Central Florida above ground pools and Installations
Contact us e-mail questions       LAST UPDATE JANUARY 2017
This site gives information on installing above ground swimming pools in the
Central Florida area. We provide how to guidance along with a installation price sheet on
a professional installation. We also have some information on replacing a liner in an existing pool and a Liner change price sheet
Greater Orlando and some surrounding counties make up the second largest swimming pool market in the country. This area is known for its huge amount of pools of all types especially the inground concrete types. It's interesting to note that for every concrete swimming pool you see there are two above grounds. Thats right. Two above ground pools for every one concrete inground.
There are several types, makes, and sizes of above grounds available for purchase both locally here in Central Florida and on the internet and the choices can make your head spin a little. Here is a list of pools and options that I recommend.
The different types of above ground pools.
There are round and oval above grounds that have steel, aluminum, and wood walls. Above ground pools also come with steel, aluminum, and resin/plastic top rails and or
uprights, and sometimes have resin bottom and top tracks. Finally, there are a few options with the pools that make them different.
I'll give a brief description of each.
- Round pools. The most common above ground pool out there is shaped round and has a lot of advantages. A pool
structure above the ground holds a great deal of water weight and a round shape is good for that because the weight and pressure
of the heavy water is held evenly around. Also, a round pool has a simple design so it's easier to install and more forgiving to build mistakes. As a result, round
above grounds are cheaper to buy and less expensive to have installed. The only real disadvantage to a round pool is that
it doesn't look as much like a traditional inground swimming pool.
- Oval pools Oval shaped above ground pools are a lot more entailed in their design than the round ones. They have long straight sides which means the water
weight must be supported by a buttress system. This means two things to you. One, the buttresses stick out on the straight sides of the pool as part of the structure and
two, you most likely do NOT want to attempt a self install. Also, the most common buttress design has steel straps that run slightly under the pool connecting each opposing
buttress so this makes it difficult to have any kind of a nice deep end dug out.(It is possible to have a cheesy little hopper dug out on the radius ends of the pool before
the straps begin but its usually not worth the cost/effort)
There is also a strapless buttress design made famous by Doughboy and it's really not a bad design but they are often more money and most even seasoned installers won't
have much experience with the structure.
The advantages to have an oval pool is the more traditional shape of it, its better for volleyball, and you can think you're gonna do laps in it to get in shape.
- Both pool shapes are equally good for putting partially in the ground and for building decks around them.
- Steel, aluminum, and wood pools. I prefer steel wall pools over aluminum here in Central Florida for three main reasons. One - aluminum walls corrode just as easily as the steel ones. Two - aluminum
pools cost a great deal more. And three - aluminum pools are not a good idea to install partially in the ground cause the walls are "flimsier" and cave in easier when the
pool is drained.
In thirty years, I've only installed one wood above ground pool and I must say they look really nice. It's humid in Central Florida though and I don't think the wood can take
the extreme heat and moisture. Plus, wood pools are extremely expensive.
- Resin top rails. Resin parts on above ground pools are all the rage right now and are a huge selling point for "upgraded pool models". They cost more than there steel counterparts so the big question
is "are they worth the extra bucks"? My answer is "yes" but probably only for the top rails and top caps.
Resin/plastic top rails and/or top connectors started showing up about twenty years ago and the big question then was "will they hold up against our relenting Florida summers?". After many years now of observation,
the answer is "yes they can". The even more expensive models have resin uprights and some even have resin top and bottom tracks and connectors. The price really starts to climb though so its uncertain to me whether
those plastic parts are worth it. Overall I'd say the resin is better but its all about how much money do you want to spend on your above ground pool.
- 48", 52", or 54" Wall? These are the three different heights that the above ground pool walls come in. Years ago there were only 48" walls. Most pools lately(2017) are 52" and some of the upgraded models are 54" tall. It's long been my opinion that the exrta 2 inches you gain by getting a 54" instead of a 52" wall is not worth the extra money or height out of the ground. If you want your pool a little deeper, you can always "dish it out" some in the center during installation.
- Upgraded liner. Getting a thicker liner is a good idea mainly cause they've been lasting two or three times longer lately than the thinner solid blue ones. I say lately because some years back, they would all
last about the same. Not anymore. A thicker printed liner also looks better.
- Service panel The service panel is a fairly good idea cause most of the time the pool's wall will rust out at the skimmer and/or return openings. If the pool wall rusts out in these spots and you have a service
panel, than you can simply remove the old rusty panel and relace it with a new one and avoid having to replace the entire wall. Some models have this panel made of stainless steel and they are great because the stainless
won't corrode. Lately, some service panels are being made of aluminum as a cost cutter and my opinon is if the service panel isn't made of stainless steel, then don't go out of your way to make sure your pool has one.
Above ground pool retailers and their pools.
- Recreational Factory Warehouse - It's been a while now since Rec has been in business but for you oldtimers, they are still on my list. Being an installer for thirty years in Central Florida, I have seen many people unhappy with their Rec. Warehouse purchase experience. The pools that Rec sold however were pretty good so if you could stomach the way they sold the pool, then you would get a good pool for a fair price. UPDATE As of early 2012, Recreational Factory Warehouse is out of business! There are however, a few stores here and there with the Rec Warehouse name but they no longer sell Wilbar pools and the pools they sell are mostly from overseas and not great for what you spend for them.
- Unique Pools and Spas - A couple of guys that used to work for Rec. started Unique and unlike the old Rec Warehouse, these guys are pretty straight forward. Update  As of Spring of 2016, they are selling a few Doughboy pool models which is a good pool maker. They also sell Waterway filter packs and good US made liners so that's a plus.
- Family Pool and Spa - I don't know much about this company other than one of the big wig guys from the now fallen Rec Warehouse is a part of it. Apparently they install in-house so that could be why I don't know much on what they sell. I installed a couple of their pools in 2015 but haven't heard anything about them in 2016 so they may be out of business.
- Pinch-A-Penny pool stores - Not all Pinch-A-Pennys sell above ground pools and very few have display models but they sell pools made by Wil-Bar and they are pretty solid pools that go together fairly well. Wil-Bar has a more expensive all aluminum pool that is good but I do not suggest you install it very deep in the ground cause the walls are thinner than steel and like to cave in when you drain the pool. The big advantage to getting a pool at Pinch is that they usually come with a great pump and filter package made by established manufacturers so when you need a part down the road you can get it easily.
- Leslies pool stores - Leslies is a giant retail chain from out west so their stores have a slightly different feel to them. The pools they sell are usually simple in design and go together pretty nicely. When you buy a pool from Leslies you generally have to wait for it to come in a little longer than most retailers.
- Wal-Mart - Huge discount retailers like Walmart sell mainly pools made by a company called Intex. These pools are priced to sell in the $300 to $800 range and boy do you get what you pay for. They are very cheap and go up easy(after you get the ground level that is). They generally last only one or two summers and the pump and filter that comes with it is severely undersized. I have replaced many Intex pools with better quality more traditional above grounds for people who realize that they want a pool for more than just a year or two.
- Internet pool sites - Buying a pool off the internet is a "double edged" sword. You can certainly get the best deal on a really good quality above ground pool there but you can also pay too much for a crappy one too. Each site is different in what they offer in their pool "package", so its often that people think they got a great deal only to find out much later that the package didn't come with a filter, or a ladder, or a liner, or a printed liner and so on. And to make matters tougher, most manufacturers will sell the same looking models but at different grades. You can't tell what grade it is by looking at a picture and there is no obligation to the retailer to give you the grade of the pool or equipment. When shopping online, you'll find a few sites that sell what appears to be the same thing than other sites but for hundreds less. Now there are a few good deals on the internet but when it comes to above grounds, you usually get what you pay for. Just saying. Do lots of homework before buying on the internet and you will get a good deal. I recommend a couple of internet pools. Please call me at 407.299.0124 or check back later for a new recommended pool page.
- Internet recommendation - It's been a few years since I have recommended a retailer because most have made me look bad. I now feel safe in recommending poolsaboveground.com for your above ground pool stuff. They sell four good Wil-bar pool models, only good US made equipment, and good US or Canadian liners. Call them and ask for "Ray." He used to be an installer and knows what he is talking about(which is rare).
We have sold and/or installed above ground pools in these areas
Orlando, kissimmee, Altamonte Springs, Longwood, Winter Springs, Winter Park, Lockhart, Deltona, Orange City, Deland, Oviedo, New Smyrna, Cocoa, Cocoa Beach,
Merritt Island, Port St. John, Christmas, Mims, titusville, Avon Park, Pine hills, Sky lake, Orlo Vista, Hunters Creek, Celebration, Orange county, Ocoee, Clermont,
Winter Garden, Montverde, Minneola, Ferndale, Lake County, Groveland, Mascotte, Forest City, Apopka, Zellwood, Tangerine, Astatula, Howey-in-the-hills, Mt. Dora,
Tavares, Eustis, Leesburg, Lady Lake, Fruitland Park, Umatilla, Altoona, Paisley, Mt. Plymouth, Maitland, Altomonte Springs, Longwood, Oviedo, Chuluota, Geneva,
Sanford, Lake Mary, De Bary, Lake Helen, Daytona Beach, Union Park, Azalea Park, Conway, Pine Castle, Belle Isle, Taft, Bithlo, Wedgefield, Christmas, Mims,
Oak Hill, Port St. John, Meadow Woods, BVL, Buena Ventura Lakes, Narcoossee, St. Cloud, Harmony, Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Rockledge, Merritt Island, Rockledge,
Satellite Beach, Indian Beach Harbor, Melbourne, Palm Bay, Malabar, Celebration, Davenport, Reunion, Polk City, Haines City, Winter Haven, Auburndale, Bartow,
We have installed above ground pools made by every manufacturer including:
Doughboy, Wil-Bar, Swim-n-Play, Atlantic, Sharkline, Asahi, Seaspray, Garden Leisure, Celebration, Outback, Embassy, Intex, Muskin, Atlantis, Trevi, Vogue, Aqua Leader, Alberca and Chois, Outdoor Leisure, Swim N Fun, Mighty Sun, Trendium, Lomart, GSM, Bestway, Oceana, Highland Pools, McEwen, Ester Williams, Johnny Wiesmuller
We have also installed and re-lined most above ground pool models including:
Esprit, Aegean, Belize, Celebration, Endeavor STR, Escalade STR, Heritage, Matrix, Morada, Navigator, Oasis, Oceanic, Opera, Reprieve, Summerfield RTR, Venture, Yorkshire, Paragon, Westminster, Proseries, Tahitian, Bermuda, Samoan, Atmosphere, Rio, Costa Del Sol, Revelation, Capri, Solstice, Bora, Madeira, Bravo, Nassau, Neptune, Mirage, Solano, Elixir, Arcadia, Allure, Meadows, Contempra, Oxford, Deluxe 8000, Splasher, Valdez, Eden, Cascade, Sunray, Pretium, Ohana, Magnus, Azor, Excursion, Vision, Floridian, New Yorker, Mission, Everest, Rushmore, Zanzibar, Copper Canyon, Tuscany, Desert Spring, Whispering Wind, Palm Shore, Blue Lagoon, Presto, Martinique, Riviera, Galaxy, Nautilus, Quantum, Aquarian 200, Aquarian 400, Luau, Turtle Bay, Distinction LX, Impress, Paris, Montego, Alpha, Empire, Elegance, Abbey, Magnolia, Klondike, Elysium, Cambridge, Bahamas, Caribbean, Montego, Mediterranean, Caspian, Chateau, Impressions, The Quest, The Islander, The Generation, Horizon, Zenith Antico Estate, Impulse Equator, Freedom, Aqualine, Barrier Reef, Brisbane, Genesis, Southport GLX, Sapphire, Saratoga, Silver Lake, Concord, Esprit GLX, J1000, Liberty, Sierra, Malibu, Urbania, Vantage, Imperial, J2000, J6000, J8000, Oyster Bay, Prestige, Regatta, Seaside, Bestway, Ponderosa GLX, Cameo, Signature RTL, Hampton, Saltwater 5000, Saltwater 8000, Intrepid, Paragon, Oxford, Yukon, Fiesta, Diamond Star, Sandstone, Infinity, Vero Beach, Hydrium Titan, Aqua Mate, Galveston, Barbados, Bella, San Marino, Concord, Belair Resin, Hawthorne, Montessa, Verona, Platinum State, Stony Hill, Rolling Rapids, Taupe Coprtina, Taupe Monet, Forest Mist, Aruba, Harmony, Florence, Caledonia, Belmore, Serenity, Inspriration, Lancaster, Hamilton, Castlebay, Stonehaven, Turnberry Elite, Northbay Elite, The Century, The Blues, The Sentinelle,