Above Ground Pools - Staying Cool Without Breaking the Bank

by Pool Builders on 03-17-2010 in Articles

Can you imagine anything better than having a pool in your own backyard when the weather gets hotter? Owning your own swimming pool means, you'll never have to endure long drives to a crowded beach, nor would you have to jostle with the crowd at the community swimming center either. For many people, installing a swimming pool has always been considered an extravagant expense. Now though, above ground pools are quickly gaining ground as an affordable alternative.

Installing Above Ground Pools Is a Cakewalk

Above ground pools are incredibly easy to set up compared to in-ground pools. For one thing, the homeowner doesn't have to concern himself with things like cement mixes or planning permits. Given their small size, these pools are also the perfect choice is space is extremely limited.

There is practically no need to engage a construction crew when it comes to above ground pools. Most of these pools are available in kits and can be assembled very quickly. As such, you wouldn't have to wait for the builders to arrive, the process can be completed in a single day and you get to go for a dip as soon as you fill up the pool! The ease with which an above ground pool can be assembled and disassembled means that it's easy to store away and can be taken out on short notice, such as when friends drop by unannounced for a pool party.

Types of Above Ground Pools

The siding for above ground pools is usually made from aluminum, resin or steel. Pools are either hard or soft-sided. The latter actually costs more than the former but can be built much more quickly than hard-sided pools.

Previously, most manufacturers supplied only round or oval-shaped above ground pools. As siding materials became more rigid, rectangular or square-shaped pools are also available.

Most of these pools are 4-4.5 feet tall. Swimming enthusiasts are usually advised to opt for a taller pool as it doesn't have to be filled to its full height.

Things to Consider

Cost - installing an above ground pool means that a homeowner can enjoy substantial savings by not having to employ workers and paying less for pool construction material. Plus, backyard excavation becomes completely unnecessary.

Time - the straightforward setup of an above ground pool makes it incredibly easy to build. Even the most inexperienced do-it-yourselfer will be able to assemble and fill up a pool as long as he reads the instructions. Some manufacturers even claim that their pools can be assembled within an hour! However, most people would find it more realistic to apportion one afternoon or evening to the task, especially if working alone.

Space - above ground pools can be up to 41 feet wide and that measurement doesn't include the support struts or buttresses. The most popular type is usually a round pool 24 feet in diameter. Whatever your preference, you need to make allowances for poolside accessories and safety barriers in addition to the size of the pool itself. The best way to decide on the optimum pool size is to take into account the available space and the budget you have.

Setting Up Your Pool

Ideally, your pool should get 6-8 hours of sunlight in hot weather. The space on which it's situated should also be as flat and clear of debris as possible. Try to keep it away from overhanging branches which may shed leaves into the water and test the pool filter's capabilities. For safety's sake, pools should be kept clear of telephone poles and power lines as well.

The intended spot should be leveled off if not already done so. Generally, a pool is assembled by first putting together a track that supports the outer wall of the pool. The pool area has to be lined with sand before plumbing is installed. The pool liner, usually made of vinyl, is attached to the outer wall. The liner is securely fastened only when the pool has been filled. Lastly, a pump and filtration system has to be connected to keep the water clean.

Pool Maintenance

Cold weather - the pool needs to be drained when the weather gets colder. This is to prevent freezing and expansion of stagnant water inside the pool from cracking or damaging the sides. It's not necessary to completely dismantle it, but a pool cover is essential to keep out snow, rain and assorted debris.

Filters - these are needed to remove larger debris from pool water. There is a choice of sand, cartridge or diatomaceous earth filters. Cartridge filters tend to allow for easier maintenance whereas sand filters have to be cleared periodically. Whichever type you choose, the small size of the pool means that you won't have to change them as often as you would with in ground pools, meaning you pay less for filter maintenance.

Chemicals - chlorine is anti-bacterial and neutralizes other harmful elements in the water. Regular, judicious use of pool cleaning chemicals ensures that swimming will always be an enjoyable experience. Only a small amount of these chemicals is needed at a time. They're generally inexpensive too, which adds to the cost-effectiveness of owning an above ground pool.

An above ground pool is a great alternative to an in ground pool where budget and space constraints are concerned. Construction and maintenance are easy, and accessories (decks, lighting, water features) add to their aesthetic appeal.

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