Above-Ground Pools Get So Much Shade, But Here’s Why You Should Buy One Anyway

published Jun 22, 2020
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Review of above ground pool
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Back in the day, my dad, Apartment Therapy superfan Stewart Magnuson, used to remind my brother and I, “You know, our lawn was built for an in-ground pool.” 

Naturally, we’d then ask for a pool, only to be told they were too expensive, too much work, and too bad, kids. I’d like to take this opportunity to tell my dad to buckle up for a trip back to my agonizing teen years. Because I’m about to tell him—and you—why he’s wrong about pools (or, at least, the above-ground ones).

Now that summer’s arrival is cranking up the temperature, I’m craving a dip. The thing is, public pools and lakefronts nationwide are closed for the season—and I don’t have a pool. Above-ground pools are the answer to our woes, I say! So don’t worry, Dad, there’s still time to make things right. Hear me out: Above-ground pools are on their way to having renaissance, and here’s why.

They’re removable

I know, Dad. Something something resale value. It’s true that not every house hunter is thrilled to come across a water-filled insurance liability in the backyard. But above-ground pools are as easy to disassemble as they are to construct. Sure, they leave behind a large circular patch of earth—but pop some sod into that bad boy, and you’re on your way! The pool can be eliminated from the yard before a listing goes live. For Pete’s sake, many above-ground pool owners disassemble and store their pools during the winter. If so many families are able to commit to this single afternoon’s task year after year, why haven’t we fools caught on yet?

They’re affordable

For homeowners with a yard of their own, above-ground pools are far less expensive than the in-ground alternative. Time-consuming and outrageously expensive construction, costly maintenance, and diminished resale value take the fun out of having an in-ground pool. Above-ground pools, on the other hand, can cost as little as $3,500, (for some perspective, in-ground pools can cost ten times that). Summer vacation budget unused thanks to Coronavirus? Cancelled wedding travel? Unused stimulus check? Consider reallocating those funds for a backyard splash. 

They’re low-maintenance

I recently went down a YouTube tutorial rabbit hole, watching different families construct and maintain their above-ground pools. The most shocking thing I discovered? I think I could build one. Sure, I’d need a group of handy friends and to rent a couple of tools from my local hardware store—but I could do it. Unlike in-ground pools, which require constant maintenance, bleaching, chemicals, etc., the upkeep of your above-ground pool is way more relaxed. And that’s exactly what you should be: way more relaxed. Pop on a tutorial, stake out some room in your backyard, and set aside a few bucks to order trendy unicorn floats. It’s pool time.

They’re not one-size-fits-all

I know when many people think of above-ground pools, their minds manifest round, gray containers surrounded by rocks and maybe a few plants. But you can always find a way to work an above-ground pool into your aesthetic. For a charming rural country feel, or even a southwestern Marfa-loving hippie vibe, stock tanks (you know, for holding water for livestock) are unique options, with online tutorials for hooking up filters. 

Above-ground shipping containers, with their sleek rectangular shape, are another option that’s gaining traction. Plus, the rectangular shape lends itself to easier landscaping, and even a raised surrounding deck. For those eager to take the time and effort to truly incorporate the pools into their green space, raised decks provide that built-in appearance while adding dimension to the existing yard or deck. 

They’re private

Community pools and lakes are a terrific opportunity for stress-free recreation and socializing. But with the crowds, entrance fees, and of course, our global pandemic, they’re not exactly the best place to be right now. It turns out above-ground pool sales are through the roof as homeowners try to salvage a seemingly lost summer. Even Olympic swimmers have added the features to their home so they can safely continue to train. We’re all sick of this phrase, but I’m just going to say it: Now More Than Ever, Americans need above-ground pools.