The Ultimate Guide To Above Ground Pools

The Ultimate Guide To Above Ground Pools

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of swimming on a hot summer’s day, and even better when you can enjoy a leisurely dip in your very own backyard. Many of us dream about owning our own pool, but the reality is that they’re usually too expensive to build, cost thousands each year in upkeep and maintenance, and cause a lot of ongoing problems.

The above ground pool was invented as a simple solution to all of these problems, letting everyday people experience the best parts of owning a pool without any of the hard work. Nowadays, there are above ground pools that suit all types of homes, families, sizes of yard and practical needs too, so you’re not so limited in your choices anymore.

Owning an above ground pool comes with so many benefits including how much happiness they can bring to your family. Swimming is a great way to stay active and have fun, but aside from these huge advantages, there are plenty of other ways that this simple product can benefit you.

Kids in the above ground pool.

Regardless of your reasons for buying an above ground pool or what you intend on using it for, there’s no doubt that the modern swimming pool now has a whole lot more to offer.

This guide can answer every question you have about above ground pools, what accessories can make them even better, and how you can care for them to get years of use from these devices, so you can be the best pool owner possible.

What Is An Above Ground Pool?

When we talk about swimming pools they are usually divided into two distinct categories: the above ground pool and in ground pool. An in-ground pool is one that is permanently built into the land, with the top of the water usually being in line with the ground.

An above ground pool consists of an external pool that is assembled on top of the land which can be taken down at any point.

Above ground pools were initially installed in 1907 and have a history much deeper than most people assume. The Racquet Club of Philadelphia had the pool installed for guests of their clubhouse, and from there the idea of these simple above ground pools grew.

Nowadays, many homes have an above ground pool rather than an in-ground one, and this is mostly due to how much these newer varieties can offer.

People in above ground pool.

Modern above ground pools look entirely different to what they did when first invented, and they can even be as elaborate as having their own decking already premade around them.

On the opposite end of these decadent styles, there are also simple designs that can be as basic as a rectangle without any of the additional features. It all depends on what the homeowner wants for their pool and the reasons behind investing in one of these wonderful types of swimming pools.

The Benefits Of Owning An Above Ground Pool

There are so many advantages to owning an above ground pool as they give you all of the benefits that a regular pool have but without some of the headache. If you've been considering what the right choice for your home is, consider some of the benefits of owning an above ground pool and what it might be able to bring your home.


The best thing about having an above ground pool compared to an in-ground one is the freedom to move it wherever you choose. Some people might like to bring their pool out only in the cooler weathers, move it from their front yard to their backyard as they choose, and even take it away with them on vacation to set up in their home away from home.


By far the biggest advantage that these pools have over inbuilt styles is their affordability, as most Americans will find building a new pool out of their budget. Above ground swimming pools come in styles to suit every price range so it’s just about choosing a quality brand that matches your personal household budget.

Maintenance And cleaning

Owning an above ground pool takes away from a lot of the ongoing care that you have to commit to, which is something that pool owners rarely have time for. An above ground pool can come with its own filtration system for easy cleaning but is easily disassembled and emptied when you’re not going to be around to keep it clean.


A pool is one of the smartest investments a home can make, especially if you regularly have friends over to visit or children at home who like to swim. Getting an above ground pool is an easy form of enjoyment that can keep everyone entertained for hours on the weekend and over summer break.


According to the American Council on Exercise, working out in the water is the most effective low impact exercise you can do. You’ll burn calories in the pool without even knowing it, or you might want to invest further in a pool specifically designed to help you exercise.

Girl exercising in ipool.

There are some modern above ground pools with tether systems that build resistance so you can swim for miles without ever leaving your home.

The Above Ground Vs In Ground Pool Debate

With most homes in America having at least one style of pool, there’s often a debate about which is best: the above ground pool or the in-ground pool. It’s true that each has their own advantages and disadvantages, so we’re here to weigh up the good and the bad to see what each can offer.

There’s no doubt that swimming is one of our country’s most beloved activities, so which of these is the best way to enjoy it?

Where In Ground Swimming Pools Rule

In-ground swimming pools are a great choice for the home who has a bigger budget to spend, and not just because of their initial cost. According to Time, the average in-ground swimming pool costs around $22,000 to install and that’s not including their ongoing costs in maintenance, cleaning, and electricity fees.

As an upside to this cost, though, having a quality and attractive swimming pool installed at your home can add significant value to your property, depending on other factors at your home. Adding a swimming pool to the backyard can change the entire look of your home and give it that wow factor that you probably won’t find with an above ground pool.

Having an in-ground pool usually means that your home is better equipped for the safety side of things, including having a quality pool fence installed.

If you have children in the home and want to keep them safe from the water, these features can be a huge bonus to owning an in-ground pool. However, some people believe the above ground is safer as it’s near impossible for children to get into without a ladder.

Why An Above Ground Swimming Pool Is Best

The above ground pool is usually the option that people with limited budgets go for, as it can offer just about as much as an in-ground pool but without the initial and ongoing costs.

Above ground pool.

For a quality above ground pool you will be looking to spend around $1,000 depending on the style and size you like, and although you will need to keep the water clean there’s no ongoing maintenance costs or huge electrical bills.

One downfall with the above ground swimming pool is that it’s nowhere near as aesthetically pleasing. It does the job in terms of keeping everyone wet and happy, but unless you’re investing in one of the high-end models they really aren’t a lot to look at.

That being said, though, most homes use their above ground swimming pools as a short-term thing and only really bring them out during the warmer months, so it’s not as if it’s a permanent fixture.

Purchasing an above ground swimming pool is not a lifelong investment like you’d get from an in-ground one. An in-ground pool has been quality made to last the life of your home where an above ground pool will probably only last a few summers, so you’ll need to buy more as the years pass.

However, with the right care you can get many years out of them, so it’s just a matter of the right maintenance and gentle use.

The Many Types Of Above Ground Pools

If you’ve made the decision that an above ground pool is for you, you’ll next have to decide on which type exactly you want. Traditionally, above ground pools came in one or two basic styles and shapes so they were relatively easy to buy, but nowadays there are so many varieties that you really need to do your research before you commit.

Frame Style

There are a few common choices to consider when looking at frames, including prisms, round and rectangular. Take a look at your backyard where you intend on putting your pool and from there you’ll have an idea about which of the frame styles will suit your space.


The material of a pool will be a huge determining factor in its strength and there are three main choices of plastic, aluminum, and steel. If you’re purchasing an above ground pool in the hopes that it will last more than just a few days, it’s best to go some a durable type of steel or aluminum.

Above ground pool close-up.

You’ll also need to consider the material used for the pool liner and look for something like PVC that offers strength and smoothness for those swimming in the water.


The size of an above ground pool will usually be measured in feet and inches to show you the length of the construction and the depth of the water within. Think about how many people will be using your pool and the space of the footprint you’ll need to assemble it before you make a final decision on the size.

These pools can extend well beyond a standard in-ground pool and even be quite compact, so you have quite a lot of options here.

The Accessories You’ll Need For An Above Ground Pool

One of the great things about above ground pools it that they can be as simple or complex as you prefer. There are so many accessories available for the above ground pool that can completely change their purpose and value, so here are some that you might want to consider.

Pool Pumps

Although not every style of above ground pool comes with a pump, it’s a smart accessory for those who like to keep them clean. A pool pump works with a motor and takes the pool water out of the pool and pushes it through a filter to help clean the water.


A skimmer is another accessory that isn’t standard in all styles but is extremely useful for keeping it clean. A skimmer captures large debris like leaves, bugs, and twigs that can land in the water and keeps it out of your pool.


A filter is designed to keep your pool clean and hygienic, and this is another item that won’t always come with an above ground pool but one that should be mandatory.  A pool filter will help recirculate water from the pump but keep out anything that you don’t want returning back, and they should be regularly cleaned as well.


Pool covers and ground clothes are both designed to keep your pool safe from the elements and to protect your ground from the pool as well. A debris cover is a simple way to keep leaves and bugs out when you’re not swimming and can mean a lot less work for your filtration system.

Above ground pool cover.

A ground cloth goes between the pool and the ground so that grass doesn’t grow through to the pool and tear it and it keeps your grass protected from damage possible by the pool.

Top Manufacturers Of Above Ground Pools

When you’re ready to start the search for an above ground pool, you’ll probably notice quite a few brand names that seem to be popular. These are some of the top markers of above ground pools and some names to keep an eye out for when you’re shopping for quality.


As one of the leaders in these products, Intex above ground pools are some of the most versatile and high quality on the market. Intex makes their pools to be easy to install and care for so they’re the perfect solution for families who don’t have a lot of time on their hands, and they’ve been built to last for many years.

Intex pools feature durable liners with solid construction which gives you everything you need to have affordable fun in your backyard.


Fitmas is a revolutionary maker of above ground pools with a focus on products that allow you to exercise at home.

Thanks to their patented tether system, Fitmax above ground pools have been designed for people who want the resistant swimming experience at home but don’t have space for it, and offer a way for you to swim miles from your basement or garage without ever moving at all.

Blue Wave

Blue Wave above ground pools is known for creating modern styles of these swimming pools and in styles as basic as a blow up for the kids through to durable and sturdy above ground styles. Blue Wave also make a whole range of accessories that can turn your pool into more than just an above ground pool.

Splash Pools

This brand has over 30 years experience in making above ground pools and it’s obvious by how impressive their range is. Splash Pools above ground pools are known for being some of the largest on the market and are ideal for homes with a lot of space and who want to entertain more than just a small family.

Repairs And Maintenance For Your Above Ground Pool

Having an in-ground pool means you’re responsible for the ongoing maintenance of it, and this can include everything from monthly chemicals to new filter costs. However, to maintain your above ground pool there are some simple tips you can follow.

Filling the pool.

Most filters and pumps that come with these pools are inadequate and so it’s best to look at upgrading to something more powerful.

If your pool is used regularly, you’ll need to have a chemical treatment plan in place. However, this can be done easily at home without requiring ongoing maintenance like you’d require from an in-ground one.

Run your pool filter every day to keep it clean, and keep an eye on the skimmer and filter to clean it out regularly.

Keep the water level around the same height as your skimmer for the best response, as anything too high or too low will lead to further problems.

Buy yourself a patch kit for your above ground pool so when a tear occurs you can quickly treat it. These can be purchased usually in the same brand who made your pool to ensure it matches the same materials.

How To Clean An Above Ground Pool

Compared to an in-ground pool, there’s really not much that you’ll have to do to keep your above ground pool clean. An above ground pool requires ongoing cleaning that will depend on the amount of use it gets, so keep an eye out for grime, mildew or uncleanliness that can indicate it’s time to clean it.

The difference with cleaning an above ground pool is that you really only need to focus on the liner as this is where the grime buildup occurs. Start by draining your pool according to the directions and then getting into the pool to work on the liner.

Make up a mix of dishwashing detergent and water, and grab yourself a scrubbing brush, and make your way around the pool being careful not to scrub too hard.

Once you’re satisfied with the clean, you can then attach the hose again to clean the pool of any old water. Hose down the sides of the pool and be sure you have gotten all of the old, dirty debris away.

Once cleaned out, you can begin filling the pool up again with water to enjoy a fresh swimming pool to enjoy, and keep the filter turned on to get rid of anything that might be leftover.

A Smarter Pool Choice For Your Home

Although many people first think of an in-ground pool when deciding on what would be best for their home, there’s actually a lot that the modern above ground pool can offer. These pools have so many advantages including their setup time, low costs, and minimal maintenance which make them the perfect alternative to having an in-ground style installed in your home.

Above ground pool.

The above ground pool has many so many changes over the years since their first invention, and they now cover all looks, purposes, and features. Above ground pools can be as large as you need them to or as compact as required, and there are so many different accessories to choose from that you’ll be able to fully customize it to meet your needs.

Once you know just how many benefits the above ground pool has over in-ground styles you’ll be certain of your decision and ready to start shopping around for the best choice for your home.

Take the time to consider your options and choose a pool that will match your lifestyle, and spend some time looking through our buyer’s guide to see what the top rated pools are and the features that every potential pool owner should know about.

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