How Much Do Above Ground Pools Cost (Buying and Maintenance)

Pool lovers can understand the convenience of having an above-ground pool in their backyard. Also, it makes financial sense to have an above-ground pool over going with the regular in-ground options. However, the average cost of maintaining this type of pool keeps many of us worried about owning one.

If you are also facing similar problems, our estimate of maintaining an above-ground pool will help you out. We will break down all the costs you may need to bear to keep your pool clean and sustainable.

What is the Cost of an Above Ground Pool?

Pool SizeAverage Price
12′ round$820 – $1,570
15′ round$820 – $2,100
18′ round$1,240 – $2,700
24’ round$1,300 – $2,900
30’ round$1,600 – $4,500
24’x12′ oval$1,480 – $2,720
33’x18′ oval$1,800 – $3,530
41’x21′ oval$4,010 – $4,840
12’x24’ rectangle$1,200 – $2,800
9’x18’ rectangle$820 – $2,100

It is crucial to know that the average cost of maintaining a pool depends on what type of pool you have. Additionally, the size of your pool plays an important role as well. Thus, we need to consider the cost of an above-ground pool before we break down the costs of maintaining it. 

Pool Size

The overall cost you need to spend mostly depends on your above-ground swimming pool’s size. Of course, a pool that fits 4-5 swimmers will cost less than a swimming pool for 6-7 swimmers. 

For example, it requires you to spend $820 – $1,570 to purchase a 12′ round pool. But it costs you $1,480 – $2,720 to get a 24’x12′ oval above-ground pool. 

On the other hand, you need to spend $1,200 – $2,800 to buy a 12’x24′ rectangle pool. 

You observed how the price varies when it comes to the different sizes and shapes of the pool. The round shape is the least expensive above-ground pool type. 

Other Factors that Affect The Cost

Apart from the pool size, depth, and dimension, the following criteria are also responsible for adding the cost to buy an above-ground pool. They are: 

Pool’s Material

What material the pool uses as its construction affects the price. Steel, resin, and aluminum are the most commonly used elements to make a pool. Each of the construction materials has its upsides and downsides. 

Steel is the least expensive and the strongest pool material. But the drawback is- it fails to resist corrosion & oxidation for a long time. On the other hand, the resin is pricier than the steel. It is corrosion-resistant and stays cool to touch on a sunny day. However, it can’t withstand cracking & fading because of UV exposure & winter weather. 

And aluminum is the most expensive pool material. It can shield corrosion, cold temperature, and everyday wear & tear. On top of this, you can effortlessly put it together and carry it as aluminum is lighter than steel and resin. 

Set-up

Setting the above-ground pool also adds a bill to your cost list. However, you can cut down the installation cost if you turn it into a DIY project. It will be handy to put together your above-ground pool if the kits come with an easy-to-follow installation guide. Otherwise, you need to call a professional to do this task for you, which costs you around $823-$3233. 

Pool Brand

The price of an above-ground pool also depends on what brand it comes from. Generally, the brand of a pool determines the quality. And a high-quality pool requires more money to get. You can find different brands that offer above-ground pools. However, Intex, Coleman, Summer Wave, Aqua Blue, Kayak, and Doughboy are some examples of top-tier pool brands. 

Tips to Save the Cost of Your Pool

Installing an above-ground pool in your backyard is such a dream that requires both money & labor cost. However, you can reduce the cost following the below-saving tips. 

Downsize Your Pool

You can effortlessly avoid the throat-cut price by considering the right size of your pool. Before purchasing a swimming pool, determine what size you need based on your family members. It doesn’t make sense to get a large size pool when you have only three-four people in your family. And you already know size & shape affect the price. 

Enjoy the Labor

Putting the above-ground pool by yourself is the holy grail to lower the cost to get a pool. If you want to save your wallet, don’t hire a professional to do the labor for installing your pool. Instead, pick the pool kits that include clear instructions to assemble the unit. 

Invest in High-quality Pool

We agree that it costs you a lot of bucks to get high-quality above-ground pool kits. But don’t forget getting a pool doesn’t only include the immediate cost. It also adds up the bill you need to spend to maintain your pool over the years. A sturdy swimming pool requires less maintenance which costs less money to repair.  

Above Ground Pool Maintenance Cost

Here’s an estimate of maintaining costs for different sizes of pools.

Pool SizeMaintenance Costs (Monthly)Maintenance Costs (Yearly)
12 Ft Round$12-$15$100-$200
18 Ft Round$14-$20$150-$250
24 Ft Round$20-$35$250-400
30 Ft Round$25-$45$300-$500

Note: These numbers can vary depending on the usage, chemical & equipment preferences, or change in licensing or insurance of the pool.

Breakdown of Maintenance Cost

To help you get a personalized estimate, we will break down all the maintenance costs separately. With these estimates, you can figure out which equipment you own and whether you will need them or not. Thus, you can avoid the cost of equipment and tools that does not concern you.

It is important because some factors like water chemicals and saltwater pool systems are quantity-based. It means other factors may not come into play for different sizes of pools (pool filters, vacuum cleaners, insurance, etc).

Here are the factors that affect the cost of maintaining an above ground pool.

Pool Opening

Most pool owners use their outdoor pool in the summer season only. After the end of the season, they cover up the pool. When the summer season comes, you need to make yourself prepared to open the pool. On average, it takes you around $150-$300 to open up your backyard pool. 

But if you fail to winterize your pool appropriately & your pool water turns green, it costs you double. In other words, you need to spend $300-$400 to scrub away & treat your pool to make it ready to jump. 

Cost of Maintaining Your Pool Pump

Pool pump assists you in circulating water to suck away debris and dissolves chemicals properly. Also, the pump doesn’t allow algae to grow as they can’t bring up in the water current. Before starting your pool, inspect the strainer basket & O-ring to ensure they function smoothly. Otherwise, they require you to repair, which costs you a few bucks. 

Pool Heater Maintenance Cost

It is recommendable to keep the pool heater area dirt-free if you have one in your pool to heat the water. Bear in mind; an overactive pool water heater may affect your pool chemistry. We recommend you hire a pro technician to inspect your pool heater to check whether it works or not. Each year it takes your $100-$200 to test the pool heater by hiring a professional pool service guy. 

Chemicals

pool chemicals

The most common cost of maintaining an above-ground pool concerns the cost of chemicals used to purify the water. For an average-sized pool, the chemical costs can range between $5-$10 per month. If you buy the chemicals stocks for like 6 months, you can bring it down to $3-$6 per month. However, it also depends on the additional chemicals that some people like to add to their pools.

That is why you should check the quality of your pool water after several uses and understand whether it requires additional care.

Filters

Both the frame above ground pools and inflatable pools require proper maintenance of pool filters. It helps you keep your pool clean from contaminants and other water impurities. The cost of replacing your pool filters depends on what type of filters you use. Usually, a sand filter is the most affordable for pool owners and costs somewhere around $150-$200.

Similarly, you can get a cartridge filter for the same costs ranging from $175-$250. Finally, DE pool filters are the most expensive and cost around $250-$500.

Now, you also need to consider how many replacements you need in a year. Usually, changing your pool filters once a year is enough for the pool. However, if the water is getting filtered multiple times due to excessive contaminants, you may need to change it multiple times. Thus, check the performance of the above-ground pool that you wish to buy and understand the filter system to get these estimates. You can bring down these costs by adapting the use of bleach in pool water

Cleaning Charges

Now, these charges depend on whether you hire someone to clean your pool or you do it yourself. If you decide to hire someone, it will cost you each month. However, it will help you to avoid buying a vacuum cleaner or other accessories.

Also, you will need to find different solutions to deal with algae, leaves, bacteria. These things will require a vacuum cleaner, a pool net, and other equipment as well. It means you will have to add some cleaning charges one way or another.

However, the cleaning charges can double your pool maintenance costs. That is why most pool owners do it themselves.

pH Maintenance Cost

pH testing

Maintaining and testing the pH level of your pool is critical. It doesn’t only keep your pool water healthy but also protects you from several health issues. Applying an excessive amount of chlorine can reduce the pH level. Though you can increase the pH level by maintaining the chlorine level, it will not be the best method. We recommend you keep the pH level between 7.4-7.6. In this case, you can get a pool test kit to check the pH level and balance the water according to the result. 

Chlorine Wash

Chlorine helps to disinfect your chlorine pool water by killing germs & bacteria. But the extreme hot sunny day, pool party, or storm can unbalance your pool water and affect your pool chemistry. Chlorine treatment may not be able to prevent the bacteria from coming into your pool. In this case, washing your entire swimming pool with chlorine will be the best way to sanitize your pool. It will eat up to $300-$500 to chlorine-wash your pool. 

Acid Wash

Sometimes you may need to do an acid using muriatic acid to remove stubborn scum from the sides of your pool. This cleaning is only occasional and overuse of chemicals can damage your pool surface. This cost can be around $100-$150. Muriatic acid will also lower your water pH level and control the excessive mineral buildup.

Tips on Keeping the Maintenance Cost Lower

Follow the below tips to save your money on the cost of pool maintenance. 

Clean Your Pool Regularly: It is better to clean the pool regularly to save the repairing cost. Fish out leaves, dirt, and dust from the pool using a vacuum. If you tidy up your backyard pool daily, dirt, dust, and debris can’t make a room in your pool that may affect the water quality. So, you don’t need to apply expensive treatments to balance the water. 

Cover Your Pool: Get a pool cover to wrap up your entire pool when you don’t use the pool. It helps to prevent dirt, debris, and leaves from falling into your pool. 

Run the Pool Pump for 8 hours: Many pool owners think running the pool pump for 24 hours will help circulate the water properly. But it is not an energy-efficient option, which may go up the electricity bill. Instead, operate your pool pump for 8 hours a day, which is enough to circulate your pool water. 

Keep the Pool Equipment in the Shed: Don’t forget to store and keep your pool accessories like a skimmer or vacuum in a shed area. Otherwise, the UV rays of the sun can damage those pieces of equipment. 

One Time- Investments For Maintaining An Above Ground Pool

The above factors were related to the costs that you will be spending almost every month. However, there are things like equipment that are usually one-time investments and you do not need to worry about them for years. Here, we will cover them to give you an estimate of the real costs of maintaining an above-ground pool.

Pool Cover

Solar Pool Cover
A Solar Pool Cover

A pool cover is more like a one-time investment that does not require many shares in your budget. However, you will need to find a cover that protects your pool (frame & body) and the water to avoid cleaning it all over again. It is important to know that emptying your pool and refilling the water can cost you much more than you think.

Thus, investing in an effective pool cover can cost you around $50-100$. 

Permit and Insurance

In some states, you need a permit to have an above-ground pool at your home. That is why you need to consider this cost as well. However, there is no fixed plan for a permit as it depends on the weather and other conditions of the state where you live. On average, it might cost you around $100 to get the permit and $75 on the insurance of your pool. Consult your local Insurance companies for details.

Pool Cleaner or Vacuum Cleaner

robot pool cleaner
A Robotic Pool Cleaner

A vacuum cleaner is another investment that larger pool owners may consider. It is important for pool owners who have at least 24’ pools in their backyard. The good news is that you can easily get a pool above-ground pool vacuum cleaner on a budget that will bring down your maintenance costs.

All these investments may not be required for each pool owner. If you own a small pool, you can avoid buying a vacuum cleaner. A pool net, hose, pool cover, and other types of equipment must be considered in your final estimates as well.

If you want a hassle-free cleaning, you may consider an automatic vacuum or robotic pool vacuum, which may cost around $400-$1500.

For a cheap vacuum solution, you can try a manual vacuum with a telescopic pool to reach the lower surface of the poo.

Don’t want to invest in a vacuum? Learn how to remove algae from a pool without using a vacuum cleaner.

Decks

Most people add decks to their above-ground pools to make them safe and convenient for all the family members. Thus, you must consider the average cost of buying and installing the decks to your above ground pool. A deck can cost you somewhere around $1000-$1500 easily. 

As it depends on the choice of the owner, we won’t add the costs of installing in our maintenance cost estimates.

Are you confused about whether you need a deck for your above-ground pool? Here are the benefits of adding one.

  • Decks are the most suitable option to use around an above ground pool
  • Decks are stain-resistant and you won’t need to worry about cleaning them
  • They have a mold-resistant property

Maintenance Cost Comparison Between Saltwater System and Chemical-based Cleaning

Another way to understand the estimated pool maintenance cost is by considering the type of water-purifying system you are using. It will help you understand how having a saltwater cleaning system can change your costs drastically.

So let’s have a look at the system and understand the maintenance cost of this option.

Saltwater Pool Cleaning System

If you are considering buying a large pool (24’ or 30’), you may need to go with the saltwater system. This system keeps the water clean using the salt treatment of water. However, this system is a bit expensive and costs you somewhere around $250-$500 (with a pool pump). The main benefit of this system is that it will help you get rid of your cost of chemicals by providing a more natural and affordable alternative to chemicals.

Thus, a saltwater system is an important part of maintaining an above ground pool. Although the saltwater cleaning system uses salt to chlorinate the water, you may still need some chemicals to keep it free from bacteria.

Chemical-Based Cleaning System

The best thing about a chemical-based cleaning system is you can use it with almost every above-ground pool. There’s no need for a big initial investment and you can start enjoying your pool by as little as $5. However, when you look at the bigger picture, you will find that this method requires regular investments and you will be paying somewhere between $10-$40 each month.

After looking at both these options, the easiest way to compare them is by the usage and time.

Here’s an easy way to understand it. 

Cleaning System1st Year Costs2nd Year Costs3rd Year Costs
Saltwater Cleaning System$550$50 (part replacements)$50 (part replacements)
Chemical-based CleaningSystem$300$300$300

Here you can see that the saltwater system is more like a one-time investment and requires spare parts replacements in rare events. On the other hand, a chemical-based cleaning system requires a constant budget each year. That is why it entirely depends on your plans with your above-ground pool. Another thing to consider is your usage. If you increase the frequency of using your pool, the cleaning-based system may require additional investments. However, the saltwater system stays constant (or negligible change) with the increased usage as well.

How much does it cost to maintain a pool monthly?

After considering all the above factors, you can easily figure out the annual cost of maintenance of your pool. However, if you do not want to think ahead and just need monthly estimates, here’s how you can do it. 

Consider $5 for chemicals, $10 for filters, and $10 as an installment of one-time investments. It brings down your monthly cost to $25 per month. It looks like an affordable option to enjoy a pool with clean water all to yourself. However, the costs can rise if you need emergency replacements for your pool. Also, you may need to consider the pool size to get the correct estimates for yourself. 

Final Verdict

Having an above ground pool and maintaining it are two different things. Although it depends entirely on the person maintaining the pool, the average yearly costs can be around $250-$350 (excluding pool filter costs). That is why it is important to consider these expenses before owning an above ground pool.

Also, hiring someone to take care of your pool can impact the estimates as well. Thus, it’s all about understanding what works best for you, and how much you are willing to invest in your pool. 

If you consider the average price of an above-ground pool, you will find a much more comfortable way of getting the maintenance cost estimates. Also, considering the type of cleaning system will give you an estimate of the long-term usage of your swimming pool. As mentioned earlier, the saltwater system makes more sense and provides long-term values over a chlorine-based cleaning system.

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