In-ground Versus Above-Ground Pools

You’re about to take the plunge and invest in the ultimate luxury: a swimming pool. But should you invest in an in-ground pool or choose an above-ground option? The answer depends on where you live, your budget, and the look you want to achieve.

If you live in a continental climate where the pool won’t be used year round, an above-ground pool can meet your needs. But in sunny states like Florida, in-ground pools are the standard. They add value to your home, enhance your lifestyle and help create an enviable outdoor living space.

If your budget is tight, an above-ground pool offers many of the amenities of an in-ground pool for a fraction of the cost. The pool kit and installation could start as low as a few thousand dollars, and there’s no impact on property taxes. A pool surround or deck elevates the price of course, but would give the pool a more permanent feel. As far as longevity goes, an above-ground pool can last from 7-15 years, but the liner will need to be replaced sooner.

Conversely, depending on the type of materials used, an in-ground structure can last for decades. The longevity factor should be part of you decision-making, along with aesthetics and price. The cost of an in-ground pool can vary drastically depending on the size, type, amenities, and extent of patio or decking, but the range is typically between $30-70k.

Both types of pools require cleaning equipment, heating systems, accessories, safety fences and maintenance. Because above-ground pools typically close during winter, annual maintenance costs will be lower. Homeowners tend to keep in-ground pools open longer — year-round in warm climates — so annual maintenance costs will go up along with the electric bill.

Despite the initial cost and monthly outlay, it’s hard to top the allure of an in-ground pool. And with so many options for customization, you can design a one-of-a-kind pool that looks spectacular from the outside while improving the view from indoors.

You have many decisions to make, but they all lead to a happy place: a new pool!