Make a Splash with a Compact 8×12 Above Ground Pool

Summer is right around the corner, and there’s no better way to enjoy the sunny season than with a refreshing swimming pool in your very own backyard. If you have a small family and limited yard space, an above ground pool is a great option to cool off affordably. Specifically, an 8×12 size creates the ideal splash zone without monopolizing your entire lawn.

You’ll learn about installing this compact pool, customizing it with fun accessories, keeping the water clean, and finding budget-friendly 8×12 pool packages. Dive in to start planning your own oasis!

What is an Above Ground Pool?

Above ground pools are designed with vertical walls that sit partially or fully above the ground rather than being dug in like traditional in-ground pools. The most common type is composed of assembled metal walls surrounded by an inner vinyl liner to hold the water. These pools offer a hybrid between the custom look of in-ground options with the easier installation of on-ground plastic pools.

8x12 above ground pool

Key components of above ground pools include:

  • Metal structured walls, typically galvanized steel
  • Inner liner, usually made of PVC or vinyl material
  • Included skimmer and return for water circulation
  • External filter and pump system to treat water

While they require more maintenance than in-ground alternatives, above ground pools provide refreshing relief at a fraction of the cost.

Benefits of 8×12 Above Ground Pools

So why choose an 8×12 model instead of a larger or smaller size? Here are the key advantages this compact pool offers:

  • Perfect size for a family of 3-4 people
  • Fits comfortably in backyards as small as 12×16 feet
  • More affordable price compared to big pools
  • Easier to install than very small pools
  • Allows family to comfortably play, float, and swim

Measuring 8 feet wide by 12 feet long, an 8×12 foot print creates an enjoyable oval-shaped pool well-suited for small households. The compact design means you don’t need a huge yard to install it. This size easily accommodates 1-2 kids or adults swimming, playing games, floating on rafts, and more.

With a diameter of just 96 square feet, an 8×12 above ground pool costs thousands less than larger models. But it still provides plenty of splashing room. Plus, the 8×12 dimensions are more manageable to install than tiny pools under 8 feet across.

Choosing the Right Location

Selecting the ideal spot in your yard is an important first step before setting up your 8×12 above ground pool. Here are key factors to consider when surveying potential locations:

  • Sun exposure – At least 6 hours of direct sun is best
  • Views – Pick a pleasing vista to enjoy from the pool
  • Access – Near a patio or walkway for easy entry
  • Utilities – Avoid overhead power lines or underground pipes
  • Terrain – Choose a leveled area, not a slope
  • Dimensions – Have at least a 12×16 foot space for the pool and surrounding deck

Marking out an 8×12 oval on your lawn with a garden hose is an easy way visualize the footprint. This ensures you have adequate space before purchasing the pool or beginning installation. The area should feel spacious enough without dominating your whole yard.

Pick a spot near a deck, walkway, or patio for convenient access. You’ll also want to be able to see attractive views from in the pool. And be sure to steer clear of power lines and any underground utilities.

Installation Tips and Process

Once you select the perfect spot, it’s time to install your 8×12 above ground pool. Here’s an overview of the key steps involved:

  1. Dig out and level the ground within your 8×12 marked area
  2. Add a 2″ layer of damp sand and pack it down smoothly
  3. Assemble the pool panels and secure them together
  4. Attach the skimmer, return fitting, and bottom rails
  5. Spread out the liner around the inside of the pool
  6. Trim away any excess liner material after it is fitted
  7. Fill with water and stabilize the chemicals

Before getting started, gather essential materials like shovels, leveling tools, pool skimmer, pool ladder, sand, and the pool kit with panels and liner. Expect the installation to take 2-3 days with a helper.

Leveling and preparing the base is crucial for proper water flow. Use a shovel to remove sod and dig down 2-3 inches. Add a 2 inch layer of damp sand across the bottom, packing it in with a hand tamper.

Assembling the pool walls takes patience. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to connect the panels together securely. Make sure the bottom rails with the liner stabilizer track are attached before putting in the liner.

Customizing Your 8×12 Pool

One of the best parts of an above ground pool is personalizing it with fun accessories and upgrades. Here are some popular options to make your 8×12 pool a backyard oasis:

  • Creative liner patterns and colors
  • Entry ladders or stairs
  • Underwater LED lights for night swims
  • Solar covers to retain heat
  • Decking or patio areas around the pool
  • Privacy fencing and landscape plants

Upgrading to a colorful, patterned vinyl liner costs a bit more but adds major style. Entry ladders or stairs with handrails also make it safer and easier to get in and out of the pool. You’ll also appreciate the ambiance of LED underwater lights for evening dips.

Securing composite deck boards around one or more sides of the pool creates a lovely patio space for lounging poolside. Planting shrubs or trees around the perimeter provides natural privacy and shade too.

Liner Upgrade$100-$300
Entry Ladder$100-$200
Underwater LED Lights$150-$300
Solar Cover$100-$200

Maintaining Water Quality

To keep your pool water clean, sparkling, and safe for swimmers, regular maintenance is key. Here are the most important tasks:

  • Skim leaves and debris daily
  • Brush pool walls and floor weekly
  • Check/adjust chemical levels every 3 days
  • Change filter cartridges monthly
  • Drain and clean liner every 2-3 years

Test and balance the pH, chlorine, alkalinity, and calcium hardness levels at least twice a week. Shock the pool water with chlorine weekly or as needed to maintain proper sanitation.

The pool skimmer and return gaskets will gradually wear down and need replacement every 2-3 years. Check these components frequently for leaks and replace immediately to prevent damage.

Affordable 8×12 Pool Packages Under $2000

Top above ground pool brands like BestWay and Intex offer complete 8×12 pool packages with everything you need for under $2000. Here are some of the best budget-friendly options:

Bestway Power Steel Pool Set$1,299
Intex Easy Set Pool Set$1,488
Summer Waves Elite Pool Set$1,699

These affordable packages include the pool liner, skimmer, filter pump, ladder, maintenance kit, and pool cover. You can also pay a bit more for upgrade features like upgraded steel-constructed walls, saltwater filtration systems, and premium pool liners.

Check manufacturer warranties too. Many above ground pools come with warranties of 15-25 years on the pool walls and 5-10 years on the pool liner.


What size pump/filter for an 8×12 pool?

A 1.5 HP pump with a sand filter or cartridge filter rated for 8,000-15,000 gallons is ideal for an 8×12 foot pool.

How deep is an 8×12 above ground pool?

Typical depths range from 3-4 feet. The shallow design makes them safer for kids while still allowing comfortable swimming.

How long does it take to install an 8×12 pool?

With proper prep and a helper, expect the 8×12 above ground pool installation process to take 2-3 full days.

What is the best time of year to set up an above ground pool?

Early spring or fall is ideal to avoid extreme heat. Avoid winter temperatures below 50degF during setup.

How much electricity does an 8×12 pool use?

An average 8×12 above ground pool with an efficient pump system can cost $40-$60 per month to operate in electrical fees.

An 8×12 above ground pool creates the perfect splash zone for households with limited yard space. Compared to larger sizes, the 8×12 footprint saves room and money without sacrificing the fun. After choosing a site and installing the compact oval pool, accessorizing and maintaining the water properly will ensure seasons of enjoyment. Check out affordable 8×12 pool packages under $2000 to bring resort-style amenities home to your small backyard.

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