When I was a child, I used to dream of having my own swimming pool. I imagined myself diving into the crystal-clear water on a hot summer day and lounging on a float while sipping a cold drink.

Now that I am an adult, I have the means to make that dream a reality. However, before I can start building my dream pool, I need to decide whether to choose an above ground or in-ground pool. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, and the final decision will depend on my budget, the installation process, maintenance requirements, and design options.

In this article, I will explore the differences between above ground and in-ground pools and help you make an informed decision on which type of pool is best for your needs. Whether you are a first-time pool owner or looking to upgrade your existing pool, this guide will provide you with the information you need to make the right choice.

From cost considerations to installation processes, from maintenance requirements to design options, I will cover everything you need to know about planning a pool and choosing between above ground and in-ground pools.

So, let’s dive in!

Key Takeaways

  • The decision between an above ground and in-ground pool ultimately depends on personal preferences, budget, and available space.
  • In-ground pools can add significant value to a property, but require more maintenance and a larger investment.
  • Above ground pools are more affordable and easier to install, but may not have the same effect on property value.
  • In-ground pools offer a wider range of design options and sizes, while above ground pools are more versatile and can be easily moved or dismantled if needed.

Cost Considerations for Above Ground and In-Ground Pools

You’ll save some cash with an above ground pool, but an in-ground pool will add some serious value to your backyard oasis. When it comes to cost considerations, above ground pools are the clear winner. They’re much more affordable to purchase and install than in-ground pools.

The average cost for an above ground pool is around $6,243, while an in-ground pool can cost anywhere from $35,000 to $65,000 or more.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that an in-ground pool will add significant value to your property. Not only does it provide a luxurious outdoor living space, but it can also increase the resale value of your home. On the other hand, an above ground pool may not have the same effect on property value. In fact, some potential buyers may see it as a temporary or unattractive addition to the backyard.

Another cost consideration to keep in mind is maintenance. Both above ground and in-ground pools require regular maintenance, but in-ground pools can be more expensive to maintain. The larger size and more complicated systems can lead to higher maintenance costs over time. However, above ground pools can also require frequent repairs or replacement of parts, which can add up in costs as well.

Ultimately, the decision between an above ground or in-ground pool will come down to personal preference and budget.

Installation Process for Above Ground Pools

Once you dive into the installation process for your new backyard oasis, you’ll find it’s a piece of cake, like putting together a jigsaw puzzle.

First things first, you’ll need to prepare the area where your above ground pool will be installed. This involves ensuring that the ground is level and free of any debris that could puncture the pool liner.

Once the area is prepped, you can start assembling the pool frame. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and to have all necessary tools on hand.

Here are some tips to make the installation process even smoother:

  • Enlist the help of a friend or family member to assist you in assembling the pool. It’s always easier and safer to have an extra set of hands.
  • Take your time and don’t rush through the process. Installing an above ground pool properly will ensure that it lasts for many years to come.
  • Ensure that all connections and fittings are tight and secure before filling the pool with water.
  • Remember to properly balance the pool water chemistry before allowing anyone to swim in it.

Overall, installing an above ground pool is a relatively simple process that can be completed in just a few days. With the right tools, preparation, and attention to detail, you can have your backyard oasis up and running in no time.

Installation Process for In-Ground Pools

Before beginning the installation process for an in-ground pool, it’s important to carefully choose the location and design to ensure it fits seamlessly into your backyard space.

The first step is to consult with a professional pool contractor who can assess your property and help you choose the right location for your pool. This will involve considering factors such as the slope of your yard, the proximity of trees and other obstacles, and the overall layout of your backyard.

Once the location has been chosen, the excavation process can begin. This involves digging a hole in the ground that is deep enough to accommodate the pool and any surrounding decking or landscaping.

The excavation process can be quite complex and may involve the use of heavy machinery, so it’s important to hire an experienced pool contractor who can handle the job safely and efficiently.

After the excavation is complete, the pool can be installed. This involves laying the foundation, installing the pool shell, and adding any necessary plumbing and electrical components.

Depending on the design and features of your pool, this process can take several weeks or even months to complete. However, with the help of a skilled pool contractor, you can be sure that your in-ground pool will be installed correctly and will provide years of enjoyment for you and your family.

Maintenance Requirements for Above Ground Pools

Maintaining your above ground pool is crucial for keeping it clean and safe for swimming, so it’s important to know the necessary steps and frequency of maintenance tasks.

First and foremost, you should regularly test the chemical levels of your pool water and adjust them as needed. This includes checking the pH level, chlorine level, and alkalinity. You can use test strips or a liquid test kit to do this, and you should aim to test your water at least once a week during the swimming season.

In addition to testing your water chemistry, you will also need to regularly clean your pool. This involves skimming the surface of the water to remove leaves and debris, vacuuming the bottom of the pool to remove dirt and debris that has settled there, and brushing the sides and bottom of the pool to prevent algae growth. You should aim to do these tasks on a weekly basis, or more frequently if your pool is used heavily or if you experience a lot of wind and debris in your area.

It’s important to maintain your pool equipment, including your pump, filter, and skimmer. You should clean and inspect these items regularly to ensure they are functioning properly and are free of debris. You should also backwash your filter on a regular basis to keep it clean and functioning properly.

By following these maintenance steps, you can ensure that your above ground pool stays clean, safe, and enjoyable for swimming all season long.

Maintenance Requirements for In-Ground Pools

To keep your in-ground swimming oasis in pristine condition, regularly tending to its upkeep is like tending to a garden – it requires consistent attention and care.

One of the most important maintenance tasks is checking and balancing the pool’s chemicals. This includes monitoring and adjusting the pH, chlorine, and alkalinity levels of the water. Neglecting this responsibility can result in algae growth, bacteria buildup, and even skin irritation for swimmers.

Another crucial aspect of maintaining an in-ground pool is keeping the water clean and clear. This requires regular skimming to remove debris, vacuuming the bottom of the pool to remove dirt and sediment, and cleaning the pool’s filter. Neglecting these duties can lead to cloudy, dirty water, which can be both unsightly and unhealthy for swimmers.

Lastly, it’s important to regularly inspect and maintain the pool’s equipment. This includes the pump, filter, heater, and any other mechanical components. Regular maintenance can prevent breakdowns and extend the lifespan of the equipment. It’s also important to address any repairs or replacements promptly to avoid further damage or safety hazards.

In summary, maintaining an in-ground pool requires consistent attention to chemical levels, cleanliness, and equipment upkeep to ensure a safe and enjoyable swimming experience.

Design Options for In-Ground Pools

Maintaining an in-ground pool can be a challenging task, but it’s all worth it when you see the final result. In-ground pools offer a wide range of design options that cater to your preferences and enhance the aesthetics of your backyard.

From freeform designs to geometric shapes, the possibilities are endless. To give you an idea of the design options for in-ground pools, here are some of the most popular choices:

  1. Infinity edge pool: This type of pool has a vanishing edge that creates an illusion of water extending to the horizon. It’s perfect for homes with breathtaking views.
  2. Natural pool: If you want a pool that blends in with nature, a natural pool is a great option. It features a biofiltration system that uses plants and other natural elements to keep the water clean.
  3. Lap pool: If you’re a fitness enthusiast, a lap pool is a great investment. It’s long and narrow, designed for swimming laps, and complements an active lifestyle.
  4. Roman pool: This classic pool design features a rectangular shape with rounded edges and a set of stairs leading into the water. It’s a timeless choice that adds elegance to any backyard.

When it comes to designing an in-ground pool, the possibilities are endless. With the right design, you can create a backyard oasis that enhances your lifestyle and adds value to your home.

Making Your Decision: Choosing Between Above Ground and In-Ground Pools

Deciding between an above ground and in-ground pool can be a tough choice, but choosing the right one will provide endless hours of relaxation and enjoyment for you and your family.

Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to weigh them carefully before making a decision.

Above ground pools are generally less expensive and easier to install than in-ground pools. They’re also more versatile, as they can be easily moved or dismantled if needed. However, they’re often considered less aesthetically pleasing and may not add as much value to your home as an in-ground pool. Additionally, above ground pools are usually smaller and shallower than in-ground pools, which may limit your swimming options.

In-ground pools, on the other hand, are more expensive and difficult to install, but they offer a wider range of design options and sizes. They can also add significant value to your home and are generally considered more luxurious. However, they require more maintenance and can be more difficult to access for repairs.

Ultimately, the decision between an above ground and in-ground pool comes down to personal preferences, budget, and available space.


In conclusion, choosing between an above ground or in-ground pool depends on various factors such as budget, installation process, maintenance requirements, and design options. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and lifestyle. However, it’s important to consider all the pros and cons of each option before making a decision.

When it comes to cost, above ground pools are usually the more affordable option. However, in-ground pools offer greater design options and can add significant value to your property. Maintenance requirements also differ between the two, with in-ground pools requiring more upkeep but offering a longer lifespan. Ultimately, the decision should be based on what best suits your needs and budget.

Overall, both above ground and in-ground pools have their advantages and disadvantages. Whether you opt for an affordable above ground pool or a luxurious in-ground pool, always remember to prioritize safety and proper maintenance.

With careful planning and consideration, you can enjoy a refreshing and relaxing pool experience for years to come.

Brian Ozorco

Author: Brian Ozorco

Brian started working with pools more than two decades ago. He's really good at making old pools look new and beautiful again. This is called pool resurfacing, and it's one of his specialties. Brian is not just good at fixing pools; he's also great at helping people. He set up SwimPoolHero.com to provide pool services, via a network of expert pool contractors, to home owners all over the US. Brian believes it's important to treat customers well, and that's a big part of his business.