Best Choice for Swimming Pool: In-Ground vs Above Ground Pool

Better Pool? Inground or Above Ground

If you own a home, and have weathered even one sweltering summer, chances are you’ve considered getting a pool for the backyard. A cool dip and a few laps are all you need to feel refreshed from the Sun beating down on you.

However, when deciding what kind of pool to purchase, there’s a choice to be made. Do you purchase an above-ground pool, or do you have an in-ground pool installed? Either choice can be good or bad, depending on various circumstances in your life. Take a look at the pros and cons outlined below, and hopefully they will help you make the decision on which kind of pool is best for you.


Inground Pools

Guitar Inground Pool

Inground Pool


Most in-ground pools are well-made, and guaranteed to last. They typically are made out of three different materials: concrete, vinyl, and fiberglass. Each one is extremely sturdy and can be molded to fit just about any design you might have in mind for your pool.

In addition, in-ground pools are typically installed by professionals, who come to your house and do everything or you. That way, you can trust it the work to be done correctly. However, it’s best to do your research into whoever is installing your pool, to make sure that they are credible and knowledgeable. If they have complaints levied against them, or if some licenses are expired, you should definitely shop around elsewhere.

Finally, an in-ground pool usually has a huge size advantage; most are huge, with some looking more like lakes than pools. If you have a large family, host a lot of parties, or rely on swimming for regular exercise, the sheer size of an in-ground pool makes it more than worth the money.

Above Ground Pools

Image result for above ground pool


Since money is such a factor for so many people, you might be happy to hear that the average above-ground pool is much, much less expensive than in-ground ones. Many models are $1000 or under, and smaller ones can be had for less than $100! So if you’re in the market for a simple, fun way to keep cool during the hot Summer months, and nobody has the need for Olympic-sized anything, an above-ground pool would be the best, and least pricey, route to take.

Compared to in-ground pools, above-ground pools are much less maintenance, as there are no underground pipes and drains to worry about. In addition, above-ground pools are far easier to winterize, as it is mainly a matter of shocking the pool with the proper chemicals, draining enough water to allow room for the giant pillow that keeps the cover afloat, and then covering the pool!

Finally, what if you wish to get rid of your pool one day? If you wish to do so, there are no costs involved, and no professionals to hire. In most cases, all you need is a few friends to help out, while you drain the pool, take it apart, and dispose of the pieces.


Only invest in an in-ground pool if you can afford it, because they can be incredibly expensive. For an average-sized pol, expect to pay anywhere from $20000-$30000. If you want one of those gigantic pools like you see in the movies, be prepared to part with over $50,000 at least. Granted, you’re getting a lot for that kind of money, but you need to be absolutely certain this is what you want, before going out and spending that much.

An in-ground pool is also harder to winterize than an above-ground one. The entire pool will need to be cleaned, as will all its parts (pumps, feeders, etc.) You also need to tend to the underground pipe system, draining them, drying them, and then plugging them, to ensure that nothing seeps into the pool while it’s sealed up for the winter.

Also do not forget that an in-ground pool is part of the ground, so make absolutely sure this is something you want. If you decide, down the line, that you don’t want the pool anymore, you’re unfortunately stuck with it. There are companies that will come to your house and remove the pool, but they, naturally, cost money. Expect to pay anywhere from $3,000 to $25,000, depending on the size of the pool.


Unfortunately, “less expensive” can also mean “cheaply made;” as the old cliché goes, you get what you pay for. Many inexpensive models have easily breakable parts, loose ladders, and filters that rust easily. While the idea of spending $80 on a pool sounds great at first, understand that it will likely result in you spending far more later on, in addition.

As mentioned earlier, most above-ground pools are much smaller than in-ground pools. If you envision yourself exercising, hosting parties or doing anything outside of wading and relaxing, an above-ground pool is likely not right for you. They are simply too small to allow for much of anything else.

Finally, because above-ground pools are east to assemble and disassemble, you’re pretty much on your own. Not too many professionals deal with above-ground pools, so you either need to know how to use tools, or have a few friends that know and are willing to help. If you are truly unable to put the pool together yourself, and have no help from anyone, perhaps spending some extra money and getting an in-ground pool installed is the best choice after all.

And Finally…

As you can see, the battle between above-ground pools versus in-ground pools depends on several factors. Above ground pools are largely inexpensive, easy-to-assemble, and easy to maintain, but don’t last as long, are less roomy, and don’t come with a team of workers who deal exclusively with pool installation.

Meanwhile, in-ground pools are very pricey, harder to maintain, and it’s likely to stay part of your backyard for life. However, if you can afford the price, have the room, and love to swim, they’re well worth the investment. Plus, workers will come to your house and set everything up for you, leaving you with all play and no work.

Everything must be considered when making this decision: space, budget, the ability to work with tools, and whether or not you see yourself still using the pool in 5-10 years’ time. So study up, decide which is best for you, head to the store, and make your purchase. Happy swimming!




  1. Chelsea Richards June 10, 2013 at 6:52 am

    In some point above ground pools are more secure for folks and particularly youngsters. A kid is more inclined to fall to an in-ground pool for the reason that they are near the ground. In order for kids to gain entrance to your above ground pool, they might have to climb a step. A stepping stool could give an amazing intense hindrance for more youthful youngsters to go, which is decisively what you need.

  2. Kc July 26, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    If you have older kids that know how to swim and are taught water safety an in ground pool isn’t an issue. Education is key, anyone with a pool should be educating their children.

  3. CJ January 2, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    As the first two comments illustrate, safety is obviously a primary factor. However, kids are extremely resourceful and will eventually find a way in if they want to. So the usual pool fence will be good for both. However, people often view above ground pools as less aesthetically pleasing and will opt to go for the inground.For those will a smaller budget, consider going to the above ground and then getting pricing for a custom deck that encapsulates the above ground. You’ll still come in under budget and we love the look of ours!

  4. Ross February 23, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    I have to say that above ground pools are starting to trend more and more these days due to convenience, cost and ease of maintenance. We had 9 estimates for an in-ground pool and they were all over $50,000. That is a lot of money for most people. Our above ground pool was $1200, is very easy to maintain and isn’t permanent. It too a couple hours to setup.

    The kids love it and we made it look nice with a nice pool deck around it. In-ground pools are very nice for sure but an above ground is a great option for many.