How to Buy an Above Ground Pool

Mission Round Hybrid

What is a Starter Above-Ground Pool Package

Buying an above-ground pool is relatively easy if you know your way around the above-ground pool market. For many first-time buyers, this is the problem.

Not many first-time pool buyers know enough to make an informed decision about which grouped components make up the best pool package. Let’s explore how to buy an above-ground pool package.

The starter pool package contains:

  • The Pool Itself
  • The Liner
  • Filtration System
  • Sanitation System
  • Pool Maintenance Kit
  • Ladder or Steps

This is the basic standard pool kit. There is other equipment and accessories. However, Let’s concentrate on the basics.

The Different Types of Above-Ground Pools

Did you know there are many different kinds of above-ground swimming pools? There are five main types of pools-

  • Steel
  • Rolled Wall Aluminum
  • Slat Wall Aluminum
  • Resin
  • Hybrid

The Steel Pool

Distinction LX Steel Pool
Distinction LX Steel Pool

Thirty years ago, steel pools were plain-looking, and they would rust. Today many steel pools have a protective outer cover protecting the steel. Making the steel long-lasting and looking beautiful.

Aluminum Pools

There are two types of Aluminum pools on the market today. Roll Wall Aluminum and Semi In-ground Aluminum.

The Rolled wall pool has one continuous wall made of aluminum.

A semi-in-ground pool wall has hundreds of individual slats that slide together. The word semi in-ground means it can go in the ground about halfway. With the proper slurry mixture, it can go all the way to its top rails. Many folks love this because it resembles the big bother, the In-Ground Pool.

Semi-In-Ground Pool

The Resin Pool

The resin pools use modern-day machine designs that are strong and look fantastic. They can be eye-catching designs that consumers love. Here are a couple of popular resin pools. Notice how the shapes are true-radius in appearance.

The Hybrid Pool


Hybrid above-ground pool it’s made of resin and has the strength of steel. The one feature that separates the Hybride from Resin. All Hybrid models have steel uprights. This is the only difference between Resin and Hybrid is the steel supports.

Should we Buy a Round or Oval Pool?

Choosing a round or an oval is a personal choice. A critical decision with an oval pool will be whether it has Buttress or Buttress free side supports. Most folks opt for the clean look and don’t want to look at those side supports that stick out in the yard.

Round or Oval

The Different Sizes You Can find

Round SizesOval Sizes
Some common pool sizes

Above-Ground Pool Liners

After deciding upon a pool next would be the pool liner You’ll want to choose a quality liner.

Here are a couple of tips when choosing a pool liner for your above-ground pool. You’ll want double lapped virgin vinyl and the proper thickness.

Liner Comparison Chart

Go for the MIL advertised spec. Don’t fall for the gauge advertised specs. Mil Thickness of 20-25 one-thousandths of an inch is best. Gauge is a term used to measure metal, not pool liners.

Next up are the Filtration systems, Sanitation choices, Ladders, and Steps, plus a few accessories to get you off on an excellent start to pool ownership.

Above-Ground Pool Filtration Systems

Next, you’ll need Filtration systems. Followed by a Sanitation system, ladder and or steps and, a few accessories.

The Filtration system is the heart of any swimming pool. Do not skimp when it comes to choosing the proper filtration system. The Pump should be energy-efficient, and the filter media can be either Sand, DE, and or cartridge style.

It is best to stick with the name brands like Hayward and Pentair. They come with fewer parts, and therefore, it makes for the least amount of potential leaks. Our suggestion is to stick with the brands that have been around forever that have worked out problems over a long period.

DE stands for Diatomaceous Earth. It’s a Powder that cleans the tiny particles in the water.

A cartridge has a media filter resembling an air filter that traps tiny micron-sized dirt.

Sand is Silica type sand media that traps small micron-sized particles.

It is best to stick with the name brands like Hayward and Pentair. They come with fewer parts and thus the least amount of potential leaks

Sanitation Systems

When it comes to sanitation chemicals, I say go for the easy to use. There are many choices to choose from, which can get overwhelming to a new above-ground pool owner.

The popular solutions are chlorine, Mineral, Salt Systems, UV Systems, and Oxygen Systems. Here at The Above Ground Pool builder recommend going simple and effective. You can always change whenever you like. Here are those products here.

We are getting close to choosing the complete pool package, and we hope this is helping you decide what’s best for you and your family. The best pool package for your budget is not the easiest thing to accomplish. So we do hope we are helping.

Ladders and or Steps

Resin Deck and steps

Next up, Ladder or Steps? This choice gets you in and out of your new swimming pool. If you are leaning towards a deck, then having steps makes better sense.

For Amazing Deck Ideas, see our blog post here. If it is a longer amount of time before you build a deck, then a ladder will be your better choice. We recommend the Roll-Guard ladder. It’s easy to build; it’s sturdy.

When installed will meet most city and town regulations. Don’t forget to touch base with your city or town for your particular regulations.

Some Other Common Pool Accessories You’ll Need

A few suggested accessories left to decide on. We say choose them when you are buying a pool package. Because doing so will save you money! By buying everything you can expect to pay 20-30% more in costs.

So what’s left?

  • Pool Lights
  • Extra sanitation supplies
  • Winter Close kit
  • Rubber ladder or steps pad
  • Float Lounger
  • Toys

Ask for extra sanitation supplies, rubber underneath the ladder. Also, ask for a winter kit. Most dealers will give you a deal on this.

Floats and Toys round out your buy of a new above-ground swimming pool package. What fun is a pool without the play toys?

Check out The Above Ground Pool Builder on YouTube.

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