Choosing The Right Place For Your Above Ground Pool

Choosing The Right Place For Your Above Ground Pool

“I’d like you to put it right here.” This is what a customer once said while pointing down to his driveway.

“Right here,” I laughed.

“Yes, I want it on this side about ten feet from the garage,” he said. “I’d like it halfway over so that I can still park my car in the garage.” He wasn’t kidding.

“OK,” I said recovering back to my serious business tone as I realized this was no morning joke. “I’ll probably have to take up the asphalt.” Six hours later, my customer was the proud owner of an erected 18-foot round above ground pool built right onto one side of his two car driveway.

During my 29 years of building more than 3,000 above ground swimming pools, I’ve installed in more than a few “odd” locations. Some of these odd locations include front yards, side yards, directly against the house, inside the garage, next to in-ground pools, on septic drain fields, in an abandoned roofless house, and of course my strangest one mentioned, in a working driveway.

With not really being one to judge and wanting to give the customers what they want, I have always happily placed an above ground swimming pool anywhere they say. Some true freethinkers don’t need the advice of a professional. They reside “and swim” outside the box and that’s fine with me. Most customers though will ask my opinion and I think it helps. Here is a guide for where to install your above ground pool.

1. Install it In Your Backyard

Yes. I know it’s quite obvious, but if you read the beginning of this blog post, then you know it’s not a given. Your backyard is a private and safe place for a pool. It’s usually fenced in and people will have their grills and lawn furniture there. Kids play in backyards with family pets. Local building codes will allow for your pool to be built in your backyard. It’s just normal.

2. Where Are The Setbacks For Your County or Town

Most counties, towns, cities, and states have regulations on where a swimming pool may go. They are all different and change all the time. Setbacks from the side of your property, the back of your property, and your house vary greatly and can range from zero to fifteen feet away depending on the municipality. A common example of a setback is five feet away from the side property line, ten feet away from the back property line, and five feet away from the home structure. The only way to be sure is to call your local building department and ask. The codes for placement can change often, but one placement rule that never changes and hardly ever varies is the following:

A swimming pool should be at least ten feet away from any overhead power line!

3. Consider Shade Versus Sunlight

Do you have trees in your backyard? Trees are great. They are pretty, attract singing birds, sound nice in a breeze, and provide shade on hot days. They also drop these cute little organic things called leaves. This can be a pain as these pesky leaves have no concern for your nice clean body of water below. A few leaves landing in the pool are OK for most, but a lot of leaves can cause a pool maintenance nightmare. It’s usually alright to have your pool close to a tree, but the rule of thumb is to avoid having tree branches hanging directly over the water.

Want to get a little tan while you’re in your pool? Of course you do! Track where you get direct sunshine in your yard during the summer and make sure you install your above ground pool in that spot. Direct sunshine is the number one requirement for a good spot for a pool, but you may not get much considering how many trees you have and what direction your yard is pointing. So, plan on installing in a nice open area.

Also, in the summer a swimming pool’s water that doesn’t get enough direct midday sunlight can always be a little too cold. The opposite is also true as the water of a pool with too much direct sunlight can always be just too warm. This depends too on the individual as to what water temperature he/she likes, but it is still very much worth considering when selecting a location for your pool.

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4. Location of Current Things and Future Things

Sheds, playground sets, dog kennels, dog runs, gardens, and abandoned engine blocks can all take up some space in your backyard. When choosing a good site for your pool, make sure you have room for these structures and the activities that go along with them. With a shed, make sure there is still room to get that lawn mower in and out. For obvious reasons, you won’t want your new pool to be too close to that swing set. And keep that engine block in view. You don’t want to crush your teenage kid’s dream of one day rebuilding it.

5. The Path to Your Pool

As a general and obvious rule, pool users are going to come from the house. You may want the pool to be close to the house as it is easier for less mobile swimmers to get to it. Alternatively, you want to be able to see the kids better from inside your house when they are in the pool. Some may want to create an oasis far enough to get away from the woes of the house. Regardless, the path to and fro is worth thinking about beforehand.

6. Is The Above Ground Pool Just Part of The Dream

Are you planning on having just a pool for a little peace and quiet away from the kids and that’s it? Or is the plan to have a deck built around it? With patio furniture. And a cooker. And a hot tub. And a gazebo. And a supercool all-weather outdoor crystal ball dance floor. If so, when’s the party? The pool is usually the first thing that is installed so think about the bigger dream beforehand so the placement will come out better in the end.

My last piece of advice is to, if possible, keep some room around the pool for access like mowing and maintenance. An above ground pool is ultimately nicer when there is room to walk all the way around it.

If you have any questions on where to place your pool then we would be happy to help, feel free to give us a call at 1-877-372-6038 or email us at If you liked this article then make sure to sign up for Blog and get our Free 128 Page Pool Care Guide.

One thought on “Choosing The Right Place For Your Above Ground Pool

  1. HAHAHA! Love it!!!

    I once installed a 15 foot pool for my girlfriend (I’m SUCH a nice guy) 20+ years ago.

    The ground looked more or less level. WOW! Was I ever WRONG! I was digging and digging and digging.

    After about 10 hours, many blisters, and some “helpful advice” from her neighbors, who were mostly sauced, tried to help, and just got in my way, I got it done.

    Never again!

    I respect you Man!

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