As much time as you spend fantasizing about having your own backyard pool, it might not turn out to be quite like you imagined. Why? Because there are a lot of misconceptions about buying and owning an above ground swimming pool that you may have run into.
Some above ground pool myths are based on a simple lack of knowledge. Others are opinions posing as facts (often from people who have something to sell). Whatever the case may be, here are six of the most common myths about above ground pools to watch out for:
1. They’re cheap
Above ground pools are certainly less expensive than their inground counterparts, but don’t get the idea that they’re “cheap.” A lot depends on what kind of pool you’re looking at, but the high-end kind that tend to get compared to inground pools can carry a hefty price tag. And don’t forget about extras such as an attached deck, fencing, and professional installation. Which brings us to our next misconception about above ground pools…
2. They’re easy enough for anyone to install
Once again, it really depends on the type of pool it is. However, for some of the best-known brands on the market, professional installation is part of the package. Even if you have the option to do it yourself, it’s often a good idea to pay for a contractor to do the work. Otherwise, make sure you understand what’s involved – and prepare yourself for a major project.
3. They’re eyesores
Sure, there are a lot of ugly above ground pools out there – you’ve probably seen a few yourself. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are lots of attractive pool models on the market, and you can make them look even nicer with the right landscaping and decking. In short, ugly is a choice.
4. They’re too warm
It’s undeniable that above ground pools tend to be warmer than inground pools, but whether they’re “too warm” is a matter of opinion. If, like a lot of above ground pool owners, you live in a northern climate, you might actually appreciate the fact that the pool stays warmer – you can keep it open longer and use it more in the evenings. In any case, there are plenty of ways to keep the water cooler if that’s what you want.
5. They’re not included in pool safety and zoning laws
Many people fall for this one because they assume above ground pools a) aren’t permanent, and b) are inherently safer than inground pools. Unfortunately, those are some shaky assumptions. You never know what sort of restrictions might apply until you check your local laws. In many cases, a permit is required for an above ground swimming pool and you may also need some sort of barrier to keep children out.
6. They don’t last long
It’s true that the vinyl liner in an above ground pool will typically wear out in 5-8 years, but that can be replaced. The structure of a hard-sided or metal frame pool can last for much longer – often 15 years or more. Of course, inground pools last even longer than that, but they often require repairs and renovations that can dwarf the cost of above ground pool replacement.
Just like you don’t want cloudy water in your pool, you don’t want cloudy thinking in your pool shopping. Cutting through some of the misconceptions that are floating around is the first step to making a clear decision.