8 Best Above-Ground Pools of 2023, Reviewed by Experts
If this is your first time buying a pool, our pros recommend doing some research first. “While it’s not as complicated or complex as in-ground pools, there are many considerations that come with installing an above-ground pool on your property,” says Dan. The following should be noted:
✔️ Shape: Similar to in-ground pools, above ground pools come in all shapes and sizes: oval, round, rectangular and more. Choose the shape you like, but be sure to consider your outdoor space and what makes the most sense, as well as what you will be using the pool for. will you swim laps Consider a rectangular shape for its longer length. If you think you’ll be using the pool for lounging with friends or for your kids to play, a round shape might be more fun. Also keep in mind that certain shapes cost more than others. “As the price goes up, the pools get bigger and more diverse in shape, including rectangular, oval, and hexagonal,” says Dan.
✔️ Size: Dan suggests doing your due diligence and checking with your municipality, building department or local building authority about any building codes before you buy. “First and foremost, make sure the pool fits in the yard without violating zoning codes,” he says. “These vary by community, but pools generally need to be five feet from property lines and a certain distance from the main house, maybe 12 or 15 feet. There may also be restrictions on where you can place your pool in relation to power lines and underground utility lines. Many municipalities require permits to install a pool.” Once you’ve done your homework, measure your outdoor area and the future location of your pool. With enough space on each side, can you get in and out easily?
✔️ Location: You can’t just install an above ground pool just anywhere. “You have to make sure your yard’s landscape is appropriate for a pool,” says Dan. Before setting up your pool, make sure the ground is flat and level and not blocked with rocks or pebbles. “Does your site have a slope, or are there large trees or rocks in the way? You have to pay to have them removed or moved,” he says. Dan also points out that some communities have regulations regarding tree removal, so be sure to double-check. Finally, depending on the size of the pool, bottom stability could be a factor. “If the bottom is very soft and sandy, you may need to alter it before using the pool,” he says.
✔️ Type: There are different types of above ground pools ranging from inflatable to steel frame to kid friendly and premium pools. Consider these tips:
- Inflatables: If you are looking for the cheapest option, consider inflatable boats. “They’re affordable and very DIY-friendly, but they’re not intended as a permanent solution, so you have to drain and store the pool at the end of each season,” explains Dan. You also need to be careful around sharp objects like rocks that could turn your pool into a puddle.
- Structured Above Ground Pools: If you have a little more wiggle room, a structured above ground pool is a good option. “A lot of pools in this category have soft plastic walls,” says Dan. “They are more durable than an inflated pool but may show signs of wear after a few years.”
- Pools with solid side walls: These pools, on the other hand, typically feature “frames made from durable, weather-resistant materials like stainless steel or heavy-duty rigid PVC. A pool like this can easily run for a decade, although you may need to replace the liner at some point.”
- Above Ground Premium Pools: If you really want a pool that can last a few decades (with proper care and maintenance), consider a premium above-ground pool. “Aside from the maximum size – 25 feet in diameter or more – these pools will have quality design and construction so they look better in the garden and last a lot longer,” he says.
✔️ Installation and easy assembly: Some above ground pools are much easier to install than others. Ask yourself if you want a do-it-yourself project or if you don’t mind bringing in professionals. “You can buy above ground pool kits online that include pool liner, sides and rim, and a pump and ladder,” says Dan. “An experienced handyman could have the pool up and running in a couple of hours, especially with the help of a few buddies.” Just remember that you need to make sure the surface you’re working with is level (especially with larger ones above ground pools), which may require the help of professionals.
✔️ Additional functions: Does the pool set come with accessories such as a ladder, filter, pump, pool covers and liners? “When you’re setting the budget, think about how you plan to use the pool,” says Dan. “If you’re just looking for a personal place to relax and cool off, a simple lap will do. If you want it for entertaining or for the kids to play, you need a larger pool with a wraparound deck for lounging and added safety features including a fence and a detachable ladder to keep unsupervised children from accessing the pool. You can also consider adding other features such as B. Underwater or floating lighting for summer nights, and a heater for year-round use if you live in a warmer region.
✔️ Filter and pump: You probably want a filter and pump to keep your pool water clean and avoid frequent changes, especially if you choose a pool with a large water capacity. Just remember that the pump and filter need electricity to run. “You must use dedicated 110/20 amp line, and the pool must be bonded and grounded,” says Dan. “Electrical requirements may differ if your pool is considered ‘storable’. Check with the manufacturer and consult a professional electrician to make sure everything is safe and compliant.”
✔️ Insurance: Consider getting insurance and find out how a pool will affect your rates. “In general, houseguests are insured for injuries that may occur while using the pool, but the pool itself is not covered for any damage that may occur,” explains Dan. “Many will require you to put up a safety fence or childproof gate before even considering a cover.”