Above Ground Pool Buying Guide

Choosing The Right Above Ground Pool For Your Family

With all of the different sizes and types of above ground pool currently available, it can be difficult for many first time pool buyers to pick the right one for their needs. With that in mind, we thought we’d share our top tips to help you buy the best above ground pool for your family.

What Is Your Backyard Like?

The first thing you need to consider when buying a new above ground pool is what your backyard is like. There are two things that you really want to look at:

  1. Size. How big is your backyard? Is there anything that would need to be removed (gardens, play structures, trees etc) in order to fit a new above ground pool? Measure your available space before shopping for pools to better determine what size and shape will work best for your yard.
  2. Slope. Is your backyard relatively flat, or is there a large slope from one side to the other? If your yard is severely sloped you’ll be limited in the types of above ground pools that you can buy.

What Shape Should Your Above Ground Pool Be?

One of the most basic questions you need to ask yourself when buying a new above ground pool is what shape should it be? There are 2 basic shapes of above ground pool, each with it’s own pros and cons:

  1. Round. Round pools are larger than oval pools, and are also cheaper to buy. Their circular shape can make them harder to fit in some backyards however.
  2. Oval. Oval above ground pools are smaller and more expensive than round pools. Their long, narrow shape fits better in some backyards and gives them a more premium in-ground pool look.

If you have a narrow yard, or are looking for that in-ground pool style, oval pools are probably your best bet. For larger backyards where pool size isn’t an issue, the lower cost of round pools can make them a better choice.

What Size Should Your Above Ground Pool Be?

One of the most common questions we get asked by new pool buyers is “what size should my above ground pool be?”. The answer depends a lot on your backyard and your local bylaws.

Yard Size and By Laws

Before purchasing a pool, we recommend looking into your local bylaws to see what setbacks, if any, you need to adhere to. Subtract this setback from the total size of your backyard to see how much available space you have to install a pool into.

For example, most cities and municipalities have a setback of 5′. This means that the distance between your property line to your pool – or you pool’s pump, filter and heater – has to be at least 5 feet. If you have a backyard that is 40′ x 40′, you would therefore have an area of 30′ x 35′ in which to build a pool (40′ width minus 5′ from the left property line and 5′ from the right property line. 40′ length minus 5′ from the back property line).

What Else Do You Want To Do In Your Backyard?

You should also consider if there are any other activities that you would like to do in your backyard, and make sure to include room to do them as well. If you’re a gardener, make sure to leave enough room to work in your gardens. If you have pets that need room to run around and play, make sure your backyard isn’t completely used up by your new pool.

How Will You Use The Pool?

Another factor when deciding how big your pool should be is how you’re actually going to use the pool. If the pool is simply for you and your significant other to cool off and relax, a small pool will do just fine. If you’re a family of 5 and are planning on having guests over to use the pool, you should probably try to get the biggest pool that will fit in your available area.

If you’re hoping to swim laps in the pool, we recommend making sure to buy a pool that is at least 24′ long. Any smaller and you will only get the chance for a couple of strokes before you have to turn back and go the other way. A 24′ round or 12′ x 24′ oval would both work equally well for this purpose.

Frame Style

Once you know what size and shape your new above ground pool will be, it is time to pick out what style of pool frame to buy. Above ground pools are constructed using many different frame designs. The most common are:

  1. Metal Support Frames. The least expensive above ground pool frame design is the simple metal support frame. This frame style consists of a thin metal top rail and bottom rail with metal support legs roughly every 3 feet. A thin metal sheet is then installed on the inside of the pool to hold the liner in place.
  2. Resin Support Frames. Resin support frames look almost identical to metal support frames. The difference being that the top rail, bottom rail, and support legs are all made out of thick resin rather than metal. While more expensive than metal support frames, resin pools tend to last longer because they are much less susceptible to rust and have thicker, stronger supports.
  3. Galvanized Steel Wall Frames. More commonly known as “on-ground pools”, these pools are built with solid walls of 14 gauge galvanized steel that are much stronger than other above ground pool frame designs, while also being resistant to rust. This added strength allows them to be partially or fully sunk into the ground and backfilled against. It also makes them the most expensive type of above-ground pool available.

If your backyard is relatively flat (less than 2-3 feet of slope between one side of the pool and the other) you can choose from any of the above frame styles. If your backyard has a large slope to it however, the galvanized steel “on-ground” pool is your only real choice.

onground pool install

If your backyard has a large slope, on ground pools are typically best as they can be partially installed in the ground.

How Deep Are Above Ground Pools?

Above ground pools also come in several different depths, from 48″ tall to 54″ tall. To get the best swimming experience, we recommend buying a pool with a depth between 52″ and 54″. If you’re looking to get some extra water depth, ask your pool retailer to “dish” the bottom of the pool during install. They will then dig out the middle of the pool another few inches, giving you a “deep end” in the middle of the pool and a “shallow end” around the edge.

Pool Accessories & Filtration System

Before buying an above ground pool it is important to know exactly what you’re getting, or not getting. Nothing is worse than getting your new pool installed only to realize that you’ve now got to go out and buy a bunch of extra stuff to be able to properly maintain it. Worse yet is having to replace the pump after only a year or two because the company that sold it to you gave you the cheapest available pump.

At Aquacade we make sure that you get everything you need to properly run your pool from day 1. Our complete above ground pool package includes a quality, name brand pump and filter system, premium accessories and a starter chemical package.

Wrapping Up

With so many different shapes, styles and options out there, buying an above ground pool can seem daunting at first. We hope this guide helps you find the perfect pool for you and your family! If you have any further questions about above ground pools, give us a call and talk to one of our above ground pool experts. We’ll be happy to walk you through the above ground pool buying process, and can even come to your home for a free site inspection to help you pick the right pool for your backyard.

About Us

Aquacade Pools and Spas Ltd. Is pleased to offer our many years of personalized pool construction experience to the community of Sudbury, Ontario. We have customized programs to fill your specific needs. We take pride in offering our customers personal and direct service during the construction of their backyard dream from contract to completion.

The ownership and staff always value a strict work ethic with customer satisfaction as a top priority for forty years. This dedication to excellence shows in every project.

Whether Exquisite or Simple… we look forward to fulfilling our customers backyard vision.