A backyard pool is one of the best fixtures that you can add to your property. Not only does it increase your property value but it also improves the overall aesthetics of your house. It can be a form of distress and relaxation and give you more reasons why you should have more family and friends quality time.
In certain cases, this type of pool is better than in-ground pools, not only because it is cheaper but also because it’s more practical and easier to install. Remember to follow your maintenance checklist, monitor the water circulation, always check your pool walls, and winterize the pool.
You may have already seen above-ground pools numerous times but don’t know what they were called. If you’re worried about your backyard’s soil, the cost of a pool, and your available space, installing an above-ground pool may be your best option.
In this article, we will tackle the definition of an above-ground pool and the difference between this kind of pool and an in-ground pool, as well as the materials used to install the pool, typical cost, effects of having this pool on your property value, and required maintenance.
What Is an Above-ground Pool?
An above-ground pool is a home pool, typically found in a backyard, that is built above the ground. These types of pools are commonly made with materials like steel, resin, or aluminum. An above-ground pool is less expensive and easier to install and maintain than an in-ground pool.
If you’re on a tight budget and do not want to hire a contractor, you can build your above-ground pool by yourself or with your family and friends and finish it within a couple of hours. All you have to do is prepare the site where you’ll install the pool, prepare and put together all the materials, and fill your pool with water.
The easy installation and lower price are not the only advantages of an above-ground pool compared to an in-ground pool; there’s also the convenience in maintenance. Indeed, there’re less dirt and debris involved in an above-ground pool because soil, stones, and grass clippings won’t get into the pool by accident.
What Is an Above-ground Pool Made of?
Three materials are commonly used to build above-ground backyard pools: steel, aluminum, and resin. These materials differ in terms of cost, durability, and potential problems you’ll have to monitor in the future.
Steel is the cheapest and strongest material that you can use for your above-ground backyard pool. The most common problem posed by steel when used for a pool is that it’s more prone to rust, which is why you should dip it with a hot-galvanized coat and vinyl coatings before installing it into the pool. Although, you will still experience rust after more or less 10 years, depending on how you maintain your pool.
The cost of using aluminum for your above-ground pool will depend on how thick you want your materials to be. The thickness of aluminum will also decide how strong your pool will be. The thinner the aluminum, the lower the price and the easier to transport. However, it tends to bend and dent easily, making it weak over time due to oxidation. Once aluminum oxidizes, you’ll notice pinholes on your liner, which can damage your pool.
The thicker the aluminum, the more expensive, but also the stronger — it is almost as strong as steel.
Resin provides you with the advantages of both steel and aluminum. If you choose steel walls combined with resin components, you’ll have a pool as strong as a steel one and that doesn’t oxidize and costs less than an aluminum pool.
The only downside to using resin for your pool is that it’s more sensitive to weather conditions. Extreme coldness during the winter and extreme UV exposure during the summer can cause this material to fade and crack.
Here’s a summary of the advantages and disadvantages of all three materials:
|Resin||$$||Could be also as strong as steel when combined with steel walls||More vulnerable to color fading and cracks due to climate exposure|
|Aluminum||$$$||Depends on the thickness||Thin aluminum tends to bend and dent and may cause pinholes on your liner|
Typical Cost of Above-ground Pools
The prices of installing an above-ground backyard pool will depend on several factors, which include the material, depth, size, and shape used for the walls and structure itself. In most cases, you’ll find this type of pool in round, oval, or rectangular shapes. The easiest to install and cheapest shape is round.
Here’s a guide of the shapes of pools and their corresponding costs:
|Shape and Size||Average Cost|
|Round – 12”||$800 – $1,600|
|Round – 15”||$800 – $2,100|
|Round – 18”||$1,200 – $2,700|
|Round – 24”||$1,300 – $3,000|
|Round – 30”||$1,500 – $4,500|
|Oval – 24”x12”||$1,500 – $2,800|
|Oval – 33”x18”||$1,800 – $3,600|
|Oval – 41”21”||$4,000 – $4,900|
|Rectangle – 12”x24”||$1,300 – $2,800|
|Rectangle – 9”x18”||$800 – $2,100|
The average total cost of the materials and installation of an above-ground pool is $2,650, ranging from $800 to $4,500. Of course, the cost might increase if you decide to install add-ons and other features to your pool.
Common features include:
|Lighting||$30 – $120|
|Fence||$900 – $10,000|
|Fountains & Waterfalls||$30 – $150|
|Pool Cover||$100 – $1,000|
|Heater||$300 – $2,000|
|Electric Installation||$300 – $1,500|
|Steps & Ladders||$15 – $700|
Do Above-ground Pool Increase Property Value?
Since early 2020, more and more potential property buyers have been looking for housing opportunities with backyard pools. Although above-ground pools are less aesthetically pleasing compared to the vast options of in-ground pools, many families appreciate the many advantages they bring, which include the safety of children and pets.
Assessing the increase of the property value brought by above-ground pools is not easy and depends on certain factors. Appraisers will have to look at these different factors to determine whether the pool increases or decreases the value of their properties.
- Permanent Structure or Personal Property
Appraisers will look at the structure of the above-ground backyard pool to see whether it can be removed or is incorporated into the house. If the pool can easily be removed, it may be considered personal property and will not be included in the home appraisal. However, if it’s well-built, well-integrated, and well-designed to complement the house, and if it’s included in the contract, then appraisers will definitely include this in their calculations.
- Maintenance and Quality
One of the many things that potential buyers will look at is the amount of energy they need to exert to maintain the quality of the above-ground pool. Some people will immediately say no to this added responsibility, while others will consider the pool as a huge advantage.
Before selling your house, make sure that the quality of your pool meets high or acceptable standards. Maintenance should also include the surrounding areas of the pool.
- Location of the Pool
Another factor that appraisers will consider is the location of the pool. You don’t want your pool to cover the facade of your house or your entire backyard. So, make sure to leave some extra space for future potential buyers to be able to install backyard playgrounds or gardens.
- Personal Enjoyment
Before building an above-ground backyard pool, make sure that you are doing it for personal enjoyment and not just for your potential future buyers or to increase the value of your property. Most pools are considered a small investment because they may only increase your property value by around 7%.
Above-ground Pool Maintenance
When deciding to install above-ground backyard pools, you must consider the necessary maintenance to ensure that it remains top-quality. Also, remember that the more add-ons and features you install, the more items you will have to maintain.
Here are four things you need to remember to maintain the quality of your pool.
- Create a maintenance checklist
Having an above-ground pool means you need to do daily or weekly cleaning. Create a checklist of the following tasks.
- Test the chlorine level, which should range from 2.0 to 4.0 ppm.
- Test the pH level, which should range from 7.4 to 7.6.
- The water level should always be around mid-skimmer.
- The pool filter should run for 12 to 18 hours per day.
- Check the filter pump and pressure operation.
- Empty the pump and pressure baskets.
- Skim, vacuum, and brush the surface of the pool.
- Clean the pool deck.
- Test the alkaline level, which should range from 80 to 120 ppm.
- Properly dose the pool with metal control, algaecide, and clarifier.
- Add chlorine tablets.
- Clean or backwash the filter if the pressure gauge rises to 7 to 9 psi.
- Clean the surrounding areas of the pool.
- Monitor the water circulation
Not all areas of your above-ground pool have good water circulation. You’ll find the water around the steps, behind the ladder, under the skimmer, as well as the crevices, creases, or cracks may have algae build-up due to poor water circulation.
To encourage proper water circulation, you can use pool pumps or return jets that will automatically keep the water moving. We suggest that you keep using a pool brush to manually circulate the water every now and then.
- Cleaning the pool walls
Above-ground pools’ walls are prone to damages. Thus, make sure your family and friends do not sit on the edges or on top of the wall to avoid cracks and creases that could potentially damage your pool.
While continuously testing your water level is important, you should also make sure to maintain the cleanliness of your pool walls to avoid algae build-up.
- Winterizing the pool
In most cases, you won’t be able to properly use your above-ground pool during the winter, which is you must winterize it. Doing this includes:
- Lowering the water level below the skimmer mark but not completely draining the pool, as it could be damaged by hydrostatic pressure.
- Thoroughly cleaning the pool and adding a winter chemical kit on the water.
- Running the filter for an hour before disconnecting the pump and motor. Make sure the pump and motor are stored inside a dry and safe place.
- Adding pool antifreeze to the plumbing and installing the threaded winter plugs to block the water from flowing to the pipes.
- Removing the pool’s ladder, chemicals, and cleaning suppliers and storing them in a dry and safe place.
- Using a winter cover to protect the entire pool.
Installing an above-ground backyard pool will not only allow you to make beautiful memories with your family and friends but will also add beauty to your property and may increase its value in the future. Before building one, make sure to carefully consider the materials that you want to use, the features you want to include, and the overall cost.
Also, make sure that you and your family are ready to maintain and clean your above-ground pool to ensure it lasts for many years.