So you want to install a pool to cool off in during the hot summer months. There are some questions you are going to want answers to before you decide if you want an in-ground pool or an above ground pool. Besides the obvious price difference between the two options ($70k vs $5k), you will also want to know if an above ground pool is little more than a large paddling pool. Well first off, you will be amazed to learn that above ground pools can be as big, if not bigger, than in-ground pools. Next you are going to want to know about depth. With an above ground pool you generally get one level throughout, which does not suit everyone. So the next question is “can I increase the depth of my above ground pool?” Read on to find out more.
How to Add a Deep Centre or Deep End
Above ground pools come in three standard wall height depths: 48″, 52″ and 54″ – remember that these measurements are the height of the pool wall, not the depth of the water it contains, the actual water level will be 6″ lower than this. If you find that this is too shallow for you or you like not knowing what is below your feet don’t panic, you can increase your water depth by having a deep end or a deep centre added into your pool.
In order to add a deep centre or a deep end into your above ground pool it can be as easy as simply digging down before you install it. Most round pools lend themselves easily to having this addition – if you have a round pool it will require digging down at the centre of the pool and lining the whole pool with an expandable liner resulting in up to 2 feet of additional water depth. Round pools make it easy as they don’t tend to have a frame structure or metal components to complicate the additional depth. If you have an oval pool however, this is where it gets tricky.
Oval shaped pools are such shaped by straps or braces that criss cross through the centre of the pool tying the once straight sides together. These straps lend the frame extra support and can not be left out. Omitting them or even removing them will void the warranty, which is not something you will want to do when spending so much money. It doesn’t mean you can’t have an oval pool with extra depth, it just means that you will have to pay a bit more to have a strapless oval shaped pool.
So how deep can you make your deep end or your deep centre?
This will depend on your pool’s liner and how big your pool is. You can, if you want to keep your current liner, go up to 8-10″ deeper. Any more than this and you are going to need an expandable pool liner, not going too deep will also help keep the lining on the pool’s bottom smooth. Also if your pool is small and you dig down deep you will make the gradient from the edge to the centre of the pool uncomfortably steep. If the deep centre is shaped nicely and the gradient isn’t too steep, the liner should run over it smoothly. If you haven’t ensured those two things, you might find you have a wrinkly bottom which isn’t the end of the world, it will just make cleaning harder, it won’t feel great underfoot and it can be unsightly.
So there you have it, you can have your cake and eat it. Just remember that the best time to add additional depth is obviously when you are installing the pool, or when you are changing out the lining.