If you’ve visited our blog before, you may already know that I am a fan of garden swimming pools. In fact, I’ve had mine for four years. It’s an above ground model and super-easy – and cheap – to maintain. We put it up at the end of every April and take it down in the second week of September. It has provided countless hours of fun, not to mention exercise, and was an absolute godsend last year.
If you aren’t sure about venturing too far away from home this summer, you will appreciate the difference a pool in your own garden can make to your life.
Compared to the cost of running a hot tub, a pool with a simple filter and solar heater is inexpensive. The main outlay is the initial filling of the pool. Thereafter, it is a question of topping up chlorine tablets, running the pump for a couple of hours a day (literally just a few pence) and keeping a check on the filter.
There has never been a better time to invest in an above ground pool. They are easy to install and come in a range of shapes and sizes. The number of available accessories has grown in recent years – everything from solar blankets to floating bars.
Tip: It’s best to buy a pool in the spring because prices often go up in the summer and stock sells out.
What To Consider Before Buying An Above Ground Pool
Before you put up a garden swimming pool, you will need to ensure that the ground is completely flat. This is not just because of aesthetics but safety. You should also ensure the pool is sited well away from the house. Measure the amount of room you’ve got carefully, so that you don’t end up with a pool that is too big for the space available. I recommend using a spirit level when preparing the ground. Before erecting a pool, make sure it is going on a soft surface. I check for any stones and twigs, before putting down a thick tarpaulin. Never even-up a surface with sand, even though it may be tempting. Putting down a layer of soft sand is fine but only on ground that is already completely flat.
Choose a pool manufactured from durable materials. Steel framed pools with tri-material liners are best. Consider how much you want to spend on heating your pool. Although electric and other models are available, I’ve found a solar one attached to the pump does the job fine. It raises the temperature by a good number of degrees while being environmentally friendly and with no running costs. Heating the pool can take a few days initially. Also, bear in mind, the space your pool has occupied over summer will be devoid of grass once you take it down.
What Accessories Are Essential?
- Filter pump (if not supplied with the pool)
- A cover
- Spare filters
- Chlorine tablets
- Debris collector net
- Solar blanket
- Heater/solar heater
- Water quality test kit
- Set up chemical kit
Always ensure children are supervised!
This Year’s Best Buy Garden Swimming Pools
We’ve put together our Best Buys based on durability, availability and price.
Click an image for more information about a specific pool.
**All prices correct at the time of publishing.
Above Ground Pool Accessories
Caring For Your Skin After Swimming
Chlorine can dry out and age the skin. It can also cause irritation. After swimming in a pool, shower as soon as possible – initially with just warm water. You can then wash with your usual products. Pat the skin dry and then moisturise. Pay particular attention to folds in the skin, the face, lower legs and hands and feet.
Today’s note to readers: We’ve had some great times in our pool. Here are a few images. We have bought a slightly smaller, rectangle-shaped pool this year (to allow room for a new greenhouse) and I can’t wait to put it up! Pictured are my partner and granddaughter. She has spent far too long on computer games over the winter, so the pool will be a great incentive to reduce those screen hours!