The presence of an abundance of options can be overwhelming when narrowing down choices for the perfect above ground pool that fits your requirements. This comprehensive guide will compare and conclude the premier above ground pools from Intex, Bestway, and other well-known above ground pool brands. This buying guide will provide handy suggestions to help you search for the best above ground pool, together with tips on how to maintain your new pool.
This website is supported by readers. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
Reasons to Choose an Above Ground Pool
One of the most important reasons to choose an above ground pool is that it costs less than an inground pool to purchase and construct. Also, it requires less maintenance and needs less than an inground pool. There are six reasons listed below on the benefits of choosing an above ground pool.
The Price Difference
Money talks, and it is the main reason why an above ground pool trumps an inground pool. Spanning between $27,000 to $90,000 as the cost to build an inground pool, the price range of an above ground pool is ridiculously cheaper at a more sensible range of $1,000 to $3,000. Smaller above ground pools can even cost less than this. With these vastly different sums of money put in comparison, we can all agree that the above ground pool is the most economically friendly choice.
A Greater Choice Selection
Above-ground pools offer better selection on the pool size, model, design, and layout, and while you may think that inground pools have similar options, they indeed do, but it only adds to the overall cost of the pool. Inground pools of a different shape than the typical rectangle designs cost a fair amount more. In contrast, above-ground pools have an infinite variety of shapes, sizes, colours, and patterns at a fraction of the cost.
A mere 1 to 2 hours is all that you need to install an above ground pool, while the construction of an inground pool cannot even compare to this. Above ground pools also come equipped with a comprehensive installation set that explains and demonstrates how to set up your above ground pool and, therefore, no extra costs for professionals to get involved.
If you have small children, you need to think of safety with an inground pool by building a fence around the pool or investing in a durable and robust pool cover, which only adds to the costs.
As an above ground pool is not level to the ground, you need a ladder to climb in the pool, so simply removing the ladder means limiting the occurrence of accidents around the pool.
Based on their size, water volume, and the fact that they attract less dirt, above ground pools do not need regular maintenance work. Above-ground pools use fewer chemicals than in-ground pools and are easier to clean as they are usually smaller than in-ground pools. There is an option to invest in an above-ground robotic pool cleaner to minimise the labour of cleaning a pool.
If space is limited in your backyard, then an above ground pool is the best option for your housing situation. Another bonus to this is that you can disassemble the pool if you move to a new house, taking the above ground pool with you.
Consider these 8 Factors Before You Purchase an Above Ground Pool
The Pool Size
The pool size will depend on your family members’ number and the available space in your backyard. If you are buying the pool for kids use only, then an 8′ pool will suffice. For families between 3 to 5 members, a 12′ – 18′ pool will be more suitable, and for larger families, we suggest a 24′ – 32′ pool.
Rectangular, round, and oval are the most popular preferences; however, you may wish for another shape that is not as common.
Vinyl is the most cost-effective material, and it is used in small and cheap pools. Unfortunately, it is not durable, and its lifespan is not great. Above-ground pools fixed with metal sides are pretty pricey; however, the quality is worth it. For a great compromise, line your pool with PVC and erect a steel frame to protect the pool. The addition of lining and a steel frame is both inexpensive and will guarantee durability.
Questions Regarding Safety
A high above ground pool deters any accidents, as no pets or small children can enter the pool without access to a ladder. Ensure that your above ground pool is equipped with a removable ladder to reduce any safety concerns that you may harbour.
Any extras or fittings for an above ground to purchase are a ladder, a pool cover, a ground canvas, and a skimmer. An above-ground pool should already include a filter pump.
Ease of installation
An above-ground pool should be easy enough for a DIY installation to cut additional costs, and fortunately enough, most above ground pools are constructed for DIY installation. However, if you have a spacious metal above ground pool, it could be wise to seek professional installation to limit any damage caused by DIY installation.
The cost runs parallel with the size and material of the pool and any additional extras.
Small kids’ pools start from $100, with vinyl and metal framed pools ranging from $500 to $1,500 depending on the size, and large metal pools can be priced as high as $3,000.
Additional features such as a salt water system, a forceful pump or skimmer can increase an above ground pool’s cost.
The reputation of the product
If the product has been designed by a respectable company with a stellar reputation, you will not mind paying a little more for quality and reliability. Should anything go wrong, at least you are guaranteed expert customer service to resolve any issues.
Fixtures to Enhance Your Above Ground Pool
To improve your above ground pool’s performance, purchasing any of these extra fittings will add an extra boost to your pool.
Sun cover: The use of this is two-fold as it protects your pool from unwanted dirt while warming the water temperature of the pool.
A strong filter pump: A filter pump of greater strength ensures that the pool water is circulating more effectively. It is unfortunate the most above ground pools are equipped with a weak filter pump, so investing in a more powerful filter pump will help keep your pool sparkling clean and the quality of the water more pristine. A sand filter pump is strongly suggested because it is low maintenance and efficient at cleaning the pool water.
Pool chemical kit: This will test your pools chemical levels and help you maintain a healthy balance of chemicals in the water.
Cove: This is useful to preserve the pool’s lifespan as it stops the liner from sliding down.
Deck: Building a deck around the pool will look more appealing and help create a more relaxing atmosphere as you can lie next to the pool soaking up the sun’s rays.
Above ground robotic pool cleaner: This nifty tool does all the manual labour of cleaning a pool for you, and you can program it to clean at certain times of the day.
Proper Maintenance of an Above Ground Pool
While above ground pools require far less maintenance than in-ground pools, certain features require routine care to ensure that the above ground pool runs appropriately.
The Circulation of Pool Water
You should operate the pool filter for 12 – 18 hours every day to guarantee that water circulates appropriately in the pool, which breaks down any buildup or bacteria bug and vacuums any dirt and sediment in the water.
Pool Pump and Filter Upkeep
As the pool pump and filter are under a lot of pressure to keep your pool running smoothly, they both require constant checks to ensure it’s functioning correctly. Any strange noises from the pump will alert you to any blockage in the outlet and inlet. The pool filter requires regular cleaning, and if you possess a sand filter, You should replace the sand every 5 to 7 years.
Brushing and Vacuuming the Pool
It would be best if you cleaned the pool at least once every week. The cleaning process should begin by skimming, followed by vacuuming, after which you will brush the floor to eliminate excess dirt and algae.
Owning a robotic cleaner solves the hassle of manually cleaning the pool, although it is good practice to brush the pool’s walls.
Balancing the Chlorine Levels of the Pool Water
It is recommended to test the pool’s chlorine levels daily, although 2 to 3 times a week should be the minimum required amount. The water’s required level is 80 to 120 ppm, while the necessary level of the chlorine level is 2 to 4 ppm. Test calcium hardness once a month with the required level at 200 to 400 ppm.
A pH increaser or decreaser is a suggested addition to the pool depending on the chlorine levels, and the use of chlorine tablets is a great way to regulate chlorine levels.
No chlorine is needed if your pool has a saltwater system, although it is still good practice to test the saltwater’s alkaline levels to check that it operates correctly.
Shocking Your Pool
Shocking your pool, known as super chlorination, is required at least once a week or fortnight at a minimum. The purpose of shocking your pool is to exterminate any bacteria, algae, and other unwanted dirt. This process also strips chloramines from the pool water, responsible for causing skin and eye rash.
Major Types of Above Ground Pools
Semi Inground Pool
This pool is a classic merger between inground and above ground pools.
A semi-inground pool is a wise choice for people with a backyard slanting at an angle, as part of the pool will be built in-ground with aluminium sides for support, while the other part of the pool will be above ground.
This type of pool is generally more expensive than the standard above ground pool; however, it is still considerably cheaper than an entire inground pool.
Resin Above Ground Pools
The purpose of a resin above the pool is that the resin is durable and can tolerate any harsh weather conditions; thus, the pool will have a lengthy lifespan. Another benefit of resin is that it is rustproof, and it pairs well with a saltwater system.
Furthermore, resin does not react to the warmth of the sun like metal, so the railings will not burn your hands when touched. Fitted with a radius top rail, a resin above ground pool looks more attractive than metal pools.
Do take heed regarding resin quality, as resin pools of low quality are susceptible to cracks in extreme weather conditions. While you may cover the whole pool in resin, it will still need a steel wall to offer support, which will be the only part of the pool that is not resin.
Steel Above Ground Pools
Steel above ground pools are usually larger pools as they can tolerate more weight and pressure from the pool water volume. These pools are characterised by their strength, sturdiness, and durability.
A zinc protective coating is highly recommended for these types of pools to avoid corrosion and rust.
With the strength and durability comes the affordable cost, as steel above ground pools usually are less expensive than resin, hybrid, and aluminium above ground pools.
Aluminium Above Ground Pools
Aluminium is a lightweight metal that is still very resilient. This metal works excellently in an above ground pool as you still get all the support without the heavy burden of a cumbersome metal.
You can fit a sheet of aluminium around the whole pool for optimal support. The significant benefit of aluminium above ground pools is that they are not affected by extreme weather conditions, and they are not prone to rust, decay, or cracks. However, the only downside is that they cost more than resin and steel pools.
Hybrid Above Ground Pools
A combination of resin and steel is what characterises the hybrid above ground pools. Steel is used to construct the pool’s walls and bottom, while the resin is applied to the caps and top railing.
With the combination of materials of the hybrid above ground pools comes the advantage of being both sturdy and cost-effective pools.
Other types of Above Ground Pools
A whole range of other above ground pools exists from inflatable vinyl or PVC children splash pools to steel-framed swimming pools equipped with PVC lining and a steel frame. This type of swimming pools is a wonderful cost-effective choice for a large and solid swimming pool.
Aluminium and resin above ground swimming pools are not as standard as steel-framed swimming pools.
Collection of the Most Popular Above Ground Pools Purchase Online
Coleman, Intex, Bestway and Summer Waves are the four top brands of above ground pools that all offer exceptional customer support.
Straightforward installation, low maintenance, strong and well crafted above-ground pools are the notable features of Coleman Pools. However, they do tend to be more expensive than other pools.
Offering a more cost-effective above ground pool of a wider variety, Intex above ground pools are also pretty simple to install and maintain.
The only downside of these pools is that they are not as strong and hardy as other above ground pool brands, and some of their additional features can be of poorer quality.
Presenting a broad range of steel-framed pools, Bestway offers simple installation and costs less than an Intex above ground pool. However, it does come with similar issues of having more inferior quality additional features like a fragile filter pump and a weak pool cover.
Summer Waves above ground pools are a great buy if you are looking for steel-framed above ground pools at an affordable price.
FAQS on Above Ground Pools
When is the most cost-effective time to buy an above ground pool?
The demand for pools drops drastically after the summer months as people start to prepare for winter, which is the best time to buy an above ground pool. However, if you wish to purchase an above-ground pool for the coming summer months, it is advised to do your research as some shops advertise specials to attract customers, so keep an eye out for these discounted deals.
What is the general lifespan of an above ground pool?
The pool’s lifespan will significantly depend on the quality of the materials lining and supporting the above ground pool. The general lifespan of an above ground pool is between 7 to 15 years. However, you may have to replace certain parts of the pool more regularly. A steel frame can function for 15 years, while the lining may only serve 5 to 9 years. Pools made of cheap inflatable vinyl have the shortest lifespan, while pools with steel, resin and aluminium will last a lot longer.
How much does it cost to install above ground pools?
As most above ground pools are created for DIY installation, there is little to no cost in installing the pool. However, for pools embedded with resin and weighty metal support, professional installation is advised, which costs anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000.
How deep are above ground pools?
The depth of above ground pools varies from 30 to 60 inches as the depth depends on the pool’s size. Deeper pools are more convenient for people who wish to swim laps in their pool.
Can you conceal an above ground pool in the ground?
The purpose of an above ground pool is so that it functions as a pool above the ground. However, some people may wish to create a semi-inground pool with their above ground pool. If this is the case, burying an above ground pool is solely reliant on the pool’s materials. If you are unsure, enquire with the manufacturers or check the manual. You can partially conceal only above ground pools with steel or aluminium.
How can I heat the water of an above ground pool?
Using a solar cover or blanket over your above ground pool will effectively warm the water temperature, thus providing heat at a minimal cost.
How do I maintain my above ground pool?
You maintain your above ground pool in the same way that you will keep a traditional inground pool, but on a smaller scale. The required maintenance will balance the chemicals, consistently operate the filter pump daily, and clean the pool with a vacuum and a brush.