If you’ve got one of those fabulous above-ground pools, you must know the importance of purchasing the right ladder for this raised swimming pool. However, if you’re still shopping around for your first above-ground pool, there are a lot of variables you need to think about before you buy. One of these variables is a ladder.
It’s true, most people can get into and out of a pool without any stairs or ladders, but admit it, it definitely helps! And of course, there are some grannies and grandpas that could use some extra assistance. Thousands of Americans have invested in ladders for their pools to make their entrance and exit far more convenient.
Now that the market for pool ladders has become so lucrative, there are countless options for you to choose from. This is a good thing because you are spoiled for choice, however, how will you choose one that suits your specific pool? It might seem like a tough task, but we’re here to help.
We’ve compiled a guide where we’ve taken a good look at the various pool ladders and which features you need to be on the lookout for when deciding on which to take home.
Make Sure You Find the Best Ladder for You
With some products you know you have a wide variety of items to choose from, like pens, chocolates, or illegal exotic animals. However, surely something that sounds as specific as an above-ground pool ladder would only come in one model… Well, no.
There are so many diverse styles available, each one with different pros and cons. Seeing as each ladder serves roughly the same function, technically you can’t go wrong – as long as you get one that suits your specific needs.
An A-frame ladder is the usual choice. It folds over the edge of the pool, leaving you with a mirror image of steps straddled over the wall. Just make sure to secure it to something as they could shake a bit if it’s not. The majority have a safety feature where you can pull up the rungs when you’re not there to prevent any unfortunate accidents with wandering children.
Then there are other models where the steps on the inside and outside don’t have the same styles. Some will have stairs on one side and ladder rungs on the other side. The stairs have broader steps which definitely help with wet and slippery feet. However, they’re usually quite bulky and take up more space than most above-ground pools have to spare.
Lastly, some pools have decks built around them where you’ll be stepping down into the water. Therefore, you get models that have steps on the inside of the pool only. These usually have handrails to assist both younger and older bathers. Clearly, these models will only work with pools that have a deck.
When you’ve chosen a style, you’ll need to make a few decisions that only require a pinch of common sense.
how intense will the sun’s heat be on them during the day,
the kind of weight you expect they’ll need to support, and
what specific material or texture you’d prefer.
Lastly, what size will you need? You should take the measurements of the pool’s depth and the height of the pool wall from the ground on the outside.
Don’t forget that you must secure the steps to something – you wouldn’t want it falling over!
Sometimes you may find that the form or shape of a set of pool steps might not match your pool’s access points. In this instance, a pool ladder might be the better option, just because it takes less space and can fit easily into the nooks and crannies of almost any pool.
Some steps come with a Pool Gate – usually included with the more exclusive pool access models. If you want to up your level of safety, purchasing a gate with your pool ladder would be the logical next step.
Great Reasons for Having a Ladder for Your Above-Ground Pool
If you’re still not sold on the idea of getting a pool ladder, just keep reading.
A pool ladder makes it easy for anyone to get in or get out of the pool. Even though an above-ground pool isn’t usually very deep, it still doesn’t guarantee easy access. Sure, some people can lift themselves onto the pool’s edge and then swing on out without needing any help, but certainly you can think of at least one person who wouldn’t make it.
Safety in and around pools are justifiably a serious concern for all pool owners. It’s easy to slip and fall when the area around a pool gets wet – and it always gets wet. Also, owners usually prefer to isolate their pool while they’re not in attendance. With a ladder you can keep the pool area safe regardless of where you are.
There are so many things you can do in your pool! Throw in some inflatable toys and lilos and play pool games. Some like to have drinks and snacks while relaxing and socializing. The sky is the limit in ways to use your pool. The most popular pool ladders have stair-like ‘rungs’ which are easy on the feet. Also, we’ve all gotten into a pool where the water’s a little chilly. The universal way to approach this problem is to slowly enter the pool, one step at a time, so that the body can accustom itself to the temperature with each step. So, the stair-type ladders bring more comfort to your pool experience.
Let’s look at some Frequently Asked Questions:
Why would I need a ladder for my above-ground pool?
You won’t be able to get into or out of your pool without some kind of ladder. It isn’t easy to do and the pool walls just can’t support your weight from on top either. With a pool deck you’d be able to jump in but getting out would be problematic for many pool users.
What advantages do above-ground pool ladders have?
The main advantages are comfort and safety. You may struggle to convince a lady to jump the wall – a ladder is just so much more convenient and comfortable. Some pool ladders and stairs come with handrails for user stability and anti-slip treads that will ensure a person doesn’t get hurt when entering and exiting your pool. By not having the ladder you could be excluding several people you know from enjoying your swimming pool.
Which type of above-ground pool ladder is best?
Honestly, this will be determined by the kind of pool you’ve got. Without a deck, you’ll need an A-frame style that straddles the pool wall. If you have a deck, you’ll be looking at a single ladder. As mentioned in the article above, if you want some extra comfort both these styles come with steps instead of the traditional ladder-like rungs.
How will I mount this above-ground pool ladder?
It’s not really that complicated but you need to make sure you attach it properly so that it doesn’t budge. This will likely cause you to slip and possibly fall off. Below are the steps to follow:
1. Follow the instructions provided with your kit to assemble the ladder.
2. Put the ladder into the pool at your preferred access point and ensure that it’s standing flat on the bottom.
3. If your model allows it, adjust the length of the ladder according to the height of the pool’s edge.
4. If you have a deck, line up the top brackets to the place you’ve chosen as your access point.
a. Mark off the places where you’ll need holes for the bolts to secure the ladder.
b. Move the ladder away and drill the holes – making sure you’re using the correct drill bit.
c. Reposition the ladder and secure it with the hardware that was provided in the package.
5. Without a deck, the ladder needs to be weighed down on both sides of the A-frame.
a. Check with the salesperson to find out what method they suggest you use.
b. The packaging may give directions on how to add sand or gravel into the side rails or cavities. Some will have shelves for you to lay weights in.
c. If the model doesn’t come with a ready solution, you can attach plastic bottles with sand or gravel inside and tie them to the base of the ladder.
d. Just remember that whatever you use to weigh it down, you will need to remove if you want to move the stairs. So, make sure you’re up for the task.
How can I remove my pool ladder?
When you have a deck, it’s quite straight forward – remove the bolts securing the ladder to the deck. It gets a bit trickier if you’ve had to use weights to keep the ladder steady.
If the ladder has water in the pipes to weigh it down, then it will get lighter as you lift the steps up as the water will just drain out.
If you’ve used gravel or sand, then you may need some help lifting them out and over. If you thought ahead and used several containers holding the sand and gravel that you attached to the base, you can single-handedly remove them one by one.
Just note that it is important that you remove the stairs during the winter though as there are processes to go through – to ensure your pool will be ready again once spring comes around – where the ladder would be a hindrance.