Above Ground Pool Installation ~ Whether you’re looking for a quick installation or a cut down on expenses, investing in an affordable above ground pool is the most sublime and convenient way to celebrate summer without necessarily sacrificing a memorable summer experience.
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Inflatable pools, while extremely affordable, are a bit uneventful. You won’t be able to leave splashes around as much. Also, they sway a lot.
On the other hand, above ground pools give you a fun summer experience on a different level without breaking the bank. So, if you’re reading this right now, know that you’re a person of taste and practicality.
Moving forward, what is there to know about above ground swimming pools? Apparently, a lot.
How exactly do you get an above ground swimming pool? Do you just simply buy one and erect it yourself?
Let’s get into the details once and for all.
Types of Above Ground Swimming Pools
While above ground swimming pools are less customizable than inground swimming pools, you can still choose from a variety of materials.
You can choose from the following types:
- Galvanized steel pools
- Resin pools
- Aluminum pools
Each type has its own pros and cons. It’s up to you to decide which ones you can work with.
Galvanized Steel Pool
Sturdy yet flexible, steel pools are some of the best above ground pools in the market. Besides functionality, they make for attractive pools, too.
You also might be wondering, “isn’t steel prone to rust?” They actually are. Companies found a way to prevent that by dipping the steel in coats of zinc to make it resistant to corrosion and rust. This process is called galvanization.
However, steel pools are usually made of copper-steel alloy, a rather heavy component. This makes steel pools difficult to install compared to, let’s say a resin pool.
Be wary of marketed stainless steel pools. The difference between galvanized steel and stainless steel is chlorine-resistance.
Stainless steel is highly intolerant to chlorine. Meaning, chlorine can easily penetrate past a stainless steel coating. Stay away from above-ground swimming pools made from this.
Price range: $750 – $4,500 spanning all shapes and sizes
- Solid and sturdy
- Flexible and shapeable
- Relatively inexpensive
- Can withstand extreme weather
- Prone to rust and corrosion
- Difficult to install due to weight
- Hot to the touch under heat
Some pools are purely resin-made, but more often than not, steel is also incorporated within the resin. As such, you can say that resin pools are usually a hybrid between steel and resin.
The main difference between steel and resin pools is corrosion and sturdiness. While steel is susceptible to rust, the resin is not. However, the resin is not as sturdy as steel, so pay attention to that as well.
In extreme temperatures, the resin may be prone to cracking or falling out. You can minimize this by coating the resin with UV protection.
That being said, resin still holds up well against elements, it’s just not as sturdy as steel. However, since resin is typically a hybrid with steel also incorporated in them, they provide the highest longevity among all the above-ground pool types.
Price range: $1,200 – $7,000 spanning all shapes and sizes
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Highest longevity among all the types
- No oxidation
- No corrosion or rust
- Lightweight and easier to set up
- Relatively expensive
- Prone to cracks when bumped into
The one feature that makes aluminum stand out from both resin and steel pools is their resistance to rust. Aluminum pools were designed as a rust-free alternative to steel pools. However, do note that they oxidize as time passes.
If you manage to snag good quality aluminum, except that they’ll generally last twice as much as their steel counterparts. Simply put, they are twice as strong as steel, despite their thinner and lightweight makeup.
Aluminum pools can also withstand inclement weather and can even retain their toughness even as it gets colder.
Overall, they are basically an upgrade to steel pools.
Price range: $1,000 – $4,000 spanning all shapes and sizes
- Lightweight steel
- Bendable and flexible
- Can withstand extreme cold
- More expensive than steel
- Can potentially cave in because of flexibility
- Does not rust but corrodes
Shapes And Sizes Of Above-Ground Swimming Pools
Above-ground pools are typically pre-made. Meaning, there’s little to no room for customization unless your manufacturer allows it.
However, you can find a vast amount of options when it comes to choosing the shape, size, and material of your above-ground swimming pool, so there’s that.
Before you decide how big your pool should be, you should first consider the area where you’ll place your pool. There’s nothing more disconcerting than realizing the pool kit you’ve purchased does not fit your backyard.
Once you’ve measured the area where you’ll place your pool, it’s time to go shopping.
Above-ground swimming pools normally come in two shapes—oval and round. Beyond these shapes come an array of dizzying pool measurements.
Manufacturers usually start with 12’ pools that expand up to 33’ in diameter for both round and oval pools.
As for depth, above-ground pools typically stand 48 inches and 52 inches tall, that’s about 4ft! However, taller walls are also becoming more prominent.
Professional installation for above-ground pools cost immensely less than installing in-ground pools.
In-ground pools cost you a ton of fortune, ranging from $30,000 – $70,000. This is a far cry from the $1,000 – $5,000 range an above-ground pool installation covers.
The price for professional installation depends on the size and shape of your pool. Needless to say, the bigger the pool, the higher the charge for installation. Round pools also cost less when it comes to installation.
If you wish to cut back on money, you can also opt to install your pool on your own.
Building Your Own Pool
Let’s say you’ve exhausted your options. You’ve looked into pool kits of all shapes and sizes but none comes close to a customized, personalized pool you’ve built yourself.
The good news is building your own above-ground swimming pool is definitely possible. Some might even say it’s quick and easy—if you have patience and dedication! It won’t take you more than three days to do this if you’re experienced.
If you bring along some friends to help, the process will be even faster.
Do note though those beginners will most likely have a difficult time executing the plan. Our advice is to consult an expert before diving into the process. There are rules and regulations that come with building a pool.
Nonetheless, here’s a rough guideline on building your own above-ground pool.
The number one requirement for building above-ground pools is a leveled surface. Basically, your project will be an instant flop if you mount your pool on uneven ground.
Perhaps this step is the most time-consuming of all. For this step, your work must be neat, leaving no room for error. Everything must be laid out flat in order for your pool to function properly.
To start, you’ll need to decide where exactly to place your pool.
- Make sure to plan the site away from overhanging branches or underlying roots.
- Then, mark the center of the pool with a screwdriver. Attach a length of string that equals the radius of your pool then leaves an extra foot for allowance. Basically, for this step, imagine you’re creating a big compass. The string is simply there to mark the perimeter of the pool.
- Draw the perimeter by dragging the stretched out string along with you. This helps in visualizing the space your pool will take up.
- Remove the topsoil with a shovel or a sod cutter. This will help make the ground-leveling process easier.
- Use a transit if you want to get an accurate reading on your ground leveling. You can rent one from your local hardware store.
Lay Out The Bottom Track
- Make another giant compass with your screwdriver at the center. Attach a string equal to the radius of your pool then mark it around with spray paint. This time, don’t leave a foot allowance.
- Layout the connecting plates on the ground by following the spray-painted area.
- Connect the plates together. Note that not all above-ground pools are the same so consult your manufacturer for proper assembly.
Leveling The Bottom Track
- Remove dirt underneath the connector plates. Then, place a paver on the allotted space. Make sure the track is placed centrally on the paver.
- To ensure all pavers deliver a leveled height, use the transit to check the measurements. If the measurement is taller on one side, dig out more dirt to level it with the intended height.
- Once the track is sitting on even ground, smooth the area with a scraping rake. Remove sharp rocks and debris within the area to help protect the pool liner from punctures or damage.
Unrolling The Pool Wall
- Unroll the pool wall around the diameter. Hold the wall upright and use a slab of hard surface to make the unrolling process easier.
- Install the uprights and top rims as you unravel the wall. Put them temporarily in place using spring clamps to keep the pool wall from falling over.
- Attach the wall connector plates and bolts. Place several layers of duct tape over the inside bolts to keep them from ripping the liner.
- Install the skimmer and sealing frame to the wall.
Installing The Pool Cove
The pool cove is the connector between the bottom track and the pool wall. This creates a smooth transition between the two so any water wouldn’t spill out. You can apply a pool cove using these alternatives:
- Use the dirt as a pool cove by sculpting them between the bottom track and the pool wall.
- Peel-and-stick foam coves are also a great way to connect the two.
- Apply a layer of nutgrass killer to prevent it from going up through the liner.
Placing The Pool Liner
- Once the nutgrass killer is applied, lay down the liner pad around the surface area of the pool. Layout the pad completely flat and make sure it touches the cove.
- Unroll the liner and attach it around the insides of the pool using the spring clamps that were used earlier to hold the uprights in place.
- Place the top plates over the liner to secure the wall.
- Use running water inside the pool to remove the pool liner wrinkles from the floor. As the pool fills up, the water will help push out the wrinkles to create a seamless, flat surface.
- Continue installing the top rails and top cap all the way around the pool.
Installing The Skimmer Front Plate
Only do this when the water is almost filling up the pool to keep the liner in place. Unless you’re a professional, doing so might result in improper installation and liner damage.
- Screw the front plate to the skimmer assembly.
- Once the plate is secured, start cutting the liner out of the skimmer hole.
- The return port can also be installed at this time. Locate the return porthole in the wall and push the jet assembly against the liner. On the other side of the wall, create a star-cut where the jet assembly is being pushed through.
Installing The Filtration Equipment
- Level the ground where the pump and filter will be placed.
- Install the suction and return hoses and secure them tightly to the connection.
- Fill up your pool with the running water.
And there you have it!
A Few Notes
If you decide to build your own pool, you’ll get to save up on money. That means your only costs would be the pool kit, which can range anywhere from $700 to $7,000, and some materials to help you build your pool.
Compute that to roughly below $10,000 if you’re planning to go all out. That’s pretty solid and affordable at the same time!
Just make sure you’ve worked in all your permits (if required by your state).
Remember that safety first is important! So, whenever you’re unsure of anything, it’s best to spend a bit of money for a consultant than handling everything on your own.
Good luck and have fun creating the pool of your dreams!