Remodeling an Above Ground Pool in Orlando

Updating or upgrading an above-ground swimming pool is very limited. Since above-ground pools are manufactured kits and not custom-made, there is very little that you can do to change them.

There are thousands of existing above-ground pools in Orlando. And with people constantly moving here along with a very long swim season, many find themselves with an above-ground swimming pool that they want to look better. 


Don’t like the way your AG pool looks? There’s not a lot you can do, but there are some things.

1 Change the liner

Here in Orlando and Central Florida, a quality liner will last an average of 5-8 years. Well before that though, some will fade or “bleach” completely white. 

Getting a new liner for your pool is the biggest improvement that you can make both for its appearance and performance.  A liner changeout gives you an opportunity to make these upgrades:

A Upgrade the liner or change the pattern

Liners for above-ground pools come in three types and several patterns. Going from an overlap type to a j-hook/unibead type can make the pool look better from the outside (as you will no longer see any liner hanging over the pool’s wall).

Getting a liner with a tile pattern or one with fish on it can be fun and change the look of your pool.

B Fix and smooth out the pool’s bottom

If you have been swimming in a pool with a rough and bumpy bottom or you can now feel roots or sharp things, then changing the liner and redoing the pool bottom can be a major improvement.  

Also, fixing and smoothing your pool bottom will make it easier to vacuum or auto cleaner to do its job. 

C Adding a main drain

Is your pool hard to maintain? Adding a main drain will give your pool perfect circulation AND make it easier to keep clean.  

NOTE: Adding a main drain can only be done when changing the liner

D Making a deep center

Above-ground swimming pools are made to have flat bottoms. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a deeper center if you want. 

A well-shaped deep center that is one foot deeper can be done using a standard liner (for the size of your pool) with usually no wrinkles. This can upgrade the swim experience more than you might think. 

NOTE: Adding a deep center to an existing pool is not easy or cheap.  This is partially because the earth has to be dug out and thrown over the pool wall. 

2 Rebuild the wood deck

Here in Orlando, wood decks take a beating from the harsh sun and summer weather, so they don’t last forever. 

Because they deteriorate slowly, people will find themselves dealing with a worn-out deck and not realize that it looks bad and is hazardous. 

Changing out the deck boards on an above-ground pool’s wood deck is a hard and expensive job, but looks and feels beautiful when done. 

3 Replacing rusty, faded, cracked, or sun-beaten top rails and caps

Parts for above-ground pools are freakishly expensive! If you are looking to upgrade the look of your pool though and the top rails are in poor condition, it may be worth it to replace them.

MY OPINION: Before spending any real money on pool frame parts, make sure the pool’s wall is in good condition on the inside.  This can only really be done during the time of changing the pool’s liner, so wait for liner change time before considering these purchases.

4 Add a deck or more deck

Do you have an above-ground pool out in the yard with no deck? Adding a deck either high up or at ground level will make the pool look better and increase your pool user experience tenfold.

Now, decks are expensive. I just want to acknowledge that while I’m spending your money LOL.

5 Add landscaping

Central Florida is considered “humid subtropical”.  This means a lot of things will grow here. 

Adding borders, walkways, and lighting along with plants, rocks, or mulch incorporated with an above-ground pool can make a difference like night and day. 

Start by standing outside your back door or looking out the window. Visualize what some layered landscaping can do to make your pool and pool area look amazing. 

6 Replacing the top rails with composite wood

Replacement parts for above-ground pools are ridiculously expensive. I just changed the liner for a guy who bought new top rails and top caps for his 18-year-old, 24’ round pool. The top rails were $111 each and the top caps were $45 each (2024 prices). So, at 16 pieces each, this guy paid almost $2500 for these parts.  

I would never recommend paying that much to make an above-ground pool frame look refreshed. Usually, if the top rails must be replaced, I say to buy a whole new pool. That way for a little more, you get everything new.

Some have replaced their pool’s top rails with composite wood planks.  This will take some level of carpenter skills, but you may be surprised how good you can make the top of the pool look using wood. 


Over my now 38 years of working with above-ground swimming pools in Orlando, I have seen people do two things that I don’t recommend.

The first is painting your pool wall and uprights. Those who hate the look of their pool’s wall and choose to paint it are rarely happy with the outcome.

The second is pool owners will cover their pool wall with lattice or wood siding. I don’t recommend this because it’s better for an above-ground to have an open breathable space outside and around it. You don’t want any moisture to get trapped anywhere near the pool’s wall.

Also, structures with or without plants too close to the pool will promote bugs, bees, snakes, and other critters that you don’t want in or near your pool. 


It’s common for people to want to improve their above-ground pool by either moving it to another location in the yard AND/OR burying it some.

While this can greatly improve the look of the pool and yard, people rarely decide to make this change after hearing how much it will cost.  

Depending on the pool size and shape, it can typically cost in the range of 2K-3K to take down, re-install, and dig a hole for a semi-inground application. And don’t forget any pool that is moved will need a new liner. 

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