Shortly after moving into our house Daniel was determined he wanted a pool. We’ve had a pool before. Who was out cleaning it all the time? Me. Who doesn’t like to swim? Me. I did not want a pool… But I was outvoted and we put in a 24′ above ground pool in a flatter area of our yard. We have large, beautiful trees all over and around our yard… What was not really taken into consideration to this nice flat spot was the tree line next to it just waiting to dump all it’s leaves into it. We also discovered the neighborhood frogs LOVED pools and had a field day laying eggs on the surface… UGH.
Cue a two month work trip for Daniel to be gone and me cleaning up all this mess… I closed up the pool in early august and called it done for the year. I was over it. Then spring rolled around and it was time to open the pool again. I refused to even talk about it until we bought a pool dome to help me keep out nature. I researched and bargain shopped. Ended up purchasing a Fabrico Sun Dome from Ameri-brand Products Inc. This was the cheapest place I could find it. The website, though rather old and basic looking, was easy to purchase from and walked you through purchasing the right cover for your size/brand of pool. It arrived pretty quickly.
First of all, a FYI… Our pool has resin caps, not metal. They include screws for metal, but in the directions it states you need to get anchor screws for resin caps. So this took another trip to Lowes to get the screws they recommended. Once we started trying to follow the directions to use those screws, we just couldn’t get them to work. We ended up using the metal screws directly into the resin caps. How long this will last? I have no idea. They seem pretty secure and survived all season but we do not pull on the support frame at all, so if you have rambunctious kids that will mess with the framing, you may need to work out how to resolve this issue. You will also need to have duct tape to tape the pipe together so it doesn’t pop apart while you are trying to put it up.
With my husband’s work schedule, we ended up spending a few evenings putting this up at dusk with poor lighting. Don’t recommend that! It did take all 3 of us to get the framing up. Thank goodness for the “filler” pieces that add a couple extra inches to the pipes if your pool isn’t exactly round. Our pool ended up using all the pieces they sent to get secure. Guess we didn’t do so hot installing the pool and getting it perfectly round last year!
The framing seems pretty weak and scary to pull the vinyl cover over, for fear you’ll collapse the whole thing. It’s not screwed in or secured at the center, merely supporting itself. Once you get the cover on though, it’s pretty sturdy. We’ve had some high winds and no issues, though I will say that it’s in a more protected area of the yard and not hit broadside as it would in a more open space.
It has been SUPER nice to keep clean this year. While I still had to drop the vacuum in once a week for algae control, I did not fight with any outside leaves or junk falling in the pool. And despite one tree frog making it’s way in at the door flap, I did not have the horrendous frog issue that I had last year. It’s also helped keep the water warmer since our area is in the shade for a large part of the day, it needs to keep all the warmth it can get. That being said, once you open it on a hot day, it’s going to be pretty steamy hot air in there until it filters out the door and screened windows. I do keep the windows fully shut unless we are using it, just to help keep the pollen out of the pool. Which means I open them all first thing when I enter to get some fresh air in.
Overall I used less chemical than last year and had less water evaporation. I also ran the filter less. It probably saved me roughly $200 in chemical, water and electricity. I don’t know if it will survive enough years to reimburse itself, but so far, so good!
The only thing we found to be somewhat of a bummer is that when you have a cover on, you can’t have all the fun of jumping in the pool anymore. That was a little sad. However, for me, the pros have far outweighed the cons. We do live in AL and I plan to leave the dome on this winter. Up north where you might get snow, I would not even consider it. Down here, snow is not likely, or if it does, it’s not much and melts quick. We’ve talked about adding a pool heater and some insulation around the exterior so we can swim year round. I’m not sure I’m ready for that yet, we’ll see. For now, I’m very grateful to have purchased the dome this year, as I type this while sitting on my porch watching the fall leaves drop off the trees and slide down the outside of the dome avoiding making a mess in the pool I never wanted… 🙂
UPDATE: 2/28/21 – my beloved dome did not survive the freak snow/ice storm that hit the south. 😞 we had left it up all winter without issue. Of course, we are further south and typically only see a light dusting of snow once a year. We only had 1.5” of snow with a crusting of ice on top. It gave out over night and died. Very expensive mistake. Nearly every support pole bent. The cover tore in a spot from a broken pole with a sharp edge. Because our pool had resin caps, the screws did damage/busted every cap. I don’t believe we will replace the dome this year. I’m not looking forward to all the debris falling in and the frog invasion. Daniel is coming up with a different plan to get a large sun shade to angle over the top that will hopefully keep the bulk of leaves off it. It will be a project for late spring as he’s taking off for a work trip tomorrow. Until then, I get to look at a mucky pool I never wanted and remind myself all the reasons why I hate it. 🥴