You can go to Walmart and get a nice above ground pool that is four to five feet deep and about 17 to 18 feet in diameter. No need to dig a hole or anything. And they usually come with a pump and filter system to keep your pool clean. We sure have come a long way from the heavy galvanized metal pool with the rusty edges and no filter. Those things were kind of dangerous. They got so hot that you could not touch the sides of the pool without getting burnt. And forget about draining them. They did not have drain plugs and do you know how much a galvanized pool full of water weighs? Well, according to Google, it weighs about 68 thousand pounds. Wow, is that right? I don’t know but I do know it is heavy. Not sure how we managed to get the water out of it. Maybe that is why it was always green. So, never mind about that. Let’s talk about buying you a pool and what you need to think about first.
Above Ground or Inground?
This is usually a pretty easy choice because it mostly depends on how much you want to spend. Of course, an inground pool is much more expensive than an above ground pool. In fact, you will spend at least $20,000 for an inground pool but only about $1,000 for a good above ground pool. Also, some people do not have space for an inground pool. Or the ground. For yards like ours, with granite and slate everywhere, you would need dynamite to blast a hole big enough to put in a pool. The yard is almost all flat rock. But, the other things you have to think about is the time and care that goes into each type of pool. Although you have to keep them both clean and make sure the chemicals stay balanced, an inground pool is a bit more work than an above ground pool.
Pick Your Material – Inground Pools
An inground pool can be made of several different materials such as concrete, fiberglass, or vinyl. Once again, the cost is going to be a big factor here. Concrete is the least expensive but it takes a lot more work to care for it. However, with the new technology we have now, they are coming up with new finishes and types that can be easier to maintain. Fiberglass is a pre-shaped pool that they just dig a hole for and put it in. No, it is actually a lot more work than that but you get the picture. Fiberglass is easier to maintain than concrete or vinyl and they need fewer chemicals. Vinyl is the material they use for liners. It is much less expensive but it is also not as durable and will definitely not last as long as concrete or fiberglass.
Pick Your Material – Above Ground Pools
Above ground pools are usually either ring type pools or frame type pools. The ring type is made of thick vinyl and it has an inflated ring at the top that rises with the water to keep the sides in place. They are usually pretty cheap and vary in price from $50 for a baby pool to $1,000 for a huge 24-foot diameter, 5-foot deep pool. The larger they are the more work they are, and anything larger than 12 feet in diameter needs a pump and chemicals to keep it clean.
The frame pool is more expensive but also sturdier and can last about 10 to 20 years if you take good care of it. In fact, many of them come with a lifetime warranty. These are usually made with steel walls laminated with PVC and some have an extra support band around the middle to help support it and make it stronger. Then there are the larger and more permanent ones that are made of a sturdy galvanized steel structure with a vinyl interior.
Round, Rectangular, or Kidney Shaped?
Really, this is just your personal choice although they say that with an above ground pool, rectangular pools are not as sturdy as round ones. The way I see it, a rectangular pool is really good for a larger family, playing games like volleyball, or swimming laps. Round pools are perfect for anything. Of course, the kidney-shaped and other variations would only be available for an inground pool and the more unique the choice, the more you will pay.
Keeping it Clean
No matter what type, shape, or size pool you get, you have to keep it clean. Any kind of standing water will draw bugs so you need to keep it covered when not in use and if it is bigger than 12 feet in diameter, you need to have a pump running and the right chemical balance to keep it clear and sparkling. Because nobody wants to play in a pool full of slimy green muck.
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