So many thoughts regarding the ownership of your own pool focus on the upside. There's no doubt there are many wonderful, life-enhancing reasons to have a pool - but maybe it's time for a word of caution.
Rather than the things you do need, here's three you don't - and the considerations you need to make to accommodate them.
It may be a somewhat idyllic idea of how you can use your outdoor pool. Perhaps you envision reclining in the water, a cocktail in hand while the heat of the day sinks beneath the horizon as the sun sets through the trees. It's a blissful version of summer and one that most of us would find hard to resist.
Until... fall. Fall, when the leaves descend and make your life a misery. You find yourself sifting the water or brushing free the cover, wondering why you ever thought a nearby tree would be a good idea. Not only is there the inconvenience, but as the pros know, tree roots can go rogue and disrupt the safety of nearby buildings - your pool won't stand up any better. Look for a tree service to tame or, if necessary, remove anything that may cause a problem.
Now, you might have many a high and grand design idea for how the exterior of your home is supposed to look. You may have class, budget and your desired aesthetic all very firmly fixed in your mind.
However, you have to live in this magazine-perfect dream you are creating for yourself. If you have a pool, it naturally follows that you and your family are going to get wet. You may think a pair of sandals with slip-proof soles is the only answer you need, but there will be a time when someone - especially young kids - forgets to use them.
Any walkways need to be suitably slip-proof for wet feet; look for anything rated to give grip even when it's icy, and you're on the right track. Also keep it in mind for any climbing frames or other kids activity sets; they may not be so keen on drying off as you would want them to be.
While some may live in climates where the outdoor space is usable year-round despite the worst Mother Nature can throw at it, for the rest, we have to find ways to stay warm.
There's been an explosion in recent years of the various ways to do this. Outdoor heating is a huge marketplace, ranging from the cheap and cheerful to items costing more than the average annual salary.
When you choose your option, it's important to keep in mind you have a large body of water potentially waiting for catastrophe. Ask yourself your new heating equipment can tip over. If it can, could it tip into the pool? What would happen if it did? The same thoughts apply to most rustic options like fires - what happens if ashes and embers catch on the wind and spread through the garden? You need to know the answer before anything is installed and it's too late for change.