One of the big advantages above-ground swimming pools have over other types is how quickly they can be installed and have a functional pool.
“How long will it take to put up” is easily one of the most common questions a pool installer like me gets asked.
The vast majority of above-ground pools can be professionally installed in less than one day (4-7 hours). Variables like pool shape, type, condition of the earth, and grade can extend installation time to two or three days. DIY installations can take much longer though.
Keep in mind too that it can take a while to fill the pool depending on the water source.
WHY DO YOU NEED TO KNOW HOW LONG IT TAKES TO INSTALL AN ABOVE-GROUND POOL?
Getting an above-ground pool installed can be a project that is anything from an impulse buy from a trip to Walmart(when you were there to get something else) to just part of a major overhaul of the backyard and it’s just one component.
Some plan for years to have a pool installed while others decide that morning. Here are some reasons to need to know how long the install takes:
A To coordinate the pool delivery
Some don’t have a lot of space to keep an above-ground pool while it’s still in boxes, so they want to know how long the installation is so they can order the pool accordingly.
B To know if you need to take time off from work
C To properly schedule other contractors
When having something major done to your backyard, you most likely have to act like the general contractor. And the GC coordinates the timing for each vendor/contractor and in what order things get done.
Knowing how long it will take to install the pool will help determine any trade that you have coming before or after the install.
D See what kind of time commitment it will be for those that you are going to ask to help you install it
When self-installing an above-ground pool, you will want and need some help. In some cases, you’ll need help one day with preparing and leveling the ground, and then another day to assemble the pool.
F To know when you will be swimming
One of the truly big advantages above-ground pools have over ingrounds is that they can go up, have water in them, and you can be swimming in a really short period.
So, when you find out that an above-ground can be bought and installed in a week versus an inground taking 6-8 months, that can make the difference in deciding which to get.
G You are planning a party or a holiday is coming
It’s common to want to kick off your pool-owning experience by having a pool party. Knowing how long it will actually take to have your pool installed may make the planning difference between having a pool party with a pool or without one.
WHY SOME ARE IN A BIG HURRY TO GET AN ABOVE-GROUND POOL INSTALLED
Although not as common as it was in the pre-2020 era, many are in a hurry to get their above-ground pool put up.
As a pool installer for now 37 years, I have had my share of people being in a great big hurry to have me get their installation in. Here are some common reasons why:
1. I have a pool party scheduled
This is the most common reason I’m told as to why they need the pool installed quickly.
What gets me is when they say they’ve got a pool party scheduled this weekend and they are contacting me the Tuesday before. And it’s June!
Knowitall advice: Don’t plan a pool party just a few days before you buy the pool.
2. I have another contractor scheduled to come out and need the pool done before they get here
Some backyard projects involve a few different contractors. It’s a good idea to learn the proper timing on what things should get done first AND how long it takes each job.
As an example, you probably don’t want the fence guy to come out before you have a pool dug (for semi-inground) as that may take away the access a digging machine needs to get in.
3. We have a family member coming home
Surprising someone who has been away for a while with a swimming pool is one of my favorite reasons people need a pool installed quickly.
4. The pool is going to be delivered soon
It’s very common to want your above-ground pool installed just as soon as it comes.
5. I want it for the holiday weekend
In the US, there are three major summer holidays. They are Labor Day, Fourth of July (Independence day), and Memorial Day.
Every year I get a couple of last-minute requests for an install right before one of these holidays. And some are truly shocked when they hear that I can’t get to their install before the big weekend.
Pool installers are busy in the summer. The good ones are very busy.
And there’s no such thing as an emergency installation crew at the ready and on call for those bad about timing OR make big last-minute plans to get a working pool two days before one of the biggest weekends of the summer.
THINGS THAT CAN MAKE AN ABOVE-GROUND POOL INSTALLATION TAKE LONGER
Try not to be too rigid when timing a completed pool. Several things can happen to postpone it.
1. Ground issues
Most above-ground pools are installed on or in the ground. And the ground has hidden variables. Literally. The following things may take longer to deal with.
- Hard earth– You might’ve thought you could hand dig the pool site only to find out that the earth is super hard and you need some equipment to get the groundwork done.
- Sloped/extremely off-level yard– A swimming pool has to be very level. If not, you will see it off-level and possibly have issues. So, if a yard is at a severe tilt, then the area where the pool is going must be leveled out. And that can take extra time.
- Excessive roots or rocks or a tree stump-You never really know what’s in the earth until you remove the grass and get in there.
- Moisture-Sometimes when you remove the grass and start leveling the pool site, you notice that the ground is too wet to install the pool. NOTE: The earth has to be fairly dry to make a nice smooth pool bottom. If the ground is too wet, the installation may have to wait until the ground dries or other time-consuming options have to take place to get the job done.
2. Weather conditions
Rain, high winds, or cold weather can postpone the install. You don’t want to rush an install by doing it in the rain (poor bottom) or have the wall blow down in high winds and get damaged.
3. Missing parts
Yep, parts can be missing from a box. Although not as common as it was in 2020, it can and does happen.
If a missing part is needed to complete the wall going up and the liner going in, then you may have to wait days for it to be shipped to you. Not cool.
4. Wrong parts
Getting the wrong parts with your above-ground pool sucks. I’ve had many times when I am done with the pool wall assembly and groundwork and call for the liner. Then I discover that the liner is the wrong size.
Knowitall rule: When installing an above-ground pool, check to make sure everything is there and all of the parts are correct before beginning the job.
5. Deep centers or deep ends
The deep center/end option for an above-ground pool will extend the job time. They take extra time to dig, shape, finish, and take more water to complete the job.
6. Sick/no-show help or equipment failure
Whether you are paying someone or doing this install yourself, most jobs take more than one person. And people can get sick, have car issues, be too hungover, or have personal issues that stop them from getting to the job.
Also, digging machines break. And when they do, the job stops until it gets fixed.
7. Poor water pressure
Most pools are filled by the water source at the home. Some municipal (city) water pressure is super slow. So are some wells.
If the water pressure filling the pool is slow, then you can add an extra day or two or three to get it filled.
SEMI-INGROUND POOL INSTALLS TAKE LONGER
Digging a hole to place a pool in can take half to a full day to do on its own. And backfilling later will add some time to the overall job being done.
Any time you are digging in the ground, there’s always a chance that something is down there that will extend the job time, so keep that in mind too.
OVAL-SHAPED ABOVE-GROUND POOLS TAKE LONGER TO INSTALL
With well-experienced help, I can install a medium to large size oval in one day (8-10 hours). If it’s a bigger oval and really hot out, then the day will be long (maybe 10 hours or more with one helper).
With not-so-good help, I will turn the job of installing an oval into two days.
If DIYing an oval-shaped pool, give yourself days to get it done. It will be a challenge, so take your time and don’t plan any pool parties until it’s done.