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DIY Above-Ground Pools Come With Hidden Costs

Thinking of buying a DIY above ground pool and performing your own pool installation? There are a few things you should know first.



DIY Above-Ground Pools Come With Hidden Costs

DIY above-ground pools are an affordable way to beat the heat during the hot summer months. An above-ground pool kit can seem like a great idea for those who want to save money and take on a fun DIY project. However, there are hidden drawbacks to purchasing an above ground pool that many people overlook. From installation to maintenance, novice pool owners may find themselves in over their heads with the cost and upkeep of their pool.

Quite often, the truth is that the all-in price of an above-ground pool is quite more expensive than most consumers realize, at least if you’re going to go with a standard above-ground pool kit and try to finish it with a deck and upgraded equipment. Tack on installation and the costs can really add up quickly.

How Much It Costs To Install an Above-Ground Pool

  1. Pool Kit: $1,460 – $6,150

The cost of an average above-ground pool kit depends on its size, shape, and material. The cost also varies based on whether you purchase a basic or a more upscale model.

We like the Lake Effect Meadows Reprieve 30' Above Ground Swimming Pool | 52" Height | Resin Protected Steel Walls
We like the Lake Effect Meadows Reprieve 30′ Above Ground Swimming Pool | 52″ Height | Resin Protected Steel Walls
  1. Upgraded Pool Equipment: $1,820 – $4,350

While the basic equipment that comes with the pool kit may be sufficient, you may want to consider upgrading to a better-quality pump and filter. Upgraded equipment can provide better circulation and filtration, which can help keep the water clean and clear.

The Pentair SuperFlo® VS Variable Speed Pool Pump for Above-Ground Pools is a popular equipment upgrade.
The Pentair SuperFlo® VS Variable Speed Pool Pump for Above-Ground Pools is a popular equipment upgrade.
  1. Deck: $3,120 – $8,500

Adding a pool deck can provide a more attractive and functional space for lounging and entertaining. The cost of the deck depends on its size, materials, and design.

A deck for your above-ground pool is an added cost but one most homeowners want for a finished look.
A deck for your above-ground pool is an added cost but one most homeowners want for a finished look.
  1. Installation: $3,200 – $6,500

Installing an above-ground pool requires leveling the ground, assembling the pool kit, and connecting the pool equipment. The cost of installation depends on the complexity of the project and the contractor’s fees. Ultimately, the total cost of the average above-ground pool project, including the pool kit, upgraded pool equipment, deck, and installation, would be between $9,600 and $25,500. Keep in mind that these are just rough estimates, and actual costs may vary depending on your location and a myriad of other factors.

Permits May Be Necessary

Installation is the first hurdle to overcome with a DIY above-ground pool. While the pool may come with instructions, there are still many things that could go wrong during your installation. For example, the ground may not be level, or the pool liner may be tricky to install, leading to needing a professional installation or costly repairs if you accidentally tear it while trying to install it yourself. In addition, some homeowners may not realize they need to obtain permits before installing a pool, which can lead to legal problems down the line, that’s exactly what happened to one homeowner in New York.

“I didn’t realize I needed a permit to install an above-ground pool in my backyard, and when the city found out, I was forced to take it down. It was a costly mistake that I wish I had avoided,” said Kevin Younger of Long Island.

After purchasing a DIY above-ground pool kit online and all the necessary materials, Kevin found that the final cost of installation was much higher than he anticipated. In fact, his above-ground pool installation cost him close to $12,500 all-in.

“I never thought installing an above-ground pool in my backyard could lead to such trouble. One day, a county inspector showed up with a fine and an order to take down the pool,” said Younger, “it turns out a neighbor must have reported me, and I had no idea that I needed a permit to install it. It was a really expensive lesson to learn.”

Consumers on average spend between $1,460 and $6,150 for an above-ground pool kit.

Inadequate Pool Equipment

The biggest problem with DIY pools comes after installation. Once the pool has water in it, the real work begins: maintenance. Many novice pool owners are ill-equipped to balance and clean their pool. Keeping the water clean and safe requires a lot of effort and expense. Chemicals, skimmers, vacuums, and filters are all necessary to maintain a healthy pool. If the pool is not properly maintained, it can quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria, algae, and other harmful organisms.

“I thought I could save money by maintaining my above-ground pool myself, but I soon learned that I’m no pool expert. I spent the better part of the summer trying just to keep it from turning green,” said Dallas, TX pool owner, Beth Pompano.

Many consumers report the equipment that comes with their above-ground pool isn't up to the task of keeping their pool clean.
Many consumers report the equipment that comes with their above-ground pool isn’t up to the task of keeping their pool clean.

“The filtration equipment that came with my above-ground pool kit was very basic and we decided to upgrade it after the first week,” said Pompano, “it came with a small pump and a filter that didn’t do a very good job. We wound up upgrading to a Pentair pump and sand filter. That was an added cost but we noticed an immediate improvement right away.”

Underperforming pool equipment can result in poor water quality and the need for constant cleaning. In Beth’s case, upgrading the filtration equipment was costly, and she paid several thousand dollars. “The plumbing and electrical needed to be redone to accommodate the upgraded equipment, that was definitely an unexpected kick in the pants. Then we added a pool deck which was yet another cost.” said Pompano.

Unexpected Maintenance Fees

Vinyl liners in above-ground pools generally last 6-10 years before needing replacement, although this can vary based on factors such as the quality of the liner, the level of maintenance, and the amount of use. Signs that a liner needs to be replaced include fading, cracks, tears, or wrinkles that cannot be smoothed out.

The cost of replacing a vinyl liner in an above-ground pool varies depending on factors such as the size of the pool, the quality of the liner, and the cost of labor in the area. On average, the cost of a new liner and installation can range from $1,500 to $3,000 or more. However, a DIY installation can lower the cost if you have the necessary skills and equipment.

Finally, there are hidden costs associated with pool maintenance. Many homeowners assume that the cost of chemicals and equipment is all they will need to pay. However, weekly service is recommended to ensure the pool stays clean and balanced. This can still cost about $180 a month for basic chemical maintenance. These costs can quickly add up, making a DIY above-ground pool less of a bargain than it may seem.

Above-Ground Pools Are Still a Top Option For DIY’ers

Despite the hidden drawbacks of purchasing and installing an above-ground pool, homeowners continue to be eager to build their own backyard oasis. The DIY pool market typically sees a spike starting at the beginning of the pool season, and this summer is predicted to be no exception.

With the right knowledge, planning, and budget, homeowners can still successfully install and maintain their own above-ground pool. Still, it’s important to research local regulations and obtain the necessary permits before beginning installation. Make sure you’re installing on level ground and have equipment up to the task of adequately filtering your pool. Homeowners should also be prepared for the added costs of materials, equipment, and ongoing maintenance.

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Pool News coverage brought to you by Pool Magazine's own Marcus Packer. Marcus Packer is a 20 year pool industry veteran pool builder and pool service technician. In addition to being a swimming pool professional, Marcus has been a writer and long time contributor for Newsweek Magazine's home improvement section and more recently for Florida Travel + Life. Have a story idea or tip you'd like to share with Pool Magazine? Email [email protected] your story idea.

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How To Keep Your Pool Renovation From Turning Into a Disaster

A pool renovation can be an exciting project but can quickly turn into a disaster without the right planning and preparation.



How To Keep Your Pool Renovation From Turning Into a Disaster

Renovating a pool can be an exciting project. A well-executed pool renovation can breathe new life into your backyard, create a more enjoyable swimming experience, and add value to your property. However, if not planned and executed properly, a pool remodel can quickly become a complete disaster. From skyrocketing costs to shoddy workmanship, there are a number of things that can go wrong.

Thoroughly planning your pool renovation project before you begin is crucial to its success. Without proper planning, the project can quickly become overwhelming and lead to unexpected issues, delays, and budget overruns. A well-planned renovation project, on the other hand, ensures that all aspects of the project are considered, allowing you to make informed decisions and avoid costly mistakes. In this article, we’ll discuss some tips on how to prevent your pool renovation from becoming a complete disaster.

Read our pool renovation guide before starting your pool remodeling project.
Read our pool renovation guide before starting your pool remodeling project.

10 Pool Renovation Tips To Know Before You Start a Remodeling Project

  1. Plan, Plan, Plan

The first step to a successful pool renovation is to plan everything out in advance. Start by making a list of everything you want to accomplish with your renovation. Do you want to add new features like waterfalls or hot tubs? Do you want to replace old pool equipment or resurface the pool? Write down all of your goals and prioritize them.

Pool Service Software

Once you have a list of goals, it’s time to start planning the details. This includes creating a budget, hiring a pool contractor, and determining a timeline. Be sure to get multiple quotes from different contractors, and make sure that they are all licensed and insured. Don’t rush the planning process – taking the time to do it right will save you headaches and money in the long run.

  1. Consider the Overall Design

When renovating your pool, it’s important to consider the overall design of your backyard. Your pool should complement the existing landscaping and outdoor living space. This will help create a cohesive look and add value to your home.

If you’re not sure what design will work best for your backyard, consider consulting with a landscape architect or pool designer. They can help you create a custom design that meets your needs and complements your home’s style.

  1. Address Any Underlying Issues

Before starting any renovation work, it’s important to address any underlying issues with your pool. This includes fixing any leaks, repairing cracks in the pool’s structure, and addressing any plumbing or electrical issues.

If you don’t address these issues before starting your renovation, they can quickly turn into bigger problems, leading to additional costs and delays in your renovation timeline.

  1. Set a Realistic Budget

Before starting any pool renovation project, it’s important to set a realistic budget. That’s one of the most important do’s and don’ts of pool remodeling. This will help you avoid overspending and ensure you’re able to complete the project without running out of money. When setting your budget, be sure to factor in the cost of materials, labor, and any unexpected expenses that may arise.

It’s also important to prioritize your renovation needs. If your budget is limited, focus on fixing any safety issues or structural damage first. Cosmetic upgrades can be done later when you have more funds available.

  1. Get the Necessary Permits

Before starting any pool renovation work, you need to make sure you have all the necessary permits. Building codes vary by state and county, so it’s important to check with your local government to find out what permits you need.

If you fail to obtain the necessary permits, you may be subject to fines and could be forced to stop work on your renovation until you have obtained them. Additionally, not having the proper permits can affect your homeowner’s insurance coverage, leaving you liable in case of accidents or damages.

  1. Don’t Cut Corners

One of the biggest mistakes that homeowners make during a pool renovation is trying to cut corners to save money. While it’s important to stay within your budget, trying to save money by using inferior materials or hiring unlicensed contractors can be a recipe for disaster. In the end, you may end up spending more money to fix the mistakes made by these shortcuts.

If you want your pool renovation to be a success, be willing to invest in quality materials and hire experienced professionals. This may mean spending more money up front, but it will save you money and headaches down the line.

  1. Research Materials and Equipment

When planning your pool renovation, it’s important to research the materials and equipment that you plan to use. Don’t just rely on the recommendations of your contractor – do your own research and make informed decisions. This includes researching the pros and cons of different types of pool finishes, pool heaters, pumps, and filters.

Following the latest trends is smart, but don’t be swayed by gimmicks. Stick to tried and true materials and equipment that are known to work well. This will help ensure that your pool renovation is a success and that you don’t end up with equipment that needs constant repairs or replacement.

  1. Communicate Clearly With Your Contractor

Communication is key when it comes to a successful pool renovation. Make sure that you communicate clearly with your contractor from the start. Discuss your goals and expectations, and make sure that they understand what you want to accomplish with your renovation.

Throughout the renovation process, continue to communicate with your contractor. Ask questions and provide feedback, and make sure that they are keeping you informed of progress and any issues that arise. If you notice something that doesn’t look right, speak up and address it immediately.

  1. Prepare for the Unexpected

No matter how well you plan, there will always be unexpected issues that arise during a pool renovation. This could be anything from weather or equipment delays to unforeseen plumbing issues. Be prepared for these unexpected issues by building in extra time and money into your budget.

Additionally, be willing to be flexible with your renovation plans. If something unexpected comes up that requires a change in plans, be willing to adjust your plans accordingly. This will help ensure that your pool renovation stays on track and doesn’t become a complete disaster.

  1. Don’t Rush the Process

The key to a successful pool renovation is taking your time and doing things right. Rushing the renovation process can lead to mistakes, oversights, and even accidents that can compromise the quality of the work and result in additional costs and delays.

Before starting your renovation, take the time to plan out all the details, including the scope of the work, your budget, and your timeline. Rushing into a renovation without a clear plan can lead to unexpected issues that can quickly spiral out of control.

Common Pool Renovation Projects & How Much They Cost

Marcus Weekes from Premier Pools & Gardens in Brisbane explains that pool renovation projects are a common undertaking for homeowners. He mentions several common projects that homeowners usually choose, including installing new tile and coping, waterline tile, custom interiors, pool lighting, filtration improvement, and equipment relocation.

Renovating Tile & Coping

Renovating tile and coping involves replacing old, worn-out tiles and coping with new ones to give the pool a fresh look. Another popular option is replacing the waterline tile that runs around the perimeter inside of the pool. Homeowners typically will choose between glass and ceramic mosaic tiles to enhance the pool’s appearance.

Custom Interiors

Many pool owners will opt for custom surface interiors. In Australia where Weekes is located, they use Pebblecrete. Here in the U.S. you’re more likely to use Pebbletec. Whichever you opt for, that type of glass beading is used to give the pool a unique and sparkling look.

Adding or Upgrading Lighting

Weekes suggests that adding pool lighting or upgrading to LED lighting can also provide a more vibrant and welcoming atmosphere, especially during nighttime swimming.

Upgrading or Relocating Equipment

He also notes that a pool renovation is an opportune time to improve your pool’s filtration. This can involve replacing old filters or adding new pool equipment to improve the pool’s water quality. Equipment relocation may be necessary if the pool equipment is causing noise or visual distractions.

Pool Renovation Costs

Overall, homeowners can choose from a variety of different renovation projects to upgrade their pool’s appearance and functionality. From small changes like adding lighting to larger projects like custom interiors, these renovations can make a significant difference in the overall enjoyment of the pool. How much your pool remodeling project will cost ultimately boils down to the materials and contractor you choose.

Pool Renovation - BEFORE | Photo Credit: Parrish Pools
Pool Renovation – BEFORE | Photo Credit: Parrish Pools

Renovating a Swimming Pool

Renovating your pool is a significant investment in your home and your family’s enjoyment, and it’s essential to take the process seriously. Rushing into a renovation without careful planning and execution can lead to a variety of issues, including unexpected costs, delays, and even safety hazards. On the other hand, a well-executed renovation can transform your backyard into a beautiful and functional space that adds value to your home.

Pool renovation - AFTER | Photo Credit: Parrish Pools
Pool Renovation – AFTER | Photo Credit: Parrish Pools

Work With an Expert

Perhaps the most critical takeaway in this entire article to preventing your pool renovation from becoming a disaster is to work with a reputable and experienced contractor. Finding the right contractor can be a daunting task, but it’s crucial to take the time to research and interview potential candidates. Look for contractors who have a track record of success in pool renovation and who are licensed, insured, and bonded. Additionally, it’s essential to check references, read online reviews, and ask for a detailed proposal that outlines the scope of work, materials, and costs. By working with a trustworthy contractor, you can ensure that your pool renovation is completed on time, within budget, and to your satisfaction.

Good Communication is Key

The final important takeaway to achieving a successful pool renovation is to plan thoroughly and communicate clearly. This includes identifying your goals and priorities, setting a realistic budget, and creating a detailed timeline for the project. It’s also important to be flexible and open to changes as the project progresses, as unexpected issues can arise that require adjustments to the plan. By working closely with your contractor and communicating regularly, you can stay informed about the progress of the renovation and address any concerns or issues promptly. In the end, a well-planned and executed pool renovation can enhance your home’s value and your family’s enjoyment of your outdoor space for years to come.

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Revolver-Shaped Swimming Pool Creating Controversy Online

A revolver shaped swimming pool has suddenly become the cause of controvery on social media.



Revolver-Shaped Swimming Pool Creating Controversy Online

A Florida couple’s unique swimming pool has been causing a stir all over the internet. The Minardi’s, Louis and Raye Ellen, built a swimming pool in their backyard that was designed to look like a six-shooter revolver. This eye-catching and unconventional pool has gone viral on social media, with people either loving or hating the design.

Florida Homeowners Gun Shaped Pool Turning Heads on Social Media

Louis Minardi, who grew up hunting with friends, remembers receiving his first firearm, a double-barrel shotgun, when he was only in middle school. He went on to open a gunsmith business with his brother after attending classes in 1976. In the 1980s, when he and his wife decided they wanted a lap pool, they called up their friend Albert Jones III, who owned A.H. Jones Pool Company. It was during this conversation that the idea for a gun-shaped pool was born.

Homeowner Wanted A Six-Shooter Shaped Pool For Swimming Laps

Jones, who was bored of building more traditionally shaped pools, showed up with plans modeled after a Ruger Blackhawk, a 1950s-era, Western-style revolver characterized by its long barrel and known for its durability and accuracy. The final result was a 55-foot long pool shaped like a six-shooter revolver, complete with a concrete replica of a bullet.

Tieleman Movable Floors
The revolver shaped swimming pool is located in Odessa, FL - Credit: Reddit
The revolver shaped swimming pool is located in Odessa, FL – Credit: Reddit

“You swim your lap down the barrel,” Minardi said Jones told him. “It gets deeper on that end. You can flip over from it, and then you can swim back.”

Jones begged him, Louis Minardi said, to let him construct the gun pool. He complained that he was sick of making the standard kidney-shaped pools found in so many Florida backyards. Minardi consented, on the condition that he adhere to the financial constraints of his project.

Minardi, who lives in the Tampa area, has owned the revolver-shaped pool for roughly 40 years. “Neighbors that have bought houses around here have all come by,”they’re all, ‘Is this guy a whack job?’,” said Minardi.

Jones, who died in 2010, color-coordinated the perimeter pool tiles to accurately reflect the revolver’s brown handle and silver body. He detailed tiles on the bottom of the pool to distinguish the gun’s individual components, like the trigger and ammunition chamber. And he installed a jacuzzi in the hammer.

Revolver Pool Continues To Stir Controversy 40 Years Later

When Minardi built the pool four decades ago, he created the ultimate conversation starter in his backyard. While the pool has been resurfaced over the years, the shape remains the same. Louis Minardi said the pool is popular among family and friends, who have used it to teach their children to swim.

The revolver-shaped pool, is stirring controversy all over the web due to the ongoing debates surrounding gun culture, gun ownership, and gun violence in the United States. The pool’s unique design, combined with the state’s reputation for guns, has garnered attention and sparked discussion among those who view the pool as a reflection of the state’s gun culture. Some may see the pool as a celebration of gun ownership, while others may view it as insensitive or inappropriate, given the prevalence of gun violence in the country. Additionally, the current political climate in the United States has seen an increase in calls for gun control and regulation, making the pool’s design a polarizing topic of conversation.

The Minardi’s, however, defend their decision, stating that the pool is simply an expression of their love for firearms and gun culture. They believe that the pool is a harmless and fun addition to their backyard, and they have no intention of changing it anytime soon.

Read more:

Interested in more swimming pools with interesting shapes? Pool Magazine has you covered. Check out this Texas-Shaped Pool at the Marriott in Houston, TX.

Featured Photo Credit: YouTube

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Movable Floors are Taking the Pool Industry by Storm



Movable Floors are Taking the Pool Industry by Storm

If you think you need a large backyard or living space to build a pool think again. In 2023 swimming pools will be seen in new shapes, sizes and feature high-tech automation to fit any indoor or outdoor space. One high tech pool feature that is becoming increasingly popular is the movable pool floor.

When most people think of a swimming pool, typically they imagine space devoted exclusively to the pool. The thought that this same space could be used multifunctionally wouldn’t occur to them. Imagine having a party in the backyard with your friends or your family, BBQ fired up and all that is missing is a swimming pool. What if you could magically change your patio into a full-size swimming pool? With the push of a button the water gently starts flowing across the movable floor. The color of the tiles fades away into a tropical blue color and the pool magically appears.

All that’s left to do is tell your astonished guests that the pool party can begin!

@poolmagazine Check out this amazing transformation with @tielemanpooltechnology #Repost – @tielemanpooltechnology 𝗠𝘂𝗹𝘁𝗶𝗳𝘂𝗻𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗶𝗻𝗱𝗼𝗼𝗿 𝘀𝗽𝗮𝗰𝗲 🔄 WAIT FOR IT🔥 We have equipped this client’s swimming pool with a custom-made movable floor (28.87 x 18.54 ft), including integrated stairs. This way, no valuable space is wasted, and the client can use his pool for several activities. The floor can be operated in a flash by means of its touch screen. Looking for a custom-made movable floor yourself? Check our website or contact us at [email protected] #movablefloor #vireel #reelsinstagram #reels #pooldesigns #pools #trending #movablepoolfloors  #custompool  #poolsofinstagram #pooldesign #dreampool #architecturephotography #poolconstruction #design #tielemanpool #poolscape #custompool #architecture #homedesign #homeideas #poolbuilder #landscapedesign #like4like #likeforlike #movablefloor #tielemanpooltechnology #designbuild #luxuryhomes #dreamhouse #luxury #luxurylifestyle ♬ Paradise by Coldplay – PoolMagazine

The technology behind a movable pool floor

For more than 50 years, Tieleman Pool Technology is the mastermind behind these floating movable pool floors. The unique Tieleman movable floor system consists of a stainless steel 316L floating platform which features a series of cables and a pulley system with a water-based hydraulic cylinder.

Video showing a movable pool floor by Tieleman Technology

The strong base of the movable floor provides a bearing capacity of over 100kg per m² (220lbs per ft²). Integrated in the structure are solid buoyancy devices that allow the pool floor to float to the surface. This implies that all technology is concealed within the frame of the movable floor and thus no cables along the pool wall, which ensures a high level of safety and clean finish.

The floor can be adjusted to every desired depth. When the floor is moved, the water will gently flow through the small gap between the floor and the pool wall. Within about four to five minutes your patio or living space is transformed into a full-size swimming pool. If you would like to see various movable floors you should definitely  request the free brochure here .

Benefits for pool owners

A movable pool floor is not just high-end engineering and design. Besides the fact that a movable floor allows you to use your pool multifunctionally, it has numerous benefits in store for pool owners.

  • Ultimate safety

A movable floor enables you to adjust the water depth of you swimming pool according to your personal preferences. This increases safety for users, especially children. In a raised position the pool is inaccessible for incorrect or unsupervised use.

  • Saves energy

The historic drought , particularly in the western and southwestern United States, has led to an increasing demand for sustainable solutions that significantly reduce pool water evaporation. In a raised position, the movable pool floor prevents water evaporation, heat loss and ensures lower heating costs through insulation integrated in the floor.

  • User-friendly

The movable floor system is very convenient and therefore user-friendly. The operation is controlled via a simple push button, a touch panel or a mobile device, which can be equipped with passwords for different users.

Eye-catching details and architectural integrity

It is no longer a secret that flexibility and functionality of space, architectural integrity and, last but not least endless customization, can no longer be dismissed from luxury residences and swimming pools in the year 2023. As Steve Jobs (co-founder of Apple, Inc) once said: “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.

As a swimming pool and its movable floor form an essential part of the architectural stronghold, Tieleman exclusively engineers each movable floor to incorporate the ideas and options desired by the client.

And that is why Tieleman is definitely setting the bar with their movable floors and associated options. The shape is only limited by the available free space and additional features (integrated stairs, integrated sun deck/lounge area, swim-out benches e.a.) are engineered and designed to match the pool and its surroundings. So whatever idea you have, with a Tieleman movable floor the possibilities are endless.

A great opportunity for pool builders to expand their business

It can be challenging for pool builders to compete due to the constant trends in the industry. Therefore, pool builders and designers must find ways to stay innovative. In turn, movable floors give pool builders access to a new niche market, allowing them to increase sales, revenue and profits. In fact, industry experts predict that movable floors will not only take the pool industry by storm but even grow to become a household name within the industry. So definitely something to keep an eye on.

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