It doesn’t matter how old you are–when there’s a pool around, there’s fun. And when your backyard centerpiece just so happens to be the neighborhood’s favorite above-ground pool, well, you’ve got a lot of weight on your shoulders! Not only is your pool probably the central meeting place for your friends and family members—especially the little swimmers—but it’s a good place for grown-ups to find some solace after a busy day or week. Floating under the sun, drink in hand…there’s nothing better!
Designing the perfect above-ground pool environment is tough if you’re starting from scratch. But we’re here to help you revamp your backyard so that it’s fun, functional and welcoming for you and your whole family. At the end of the day, your pool is a place for making memories, enjoying friends and getting the most out of life. It shouldn’t be a place that causes stress or bogs you down with too many tasks. We’ve got all the above-ground pool supplies and ideas you’re after here to help make your pool fun and low-maintenance at the same time.
All Decked Out: Decking in Your Above-Ground Pool
Building a deck around your above-ground pool is easily the best thing you can do to make sure that it gets the most use possible. Since most above-ground pools are between 3 and 6 feet high, building a pool deck makes them much more accessible without the need for bulky or dangerous ladders. Decks also allow parents to better watch their kids as they swim. Naturally, the surface area adds a nice outdoor living space, and that living space can be used to create a getaway-worthy nook, complete with all the components required for relaxation and entertainment.
Don’t Forget the Shade—You probably associate the pool deck with soaking up sun, but a little bit of shade makes it more bearable and versatile for all your visitors. You can easily equip the pool deck with some coverage by using a retractable awning system—this is only possible if your home or another sturdy structure is relatively close by—or a pergola. Fill a small, covered area with comfy outdoor furniture and mark off some space for storage so that your favorite pool gear isn’t compromised by the elements.
Lounge Chairs Galore—Once you’ve built the deck, it’s time to pick out the pool chairs! And if you really want to make it hospitable, you’ve got to go for the luxurious lounge chair. We’re huge fans of lounge chairs with shade canopies because they’ve got built-in covers that allow you take a quick break from the sun if needed. Make sure to choose all-weather pool chairs with weather-resistant finishes to ensure that they stand up in the face of chlorine and weather.
A Built-In Bar Perhaps?—Transforming your above-ground pool deck into a tropical oasis that looks like something out of a travel brochure is simple…just build yourself a built-in bar! Designating one corner of the deck to the bar is a great idea, but what if you want to go full-blown resort? We’re major fans of the swim-up bar on the above-ground pool. You can leave one side or portion of the pool exposed and attach a bar for easy access to drinks while you’re swimming.
Light it Up—If you really want to make your backyard inviting, you simply can’t skimp on the pool lights and deck lights. While pool lights ensure that your swimming sanctuary is welcoming even at night, deck lights provide serious ambiance and make the pool safer when it’s used after the sun has gone down. Don’t be afraid to get a little bit creative with your lighting…string lights, tiki torches. It’s all fair game!
Fun and Games: Backyard Party Planning at its Finest
What’s the point of an amazing backyard pool if you don’t share it? Most pool owners are inherent entertainers, and they’re always looking for great ways to make their poolside parties more lively and original. How do they do it? It all comes down to entertainment. Whether it’s a shed full of pool toys or a built-in basketball hoop, entertaining comes easy when you’ve got an above-ground pool!
Pile on the Pool Floats—Kids and grown-ups alike love pool floats. Whether for lounging or holding your drink, these hard-working accessories make spending the entire afternoon afloat a total breeze. Upgrade your float game with floating lounge chairs—you’ve gotta have a built-in cup holder or two—or delight the kids with fun and unique pool floats shaped like cookies, dog bones, pizzas, parrots, swans and more!
Load Up on Backyard Games—At every pool party, there should be activities in and out of the water. For some big-time family fun, consider investing in some cool backyard games. These fun staples transform your backyard into an outdoor arcade, with everything from portable beer pong for the grown-ups to bucket toss games for the little ones. If you’re committed to making your backyard the go-to hangout for games and competition, you can’t forget the pool games! Warning: The neighborhood kids might never go home when you’ve got these fun extras.
It’s not Complete without a Grill—No well-appointed backyard is quite complete without a grill. You can quite literally flip burgers while you’re floating if you want—we don’t recommend it—or cook up some dogs for all your visitors while cooling off your feet. If the pool deck isn’t your designated grilling zone, don’t fret. Investing in a portable, tabletop grill will serve you well. These compact styles are also great for small or challenging pool decks.
Drying off Around the Fire Pit—Fire pits make a great addition to the pool deck because they keep a designated area warm—perfect for cold-weather dips or when you get out of the pool after dark—and provide yet another place for gathering and socializing. Just make sure that you choose a fire pit or table that’s safe for use on your specific kind of deck.
Keeping the Backyard a Place for Fun, not Work
All of this sounds nice and all, but what about the supposedly hard work of maintaining the pool? Anything and everything that simplifies pool-related tasks gets a lot of love around here, and it’s not hard to see why. Pools are supposed to encourage fun and relaxation, not be a chore. Picking out the right smart pool supplies will help minimize the work and maximize the enjoyment.
Let a Robot do the Cleaning—We let a robot wash our dishes, our cars and sometimes even our floors…so why not the pool? Yep, automatic pool cleaners can do that for you! These super-smart, pool-skimming robots clean the bottom and top of your pool automatically, helping keep the water clear and hospitable year-round.
Upgrade to a High-Tech Cover—Did you know that you can actually make your swimming pool cover work for you? Using the right cover and the right strategy can help you save up to 70 percent on your pool heating costs, so it’s not something that you want to gloss over. Many people assume that the same neat gadgets available for in-ground pools don’t exist for their above-ground counterparts, but that’s not so. In fact, you’ll even find smart, retractable pool covers for your above-ground swimming pool to help ensure that it’s always covered when not in use.
Choose Hard-Working Chemicals—It seems like there are thousands of different pool chemicals on the market, all promising different benefits. And, we’ll be honest with you, not all pool chemical regimens are exactly straightforward. But there are tons of things you can do to make pool maintenance less of a chore, including using pool “pills” and multipurpose chemicals that require minimal effort on your behalf.
Make Storage Easy—A big part of keeping your pool space welcoming and enjoyable throughout the year is keeping it neat and clean. If you’ve got kids, that task may seem impossible. The best way to ensure that everything goes where it should go—and that it doesn’t get damaged from sitting out, exposed to the elements—is to pepper the pool deck with durable storage containers that house all of your pool accessories, gadgets and floats.
The Luxe Life: Next-Level Pool Accessories and Gadgets
Looking to add something truly unique to your pool environment? Maybe you want to make it feel like a jungle, complete with wild greenery and waterfalls. Maybe you want to recreate your favorite waterpark on a much smaller scale. Or maybe you just want a backyard pool that’s everything but boring! Here are some great ideas for how to make your pool more luxurious and unique.
Hello, Waterfalls—Waterfalls and jet streams aren’t just reserved for resorts! In fact, there are a wide variety of water features available for your above-ground pool, many of which rest on the deck above the pool and recirculate using the treated water. This is a truly simple and enchanting way to bring big style and originality to your pool, especially if you love a natural feel and the gentle, soothing sound of water movement.
A Rock Wall for Adventurers—What better place to put up a rock wall than the pool, where you know your fall can be safely broken? Many pool innovators have come up with cool ways to install rock walls in the above-ground pool, using permanent structures as well as fun, climbable pool floats. Pool rock walls should only be installed in pools that are deep enough to break your fall from above.
Diving Boards and Slides—If you really want to transform your backyard into a kid-friendly oasis, there’s no better way than with a winding slide! Slides are awesome because they come in so many shapes and sizes—from small, inflatable slides to luxurious, spiraling versions—to suit your specific pool setup. To piggyback off that, you can add a whole bunch of fun and excitement to your pool deck when you equip it with a pro-level diving board. Of course, you only want to install a diving board if your above-ground pool is 8 feet deep or more.
Slam-Dunk Basketball Hoops—Pool basketball hoops aren’t hard to come by, especially the inflatable variety. But if you really want to train your team for the big leagues while they swim and play, you’ve got to consider installing a more permanent hoop. Some swimming pool hoops feature regulation-sized metal hoops with heavy-duty nets, so they’re perfect for high-stakes match-ups.
Getting the Most Out of Your Getaway
Owning a pool comes with some challenges and maintenance, but it shouldn’t be enough to deter you from maximizing your pool’s potential and making it the go-to hangout spot. Even the most difficult above-ground pools and decks can be restyled into a delightful oasis for both kids and grown-ups, so long as you follow some of our great suggestions. A little bit of creativity and care goes a long way when outfitting your backyard!