How Much Does an Above Ground Pool Cost?
A sweltering summer will quickly have homeowners considering backyard pools as a way to cool down. As temperatures rise, you may find yourself asking, just how much does an above ground pool cost? From installation to chemicals, this is what you’ll expect to spend.
Types of Pools
Shapes and Sizes
It comes as no surprise that the larger the pool, the higher the cost. Did you know that the shape of the pool also influences the final price? Small round pools carry the cheapest price tag, using less materials, water and chemicals. Other readily available shapes include ovals and rectangles.
Rectangular pools are the most expensive options as they typically require a wrap-around support deck. The cost of extra materials and time for installation inflates the cost of a rectangular pool.
Most above ground pools have walls that are 4.5 feet tall. The water, however, is not designed to reach the top of the pool, leaving the pool with a depth of 3.5 to 4 feet. The square footage of above ground pools varies greatly and the cost increases accordingly.
When purchasing an above ground pool kit, you can expect to pay between $1,500 and $4,500. There are always exceptions that could increase the cost, including an extra-large pool and higher-quality materials. Read our reviews to know how to choose the best one for you.
Most above ground pools require professional installation, which will add $1,000 to $3,000 to the final bill. These experts are prepared to handle challenges, including sloped lawns, patios and adding accessories, such as ladders and decks.
Stores like Walmart and Sam’s Club sell above ground pools that homeowners can set and fill on their own. These types of pools typically range between $100 and $800.
Take a look at how you can install an above ground pool.
Depending on the quality of the pool kit you choose, you can expect the structure of the pool to last somewhere between 7 and 15 years. The lining will likely need to be replaced five to nine years after purchase.
If you need the pool for your child’s last summer home before college, the set-and-fill type may be perfect for your family. These types of pools have a life expectancy of one to three years. When choosing which pool to buy, factor in the cost of replacing the pool every few years.
Pool Tools and Accessories
Maintaining the cleanliness of your pool is of the utmost importance. How much does an above ground pool cost to maintain? The answer depends on the quality of materials you use and how often your pool will need to be treated with chemicals.
There are three types of filters that work with above ground pools: Diatomaceous Earth (DE) filters, sand filters and cartridge filters. Depending on your needs, a filter can cost between $50 and $400. Go to this post to read about each type of filter.
The cartridge filter is the cheapest of the three, with a high-quality filter costing less than $100. Paper-like material is attached to a plastic cylinder and fitted into a small tank.
Water passes through the large surface area of the cartridge, working best at low speeds. This Intex filter is an amazing product you can consider when buying one.
A sand filter operates in a similar way to a cartridge filter. Water is passed through sand, which grabs the dirt on its way through, trapping it in the tank.
Sand filters will add between $100 and $200 or more to your pool accessories fee. Take a look at this Sand Master on Amazon.
The most expensive, and arguably the most proficient, above ground pool filter is the DE filter. This type of filter uses diatomaceous earth, which consists of the skeletons of single-celled organisms, to filter the water.
DE filters are priced between $200 and $800, depending on the quality and efficiency. This Hayward model is rated highly on Amazon.
Regardless of filter choice, there will be additional costs, including replacing the filtering mechanism. Sand and DE filters require backwashing to clean, which will add to your water bill.
To maintain a clean and healthy pool environment, you should test the pH and chlorine levels of the pool biweekly. To get the most value for your money, a four or five-way test kit is the best option like this highly rated Amazon kit.
These types of test kits can either use colored solutions or test strips to test pH, chlorine, bromine and calcium levels, as well as total alkalinity. The method doesn’t greatly affect the price of a pool testing kit, which generally costs between $10 and $30. Learn how to use the kits here.
You will also need to purchase chlorine, scale control products and calcium hardness increaser. The amount you spend per month on these chemicals varies greatly between households.
To maintain the cleanliness of your pool, you will also need to purchase a pool vacuum, brushes designed for pool cleaning and a tool to skim debris from the top of the water. Depending on the quality of the items you purchase, you can expect to spend an additional one to several hundred dollars.
According to the Fairfax County Water Authority, the average price for 1,000 gallons of water in the United States is $1.50. A small pool can easily require 1,600 gallons of water. Compared to the price of the pool and installation, filling your pool is relatively cheap.
There are two ways to fill a pool: gradually with your standard garden hose or through a water delivery service. Delivery fees depend on where you live, the time of year and how much water your pool requires.
Choosing to buy a pool is a big decision. Exactly how much does an above ground pool cost? The answer depends greatly on the purchasing and style choices you make. New pool owners can expect to spend a few hundred dollars per year in maintenance as well as an initial cost ranging between $2,500 and $10,000.
Taking the median numbers, you can expect to spend roughly $3,000 for the pool kit and another $2,000 for installation. A chemical testing kit will cost $20. To maintain the pool, you can expect to spend $400 on brushes, chemicals, skimmers and vacuums. The filter you choose will add an estimated $150 to your total cost.
The approximate $5,570 you will spend to purchase, install and clean your pool will be well worth it as you step in the water, taking a break from the summer.
If you have your own experience, I love to see it in the comment section below.
Pool University – How Much Does an Above Ground Pool Cost?
Pool Center – Pool Info: Water Testing FAQ
INYOPools – Above Ground Pool Deep Ends
Pool Supply World – Swimming Pool Filter Systems Comparison Guide
National Drinking Water Clearinghouse – Diatomaceous Earth Filtration for Drinking Water
Fairfax County Water Authority – Is Water Free?