Take a deep breath with me, and think back on the last time you had extra money left over in your budget. Wasn't it great?
For me, it was when I had euros left over at the end of my Scotland trip—can't use them here in the US, so I ran around the Glasgow airport with my girlfriend and spent them on overpriced souvenirs. The memory alone warms my heart.
The spare money is especially great when your budget is for a big purchase, such as a house or, hey, a pool.
Let's be real: when you're first nailing down the project, you pass on a few things that you secretly want, for the sake of Responsibility And Budgeting.
But happy day! You can use this newfound wiggle room to pick up those super awesome things.
Pools are a big investment, so we're discussing proportionally affordable add-ons—about $2,000 or less.
7 pool add-ons that won't break the budget
Separate colored concrete border around the pool
Bubblers in the tanning ledge
Automatic pool vacuum
Poolside planter designed into the patio
Jets in bench seats
What's a cascade for your pool?
It's a subtle little pool waterfall, usually 12 to 18 inches wide. You can layer it in a retaining wall or decorative structure, and it's slim enough to be hidden there.
You can also add a cascade at a later date, but you do need to plumb for it upfront.
A pool cascade typically costs around $1,000.
2. Separate concrete border around the pool
Concrete is the least expensive option for patio and coping. If you want a neat contrasting look, you can save money by using a separate pour for each, rather than switching to a whole other material (such as natural stone).
Now, a lot of concrete pool patios have the concrete go all the way up to the edge of the pool. And all of it's poured at the same time—no visual breakup between the pool perimeter and the patio.
Instead of that, you can do a separate pour about two feet around the pool. Then pour the patio concrete around that.
Around the G36 in our pool park, we included one pour of concrete as the immediate border, then another for the patio.
Stamped (colored) concrete usually costs about $12 to $18 per square foot.
3. Bubblers in the tanning ledge
Bubblers on a tanning ledge add to both the visual aesthetics and the auditory experience of the pool.
You can also adjust the intensity of the bubbles, from a light burble to a straight-up fountain.
If you want to kick the drama up a notch, you can even add colored lights inside the bubblers.
Boom. Pool party intensified.
Bubblers require plumbing, so they do have to be part of the initial pool installation—i.e., you can't add them later.