Above Ground Pool Step Buyer’s Guide

aboveground-pool-stepsAbove ground swimming pools come with a plethora of parts, equipment and supplies. Pool steps and ladders are important for easy and safe access.

Steps should restrict access to the pool, and remain stable as swimmers enter and exit the pool safely. Therefore, pool steps are one of the most important pieces of equipment for an aboveground swimming pool.

There are way too many pool steps and ladders to choose from (30!), and the choice may seem overwhelming at first, so let’s break down this above ground pool step buyer’s guide into two categories.

First we’ll look at some steps and ladders for above ground swimming pools with pool decks – and then for pools without pool decks.


The Staircase Step for Above Ground Pools is a reliable and strong pool step. Provides safe entry into the pool, with slip resistant and highly visible gray tone step treads.

The Staircase is made to handle strong UV rays and comes with dual handrails. It will fit any 48 inch to 54 inch pool and reach decks up to 60 inches. Other features include:pool-step-staircase

  • Easy snap-together installation for quick assembly
  • Strong enough to hold up to 400 pounds
  • Fill side supports with sand or pea gravel for ballast
  • Light Gray steps are easy to see through the water


The Easy-Incline Pool Ladder mates perfectly with a pool deck or dock. This is a lightweight ladder, but very sturdy with no shaking. Ladder style requires more climbing strength than pool steps shown above and below. Great secondary ladder for fully decked pools.easy-incline-pool-ladder

  • Gives swimmers easy access from the water
  • Sturdy and durable base, all Resin construction
  • High pitched rails have a classic style
  • Secure to any pool deck with plastic or aluminum flanges


The Deluxe In-Pool step ladder is our next in-pool ladder. Wide ladder treads support up to 300 pounds and is easy to climb. The strength of the Deluxe ladder holds it steady, no tipping or instability. Users find it strong and durable, and it fits deck heights from 44 to 60 inches high.deluxe-in-pool-step

  • 24″ deep with 8.5″ wide treads
  • 300 lb weight capacity
  • Slim profile, 22 inches wide
  • Prevents entrapment
  • Non-Slip, wide steps
  • Easily mounts to decks, Snap-together assembly


The Evolution In-Pool above ground pool ladder is an option that provides a quick and easy method of installing into your pool deck. Economical ladder is safe for all ages. No sand or bricks needed to hold its weight – just fill it with water, adjust the rails and secure it to your pool deck. Other features include:evolution-pool-ladder

  • 5 full treads, sturdy base
  • Capacity of 300 pounds
  • Anti-entrapment barrier
  • Attaches to decks up to 54 inches high
  • Snap-Lock treads to assemble quickly


Presenting the Heavy Duty In-Pool above ground ladder! This ladder – like the Evolution In-pool ladder, holds a capacity weight of 300 pounds, but the HD has wider treads and taller, reinforced handrails.heavy-duty-pool-ladder-for-above-ground-pools-with-decks

  • Fit and adjust onto any pool deck height between 46 and 56″
  • Flat treads for comfortable stepping and climbing
  • No sand needed to weight down, fills with water
  • Anti-entrapment barrier
  • Snap Lock Assembly


The Grand Entrance Steps is our flagship “wedding cake” pool step, and can be used on aboveground pools or in ground swimming pools.

the-grand-entrance-pool-stepOne of our strongest pool steps, they hold a maximum of 400 pounds at a time. The side panels can be filled with sand to keep the steps firm in the water without moving about. Dual safety handrails keep you safe and stable. The steps rise to the top of the pool, and are slip-resistant, extra wide and deep, which makes them a nice place to sit!

The Grand Entrance Steps are easy to install and can be coupled with an external ladder for pools with no deck.


The Mighty Step has a sturdy design sure to provide safety for all entering the pool. The double handrails provide ease of entering and exiting.mighty-step

The Mighty Step is fantastic for pools that have flat bottoms. The installation is simple and remains strong in the water. You do not need a deck to utilize this pool ladder system. Because they are smaller than other ladders they do not take up space in the water and look nice.


The Above ground Curve Step System allows you to stay safe, while having a stylish entry system. Curve Step System Shown Below:

  • Holds up to 400 poundsaboveground-curve-step-system
  • Enter and exit more safely with two handrails
  • Steps can be curved inward or outward
  • Easy to install; doesn’t require hardware
  • Fill side panels with sand or pea gravel
  • Includes oversized deck mounting brackets
  • Adjustable base pads for slight floor angles



Moving on to steps and ladders that fit pools with no deck required -

Our Evolution A-frame pool ladder is the two-sided cousin to the Evolution ladder above. You should avoid using ladders that don’t flip-up, or otherwise lockout users. evolution-a-frame-ladderThe Evolution’s unique flip-up design makes it a safe pool ladder.

  • 16″ steps, wide top platform
  • Fits pools of 48-54″ heights
  • Lockable flip-up safety ladder
  • Snap lock treads, minimal hardware


The Slide Lock A-Frame pool ladder is another safety ladder by VinylWorks; the outer ladder treads slide up and lock in place to prevent ladder use. 5 year warranty.slide-lock-aframe-pool-ladder

  • Fully adjustable height from 48-54″
  • Sturdy base prevents wobble
  • Holds up to 300 lbs
  • Slide-Lock ladder with lock included


One of our best pool steps is the Confer Pool Entry System. This durable double step allows swimmers of all ages to safety move in or out of the water.confer-deluxe-pool-entry-system-double

Also very safe as a pool barrier – gate self closes and latches, and can be padlocked. Fits snug over all pool heights. Overall height of this durable plastic step is 81 inches tall. Step treads measure 29″x8″, in non-skid, attractive and visible gray color.

Installation is easy for the Confer double entry system. In case you were interested – here’s the step by step assembly and installation manual.


Another durable, strong and safe entry system is the Bridge Entry System. This set of steps comes with a strong 5 year warranty and strong pool safety barrier for kids and animals. Other features include:The Bridge pool entry system

  • Total width of 32 inches
  • Self closing, self latching gate
  • 300 pound capacity
  • Easy climbing angle
  • Quickly assembles together


For a unique set-up, the Roll Guard A-Frame Safety ladder is interesting because it comes with a locking, Rolling Guard safety barrier. This prevents use of the pool ladder without adult help. The Roll Guard covers up the ladder treads on the outside of the pool, making the ladder non-climbable.rollguard-pool-ladder

The Roll Guard is for pools with a maximum height of 56 inches. It is quick and easy to assemble and easy to remove for winter storage. It also takes up less room in the pool, so you still have lots of room for swimmers. No sand needed to hold it down – just fill up the side rails with water for ballast.

The Lockable roll-guard barrier comes with the lock included and has an extra large top platform. Neutral tone matches most pools and is super visible in the pool for kids or animals seeking an exit.


The last step I want to show you is the Safe and Secure – unique because this pool entry system can be used for pools without decks, but can also be separated and used if a deck is built. It comes with a padlock, ladder, gate and steps.safe-and-secure-pool-steps

  • Self-closing Gate
  • In Pool ladder uses minimum space in pool
  • Can use Staircase step in place of ladder
  • Includes anti-entrapment barrier behind ladder



Swimming Pools come with many costs and attractive accessories. Pool owners sometimes have to make hard decisions on the best expenses to make.

Above ground pool step systems should be a mandatory accessory for all pools. They offer safe and easy pool entry and exit. For young children, elderly, or anyone, a solid step system can prove to be a smart buy for any pool.

I hope that our aboveground pool step buyers guide has helped you to navigate the nearly 30 steps and ladders we have to choose from!

Alex Malamos
InTheSwim Staff Blogger


Pool Painting: Design and Technique

paint your poolLooking for a great way to add some personalization and flair to your pool?! How about a brand new coat of paint?

Painting gives you the flexibility to make your pool look exactly the way you’ve always imagined! You can go with just one solid color, or you can get creative and bring to life any design you want!

Pool painting is a very economical choice that will last for years to come; allows for endless customizing options, and it’s easy to do!

The first step to painting your pool is figuring out which pool paint you want to use. There are different options depending on what kind of bare surface you will be working with. Some paints last for 2-3 years while others, like our In The Swim Super Poxy Shield, can last for up to 8 years, making it the most cost effective option.

Just make sure before you choose your paint that you’re using the right one! If your pool is already painted, it is very important you use the same kind of paint that was previously used for a proper bond to occur.

painting underwater murals in a poolSo now that you’ve chosen your type of paint, it’s time for the fun part! Colors!  Are you looking for a classic, solid white or blue look? Do you like the two-toned look? How about a creative design? With a little imagination, you can turn your pool into a backyard ocean or aquarium (depending on how good you are at painting waves, dolphins, and fish!).

There’s also always the option of abstract designs, logos (how about your favorite sports team?), geometric shapes, splatter coatings, and gradients! Your pool is your canvas! (Just remember to use the same type of paint throughout the entire process.)

colorsWe stock the most common colors which are dark blue, pool blue (light blue), white, and black in most of our paint types, but there are endless options for custom colors. Just send us a sample of the color(s) you are looking for, and our paint technicians will come up with an exact match for you!

Now that you’ve picked your colors, you are just about ready to start painting. Next comes surface preparation. This is an extremely important step to painting your pool. It includes a 3-step process of washing and degreasing the surface, then acid etching (which removes any scale or deposits and creates millions of tiny pores for the paint to seep into), and then rinsing one more time to neutralize the acid and make sure any last traces of dirt or oils are gone.

Our pool paint prep kit will prepare up to 800 square feet of surface and comes with detailed directions for you to follow. Your next step will be taping off any areas you don’t want to be painted. These include tile lines, safety hooks, and pool lights. Now it’s time to paint! Make sure to read all the directions on the paint label before beginning. (When painting epoxy on bare concrete, a primer will need to be used first.)

Some pool paints will need to be mixed with a catalyst before beginning. All paints will need to be poured into a large bucket and mixed well before beginning. Skip the flat paint tray, instead use a paint screen in a bucket, and a paint roller with pole extension. Roll the paint on with constant pressure and overlapping strokes, and if you are painting any designs, be sure not to paint too thin with your brush.

Oops, painted ourselves into a cornerMake a Plan – It is important that you begin in the deep end and work your way into the shallow end so you can get out when you’re done – unlike these fellows!

Follow all instructions for drying times and additional coats (if necessary) before filling the pool back up with water. Now you can sit back and admire your work!

So what do you think? Not only is pool painting an economical choice, but it’s also a great creative outlet, easy to do, and fun too! It’s a great way to personalize your pool for years of enjoyment.

Now what are you waiting for? Time to get started!

Christine Silvestri
InTheSwim Staff Blogger


Above Ground Pool Buyer’s Guide

aboveground-pool-ownerSpring is here and summer is right around the corner. Soon, kids will be out of school and ready to enjoy the summer weather!

Your family wants a swimming pool in the backyard, but there are so many options, where to begin?

Here’s a Buyer’s Guide for above ground pools, to help sort our amazing selection of cool pools.

Aboveground Pool Models

One of the main differences in above ground pool models is the wall height. 48″, 52″ or 54″ are available. 52″ walls are the most popular height nowadays, the shorter 48″ walls seem to be making their way out of the pool world.

Other differences stem from the materials that are used on the top rail or the upright posts. The thickness of the materials used in the walls, uprights and top rail also creates a price difference. More expensive pools are simply built with stronger materials, for a longer lifespan.

Here’s a chart to help explain the differences between our aboveground pool models.aboveground-pools-comparison-chart

Planning for your Pool

When it comes to planning for a pool, there are a few points that need to be taken into consideration. The first is space and the size of your yard. Ask yourself how much space you are willing to use for the pool. Measure your backyard and draw your backyard to scale, and then draw in the pool. If you plan on building a deck around the pool, make sure to keep that in mind and how much space it is going require.

Secondly, consider how much money you can allot for a pool. Not only do you have to purchase the pool and the equipment to go along with it, it will cost money to fill up the pool, to run the equipment, to maintain the pool. Not to mention the initial installation, if you don’t do this yourself.

Lastly, keep in mind that some towns or cities may require permits to have a pool built. Check the website of your local building and zoning department, or call them to enquire about permits, setbacks, fencing and any other restrictions that may exist. Take your time, don’t rush through the process – and you’ll avoid any unpleasant surprises.

aboveground-pool-builder-bannerWhether you are a first time buyer or looking to replace your existing pool, we have a great, interactive Above Ground Pool Builder on our website! There are two initial options: replacement pools without equipment, or complete aboveground pool packages.

With each option, we offer for a limited time 25% off all other items purchased with the pool, not including the pool itself.

What I want to do in the next section is walk through our 5-step above ground pool builder to give you an idea of the steps involved. I’ll select two of my favorite pool models, first the Aquarian, followed by the Luau pool.

Aquarian Aboveground Pools


The Aquarian Series of pools that we sell are manufactured by Trevi and the Luau, Celebration, and Fiesta are by Wilbar – two of the finest aboveground pool manufacturers in America.

Steps One & Two

Step 1 is to choose the pool you are interested in. The Aquarian 100 is a great reliable pool for a first time pool owner not looking to spend a ton of money. When I went out to my backyard to measure how much space I had, I decided that the 24’ round would be a good choice for me. I already have a good fence around the yard – 6′ tall, non-climbable. I just have to adjust my fence gate to make it self-closing and self-latching.

Step Three


The next step is to choose a liner. We offer a basic, solid blue liner along with liners that have a pattern. Some patterns have the option to pick a 20 or 25 gauge liner. These are both reliable liners, but the main difference is going to be the warranty on the liners and the thickness. The higher the gauge, the more puncture resistant the liner will be, and the longer it will stand up to sun and chemicals.

Step Four

In this step, you will need to determine what equipment package you are interested in which means the type of filter you’d like. You’ll see listed the advantages and disadvantages of each filter type. I am looking for something with lower maintenance but fairly good filtration quality, so I selected the cartridge filter.

With each aboveground pool package, the price includes a ladder, vacuum hose, vacuum head, vacuum pole, skimmer net, thermometer, and a start-up chemical kit including chlorine, pool shock, algaecide, stain away, and test strips.

Step Five

Here, you will be able to review your pool selection. I’ve selected the 24’ round Aquarian 100 for $949, the 25-gauge boulder swirl liner for $202, and the equipment package for $787. the point is...This gives me an order total of $1,939. Just to give you an idea of the savings, the accessory kit and liner before the 25% off was $1,318, saving me $330!

My point is, if you can, get all of your accessories now with the discount. The pool package will be enough to get your pool up and running. Keep in mind, if you want an automatic cleaner, a heater, winter cover or anything else, take advantage of the 25% discount – when purchased at the same time as the pool.

Luau Aboveground Poolsluau-pool

Since I priced out a Trevi pool, I am now going to walk through one of the Wilbar pools called the Luau.

Steps One & Two

I know which pool I want to order and have measured my backyard for space. I was hoping that I’d be able to get a 24’ round pool, but because I want to have a deck, I am going to have to go with a smaller pool. Based on what I measured, I will be able to install a 18’ pool in my backyard.

Steps Three & Four


In this step, I need to select a liner, which in this case is the Rolling Wave 20 gauge pattern. The fourth step is to pick out an equipment package. I want to get the best pool filter type, so I have checked the option for Diatomaceous Earth (D.E).  As in the first example, the pool package will include the equipment; start up chemicals, ladder, etc.

solar-blanket-swatchWhen I talked to my friends who are pool owners, they suggested that I get a liner shield which is going to protect my liner against rocks, roots, and other sharp objects that can go through a liner. This will also help protect the liner from mold and mildew. I also added a 12 mil solar cover to my cart to help retain my heat. And why not? I get 25% off that too!

Step Five

This is the last step in the process. By purchasing a liner, solar cover, liner shield, and the accessory kit, I saved close to $374! My total for this pool configuration came out to $1,981.21.


The last pool that I am going to touch base on is the Aquarian 500. This is our Top of the Line pool with some distinct advantages over the other pools we carry.

The Aquarian Pool is an all resin pool that has 54” wall heights. All of the other pools we carry are either 48” or 52” tall. This pool features injection-molded resin, secure-lock system that locks the components together at each post for superior stability. This eliminates screws at the ground level, which could lead to corrosion.

The bottom line when buying a pool is to keep in mind that you need to plan ahead. Make sure that you have the space for your pool that you check with your local regulations. All of our pools are quality so when it comes down to it, buy what you like.

Although our 5-step Aboveground Pool Builder makes it so easy to choose – if you have any questions, do not hesitate to call!

Kristine Malak
InTheSwim Staff Blogger


Energy Saving & Eco Friendly Swimming Pools

pool-expenses-yowch! Image purchasd from istockphoto

Imagine purchasing a brand new pool. Perhaps it’s an aboveground pool – or maybe an in ground pool, it fits perfectly into your backyard per your hard work.

After all of that money spent on a brand new pool, it can be a real eye opener and even discouraging to find that pool operation can be so expensive.

These costs weigh down the excitement and fun of owning a pool, but there is relief. There are conservation tips, in addition to equipment that can be used as alternatives to more expensive products that tend to drain your wallet.

Pool equipment can be costly and some take a toll on the environment. Luckily, there are products available that can cut costs while also being easy on the environment. The three main categories to cut down on costs are – Electricity, Heat, Chlorine and Water.

Reducing Pool Electrical Use:

Variable speed pool pumps are ideal for saving money, and the Hayward Max-Flo VS pump is no exception. VS pumps have multiple speeds and therefore consume only the power needed to keep your pool clean. In fact, VS pumps can save up to 80% in electrical costs.hayward-VS-pumps-arent-actually-GREEN-colored

VS pumps have a digital interface, which displays the amount of power consumption. It allows the user to change speeds, and adjust the power draw. High flow when you need it, and low flow when you don’t.

Another way to save electricity around the pool is with LED pool lights. In The Swim has an abundance of LED color changing pool lights available. The Intellibrite 5G underwater pool light gives a user the option for choosing custom color settings. You can set the colors to change at different speeds, or lock onto your favorite color. The IntelliBrite has a patented lens and reflectors to maximize the light output, and distribute the light and the color throughout the pool.

Reducing Pool Heating Pollution:

hayward-heat-pro-heat-pump-for-poolsAside from saving money on the electrical side, you can also consider natural solutions that reduce pollution while saving costs. Pool Heat Pumps are a smart way to save money. And although they use electricity, the amount is so small that it is considered a ‘Green‘ pool heater, especially when compared to gas pool heaters. Heat pumps maintain a consistent water temperature, for just a few dollars per day, and they operate silently, so no worries about a loud, clunky machine, belching carbon monoxide.

You wouldn’t heat your house without a roof, or have a refrigerator with no doors! Retaining pool heat makes sense, and solar covers are a great heat insulator. They reduce energy costs and save water. It saves chemical costs because it keeps out debris, and reduces evaporation. Solar covers not only retain the heat put in the water from your pool heater; by soaking up the sun’s heat, they warm the water.

Reducing Pool Chlorine Consumption:

Chlorine is a great product, don’t get me wrong – but it uses a lot of energy and heat to produce, package, ship and store properly. Reducing your chlorine use is also better for the global environment and your local watershed.

Mineral purifiers, Ozone and Natural Chemistry products will reduce your chlorine demand, and because your water is hyper-sanitized, you may be able to run your pump for fewer hours each day.

Reduce Water Consumption:

Saving water is easy with a cartridge filter. They save tons of water since they don’t require backwashing. Backwashing can use anywhere from 400 to 800 gallons of water, while cleaning your cartridge with a garden hose will only use a fraction of the water needed to clean a sand or DE filter.

Fixing leaks on your pool equipment, or in the plumbing or the pool itself is also important to reduce water consumption. Fix-A-Leak is a great product for sealing up leaky, weepy pools. Just pour it in, and it seeks out and plugs holes the size of a pea or smaller.

green-solar-blanketsSolar blankets, as mentioned earlier, reduce evaporation of pool water by 80% – and with water rationing a reality in many drought stricken areas, they may soon be a mandated pool accessory.

Drought restrictions may also limit or restrict draining a pool, which makes it difficult for pool owners with very high levels of calcium, TDS or stabilizer, or for pools that have turned dark green from neglect.

pst-logoA company known as PST (and others) operate mobile pool water recycling trucks, which will pump all the water out of the pool, and send it through reverse-osmosis filters, refilling your pool with clean water that is low in minerals and metals.

You can save money in the long run while doing your part to preserve the environment around your home and around the world. These helpful hints can lead to a healthier pool, without draining a big hole in your wallet.

Just because you made a big investment in a pool doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice money and the environment just to maintain it. Anyone can take care of a pool in a cost-effective and earth friendly manner!

Alex Malamos
InTheSwim Staff Blogger