"> When is the Best Time of Year to Install an Above Ground Pool – Above Ground Pools Know it All

When is the Best Time of Year to Install an Above Ground Pool

As an above-ground pool installer for 36 years, all of my summers are the same. I am slammed with installs.

All year long, I get inquiries from people about installing their above-ground pool. And even though I tell them all to get it installed during the “off-season”, a very few do.

When to install above ground pool

The best time to DIY or have an above-ground swimming pool installed is during the off-season and when it’s not too cold. This, depending on where you live, will be between October and February when daytime temperatures can have highs above 70 degrees Fahrenheit.


There are three reasons why an above-ground cannot be installed due to seasonal weather. And that is if the ground is frozen, if it’s the rainy season, and if the outside temperature is below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you live in a northern region where the ground freezes, then you are probably already aware that the frozen earth cannot be moved easily, so most earth-related construction has to wait until the ground thaws.

Swimming pools have to be level, so being able to work the earth to make a flat surface is absolutely necessary.

In southern areas of the US, the ground doesn’t freeze, so that’s not an issue. But you still can’t install an above-ground when it’s cold out. The reason – because you cannot properly set the liner when it’s too cold.

You could do the groundwork, set and level the bottom track, roll out the wall and install the uprights and top rails in any temperature of weather you like. But not the liner.

Oval above ground pool installed during the rainy season. Pool had to be taken down to wait for the ground to dry
DIY oval installed during the rainy season

If your area has a rainy season, it can be risky to install a pool during that time. Sometimes you can start with your ground dry, then it can rain during the install and ruin your job. It’s always best to know that the rains won’t saturate where you are installing the pool.


When cold, vinyl liners get stiff and don’t like to unfold. And even when you get one unfolded and in position, the wrinkles from the folds will not pull out smooth when it’s too cold.

Also, vinyl liners are made to stretch some. A lot actually. When it’s too cold out, the liner may not stretch enough to get it onto the walls of the pool.


A good safe temperature starts at around 70 degrees Fahrenheit and above. I have installed liners colder than this, but don’t recommend it.

Where I am in Central Florida, we don’t get many winter days with highs below 70°F, so it’s not usually an issue. I have installed liners in the high 50°s but it was very sunny (not a cloud in the sky) out, so the liner heated up nicely by the direct sunlight.

In truth, I was younger when I installed liners in cold temperatures. I probably wouldn’t do it anymore as it’s much harder to get it wrinkle-free and there’s a higher margin for error.

So, unless you have a very experienced installer and the liner must get done on a particular day and it’s very sunny, then wait until the highs are above 70°F.


First off, most of you who are reading this and getting a pool installed will do it/have it done during the summer months. It’s just human nature.

For me, this is just some proof that we are nothing more than animals of the planet. We are predictably actionable by our environment. In other words, most will think about getting their pool installed before or after the swim season (because it makes good sense), but will then only act on it when it gets hot outside.

For this reason and despite my years of trying to convince people to install in the off-season, 80% of my income comes during the five hottest summer months.

Where I install pools, people just can’t seem to pull the trigger until it hits 90°F outside. Then I get flooded with install inquiries all at once. This happens every single year without fail.

One of the advantages to getting an above-ground pool over an inground type is that it can be installed in one day versus weeks or months.

In the summer, quality above-ground pool installers get backed up. I can get backed up and will schedule out as far as six weeks in the summer. This means that because you had to wait until it was 90° out before you acted, you’ll now have to wait weeks to get this six-hour install completed.

Now, if you are planning on installing the pool yourself, then you won’t have to worry about finding a good installer. You will have to deal with the heat though.

In my three and a half decades of installing pools, very, very few DIYers have proclaimed that it was an easy job. And if I eliminate the ego factor for those stating this, then almost no one thinks self-installing an above ground is easy.

For a guy like me who has installed more than six thousand pools, I can say that it’s fairly easy. This is with me having a machine to do the groundwork, a laser level, and (hopefully) an experienced helper.

So for a super experienced installer like me, the job is very streamlined and orderly. I can tell you that the summer heat is the biggest obstacle to installing pools.

Even though I have been working out in the Florida summer heat for 36 years, the heat still kicks my ass. There’s only so much getting used to it.

As a DIYer, the heat of your summer will make the job of installing your above-ground pool much harder than it would be if you can manage to get it done just maybe a month or two beforehand.


1. Can schedule a qualified installer faster

As stated above, 80% of my income comes during the hottest five months of the year. This means that I’m not very busy during the other seven months.

Here in Florida, our swim season is very long. For installers further north, their summer busy season may only be two or three months. Regardless of the region, pool installers aren’t busy during their off-season.

Pool installers then need to make money and need to work during the off-season. This means that they will get your pool scheduled and done in days instead of weeks.

2. Experienced installers are more likely to take on a bigger or more difficult job during the off-season

Like anything else, some pool installs are easier than others. The biggest example of this is oval versus round pool installations.

About five years ago, I stopped installing the bigger ovals during the summer months. They are too much more difficult than the round-shaped ones and since I have as many round pools as I can do when it’s busy, why should I kill myself and make less money installing big ovals in the brutal heat?

Other jobs I won’t take on during the summer are giant round pools(33’, 36’), some semi-inground models, and difficult retrofit jobs involving big existing decks and replacing pools in the ground.

During the off-season though, I will take on almost any tough job. The reason – Because I need the work AND it’s cooler outside which makes the job much easier and more pleasant.

Every year, I have people wait until the off-season for me because they have a difficult job that they can’t find anyone to do in the summer.

Also, most pool installers like me will not install the cheaper soft-sided above-ground pools like those made by Intex/Coleman. Sometimes though, I will do one or two during the off-season.

3. You may pay less for the installation

A lot of pool installers will give you a better price to install the pool. This is because they need the work AND it’s easier to do the job when it’s not so brutally hot.

4. You may pay less for the pool

Some retailers will give a discount during the off-season. It may not be too much as there’s not much of an inventory post-covid. If you are wanting a discount though, the off-season is the only time as no one gives a (legitimate) discount during the busy season.

5. You may get a better install

During the busy summer season, installers are in more of a hurry because we have a schedule to keep. This means that if we run into a problem, we have to solve it quickly. We cannot allow the job to spill over into the next day.

During the off-season, installers aren’t scheduled up, so they can take their time with doing the job. Also, it’s not so intensely hot, so guys tend to spend more time getting the groundwork better.

This equates to maybe getting a better install during the off-season. I try to do as good a job as I can regardless of the heat and busy schedule. But, must admit that I take more time on things when it’s nice out.

6. Do-It-Yourselfers will have more patience

For a novice, installing an above-ground pool takes a ton of patience. Doing the groundwork takes patience as you want your pool to be level and the bottom smooth.

Assembling the pool takes a lot of patience too. These pools come in a lot of pieces and aren’t engineered very well, so getting it together is a challenge.

When it’s brutally hot outside(like during summer), our minds can’t think as well which reduces our patience. This is an obvious fact for anyone that works in intense heat.

During the off-season, DIYers’ brains aren’t getting cooked by the sun. It’s actually nice and may even be pleasant to be outside working on something.

You will therefore have more patience when those damn parts just don’t make sense or just won’t go together like you think they are supposed to. This is a bigger plus than I can really express as these pools aren’t Swiss watches.

7. Better opportunity to learn pool chemistry in the cooler months

Here’s a simply stated fact: Swimming pools are harder to maintain during the hotter months

Most get their pools installed in the heat of summer. They fill the pool with water, turn on the pump, and start learning to chemically balance the water during the hardest and harshest time of the year. A true trial by fire.

If you install your pool during the cooler off-season, you will have some time to figure out pool water chemistry before the heat comes as it’s easier and algae don’t grow as much.

Let’s say you install the pool in early March. You now have several weeks of cooler temperatures at first to figure out chlorine levels, adjusting PH, and maybe dealing with yellow/mustard algae.

Swimming pool chemistry is much more forgiving the cooler it is outside. It’s like learning how to hit a baseball with someone tossing a ball towards you (the winter, spring, fall months) versus a pro pitcher hurling one at you at 80MPH (summer months).


Dan writes with the knowledge of having 35 years (and counting) in the above ground pool industry.

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