Pool IdeasAbove ground swimming pools and above ground spas

If you are considering an above ground pool, you are sure to have lots of questions and want to find out more. First off, what is an above ground pool? They are exactly what their name suggests: pools that sit above ground level. There are lots of different types of above ground pools, and you can choose shells made of plastic, rubber, fibreglass or concrete as well as additional features to suit your budget.

Above ground pools available for sale come in a variety of designs, shapes and sizes, and can be accommodated even in smaller backyards or on uneven terrain, so are the ideal choice for many people.

Why are above ground pools popular?

Above ground swimming pools offer an alternative to in-ground pools, which may be difficult to install in some backyards because of access or the type of ground you have.

This makes them a relatively straightforward way to transform your backyard–and even your lifestyle.

Quality is uncompromised. At Compass Pools, we combine value for your money with durability and design excellence, allowing you to achieve your dream of enjoying your very own pool.

They are suitable for all different types of terrain, whether it’s rocky, uneven or sloping, and are also great for smaller gardens that can’t accommodate a conventional in-ground pool.

Above ground pools are versatile, coming in a variety of shapes, sizes and crafted from different materials such as concrete or fibreglass.
Just like in-ground pools, above ground pools can be heated to make swimming all year round a pleasure. You can also use your pool as an above ground spa – somewhere to go and relax and soothe away your stresses and strains.

Safety features such as fencing and gates that lock to keep your little ones safe can be added. (Note that children should be supervised around swimming pools at all times.)

It’s good to know as well that above ground pools are safer simply because of their higher entry points.

A bonus is that depending on the materials used for their shell, they are simple to maintain and require fewer chemicals than an in-ground pool.

A pool and spa combination built above ground

Types of above ground pools

Above ground pools are commonly made from fibreglass, but you can also install an above ground concrete pool, a pool made from plastic, rubber or vinyl, or even an upcycled shipping container!

More about plastic, rubber and vinyl pools

There are many different types of these pools, ranging from inflatable pools, up to those with metal frames, to pools with reinforced plastic or vinyl shells for durability. These can often be an affordable solution, are usually straightforward to set up, and you can take them with you if you move house. However, although they come with repair kits, they tend not to be the most durable pool available, and you need to take great care not to tear their lining. Generally speaking, you will need to replace the liner once every five to seven years.

More about fibreglass pools

A fibreglass above ground pool shell provides a sturdy and durable basis for a lifetime of swimming pleasure. Working with high-quality manufacturers such as Compass Pools means you will have access to a unique and exclusive technology called Maxi Rib, providing appropriate support for the ceramic fibreglass shell on any terrain. Its rib-like structure offers support to allow the pool to be fixed above ground level on a concrete platform or directly on the ground. The pool can then be installed on uneven or sloping sites.

And because the shell is manufactured off-site and delivered to you ready to install, it can be set up for use relatively quickly compared to in-ground pools.

While the shell will be pre-designed, you may not have as much ability to customise them as concrete pools which are constructed on site. However, many fibreglass shells come in a range of shapes and sizes, and landscaping allows you to add individual touches.

Another major consideration is hygiene. Fibreglass pools have an algae- and bacteria-resistant surface, making cleaning easy. This means they don’t need as many chemicals to keep them clean, which makes for a more comfortable swimming environment, particularly if you or a family member has sensitive skin.

It’s also good to know that fibreglass pools don’t need repainting or resurfacing, so they are ideal for busy families.

More about Maxi Rib technology

The Maxi Rib technology we offer at Compass Pools surrounds the shell of your pool in a unique rib-like structure, customised to fit the shape of your backyard. These ribs hold the whole pool structure and contents securely in place, which means any kind of land can accommodate a pool – even if you live on the side of a hill or have a yearning for a rooftop pool!

This innovation also means that pools built with Maxi Rib technology can withstand all kinds of weather and wear and tear, and will serve you reliably year after year.

This technology opens up the possibility of installing an affordable pool on almost any kind of site, making what used to be a dream for many people a reality.

Above ground fibreglass pool with glass wall

What about concrete pools?

The great advantage of concrete pools is that they are made on site, so you will have the chance to offer your input into their design. This is great news if your backyard is an unconventional shape and you need to customise your pool’s design to make it fit.

Because of the nature of their construction, installing them is a longer process than pre-made fibreglass pools, and they will need to be surfaced with tiling or pebbles once construction is complete.

Due to their porous nature, above ground concrete pools are more susceptible to bacteria and algae, so they will need diligent cleaning and more chemicals.

Is it true that above ground pools can be made from shipping containers?

Yes, it’s absolutely true and not surprising when you consider that their long and narrow shape lends itself perfectly to swimming pools!

Steel shipping containers require preparation before they are ready to be transformed. They are cleaned out and rust-proofed, then lined with steel, vinyl or a fibreglass shell.

They are popular in major urban areas such as Melbourne and Brisbane, where space is at a premium.

They can be installed much like the fibreglass shells by fixing them on an above-ground platform.

On the downside, they come in a choice of only two lengths – six or 12 metres – but only one width. And of course, just one shape – a long rectangle. If you’re into swimming laps, this is ideal, but many families may wish for greater flexibility in design.

Because they are not that easy to customise and resemble a big box, you can use clever landscaping to make their appearance more attractive.

What’s great about them is that they can be transported with relatively little hassle, so if you move house you can take your pool with you!

Why would an above ground pool work for us?

As we’ve already seen, above ground pools open up a whole world of possibility to potential pool owners.

They come into their own on difficult sites. For example, if your outside space is on a slope or hillside, or particularly uneven terrain, above ground pools are ideal. These factors are no barrier to an above ground pool. With the Maxi Rib fibreglass technology, you can rest assured that it will fit securely on your site, no matter the geography or weather.

So you thought an infinity pool was the preserve of the super wealthy? Think again! The versatility of fibreglass above ground pools means that an infinity pool can be created with the minimum of fuss in your backyard.

And even if you have a tiny backyard, you might be surprised at how well above ground swimming pools can fit right in. Your pool contractor will be able to advise on how to use landscaping and positioning to make the most of your compact space.

Compass Pools Australia X Trainer fibreglass spa built partially above the ground

Why do they look good?

Above ground pools can bring a vibrant, luxurious look to any kind of backyard – big, small, uneven or awkward-sized!

While the shells come in standard designs, clever landscaping can bring a variety of looks to your pool along with careful choice of plants, accessories and poolside furniture. So, you can make your above ground pool the stand-out feature of your backyard, or let it blend into the background as a natural extension of your outside environment.

You can also add your own personal touch by choosing external steps, pool heating, water management system, and lighting in a range of colours.

Even a simple design will bring the wow factor to your backyard and completely change how it looks and feels. But if you want to really pull out all the stops, you can even go for an infinity pool. This type of above ground pool has “disappearing edges” which create the illusion of the water having no boundary and flowing seamlessly into the ocean or sky, and are a truly stunning addition to any backyard.

Above ground pool ideas – landscaping

A key design tip is to make your above ground pool the focal point of your backyard, and landscape around it, creating an attractive and practical space.

Landscaping incorporates many elements: decking and railing, safety features such as locking gates and the inclusion of plants, trees and flowers which can provide shade or simply a beautiful, natural backdrop.

Bear in mind that the plants immediately surrounding your pool should be able to tolerate pool-cleaning chemicals, as these will be present in the surrounding soil.

So, go for specimens such as peach-leaved bellflower, swamp daisy, pineapple sage and ajuga for their hardiness and tolerance.

If you want to create a screening effect, try olive trees, bay laurel or coastal banksia.

You can use rocks placed artfully around the pool to emphasise a rustic look or use spotlights to create a more contemporary vibe.

Consider, too, whether you want an entertaining space around your pool for relaxing and enjoying time with family and friends. Paving and decking can be great if you dream of barbeques by the pool and lazy days just dipping in and out.

Relax by an above ground spa

Above ground pool prices

The cost of installing an above ground pool can vary according to what type you choose. The most affordable sort of above ground pool tends to be the rubber, vinyl or plastic pool, although we have seen earlier on that, within this category, there is in fact also a spectrum of prices, and how much you pay will depend on whether you opt for a basic inflatable pool, or one reinforced with a metal frame or with a more durable liner.

Heading further up the budget scale, higher quality container pools, for example reinforced shipping container pools, are next, followed by self-standing fibreglass pools. Fibreglass pools with Maxi Rib technology are a little more costly.

If you’re pulling out all the stops with an infinity pool, this is likely to be the most expensive option due to the need for a concealed pool and the extra work required.

There are several other factors to take into consideration when planning your budget. What size and design are you hoping for? How easy is it for contractors to get to your backyard to install it? All these will have some influence on the final price of your pool.

You’ll also need to consider what optional extras you want with your pool – decking or landscaping around the pool to enjoy it to its full capacity, perhaps, or extra lighting, or even a pool with an infinity edge.

As mentioned earlier, pools with a fibreglass shell are generally cheaper and more straightforward to install than concrete pools, so that is another consideration to take into account.

With an above ground pool for every budget and type of backyard, the possibility of having your very own swimming pool is a reality, not just a far-off dream!

What next?

Make sure you check out your local council approval requirements, as well as whether there are any preservation orders on trees that will need to be cleared before you start work. You can also find out whether any cables or pipes run under your planned pool area by consulting your site map.

Above ground pools Melbourne

If you live in the Melbourne area, you have the perfect climate to enjoy an above ground pool all year round, or simply to sit around and take in the relaxing atmosphere on cooler days. Think about installing a heating system, so you can enjoy your pool even when the weather is less summery.

Check out the details on safety standards for swimming pools in Melbourne here before you embark on your dream project.

Then all that remains is for you to contact your local authorised Compass Pools dealer, who will be able to efficiently install your above ground pool with the minimum of hassle.

Compass Pools Melbourne are specialists in constructing fibreglass swimming pools in the Greater Melbourne, Mornington Peninsula, Latrobe Valley Gippsland areas.

Gordon Ave Pools & Spas install swimming pools in Geelong, Melbourne’s Western suburbs and along the Surf Coast and Great Ocean Road.

Partially above ground fibreglass spa

Above ground pools Sydney

Sydney offers a warm and pleasant climate nearly all year round, and any backyard in the area will benefit from an above ground pool. Because there is plenty of sunshine, the most efficient way of heating your pool in the cooler months is with solar heating, so you may want to factor this into your budget.

Find out about the safety standards regarding pool fencing and gating for the Sydney area before you start. You can find out the details here.

The final piece of the jigsaw is to contact your local authorised Compass Pools Australia pool builder, who will start making your pool dream a reality.

For Sydney North the Compass Sales Centre North Sydney and Central Coast are your local swimming pool professionals.

For Sydney South try Local Pools and Spas.

Above ground pools Brisbane

Brisbane’s sultry climate makes it an ideal location to install an above ground pool in your backyard. Blessed with all-year-round balmy temperatures and plenty of sunshine, there is no greater addition to your home than a stylish and practical above ground pool.

You will need to be fully aware of safety regulations before you start your project, which you can find here.

Now you’re ready to contact your local authorised Compass Pools Australia pool builder, Vasa Pool Designs, who will get your above ground pool up and running in no time!