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Your Guide to Buying an Above Ground Swimming Pool

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Above ground swimming pools are a great option for people on a budget or for those who want to test the waters of ownership before spending big bucks on an inground pool. If you are thinking about purchasing one, you will soon come to realize that there are several considerations to be taken into account to ensure you get the pool that best meets your needs. Here are some helpful tips for buying an above ground pool:

Material

The choice of material is one of the most important decisions you will make. If you are looking for a permanent above ground pool, you have the choice of steel, resin or aluminum. Aluminum is lightweight and these pools are easy to take apart and reassemble if you need to relocate them. The major drawback is that they will eventually oxidize, which leads to pitting and holes in the liner. Steel is very durable and can last at least 20 years. Then there is resin, and many pool experts believe the best above ground swimming pools are made from this material, or a hybrid of steel and resin. Resin will not corrode, nor does it retain heat like steel and aluminum. And last, but certainly not least, resin pools require less maintenance.

If you are interested in an above ground pool that will remain in the yard just for the swimming season, you have the choice of a pop up pool–which has an inflatable ring and takes shape as the pool fills up with water—and a type which has a frame similar to a permanent pool. If you go this route, make sure you have adequate space to store the pool during the off-season.

Placement

Placement of the pool is important to maximize enjoyment and minimize maintenance. The radiant heat of the sun is great for warming up the water, so choose a location with maximum sun exposure. This will reduce the need for your pool heater. Avoid placing the pool right under a tree or you will constantly be removing debris. While you do not want it right under a tree, having it near trees and shrubs is a good idea to shield it against the wind, which can increase water evaporation and heat loss.

Other important considerations for placement include your overall vision for your backyard space. Consider any future additions you may want to make, like a deck or walkway, as well as landscaping.

Size and Shape

Obviously, the size of your yard will be a major determinant of the size of your pool. Again, don’t forget about your overall vision of the yard and any changes you may want to make in the future. Most above ground pools come in round or oval shapes, though there are some rectangular pools available. Round pools give you more swimming space, typically cost less and have easier installation. Oval pools may be a better bet if you are interested in using your pool to swim laps or to play games. They also take up less room.

About the Author:Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who blogs about all things home, from tips for buying a swimming pool to redecorating on a budget.

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