Skip to main content

Consider these 6 things before getting an above-ground pool

Tired of relying on the kindness of neighbors and friends for an invite to their backyard swimming pool when the temperatures rise over the summer? Finding a place to keep cool during those dog days of summer can be rough. Should you consider getting a pool for the family? Of course, having a pool of your own will turn your backyard into a summer playground and give your kiddos a place to splash around during the long break from school. It will also be a hot spot to host barbecues and parties.

A backyard pool can be a big investment, but an above-ground pool is definitely more budget-friendly than an in-ground pool. Before deciding to add an above-ground pool to your backyard, what are the most important points to consider?

backyard above ground pool with a deck
Susan Law Cain/Shutterstock


Like any other large purchase, consider the family finances and the cost of installing and maintaining an above-ground pool before you start shopping. Unlike an inflatable splash pool the kiddos play in and then empty the water out of when they’re done, an above-ground pool requires a pump and a filtration system along with a pool vacuum. When making a budget for your future above-ground pool, factor in the cost of the pool, accessories, installation, pool chemicals, and any necessary equipment, as well as the impact on your water and electric bill.

Once you know what the family can afford and if an above-ground pool fits into the family budget, you’re almost ready to start shopping.

Space and planning

Above-ground pools are cheaper, but there are quite a few different size options. Before you start shopping online or at the local pool shops, take a look at the space available in your yard and where you plan on putting up an above-ground pool. Most of them are oval or round in shape. Take into account whether you anticipate adding a deck to go with it as well as the necessary space for steps to get in and out of the pool.

You also need to take a look at the sun situation in your backyard. Above-ground pools require sunlight, so avoid putting the pool in a shady area or where there is an abundance of trees in your yard or your neighbor’s. Wind will most certainly bring debris from nearby trees into the pool and make maintaining the cleanliness of the pool more difficult. If you have young children, the pool should be visible from the house.

In addition, be sure the ground where you’ve decided to install your future pool is completely level. Even the slightest tilt in the ground will become problematic over time with an above-ground pool because the water-weight distribution will be unbalanced and cause a strain on one side of the pool.

Local ordinances

Once you’ve examined the available space in your yard and considered the size and shape you are shopping for, and if you plan on installing a deck and other planning factors, check out your town’s ordinances regarding swimming pools. You don’t want to install your new pool only to find out afterward that it violates a local ordinance. Information can usually be found on municipal websites. If not, telephone or email your borough offices for information on ordinances regarding the addition of an above-ground pool to your property.

It’s also a good idea to see if a backyard fence is a requirement for a backyard pool if your property doesn’t already have one.

Mom and daughter having fun in the backyard above ground pool
Przemek Iciak/Shutterstock


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the fifth-highest cause of unintentional deaths in the United States. The CDC states that one in five people who drown are under the age of 14. When considering an above-ground pool, safety is one of the major components. The town where you live may have specific safety ordinances for above-ground pools, which may include a fenced-in yard as well as a locking gate on the pool’s steps to prevent unauthorized entry.

A locked gate around the pool is especially vital if you have small children. Fences and gates also prevent pets from entering the pool unsupervised.

Pool hygiene

If you’ve never owned a pool before, it’s easier than it looks to maintain clean, hygienic water. Time and effort coupled with a good pump and filtration system contribute to keeping the pH balance healthy. In order to enjoy the backyard pool all summer long, work is involved in cleaning and making sure the pH balance is where it should be. Before the family makes the final decision to dive into above-ground pool ownership, make sure the adults in the family have the time to devote to pool maintenance.

Adding a pool to your backyard is a wonderful investment in your property. It also gives your family a place to play and enjoy the summer months outdoors. Of course, a backyard pool is a big expense. Above-ground pools are more budget-friendly than in-ground pools, but they still require installation and maintenance. Before you start window shopping online, consider our six key points prior to making a purchase.

Planning, checking out your local ordinances, and ensuring the above-ground pool is safe will go a long way toward having the summertime backyard oasis you and your kids crave.

Editors' Recommendations

Dawn Miller
Dawn Miller began her professional life as an elementary school teacher before returning to her first love, writing. In…
7 fun outdoor fall games kids can play
Get your children outside to play these fall games and enjoy the cooler weather
Kids playing outside In leaves.

Even if the autumn season still brings the occasional warm, sunny day where you live, fall brings plenty of crisp, fresh air that's perfect for outdoor games. It's a season that so many people love because of the cooler temperatures and the beauty of the changing leaves. It's the perfect time to throw on a sweater and get the kids off the couch and out of the house to play fun fall games.

Kids love to be outside, especially if there are awesome games for them to play. If you've been looking for outdoor games for your kids to play this fall, check out these creative ideas. And parents, you are more than welcome to join the kiddos in any of these outdoor games to make beautiful autumn memories.

Read more
The best party games for your sports-loving kids
These best party games score big with sports lovers
Kids running with each other at a party.

Got a sport-loving kid with a birthday coming up? Hosting a sports themed birthday party for your kiddo is a super easy way to score a touchdown. Whether you've got a kickball fanatic or a budding soccer star on your hands, choosing the birthday party theme for your sports fan is a lot easier than scoring in a shootout. There are tons of sports party games that are a slam dunk.  You don't have to stick to one sport either when choosing the activities for your little one's big day. From soccer-themed games to kickball games to an Olympic theme, there are a ton of options for all your guests whether you are hosting indoors or out. Now, let's hear the starting lineup for the best party games.
Sports party kickoff
Before we get to the best sports party games to knock it out of the park to celebrate your child's special day, let's not forget about the warmup. It's a big part of any sport as all athletes know. So, a fun way to get all the kids excited about a sports-themed birthday party is to kick it off with a warmup.

Have an adult dress up as the coach and lead the kids in some useful and silly stretches. Play upbeat music to pump them up. The theme from Rocky is a timeless choice. Then, have the coach give the partygoers tips for the games ahead before concluding with an introduction with a cheer for the birthday guy or gal.

Read more
No pool toys? No problem! 7 safe, fun games to play in the pool for 8-year-olds
Running low on pool toys? Try these games to play in the pool that only requires the kids
Kids playing games in a pool.

Splish! Splash! Do the kids enjoy the swimming pool in the summer? Will they play in an indoor pool all fall and winter long? Whether you're hosting a pool full of friends of your 8-year-old, a birthday party, or a quiet afternoon of family fun in the pool, having a diverse menu of swimming games for kids is a must. Don't worry if you don't have a stock of pool noodles, beach balls, and floaties on hand in the shed. There are plenty of cool games to play in the pool instead of relying on toys. Many classic swimming games have been doing laps around backyard pools for ages.

Keep these fun swimming games in the repertoire. They're safe, easy to play, and are all games 8-year-olds — as well as kids of all ages — will enjoy when hanging in the pool. Even adults will have a splash playing games they used to when they were kiddos. Another perk to all of these splashin' swimming games? They all let kids work on their swimming strokes while having a blast. Grab your goggles and see what game you want to show your kids how to play.

Read more