Let’s face it, people don’t go to Colorado to swim. Boasting some of the best skiing in the world, the state is far more known for the powdery white stuff than the splashy blue stuff. But, perceptions notwithstanding, many residents of Denver, Colorado Springs, and other parts of the state have found that building a backyard swimming pool can be a worthwhile investment. In fact, the swimming season makes a nice complement to the ski season for those who crave year-round outdoor recreation.
The weather varies more in Colorado than in other, non-mountainous states. It doesn’t just change from place to place, either. In some parts of the state, the weather can change rapidly from day-to-day or hour-to-hour. However, in most of the more populated areas of the state, the weather is reliably warm enough to swim for four or five months out of the year. Pool heaters and covers are highly recommended to keep the water warm and comfortable, extending the swimming season as much as possible.
In addition to its fantastic ski resorts, Colorado also has a reputation for majestic scenery. If you’re lucky enough to have a nice view from your property, consider expanding your budget for extra features that will enhance your enjoyment of it. A rock waterfall is one way to tie your pool design into the natural beauty around it. A spa, either attached or separate, offers Zen-like opportunities for relaxation. Finally, while it’s not cheap, an infinity edge (aka negative edge) design is the ultimate luxury for a pool owner in mountainous surroundings.
When it comes to pool costs, there’s little you can say for certain due to differences in style, materials, and location. That said, labor costs in Colorado are around the national average. That means you might expect to pay “the usual” costs for a vinyl, gunite, or fiberglass swimming pool. A quick check of a couple of inground pool builders in the state turns up prices that start at $40,000-45,000. Sounds about right.
An experienced pool company should be able to handle all pool permits for you, along with any required inspections. It’s always a good idea to check with your local building authority to make sure you understand the requirements yourself. Obviously, if you’re serving as your own general contractor (or even doing some of the work yourself), it’s all the more important to do plenty of research ahead of time.
As with building permits, residential pool safety is mostly under the purview of local government in Colorado. By far the most common requirement (not just in Colorado, but throughout the country) is a fence or other barrier to prevent children in your community from wandering in. Whether it’s required by law or not, you may also want to look into other safety equipment like pool alarms, fence alarms, safety covers, and the like. Again, your pool builder should know what the law is in your area, and if they’re really on the ball, can advise you on the best safety devices for your particular setup.