Pool me once.
February 4, 2015 9:48 AM   Subscribe

We will be purchasing an above ground pool. How do we purchase an above ground pool?

We are buying an above ground pool to replace our previous above ground pool.

We've done a little shopping, and the entire thing seems sort of...odd. The major local dealership only sells internally branded products, and it's hard to tell whether something is good or not. It gives off a pretty bad used-car sales vibe and we are probably easy marks because what do we know?

As with car sales, it seems like the prices are obfuscated and maybe....you're expected to haggle? Or something? Are there brands we should look for? How come this place has all internally branded products, like 'Joe's Pools' Millenium Falcon Edition'? Is 'extruded aluminum' a good thing or a bad thing? What am I to make of statements like "the airline, automative, and construction industries all turn to aluminum when they need a safe, long lasting material that can withstand the elements"?

Because these are internally branded, I can't look them up online or do price comparisons or find reviews for the specific products and the quote we were given is 12k; it's not a trivial amount of money. We were given a written quote and a bunch of pages with different types of pools, but not one of them has a baseline price printed on it.

Google searches turn up a lot of noise but not much signal. (Pool dealerships are apparently all about telling you how to buy a pool.)

(Yes, they're ugly but floating around on a fuchsia inner tube while drinking beer in midsummer is delightful enough for us to overcome that.)
posted by A Terrible Llama to Home & Garden (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'd go with Costco... I don't know what you're getting with the $12,000 pool that you're not with Costco's $2,000 to $4,000 pools, but I think I'd take the risk to save ~$10,000.

Also, maybe this page will help?
posted by Huck500 at 12:12 PM on February 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

Yeah, no question, Costco for this one!
posted by saradarlin at 9:06 PM on February 4, 2015

There is buying a pool and then there is installing the pool. Both are kind of a racket.
I think the extruded aluminum is a very good choice. They will be made of narrow panels that lock together like a sheet piling seawall. Esther Williams pools were the best but don’t appear to be a going concern anymore. This will be expensive but worth it if you want it to last a long time.
The other kind is a roll out sheet of aluminum, which is probably the kind most people are familiar with. This can also be a fine product, but is easier to damage, through neglect or accident.
I remember Doughboy pools being decent. Maybe plug your zip code in and follow up on their recommendations?
You will have to prepare the site. It might be as simple as you and some friends scraping the sod off a flat location with a shovel and calling it done (which will be real work), or you might want a pool with some depth in a hilly location, in which case you will need someone with equipment. Whatever you do, know that the final pool needs to be to perfectly level.
I worked for a few places installing them many years ago. I am no expert but if you have more questions I can follow up.
posted by Tunierikson at 4:48 AM on February 6, 2015

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