Thinking about floating around in your own backyard while enjoying the tropical breezes of Hawaii? Owning a swimming pool in Hawaii can be an expensive endeavor especially when building one. If you’re thinking about taking the plunge into pool ownership — or if you plan on buying a home with a pool -there are many factors to consider before you dive right in.
Construction Costs Of Building A Pool In Hawaii
Construction costs for installing an inground swimming pool in Hawaii are typically much higher than what you’ll find in the rest of the country. A quick survey of Hawaii pool builders in multiple cities came back with prices that start in the $50,000-$80,000 range. According to Kona Kai Pools, pools can increase the value of your home by $100,000, so you can get the money you put into constructing one, back out when you sell your home.
One reason in ground pools cost so much more in Hawaii, is the fact you have to dig into lava. And if you hit blue rock, it could be even more difficult for contractors driving your costs up. What is blue rock? The cooled interiors of a’a flows. It is dense, hard, and unvesiculated. THAT’s quite a word, yes? Vesiculated is when a cavity is formed in a rock by a pocket of gas that is trapped during the rock’s formation. Blue rock is SOLID.
Inside Tip: I have spoken to a few pool owners in Kailua Kona who have had some issues arise when they were building their pools due to contractor inexperience. Trust me, do your due diligence on getting reviews/recommendations from past clients.
Monthly expenses for pools include chemicals, pool-cleaning services, equipment and utilities. Due to the high cost of living, all of your pool expenses will be higher here than most anywhere else in the country and make sure you see what the availability of labor is available if you are considering hiring a service company.
One of the biggest considerations to pool ownership is heating. Even on the hottest day, most pools in Hawaii need some kind of heating system. Although expensive to install, solar heating is one of the best ways to heat a pool. Once installed, the system runs itself without incurring any energy bills. The least expensive heating option is a solar pool cover. Made of vinyl, pool cover sheets float on the surface of the water. In addition to retaining heat, a pool cover can increase water temperature by up to 11 degrees.
In Hawaii, propane is the norm for heating pools. Propane is more efficient than electricity because gas tends to heat water more quickly. The color of your pool can also make a difference in the water temperature. Black, grey and blue surfaces heat the water up an average of six degrees. Although a black pool can be aesthetically pleasing and resemble a natural pond, it’s a lot harder to clean because the debris isn’t as visible.
Pool Design Tips
When designing your pool, be sure to avoid costly mistakes that you might regret later. One of the biggest mistakes is to place trees too close to your pool. The wrong kind of tree can shed debris so badly that your pool will always be messy and the chemical balance will always be affected. Palm trees near a pool can be especially problematic. The shallow roots of the palm tree will travel under the deck searching for water, which could result in a cracked deck. Homeowners should be aware that infinity-edge pools require a lot more water due to excessive evaporation. Lava-rock water features can shed bits of debris into the pool, as well as hold bacteria and promote silica buildup.
Some pool owners have discovered the benefits of salt to make chlorine. A chlorinator unit can be pricey, but once installed, it is relatively easy to maintain. The benefits include less chlorine odor and reduced stinging of the eyes. You don’t have to use chlorine tablets either.
Here is a handy post on the steps it takes to build a pool in Hawaii.
We work to inform our readers about all aspects of homeownership in Hawaii! If you would like to be able to get more in depth information about how much value pools add to homes in various islands in Hawaii, we can connect you to one of our trusted REALTOR partners!
We have owned 3 inground salt water pools. Plan to replace your salt water chlorine generator every 3 to 4 years even with excellent maintenance. My husband was a Nuclear plumber for over 30 years on submarines; he understands pumps, generators and chemestry. You also need an efficient pump. You can augment your salt water pool with chlorine tabs to save your electronator but this will elevate your cyanuric acid to high levels that can only be lowered by draining your pool.
A chlorine tab has two side effects that most pool owners don’t realize: It has a pH of 2.9 but more importantly, it lowers Total Alkalinity (TA). It is 52% cyanuric acid (aka conditioner or stabilizer) by weight and each one increases the cyanuric acid level (CYA) in your pool water. Ph destroy will your surface normally needed to be resurfaced every 8 to 10 years with good maintenance at a cost around 15 to 20 k depending on your pool size. Mustard algae can be a challenge if you cant find the source like behind the pool light or loose tile. Thinking of DIYS?
Pool School – Trouble Free Pool | Trouble Free Pool
https://www.troublefreepool.com/blog/pool-school/ Helped us and honestly we soon figured out we knew more than the $170.00 month pool guy who came every 2 weeks for only 5 min a visit. Now I want his job. LOL… also try some 20 Multeam Borax to help maintain chemical balance and makes the water super soft.
LOVE MY POOL; HOPE YOU LOVE YOURS TOO!!!
This is extremely helpful Bel! Thank you for your input. We love the fact you are sharing your personal experience regarding the Island. Would love if you could publish all you know as we are trying to find the most effective, expensive way to help our special need children have the pool they need .
Thanks for sharing your info Bel!
I am going to instal a pool at my house on Hawaii Island. I have looked at Mod Pools, but shipping cost is 15000 $ +-, plus pool is 50k. My hole is dug, but I have been looking at a dif type pool. Also is Gunite not good due to some tremors here on Hi Island? What are your suggestions?
Hi Lance: We are certainly not pool experts. You may wish to call a local pool company for solid advice. And yes..pools run about 50k here. And we are pretty sure Gunite and plaster are used on the pools here.