What Are the Best Above-Ground Pools?


Above-ground swimming pools offer relief from the heat and sun without doing too much damage to your backyard or your pocketbook. There are many things to consider when looking for the best above-ground pool. In addition to size and material, be sure to look into whether you need insurance coverage or a building permit before purchasing the pool.

Shape and Size

  • Above-ground swimming pools come in two shapes -- round and oval. Oval-shaped pools are perfect for households with a smaller backyard. Round-shaped pools hold more water and provide a wider swimming surface than oval-shaped pools. To determine which pool to get for your yard, place a stake where you visualize the center of the pool will be. Attach a measuring tape to the stake and walk off to the desired diameter distance. Round pools range between 15 and 30 feet in diameter; oval pools range from 12-by-24 feet to 18-by-33 feet.


  • Above-ground swimming pools are made from three types of materials -- steel, aluminum and resin plastic. Above-ground swimming pools made of aluminum will not rust but may corrode. Pool manufacturers provide a special coating to prevent corrosion; however, it may be costlier than the other types of materials. If you choose to go with steel, make sure the steel walls are galvanized with zinc. This will help ensure the walls will not corrode. Also ensure that the steel walls are constructed tightly to prevent any leaks. A resin plastic pool lasts the longest, but be sure it is coated with a UV protector, or cracks may occur.


  • An above-ground pool has many of the same maintenance requirements as a built-in pool. These include filters, pool pump, liners and a protective pool cover. Most above-ground pool manufacturers provide a basic set of maintenance materials like a pool pump, small filter, liner and a pool cleaning kit. Inquire with the manufacturer about other kinds of pool maintenance materials such as automatic chlorine feeders, padding or an automatic pool cleaner.


  • One of the most important accessories for your above-ground pool is a ladder. There are many styles and options to choose from. An above-ground pool also requires a sturdy pool step to climb into the pool. Other accessories like a jumping board or a water slide may be added.

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