Smart Tips for Buying and Owning an Above-Ground Pool

Above Ground Pool Designs Range From Simple to Luxurious

If an in-ground swimming pool is not in your foreseeable future, maybe an above-ground pool is the solution. Above-ground swimming pools range from economical models to more luxurious (and expensive) styles. Many can be enjoyed throughout the year, and some use ​saltwater systems, which are popular with in-ground models. Above-ground pools also have options for solar heating systems and energy efficient covers.

Contemporary models have upgraded features seen in built-ins, like advanced filtration...MORE systems and pumps to keep them clean. It's also a good idea to make sure the pump and filtration system are designed to work together, so do your research.

A clever way to give your pool a feeling of more permanence and easier accessibility is to build a decking surround for your above-ground pool—sort of like rising up to meet the pool at its level.

Another plus: if you think you might be moving sometime in the next few years, you can take your above-ground swimming pool along with you, provided you're moving to another place with a yard. Just try doing that with an in-ground!

  • 01 of 07
    girls in aboveground pool
    Girls in above-ground pool. Kei Uesugi/Getty Images

    While late summer/early fall is traditionally the best time of the year to score a great deal on an above-ground swimming pool, the current economy changes all the rules. Whether you get an above-ground pool after Labor Day or any other time of the year, you still have the potential of saving hundreds of dollars, if you keep an eye on the prices. Here's how.

  • 02 of 07
    man thinking by lake
    Man reflects by lake. Ronnie Kaufman/Larry Hirshowitz/Getty Images

    Not so fast: pool buying or building should not some kind of an impulsive decision, maybe like some of your other past purchases. Consult this list that helps you do some soul searching and ask yourself that question: Why do I want a pool? Or, in this case, Why do I want an above-ground pool?

  • 03 of 07
    Above-Ground Doughboy Swimming Pool
    Above-Ground Doughboy Swimming Pool. Photo courtesy of Doughboy

    Above-ground pools and inflatable or portable models always have been less expensive than in-ground pools, a point that is not lost on pool shoppers and buyers. Other selling features: above-ground models are a breeze to install compared to building an in-ground pool, many can be disassembled at the end of swim season, and that portability makes them good choices for renters or those who would like to take the pool with them to their next home.

    Get inspired by these great ideas for adding an...MORE above-ground pool to your yard. Many do uncanny impersonations of in-ground models, complete with elaborate decking, railings, and built-ins.

  • 04 of 07
    Intex Pools. © Intex

    An above-ground swimming pool seems like a great idea, but where do you go to learn more about the different manufacturers? We've researched the major brands and manufacturers of above-ground pools in this handy list.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07
    leslie's pool supplies
    Leslie's Pool Supplies logo. Leslie's

    Oh, that: cleaning and maintenance. While on a smaller scale, you're going to need to clean that big tub o' water in your yard. Consult this comprehensive list of sources to get those supplies. 

  • 06 of 07
    Pool Test Kit Photo
    Pool Test Kit Photo. Photo by Lisa Hallett Taylor

    It’s time to use that pool test kit to check levels and water quality. Don’t panic if you didn’t take chemistry in school—the kit is fairly easy to use if you just follow the directions.

    This step-by-step how-to includes photos to help guide you through the easy process.

  • 07 of 07

    Great Ideas for Pool Area Landscaping

    Sweet Potato Vine for Poolside Landscaping
    Sweet Potato Vine for Poolside Landscaping. Photo © Lisa Hallett Taylor

    Considerations like shade, microclimates and plants with thorns come into play when designing the landscape near your pool or spa. Before making an impulsive trip to the nursery for whatever strikes your fancy, do some homework. The right plant next to your pool can make all the difference.