Above-ground pools are convenient and easy to assemble. They are a great focus of summertime outdoor fun, and a well-designed pool can add value to your property while providing opportunities for recreation and relaxation. Selecting the right materials and location can make your homemade above-ground pool a source of pleasure for many summers to come.

A homemade above-ground pool can be an inexpensive way to beat the summer heat.


Select a site that provides the best mix of sun and shade--a pool that's always in the sun will heat quickly, but a shaded pool is cooler and will get dropped leaves and fruit in the water. Make sure that the pool is located near appropriate drainage, so that backwashing or a sudden loss of water will not damage basements, flowers or delicate outdoor equipment. If children are around, make sure the pool is in sight of a house or other location where the adults usually remain.


Make sure the ground beneath the pool is flat and free of stones, roots or other things that could tear the pool liner; also, spray for insects, as termites will nibble at vinyl. The side walls of the pool need to hold a tremendous amount of pressure without buckling; consider thick rolled steel reinforced with sunk wooden posts. The pool liner should be heavy-duty vinyl or equivalent to provide the best protection against accidental tears while being relatively easy to repair.


The pool liner must absolutely be flat, both on the ground and along the side walls. Buckles or folds hasten vinyl's decay while providing more risk of an accidental tear. If you opt against buying a precut vinyl shell, create one by carefully cutting a circular base then a long strip for the walls, but pay special attention to the quality of the seams along the bottom of the pool walls, as this is an ideal spot for structural failure. It is better to get an extra-thick shell than to put two thinner layers together, because friction between the layers can lead to tearing.

Safety and Equipment

Always ensure that your pool has adequate safety gear, including a sturdy escape ladder. Place any equipment, such as a skimmer unit, away from high-traffic areas, and run all necessary piping and wiring underground but not under barriers like concrete.