The Type Of Framing Used In Most One-Story Construction Is Above Ground Pools and How to Avoid Wasting Money on Kits

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Above Ground Pools and How to Avoid Wasting Money on Kits

Above ground pools are normally made from kits that come in a large box and cost a lot of money. There is a much cheaper way to install a small above ground pool than by buying an expensive steel framed model that will eventually rust away – even if it is galvanized to start with. The other problem with above ground pools that are made from kits is that the filtration and water sanitation systems are nearly always sub-standard because most of the money is allocated to the steel framing and not to the care of the pool water. Simple above ground pools can be built in more or less any shape using 150 mm wide concrete blocks from your local builder’s merchant and waterproofed with a PVC liner and provided with a water treatment system that really works and ensures that children can use the pool without getting ill. 

Such a pool can be square, round or octagonal. If the walls are about 4 feet or 1.2 metres high, the water depth can be 40 inches or about 1.0m. The concrete block walls will hold this height of water if they are propped externally by further concrete buttresses that are built at 2 metre intervals around the periphery of the pool. These buttresses need only be 40 inches or about 1 meter wide and should always be built at a right angle (on plan) to the main pool walls. 

The beauty of this structural system is that the buttresses can be used to support timber decking around the pool perimeter. The pool walls and the buttress walls will need proper concrete foundations and these should be at least 16 inches or 400 mm wide and taken down through the topsoil onto reasonably hard sub-soil. The foundations should be at least 6 inches or 150mm thick. They can be stepped if the pool is not being built on a level site. The pool can also be set down into the ground if it is required to reduce the visual obtrusiveness. 

The internal water facing side of the concrete block wall should be pointed flush so that the pool sides are smooth. Above ground pools do lose the heat received from solar gain very quickly over-night and to counteract this effect, polystyrene panels can be glued onto the inner face of the pool walls. 

An amateur brick layer can build one of these pools quite quickly and easily but care does need to be taken to ensure the structural integrity of the walls and it may be easier and quicker to get a professional involved. A skimmer and three water inlets that can be bought from the local pool shop also need to be installed through the pool walls. The skimmer should be installed so that it maintains the design water level. Two of the water inlets should be installed about 400 mm below water level and the third inlet (that actually works as a drain) should be installed just above the pool floor. All three should be on the side opposite the skimmer. 

The pool floor can then be leveled out and covered with sand. Skilled builders may prefer to put down leveling concrete topped off with a sand-cement screed. 

When the pool is built, measure it up (include the diagonal measurements at the top and bottom of the pools walls) and order the PVC liner and liner lock from your local pool shop. Work out the volume of your pool and ask the pool shop to provide a pump, sand filter and multi-port valve that will circulate the entire volume of the pool water in 4 hours and a circuit diagram. The filtration equipment and the pipes can all be located, out of the way underneath the decking around the pool. 

I will write another article about pool water care because it is very important to get this right when the weather is hot. 

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