Getting an above-ground pool for your yard is exciting. But where exactly is the best place to put it? And where can it fit?
As an above-ground pool installer, I get flooded with questions about where to put the pool in the yard. After 35 years of installing, I’ve come up with thirteen things to consider.
13 POTENTIAL FACTORS WITH THE PLACEMENT OF AN ABOVE GROUND POOL
- Overhead power lines
- View from the house
- Other backyard components
- Having room around the pool
- Septic system
- Where the future deck will go
- Future backyard components
- How close to the house
- Existing and future landscaping
- Grade in the yard
- What the neighbors can see
SIZE MATTERS. FOR THE YARD AND POOL THAT IS
I have installed above-ground pools in tiny backyards that could only hold a 12’ round and I have installed pools on thousand plus acre properties.
Choosing the right size pool for the size and shape of your yard is one of the factors to consider before buying a pool that is not covered here. If you haven’t bought a pool yet, read here to help decide which size pool to get.
Every yard has easements. These are setbacks from your property line or fence that your local government wants you to keep clear.
Although many people don’t abide by their easements, it’s not a bad idea to at least know what yours are (in case you want to make sure your pool is installed in a legal spot in the yard)
It would be impossible for me to tell you what your yard’s easements are as every little municipality can have its own requirements. Also, if you are adjacent to a wetland or some other protected land type, you may have to stay even further away from that.
An example of a yard’s easements here in Central Florida might be something like five feet off the side property line and ten feet off the back line. There’s no telling though. The only way to know what your easements are is to contact your local building department.
Overhead power lines
This is an across-the-board restriction. If you have any type of overhead power line, your pool must be at least ten linear feet away from it. This includes any overhead power line. Even an overhead cable or phone line. I’m going to say this again in bold because no one ever hears it the first time. “This includes any overhead power line. Even overhead cable or phone lines”
Just like with easements, many will install their above-ground pool directly under a power line. It won’t be a legal spot but it may be the only way they can have a pool in the yard if the power line runs straight through the middle of it.
Here in Central Florida, I have heard of people having to take down their pool by order of the electric company when they see it placed under a power line. This is rare, but I guess they have the power to make you move it. (excuse the pun).
Trees are nice, but they can also suck if they are in the way of where you want to put your pool.
Most want to keep their trees at almost any cost and I don’t blame them. When t comes to pool placement though, you may have to consider your trees an enemy.
PROS AND CONS TO HAVING A TREE CLOSE TO YOUR ABOVE GROUND POOL
PRO – Trees offer shade for the deck and outside pool area. This is nice on hot days.
PRO – Trees help keep the pool’s water at a cooler temperature. In hotter areas with longer swim seasons, a pool’s water can get too warm during the summer. This is from too much direct sunlight.
A nice shady tree close to the pool will block some of the day’s sun from warming up the pool water.
PRO – Trees are very aesthetically pleasing. During the hot summer, trees help make for a pleasing and inviting environment for outdoor backyard activities.
CON – If too close to the install site, the trees’ roots can make the job much harder as they can be hard to remove. Big tree roots have to be cut completely out of the install site. This can add hours to the install.
CON – If the tree is too close, roots will grow under the liner. It usually takes a few years, but they can grow big enough for you to feel them under the liner. NOTE: Growing tree roots typically do not cause any liner damage.
CON – Trees have leaves. And leaves fall into the pool. This is especially the case if any tree branches are hanging directly over the water of the pool. Too much of a big tree hanging over the pool can result in a maintenance nightmare.
CON – Trees contain life. Expect more things like bugs and spiders going into the pool when closer to a tree.
CON – Depending on where you live, severe weather can cause large branches of trees to fall. If a pool is directly under, this can cause damage.
View from the house
Think of what your backyard looks like when you look out into your backyard. Now, think about what it will look like with an above-ground pool there.
Most above-ground pools are installed on the ground and are about four feet high. Depending on where you put it, this can change the way your backyard looks from inside your house. And you may not want to see a big wall front and center.
Being able to see the kids from the house
This is a common concern and want when deciding where to put the pool. Many parents want to be able to see the kids swimming from a certain window or the back patio. For some, this is the most important factor for where the pool is going to go.
Other backyard components
What’s in your yard now? A shed? A patio? A fire pit? An engine block? LOL. Consider how the existing things in your yard will be affected based on where you install your above-ground swimming pool.
As an example, if you have a shed with a riding mower kept in it, think about how much room it takes to drive the mower in and out of that shed. You may not want to put the pool too close to the front of it because it needs a lot of space for the mower.
Having room around the pool
Many people really like the way their yard currently is, but they want to have a pool too. For some, their solution is to cram the pool as far in the corner of the yard as they can.
This sometimes means that people want their pool installed directly next to the back and side fence so they can keep the yard nice and open. This is ok, but consider being able to at least walk all the way around the outside of your pool.
Having space all around the pool can be helpful for vacuuming, skimming, and brushing it.
Also, if you have grass around the pool, consider that you need enough space between the pool and fence for the mower.
If you have a septic system in your yard, you have to know its boundaries. Installing an above-ground pool on or too close to a septic system is a bad idea.
Learn more about above grounds and septic systems here
Where the future pool deck will go
If you are planning on having an above-ground pool with a deck, it’s by far a better idea to install the pool first, then the deck.
Knowing how big, what shape, and where you want to put your pool deck is very important when choosing where in the yard to install the pool. Remember – Pool install first, then deck install.
To learn more about decks and above ground pools here
Future backyard components
Do you have plans to add more things to your backyard in the near or distant future? It’s good to know what you’re future plans are and considering them when deciding where to put your pool.
In most cases, the pool is the main component of a backyard. Other things are important too and you don’t want to limit the yard by putting a pool smack dab in the middle and in the way of whatever else you plan on adding to it in the future.
Make a list of the things you are going to get for your yard and consider where they are going before deciding on where to put the pool. Doing a sketch of the yard with everything you want is a great idea. The picture you draw will give you a nice mental view of what you ultimately want for your yard.
How close to the house
I’m not a fan of putting an above-ground pool too close to the house, but some don’t have a lot of choices.
If you have only a small area to work with and are thinking of putting the pool very close to the house, then consider these two things:
One – Rainwater running off the roof – Look to see how the water runs off of your house roof to the yard. If it runs off where you want to put the pool, either plan on setting the pool further away from the run-off or plan on installing a gutter to divert it.
One thing is for sure. You don’t want rainwater to run off the roof and into the pool. And you don’t want rainwater to run directly next to the outside of the pool. That may cause some erosion.
Two – Your municipality may have a distance restriction from the pool to the house – Most don’t care about permits but if you do, then putting your pool in a “legal” spot may mean you have to stay away from the house by a certain amount. I have seen restrictions varying from three feet to fifteen feet away from the house’s exterior wall.
Existing and future landscaping
As I am writing this, I’m in the middle of re-landscaping my front yard. And landscape planning can be a pain.
For some, landscaping is very important. For others, grass doesn’t even matter. There’s no question though that nice landscaping can really make a backyard.
When thinking about where the pool may go, think about the existing landscaping and how the pool location will affect it. Also, consider the landscaping that you are planning for in the future.
An above-ground swimming pool with being the biggest component in your yard, so if you are into landscaping, know that this will matter to your overall look.
Grade in the yard
What I mean here is to be aware of how off-level the yard is in the areas you are considering to have an above-ground pool.
Remember that a swimming pool has to be level, so that means if your yard is off, then some of the pool will be going in the ground. It can be nice having some of the pool buried but know that the more off-level the yard, the more earth will have to be moved for the install.
If you are having someone install the pool like me, then it can cost more for the installation depending on where in the yard you put the pool. It’s not uncommon for people to decide where they want their pool based on the cost.
If self-installing, you may go for a flatter install spot in the yard to save you some digging. This is especially the case if you are only using shovels and your ground is hard.
NOTE: If you have an irrigation/sprinkler system in your yard, my advice is to not let it influence where the pool is going. Chances are you will run into some irrigation lines even in areas that you didn’t think they were run.
What your neighbors can see
Like I always say “They aren’t called above-ground pools because that’s just a cool name”. These pools are above the earth by about four feet. This means that your neighbors may be able to see you swimming depending on the layout of the neighborhood.
Also, most decks built for above-ground pools are high up. This is because decks are nicer when the pool’s water is at your feet and you don’t have to climb over a wall to get in.
When the pool’s deck is high, then surrounding neighbors may be able to easily see all deck activities. And most want privacy with their pool.
If privacy is important to you, then you may have better areas in the yard to put the pool where your neighbors won’t see you as much. For many, this is a BIG consideration.