family and friends, as well as health benefits. Garden parties, barbecues, and other social gatherings benefit from their presence. But they can be costly, and different kinds of swimming pools will have different expenses. So is a swimming pool the best way to increase a home’s value?
How much does a swimming pool cost?
The typical cost of a swimming pool ranges from £60,000 to £150,000. So if you are investing substantially in your home, your house’s value would have to increase its worth by at least that much. Now, in Cornwall’s current housing market, a house’s value increasing by £60,000-£100,000 or more isn’t extraordinary, particularly if the home is in a desirable location. (Think coastal properties, picturesque locations, nearby to good local amenities.)
It is important to add all of these costs together when you are working out how much value your house will need to increase, in order to make your build financially profitable.
Do I need planning permission for a swimming pool?
Generally, for an indoor/ outdoor, domestic swimming pool, you will not need planning permission. This is because a pool is generally considered a garden project.
However, you should always verify with your local planning authority, especially if your home or the surrounding region falls into one of the following categories:
Listed Building (Grade I or II)
Area of Outstanding National Beauty
Your pool installation company will know more about the planning permission that you require.
What building regulations do I need for a pool?
Outdoor swimming pools usually do not require building regulation approval. The only requirement for outdoor swimming pools is that they do not have warm air surrounding them. If the pool is heated, building regulations do apply. Similarly, any outdoor pool with a permanent structure over it will become an indoor pool, but it will not have to comply with building codes as long as the structure is unheated and unventilated.
If your pool is heated and/ or ventilated then building regulations will apply. There are several environmental standards that you will have to comply with, relating to the heat loss and temperature of the surrounding air and ground. To keep heat from escaping into the earth, the pool’s floor and walls must be insulated. This heat loss should be limited to 0.25W/m2/0C, which is about equivalent to a pool heated to 28°C and the ground at around 10°C.
If your pool is heated (either indoor or outdoor, you will need to work with a specialist pool installer, who will comply with building regulations.
What are the pros of installing a swimming pool?
Aside from your own enjoyment, well-being and entertainment, what are the benefits of installing a swimming pool in your home in Cornwall?
Many buyers in Cornwall are looking for houses to use as holiday rentals, holiday lets, Air BnBs, and second homes. Whilst there are many ethical and political issues surrounding these kinds of house sales, swimming pools are very attractive to a buyer who is considering renting their house to visitors.
If you find the right buyer, a swimming pool can increase the house’s value considerably. According to a new study, people buying prime property in the UK desire top-notch sports and home leisure facilities, with a swimming pool being the most preferred of these. According to a report by Direct Line’s Select Premier Insurance, 17% of high-end estate agents have noticed a surge in demand for swimming pools, which may add up to 15% to a property’s sale price. (Tennis courts and home gyms are tied for second place, followed by home spas, attached land, home cinemas, stables, a gourmet kitchen, a wine cellar, and secure parking facilities.
With more people than ever working from home and 100% remote jobs on the rise, many people want homes that feature leisure facilities. Over the pandemic, so many of us realised the potential of our houses, and we want the most out of our home set-ups. Not only do these buyers have the money to enjoy their home’s facilities, but they also now have the time.
If you are installing a natural, outdoor pool, then there are sometimes grants available for water that can also be used as a haven for wildlife.
Pools can extend your view. If you have a coastal property, an infinity pool can extend your garden right to the horizon. Just imagine those long summer evenings, looking out over the sea with a glass of something tasty!
What are the cons of installing a swimming pool?
Whilst a swimming pool seems incredibly dreamy, there are many things to consider before launching into a large expense.
Initial costs: can you afford the large costs associated with installing a pool?
Space: will your garden or land be big enough to accommodate a pool that is long enough to be enjoyed by adult buyers and their families?
Time: your garden will be a bit of a building site (actually, it will be a literal building site) for up to 12 weeks. It is generally estimated that it takes 8-12 weeks to build a swimming pool. So be prepared to allocate that time. Do you have work commitments, friends or family staying, paying guests that might not appreciate the building work happening around them?
Maintenance: different pools have different costs associated with them, including building regulations, heating, insulation, planning permissions, cleaning and other maintenance costs. Are you ready to commit to keeping your pool in the best condition? If your house is bought, the pool will need to be clean and well-maintained.
What are the alternatives to a swimming pool?
If some of these ‘cons’ have made you think twice about installing a swimming pool in your Cornish property, then there are alternatives that can offer similar benefits to a pool.
A portable swimming pool. Whilst this won’t increase the value of your home, you will be able to take the pool with you if you move house. You can buy portable pools that are deep enough and long enough to get all of the health benefits of doing a few laps, but without the huge costs of installing a permanent pool.
An outdoor hot tub. Whether this is wood-fired or heated by electricity, gas or oil, hot tubs offer prospective buyers the option to relax under the stars in style. Hot tubs have many health benefits, including improved circulation, blood flow, mental health and heart health. Hot tubs are also cheaper to heat than a full-sized swimming pool, as they are smaller. They can also be used year-round, even in the coldest weather, as they can keep bathers nice and warm, sometimes reaching up to 48 degrees! Hot tubs are also more cost-effective, as they are cheaper to buy than a swimming pool, and cheaper to clean and maintain. They are also more space-saving, and so if your property or garden is a little small, they can be a great alternative to a swimming pool. The only downside is that you can’t do laps in a hot tub! (A hot tub could be a great companion to a non-heated pool, as many people love to experience a cold plunge and then warm up afterwards!)
Jacuzzi. Similar to a hot tub, jacuzzis are space-saving, cost-effective and provide great hosting, leisure and entertainment opportunities. Jacuzzis are often under £10,000 and so are a great alternative to a pool.
A sauna. Home saunas are surprisingly affordable, and add that little bit of Scandi-luxury to a property, for sometimes as low as £2000.
A natural swimming pool. With so many of us taking up some form of ‘wild-swimming’ over lockdown, many people have recently reconnected with cold water and the natural world. Natural swimming pools are pools that are created to be in harmony with the natural world around them. They can be filled with rainwater, and have naturally-occurring plants and organisms that clean the water without the use of chemicals. They may also use physical cleaning systems such as filtration or be a part of a spring or river. In a natural swimming pool plants extract nutrients, bacteria are controlled by microorganisms, and debris is removed by pool filters. Wildlife will peacefully coexist with you and contribute to the pool’s system. This article notices the rise in natural swimming ponds, and how beneficial they can be for both humans and wildlife. As natural pools look so beautiful, they can increase the value of your property, even if the buyer does not want to maintain a pool; the pool can become a decorative pond or water feature. Versatile! Sid Hill Ecological Gardens (who made a recent appearance on Gardener’s World) can design and install natural pools in Cornish homes. There are many other Cornish landscaping and pool installation companies that will be very happy to chat with you more about your natural pool ideas.
A swim spa. Like a portable pool, a swim spa is space-saving and portable but gives you the ability to swim against an artificial current.
So is a swimming pool right for my house in Cornwall?
Well, we suggest contacting several pool installation companies to get quotes, (including any planning permission) and then begin to create an annual maintenance budget. Once you have these costs, you can work out how much you will need to sell your house for, if you want to profit financially from installing a swimming pool. Swimming pools are great fun, and there are so many benefits. But it is important to consider all the factors before committing to such a big home-improvement project.
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