what to look for in a above ground pool

jcweis1

Member
Jun 7, 2010
12
Okeana Ohio
In process of deciding which 27' above ground pool to buy. Is there really that much difference in the pool it self if buying from reputable dealers?

Also I see 52" & 54" height pools any good vs bad on height? any and all suggests would be GREAT
 

Samantha_in_AL

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 19, 2010
242
Altoona, AL
There is actually a LOT of difference in AG pools. I had never realized this until we were shopping for ours. The models and prices vary greatly and so does the quality. We wanted with the one with longest warranty. The pool itself has a lifetime warranty, and if I remember correctly the liner has a 15 year warranty.... ????

Do you have a Rec Warehouse in your area? They have a huge selection and very knowledgeable sales staff.
They were more than willing to explain all the differences and the pro and cons of each pool. I was impressed because the salesman took the time to show us everything they have to offer. He started with the cheapest, bottom of the line and worked his way up to the higher end pools. This is the best way to see the differences!
(I don't mean for this to sound like a commercial, I have no affiliation with them, but they were very nice and helpful to me. Doing business with them was quite painless)

You can actually negotiate with them on the price and equipment package, so don't fall for the first number they give you. If you act like you are going somewhere else to shop around the price will suddenly drop and they will start offering to throw in freebies. We ended up with upgraded steps, a 2 speed pump and larger filter, Baracuda auto vac, another manual vac, tons of misc. accessories, 1st year of chemicals including a winterizing kit (Baquacil :hammer: yeah I have to admit we got pool stored on that one)

As for the depth, I'm no expert but I would assume that is just a matter of personal preference.

Please keep us updated as you go! (including pics!)

Don't get pool stored on the chemicals, BBB is the only way to go! If they offer you some free Baquacrap you can always sell it on Craigslist! :lol:
 

NWMNMom

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 8, 2007
1,582
Waaay NW MN
Actually other than warranties and looks there really ISN'T that much difference between pools out there as most of them (regardless of brand) are made by about the same three or so manufacturers.

Keep in mind that warranties on pools and liners are virtually all prorated to some degree when you read the fine print , even the "lifetime" warranties. Barring unforeseen and unusual events, even the cheapest steel walled pool out there on a well prepared site that is well maintained can and should last at least 15-20 years or longer. Site prep and installation is probably your biggest concern and for some expense. Liners should be no less than 20-25 gauge. If installing yourself you cannot get a better deal than buying used or online. Local dealers have huge markup, even when they appear to cut you a deal or throw in freebies. If having the pool installed get everything in writing, including what happens if there are damage, delays or errors on their part and who pays for replacements, corrections and incidentals.
 

Samantha_in_AL

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 19, 2010
242
Altoona, AL
NWMNMom, you should see the difference between my pool and my next door neighbor's. What I am referring to is the quality (ruggedness) of materials and construction. Their pool was installed one month before mine in 2007. Their top railings are already bowed in and sagging and the outside walls are faded pretty bad. Mine still looks as good as it did the day it was installed. The worst part is that actually paid about $1,800.00 more for theirs than I did for mine!

I feel bad for them, they are probably out there right now dumping in Baquacrap. :(
 

NWMNMom

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 8, 2007
1,582
Waaay NW MN
Sagging pools and bowing top rails generally is the product of a poor installation. Brand new from a local dealer doesn't always mean a new model - you should always check to see when that pool was manufactured/received by the merchant. Other than a few very sparsely manufactured pools with flimsey uprights from years back or just plain super outdated models that local dealers are dusting off and pushing out the door, there aren't many out there manufactured in the last few years without similar enamel coatings and fairly sturdy uprights and rails. The biggest differences run in choices of aluminum, resin or hybrids of both. Of course, when you mention the Baqua - it's almost a "lock" that it came from a local pool store - they love to push that stuff! Simply put, basically any pool purchased locally can be purchased online cheaper - the main reason for purchasing at a local business is to get installation, however this can often be arranged without purchasing the pool locally. It pays to shop around apples for apples.
 

Isaac-1

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 10, 2010
6,711
SW Louisiana
Let me add another perspective and ask what do you want out of this pool? Lifetime warranties, and such are good if this is going to be a long term investment or is this just something to try to see if you like before investing in an in ground pool? Do you have room in your yard for a full time year round pool, even if your can only use it 4-6 months out of the year. If your looking at a try before you invest a lot or want something you can easily take down in the off season, consider something like the Intex Oval pools with the inflatable rims (like the Intex easy set, but oval instead of round). My brother in law and his neighbor just put one in a couple of weeks ago I am not sure if they put in a 12x24 or 12x32, but the two of them working alone were able to get it up and partly filled within 3 or 4 hours. After seeing it (later that same saturday while it was still being filled, I decided to look into them a bit more, it seems they sell for about $2,000 online (ebay, etc), while not the most durable looking thing in the world, I think it would likely be good enough for the price.

Ike
 

NWMNMom

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 8, 2007
1,582
Waaay NW MN
They all allow swimming enjoyment and the water requires the same maintenance. Depends on what you want, what you can afford and what works best for you.
 

rrc1962

Member
Jun 6, 2010
23
Nashville, TN
NWMNMom said:
If installing yourself you cannot get a better deal than buying used or online.
Post an ad on CL that you are looking for a pool for less than $300 and will take it down. That's what we did and ended up with a freebie 24' that was two years old with resin top rails. He showed us the invoice from Watsons for just over $5400. It came with everything and it all worked. We just had to buy a new liner which I think was around $200. We paid a guy with a bobcat $200 to prep the site and did the install ourselves in a weekend. We also scored a set of free wedding cake steps on CL.

After posting the ad, I had around 20 responses. Some were just plain junk. The one we ended up with had already been taken down and was stored neatly in a barn.
 

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