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  • Writer's pictureStruan Bourquin

A Quick Fix Swimming Pool Solution: The Above Ground Pool

Traditional swimming pools are great, they look good and generally will add value to your property. But they are also expensive, require a fair amount of time and planning to have installed, and require all-year-round maintenance. I know, I've been through the process first-hand. An above-ground pool is a really good option if you need a pool fast and requires very little maintenance to my surprise!

Shortly after renovating our home to include a sizeable entertainment area with a moderately sized swimming pool, we emigrated to the UK to be closer to my wife's family.

pool and entertainment area in South Africa
Our pool and entertainment area in South Africa.

But, having enjoyed a swimming pool lifestyle, my 5-year-old daughter was in desperate need of a daily splash. Swimming pools are extremely common in middle-class South Africa, they are not at all in the UK. Yet British summers can reach well into the 30-degree Celsius mark for weeks on end, reaching 40ºC last summer. The heat waves can be unbearable because British houses are geared for the cold with double-glazed windows, carpeted floors and central heating, but not for the warming summertime.

An inflatable splash pool is a possible answer, sure. But you can't do much in them, they aren't adult-friendly, and the water turns green pretty quickly.

Reluctantly, I agreed to let my wife order an above-ground pool after she came back from a kiddies playdate where a friend had one, knowing that I would be the one maintaining it.

Levelled ground for pool
I levelled the earth as best as possible, then laid down some old flagstone before adding a rubber mat toppers.

Important to note: you need a completely flat, level surface without lumps and bumps for your pool to sit on. This was something I had not taken into consideration and delayed the installation by two days. Pro-Tip: download the manual from your pool manufacturer's website while you wait for your pool to arrive so that you can prep the ground/surface ahead of the pool's arrival.

Apart from levelling my garden in one corner, once the pool was delivered, it only took 15 minutes to construct the above-ground pool's structure, and around 4 hours to fill with water.

  1. Get a pool cover: This is crucial to keep your pool maintenance at a minimum. They are relatively cheap and keep debris out when you are not using the pool while preventing the pool from going green by limiting algae's ability to photosynthesise.

  2. Get a filter: This will circulate the water and clear micro particles out of the water.

  3. Get a pool net: This is generally only needed directly after you have been swimming to collect bits of grass, leaves and other debris that may have been carried in by swimmers. Failing to remove debris will lead to it breaking down in the water, effectively rotting away, creating a murky pool.

  4. Get a chlorine floater: this will dramatically improve the quality of the water in your pool and will keep it clear.

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