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Buttress vs. Buttress Free Oval Swimming Pools

All of the pools we sell at The Pool Factory are buttress free oval swimming pools. The older design used the buttress style. This article will explain the differences between the two styles.
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Since the weight of the water in an oval above ground pool is not evenly distributed, a support system is needed to keep the pool standing upright. There are two types of support systems available:

  1. Buttress Oval Swimming Pool (A-Brace)
  2. Buttress Free Oval Swimming Pool (buttress-less)


Buttress Oval Swimming Pool


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All the pools we sell at ThePoolFactory.com use the buttress free oval swimming pool design, while older style swimming pool models use the buttress/A-Brace style.

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Buttress Oval Swimming Pool

If you had an oval above ground pool growing up, chances are it was a buttress pool that used A-Braces to support the straight sides. These A-Braces would stick out about 3-4 feet on each side. The fact that you need all this extra space to install the pool means you have to settle for a smaller size pool if you have limited space in your yard. This was one of the drawbacks of this style pool. Kids also have to be careful when playing around the pool to make sure they don’t trip over the buttress. Besides these shortcomings, most people would agree that the appearance of the pool with these A-Braces isn’t very attractive. If you are building a deck around the pool or are installing the pool semi in-ground, the A-Braces will not show, but you will still need that extra space for the buttress oval swimming pool installation.

Buttress Oval Swimming Pool

Buttress Free Oval Swimming Pool

The newer style support system uses pressure plates that attach to beams that run underneath the pool. This is called a buttress free pool. These pools eliminate the need for the large A-Braces which means you can fit a larger pool in a smaller amount of space. Although the buttress free oval swimming pool design does not have A-Braces, it does have gussets that stick out ever so slightly on the straight side of the pool. Unlike the buttress style, instead of taking up 3-4 feet on each side, the swimming pool gussets only need about 1 foot on each side (depending on the model).

It is important to note that if you are going with a buttress free oval swimming pool design, you are not sacrificing functionality for aesthetics. The buttress free style is as safe and sturdy as the buttress A-Brace style pools.

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About The Pool Factory

America’s Above Ground Pool Experts – is the best place to find everything you need to make owning a swimming pool or spa fun and easy, at the best prices today. With a combined 50+ years of experience The Pool Factory employs a highly trained staff of above ground and semi in-ground pool specialists. The Pool Factory can provide unique solutions for all pool supplies and swimming pool needs.

15'X30'X54" Melenia Oval Pool

The Melenia incorporates interlocking steel stabilizers at the top of the pool and a hardware free resin bottom cuff that ensures a stronger pool with superior stability. The attractive embossed top ledges and uprights give the Melenia added strength with visual appeal.

  • May 14, 2015 at 12:43 PM

    If I was to use a pool with buttress can I use a retaining wall on one side of it instead of the braces

    • May 15, 2015 at 5:26 PM

      Hi Derek,

      We would not recommend altering or modifying an above ground pool in any way, it would void the manufacturer’s warranty and could create a dangerous situation.

  • November 3, 2015 at 12:52 PM

    Are the gussets necessary? I have seen buttress free pools on other websites that don’t have gussets.

    • November 24, 2015 at 12:12 PM

      All buttress free oval pools use similar types of support systems. The style and size of the support system can vary by manufacturer. Manufacturer’s like Wilbar and Trendium use gussets for their oval pools. If you would like a sleeker looking oval swimming pool, please take a look at our Hampton Oval Pool model.

  • April 24, 2020 at 12:03 PM
    Nancy D Rydell

    who can we get to install an above ground pool? we are interested in putting a pool in….soon, but cannot do it ourselves. we live in central california.

  • April 24, 2020 at 12:04 PM
    Nancy D Rydell

    also…how long would it take to have a pool up and running from ordering pool to actually being in the pool?

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