7 Must-Have Pool Upgrades For Your Swimming Pool

Kaitlyn Pacheco
Written by Kaitlyn Pacheco
Updated July 25, 2022
Swimming pool with hot tub and terraced patio
Photo: pics721 / Adobe Stock

Dive into the deep end with these can’t-miss pool upgrades

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Picture this: You installed a backyard swimming pool several years ago, and while it’s been the site of many successful pool parties and late-night swims, you’re ready to upgrade it with the latest bells and whistles. 

If you’re looking for ways to enhance your pool experience, look no further. We rounded up seven must-have pool upgrades to improve your swimming experience and add value to your most prominent yard feature.

1. LED Lights

View of a modern home with swimming pool
Photo: moodboard / Adobe Stock

Nothing transitions a daytime swim to a late-night pool party better than turning on colorful underwater LED lights. Multicolored LED lights create a fun, personalized ambiance that entices guests to stay in the water all night long. Plus, adding white or colored lights makes night swimming a safer experience. 

As a bonus, LED bulbs are worth the investment as they typically last longer than incandescent pool lights and use less electricity. Keep in mind that installing LED lights to an in-ground pool costs about $200 per light.

2. Automatic Pool Cover

An automatic swimming pool
Photo: Maria / Adobe Stock

If you’re tired of dragging and securing a standard, tarp-like cover across the pool, it’s time to consider installing an automatic pool cover. This modern feature allows homeowners to cover and uncover the pool with the flip of a switch, making it more convenient to open and close your pool.

Automatic pool covers have several benefits, including providing additional protection when the pool is not in use and increasing its heat efficiency. Compared to other types of pool covers, automatic pool covers are easier to use and store but typically cost more to install.

3.  Wall Fountain

Outdoor swimming pool with three lounge couches
Photo: Tom / Adobe Stock

The look and sound of rushing water will complete your pool’s transformation into a backyard oasis. This low-maintenance water feature is available in an array of styles and sizes, so you can customize it to suit your outdoor aesthetic. 

Contact a local fountain installer to determine which type and size wall fountain will work best in your pool. Then, prepare to relax in your favorite floatie while enjoying the sound of bubbling water.

4. Solar Pool Cover

Swimming pool cover protection
Photo: OceanProd / Adobe Stock

These handy pool must-haves act as a solar blanket that keeps your pool warm and protected from debris during the cool seasons. It can also reduce water loss through evaporation. Solar pool covers look like bubble wrap and come in various shapes and sizes to fit any in-ground pool. 

Compared to other types of pool covers, solar pool covers are generally more effective at heating the pool, especially during the off-season. This pool feature typically lasts about three years, and costs between $75 to $300, depending on the type of material and pool size. You can either DIY your cover installation or hire a local professional swimming pool company to get the job done for you.

5.  Hot Tub

A custom pool house
Photo: Ursula Page / Adobe Stock

It’s tough to beat the convenience of having a hot tub connected to or close to your swimming pool. If it’s chilly, you can relax in the hot tub, and when the temperature rises, you can cool off in the pool. However, adding an in-ground spa is an investment, with hot tub installation costs ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 for this type of feature. 

If you prefer to add an above-ground hot tub to your pool area, you can expect to pay $650 to $11,000 for installation. Whichever option you choose, be sure to contact a hot tub professional near you for an exact price quote.

6. Ultraviolet (UV) Sterilizer

A backyard and swimming pool
Photo: Astronaut Images/KOTO / Adobe Stock

Ultraviolet (UV) pool sanitizers emit high-powered UV lights to eradicate the DNA or RNA of common contaminants in your pool water. You can easily add this high-tech pool feature to your pool’s filtration system, lowering the amount of chlorine used annually.

UV sterilizers typically cost between $350 and $2,000, and you should consult a local pool service professional before purchasing to ensure it’s the right size for your pool. If you want to switch to chlorine-free water but are not sold on UV sterilizers, consider other options like bromine or ionizers.

7. Rock or Stone Waterfalls

Luxury home pool at sunset with a waterfall
Photo: Allison / Adobe Stock

Rock or stone waterfalls are the perfect add-on feature to elevate your swimming pool to a new level. This tranquil backyard water feature allows water to flow from the top of the multi-level pile of rocks or stones into the pool, creating a unique splash zone. Plus, you can customize the shape, size, and color of the materials used to make it cohesive with your deck and backyard.

When installing this type of water feature to an existing pool, be sure to consult a swimming pool professional to ensure that the deck can support the weight of the waterfall.

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