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Aboveground Pools: How to Buy a Quality One

The quality of above-ground swimming pools varies a lot, much more so than for in-ground pools. Warranties also run the gamut from horrible to excellent. Shopping by price alone isn't a good idea. Dealers can often offer low prices because they are selling a low quality pool. You want to buy something that will hold up not only for one season but for many years of summer entertaining. There are a few things you can do to ensure the aboveground swimming pool you buy is a quality one.

Sunset's Swimming Pools and Spas recommends asking your perspective dealer for names and phone numbers of customers they have done business with in the past and then visiting them to see how their pools are holding up over time. While that seems like a good idea in practice, I can't imagine any respectable business giving out their customers' private information, especially in today's era of rampant identity theft.

The book also recommends reading all the product reviews you can find of the aboveground pools you're considering. That seems like a much more practical approach. You can check consumer magazines (especially in the spring, you'll find articles and reviews dedicated to outdoor living products such as swimming pools), and of course the Internet is an increasingly likely place to find product reviews. Some sites like www.epinions.com dedicate themselves solely to reviews. Reading such consumer reports will help you get a feel for which manufactures put out quality products and which do not. Even though two pools may look the same and have very similar specifications, one will doubtlessly have greater durability than its counterpart even though the prices are comparable.

Once you've narrowed down your selection to a few possible pools, you'll want to take a good look at the warranties. Make sure you understand everything. Find out if the dealer will handle repairs or if you have to get in touch with the manufacturer who may be across the country. Be careful about warranties that only cover parts and materials. Ideally, you'll want to have labor covered as well because that can be far pricier than the simple cost replacement parts.

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