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In-ground vs. Above-ground Pools: 4 Things to Consider

5. 4. 2019 last updated

In-ground vs. Above-ground Pools: 4 things to Consider

A lot of us ask ourselves, should I get an in-ground pool or an above-ground pool?

It boils down to several factors when it comes to deciding which type of pool to get, and it’s important to keep these in mind before making such an investment.


Above-ground pools are better for those who are on a budget since they’re usually priced around $800-2,500 for DIY pool kits. Of course, the price varies with size, type, material, and features. More expensive above-ground pools are usually deeper with more durable materials and include extra accessories such as pool cleaners, lighting, and safety ladders.

In-ground pools cost a lot more than above-ground pools for they’re usually priced anywhere from $5,000-$30,000. In-ground pools act like another part of a house such as a kitchen or master bedroom since it’s literally attached to the property. Their price depends on size, shape, material options, customization, etc.


Many can often install an above-ground pool by themselves, which is why DIY above-ground pool kits are so popular. Some can take just a couple of hours to install or it can take few days to clear and level an area, install the liner, and fill the pool with water. There are some companies who offer installation, but it shouldn’t be too much to handle for someone that’s handy.

Here’s a video example on how to install an above-ground pool. Keep in mind however that this is a very large above-ground pool and the smaller variants don’t take nearly this much effort to put up.

The cost to install an above-ground pool varies a lot, but one thing is for sure; in-ground pools are way more expensive to install and they also take longer to set up. Typically, in-ground pools take 1-2 months to complete, but vinyl or fiberglass pools take less time. On the other hand, in-ground pools tend to be more attractive than above-ground pools and are quite the bonus to potential buyers whenever you want to sell your property.


Overall, above-ground pools and in-ground pools virtually have the same maintenance tasks such as filtering, cleaning, and maintaining a chemical balance (if you use chemicals). When it comes to repairs or replacements, in-ground pools will cost more because they have a more complicated structure and are a permanent fixture on your property.

Although, if you don’t want to worry about frequent repairs, in-ground pools are generally more durable (especially concrete and fiberglass ones) than above-ground pools. They’re less vulnerable to the weather and other outside elements since they aren’t prone to leaks and tears like the walls of above-ground pools are.


Above-ground pool walls act as a built-in safety feature, so accidentally falling in is less of a concern. The CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) notes that approximately 58% of drownings – an annual average of 226 people – happen in in-ground pools. 10% of reported drownings happen in portable above-ground pools to children younger than 15 years old. While above-ground pools might be safer, an in-ground pool can be just as safe with precautionary features such as a fence or pool alarm.


Whether you choose to get an above-ground or in-ground pool, you should take time to consider some important factors that can make or break your decision. In-ground pools are more attractive and can add value to your home, but they’re more expensive and take longer to install. Above-ground pools are more affordable and statistically safer, but are prone to damage.

When you’re ready, you can start off your search with our buying guide for the best above-ground pools.

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Article author

Peter Lloyd
Peter Lloyd

Author and editor with LeisureRate.com since 2017.

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