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How Much Room Is Needed for an Above Ground Pool?

By Nicholas Briano ; Updated September 21, 2017
Several factors need to be taken into consideration when sizing your pool.

The decision to purchase an above ground pool for your home is a long-term investment. Several factors must be taken into consideration before you purchase and install your new swimming pool. One of the obvious concerns is size. Above ground pools need an adequate amount of space to fit correctly and still let people move around the outer perimeter of the pool.


If you have an open-spaced yard, size may not be much of a problem outside of your own personal preferences. Some jurisdictions require pool owners to have a fence around the perimeter of the yard when a pool is included. If you already have a fenced-in yard and space concerns, you must measure the yard accurately to determine how much space you have for the pool. Once you have your yard's measurements, you can determine how much of the yard you want the pool to take up.

Round Pool

Two primary shapes of above ground pools are sold: oval or round. Above ground round-shaped pools are good space savers because they don't require support legs against the pool wall that take up additional yard space. Most round pools will reach diameters of 30 feet and can be manufactured as small as 12 feet in diameter as well. The average depth for a round pool is somewhere between 4 and 5 feet. Consider the shortest dimension of your yard to determine if a round pool will fit. The pool should have a few feet on both sides of the yard to walk around the perimeter of the pool.

Oval Pools

Oval pools come in a range of sizes as well. An oval pool is ideal for a small rectangular yard. Oval pools come in two main construction types. The smaller oval pools can be supported by use of a buttress strap that runs across the width of the oval pool and connects to two poles. These two poles elevate several feet above the pool railing and are held in place by a cable running across the width of the pool. Most manufacturers will not make a pool bigger than 12 x 18 feet with buttress straps. Larger yards that can accommodate a bigger oval pool will need to add 5 to 6 feet of additional width to the pool dimensions to install an oval pool because oval pools need support legs that are installed along the length of the pool to support the structure. Oval pools are good for swimmers interested in swimming laps in the pool.

Other Considerations

When measuring for your pool, take into account that you will need space for a pool ladder as well. The pool ladder can be placed anywhere around the pool's perimeter. The only exception lies in the larger oval pools that utilize the support legs. A ladder can be placed anywhere along the length of these types of pools. Some above ground pool owners build decks around the pool, which will eliminate a lot of yard space and must be carefully taken into account if these are your plans. Sizes of decks can range and are usually customized to fit your specific yard's dimensions.


About the Author


Living in New York City, Nicholas Briano has been a professional journalist since 2002. He writes for "The Wave," a community weekly covering the borough of Queens. Briano holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Brooklyn College.