Dive In To This Above Ground Pool Guide

Imagine having a cool yard. Imagine the kids are thrilled with you and your neighbors envy you. Imagine the pool party is always at your house. You can have that with an above ground pool from Thatcher Pools and Spas in Rochester, MN. There is a lot to consider when it comes to types of above ground pools. We’ve put together this “Above Ground Pool Buying Guide” to help you decide.

Types of Above Ground Pools

Buying an above ground pool means you have choices to make. The most important is choosing a frame, which will ultimately hold up the walls and the water. Frames are made from a variety of materials, including steel, resin, a hybrid of both, or radiant.

1. Steel frames
Steel frames are made with different metals such as aluminum, zinc, and galvanized steel. These types of frames have been around a long time. They’re still used because they are sturdy, yet still lightweight. You can even build one on a raised deck or floor. Since the steel is thin, it can be easily bent and manipulated into different shapes.

2. Resin frames

Resin is a type of hard plastic that is used for everything from airplane parts to furniture. It is also used for above ground pools.

Resin is popular for several reasons:

  • More resistant to rust, corrosion, and oxidation
  • Withstands the damaging effects of water and sunlight better
  • Resists warping and dents
  • Stays cool to the touch (steel can heat up in the sun)

Resin is more expensive, but the long-term benefits may outweigh the extra cost.

3. Hybrid pools

Hybrid pools combine resin and steel. Resin is used for the components that get the most exposure to water and sun, while the steel provides more support. You get the benefits of strength while adding resistance to chipping, discoloration, rusting, and corrosion.

4. Radiant pools.

This type is also known as a semi-inground pool. They offer the same quality and durability as an inground pool but are more affordable. They also offer easy installation and are customizable so they can fit any size or shape yard.

Radiant pools are ideal for yards with…

  • Uneven ground
  • Slopes or hills
  • Other features that make traditional pools difficult or too expensive to put in

The other benefit is that these pools can be shipped directly to you in a kit. They are easy to assemble, especially if you excel at DIY projects. They also come with a lifetime warranty, so if anything needs to be fixed, you’re covered.

Other Things to Consider

Here a four more above ground pool tips to help you make the right choice.

1. Size

Choosing a pool size depends mostly on the dimensions of your yard. However, you also need to consider ordinances in your community. Some local municipalities or homeowners associations (HOAs) have size restrictions regarding backyard pools. Be sure to find out if there are restrictions where you live before you buy anything.

2. Shape

Above ground pools are round or oval. The shape you choose will also depend on the size of your yard and local ordinances. Don’t be fooled by the shape, either. While you might think oval pools are larger, that is not necessarily the case.

A 24’ round pool actually holds more water than a 15’ x 30’ oval pool. However, it is still less expensive because it has fewer parts.

The advantage of oval pools is that they look a bit more like an in-ground pool, especially if you build a raised deck around it.

3. Depth

The depth of your pool will depend on the wall height. Above ground pools have three basic wall heights: 48”, 52” and 54”. The higher the wall, the more water it will hold.

4. Who will use the pool?

When thinking about the size and depth of the pool, you need to think about who will be using it the most. Will it be mostly adults or your children/grandchildren? If children will be using the pool, how old (and tall) are they? Younger children may need the safety of lower walls.

Choosing a Liner

A liner will help protect the bottom and walls of your pool so that it lasts longer. They make an above ground pool look better and also help hold the water in place.

There are 4 types of liners:

  • Overlap – This liner literally overlaps the top edge of the pool and is attached with coping strips.
  • Beaded – This liner has thick vinyl beads that snap into a track along the top rails of the pool.
  • J-Hook/Unibead – Also known as a “universal” liner, this type has a thick, U-shaped piece of vinyl at the top, which attaches or hooks into the top of the wall.
  • Expandable – These liners can be expanded to a specific length or depth, meaning they stretch to fit the needs of your pool.

Pump and Filter Systems

A pump and filter system is essential for keeping your pool clean and free of debris, algae or other harmful substances. The pump keeps the water circulating and the filter gets rid of the debris.

There are 3 types of pump/filter systems:

  • Sand filters – This popular method uses sand in the pump to push the water through the filter. The water goes into the filter and then out via tubes at the bottom of the tank (along with the debris).
  • Cartridge filters – This type has a cartridge inside the filter, which captures debris as it passes through. They are designed to run on lower pressure than sand.
  • D.E. (Diatomaceous Earth) filter – This type of filter uses fossilized exoskeletons of diatoms. The D.E. powder “catches” the debris, including very small particles that sand might miss.

Here are some suggestions for the best filters for above ground pools.

Get Your Swim On This Summer

If you are considering installing a pool, there is much to consider. Use our guide to study the types of above ground pools that are available. Thatcher Pools and Spas can help you decide on the model, type, and size pool that will fit your needs and budget. If you live in southern Minnesota and would like an estimate, contact us today and set up an appointment.

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