How to Shop for an Above Ground Pool

Family-swimming-in-poolThere’s still plenty of time left this summer to enjoy a pool in your backyard. To help you cut through the swimming pool research, here’s some valuable information that will help you buy an above ground pool for your family.

Factors to consider

There are many factors to consider when buying a pool, including your budget, the size of your yard, how much time and money you want to spend on maintenance, and even the part of the country you live in. Be sure to consider the following key questions when selecting a pool for your home:

Price. What is a pool going to cost me? You need to consider whether you will need any additional landscaping materials to level the area for placement and the cost of water to fill your pool (either through your garden hose or a water truck).

Maintenance requirements. How much money, time, and effort will it take to keep the pool clean, and what treatment is needed for my swimming pool (chemicals or salt clarification system). How will I need to care for or store my pool?

Installation. How soon can I swim in the pool? How long does it take for the water to fill the pool?

Regulations. Depending on where you live, there may be certain pool regulations. What are your local laws and regulations for pools? Do they require gates or alarms? Are there permits or other necessary paperwork that you need to consider?

Above ground swimming pool types

Sears offers two types of above ground pools: Easy Set Above Ground Pools and Metal Frame Above Ground Pools

Intex-easy-set-poolEasy set pools

Inflatable pools, but not the kiddie kind, easy set pools have an inflatable ring that surrounds the outer rim. Inflate the pool ring, fill with water, and the swimming pool will rise. Here are some points to consider when looking to buy an Easy Set pool:

Inexpensive. Easy Set pools are typically cheaper than frame style pools.

Moveable. Easy set pools can be drained and moved to another location in your yard (if size permits), removed at the end of the season, or given to a friend if you choose to move to a different unit.

Quick to install. Easy set pools are called “easy” for a reason! All you need to do to install an easy set pool is to find level ground, place the pool in the correct position, inflate the top ring with air, put the filter pump into place, and fill with water. The process is very quick and will have you swimming in no time.

Choices. There are a variety of sizes and styles of easy set pools to choose from. The typical diameter is 8 to 20 feet and easy set above ground pools can be round or even oval. Growing in size or style can add more water play to your backyard, but be sure to consider the space you have, as well as the cost to maintain more water in a larger pool.

Good for small lots or other areas. Since easy set pools can vary in size they can be placed in a small yard and some small above ground pools can even be placed on a flat driveway.

Metal frame above ground pools

Metal-frame-swimming-poolFrame pools (when compared to a like size ring pool) are typically more expensive but offer a structure for your swimming pool walls. They allow for more water volume over a like sized diameter easy set pool and create a more traditional swimming pool atmosphere for your backyard. Here are some points to consider when looking to buy a metal frame pool:

Inexpensive. Although frame pools are typically more expensive than easy set pools, they still offer a great value for the price. They are more affordable than Steel Wall pools (Rigid Wall pools) which not only cost more money, but are more work to set up and maintain.

Moveable. Metal frame pools can be drained and moved to another location in your yard, can be removed at the end of the season, or can be given to a friend to use if you choose to move to another unit.

Quick to install. All you need to install is to place the pool in the correct position on level ground, connect the frame structure (a simple process of connecting pegs), and fill with water! Metal frame swimming pool set up is quick and easy.

Choices. There are a variety of sizes and styles of frame pools to choose from. The typical diameter is 12 to 24 feet and can be round, oval, or rectangular. Pools can come in a variety of frame thicknesses and, in some cases, colors. As you move towards the bigger sizes and styles you can add even more water play to your backyard but be sure to consider the space you have, as well as the costs associated with maintaining larger pools.

Good for small lots. Since frame pools can vary in size they can be placed in almost any yard (as long as it has a level surface to meet the size of the pool). Frame pools offer a more rigid structure.

Which above ground pool should I buy?

Easy set above ground pools and metal frame above ground pools are very similar. Both swimming pools are inexpensive, easy to move, easy to install, and come in a variety of sizes and shapes. The defining factor between these two above ground swimming pools is price and structure. If you are looking to buy a swimming pool with structured walls and don’t mind paying a little bit more, shop for a metal frame swimming pool. If you are buying a pool on a tight budget and don’t care as much about the structure of the pool walls, buying an easy set pool may be the better choice for you.

What additional pool items will I need?

Once you have chosen which type of above ground swimming pool you would like, you may consider additional pool accessories that will help keep your pool clean and read for use. Here are some standard pool supplies.

Pool chemicals. These are the most common types of pool chemicals required:

  • Water test strips – These strips test water quality
  • Shock powder – Shock powder helps you attain the perfect water clarity and quality
  • Stabilized chlorine tablets – Chlorine is what sanitizes the water and keeps your swimming pool clean
  • Algaecide – Algaecide will help you continually maintain a swimming pool
  • For more information on pool chemicals, visit AquaChem

Swimming pool cover. Keep leaves and gunk out of your pool and buy a pool cover.

Replacement pool filter. A pool filter keeps your pool clean, but it doesn’t last forever! Shop for replacement pool filters to maintain the hygeine of your swimming pool.

Leaf skimmer. Even with a pool cover and pool filter, sometimes you do get leaves and other unwanted items in your pool. Buy a leaf skimmer so you can fish out any unwanted leaves.

Floating tablet dispensers. Floating tablet dispensers make life easier by answering the question: How much chlorine do I put in my pool? By dispensing just the right amounts of chlorine tablets when they are needed, tablet dispensers keep your pool consistently cleaner longer.

Good luck taking the plunge!

 

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