A Detailed Comparison of Inground & Above-Ground Pools: Benefits, Costs, and Maintenance

From installation costs to customization options, in-ground and above-ground pools are both offering unique benefits. These pools, containing distinguishing features and cost advantages are always brought into consideration when one talks about installing an underground pool. Take a quick look at the features of these pools:


In-ground Pools

Above-ground Pools

Long-lasting investment which is bound to last for an extended period.

Comes with a shorter lifespan.

Not portable.

Can be easily removed and installed in another area.

 Complements the surroundings seamlessly.

Found to be less integrated with the surrounding design.

Comparing the Benefits of Each Type of Pool

Deciding on a pool for your backyard is not an easy decision. It has to be made after serious precision, weighing all the available options. When it comes to choosing the type of pool, one has two options; an above-ground pool or an in-ground pool. Both options are equally beneficial with differences in their features. Hence, it's essential to carefully weigh both options and make an informed decision. Let's first take a look at the advantages offered by in-ground pools:

  • If you're looking to go for something luxurious and chic, that gives a sophisticated aesthetic to your backyard oasis, the in-ground pool is the right choice for you.
  • Besides the benefit of sophistication, in-ground pools allow their owners to have a hands-on approach. This means that owners are given the choice to make decisions regarding the structure of the in-ground pool according to their vision. As such pools are highly customizable when it comes to their shape, size, and design, the owners have a sense of freedom to design a pool that truly complements their backyard, landscape, and architectural style, allowing them to create a customized swimming pool experience.
  • Another plus point to note about in-ground pools is that they're a favorite among realtors. If your property has an in-ground pool, one can say with surety that the value of your property has increased to a large extent, potentially increasing the resale value of the property.
  • In-ground pools are well-known to be durable and have the knack to last for a long period. This durability can be linked back to the materials used to construct the pool in the first place. Materials such as concrete, vinyl, fiberglass, etc. tend to instill a sort of long-lasting strength in items it's used for and are a great source of enhancing stability. In-ground pools can easily withstand the test of time and harsh weather conditions, making them a worthwhile long-term investment.

The following are the benefits of above-ground pools:

  • Above-ground pools tend to be a popular choice among homeowners as they're pretty affordable. This is because above-ground pools require minimum work when it comes to their installation as compared to in-ground pools. They can be set quickly and efficiently, saving time and money. Such a pool option is an attractive one for those on a budget constraint or who have a time limit.
  • Above-ground pools are easy to maintain and remove. Because of their versatile features, it's much easier to disassemble and relocate the pool, allowing the owners to take the pool with them if they ever intend on leaving the property. This flexibility advantage is a plus-one for all those property owners that don't intend on staying at a place for an extended period.

Comparing The Costs of Installing And Maintaining Each Type of Pool

Besides analyzing the benefits of each type of pool, it's necessary to evaluate the costs of each option to make a wise and cost-effective decision. Hence, let's compare the costs of both, in-ground and above-ground pools to help you to make an informed consideration.


When comparing the cost of both the relative options, in-ground pools are found on the heavier side of the cost spectrum as opposed to above-ground pools. The entire process of installing the pool tends to include excavation, construction, and installation of a structure that is supposed to be permanent. Other variable costs like labor wages, the cost of purchasing the materials, permits, and equipment eventually add up to a significant amount.

It should be noted that the exact cost is affected by various other factors like location, size of the pool, shape, design complexity, and other accessories needed for the construction.


In-ground pools

Above-ground pools

On average, the expense of maintaining an in-ground pool equals $1,200 to $2,500 per year.

Averaging the cost of such repairs, an above-ground pool owner can be expected to spend about $500 to $1500.


These figures are also a reflection of operational expenses. The amounts mentioned above are considered to be appropriate and even affordable as in-ground pools require less maintenance due to their durable and strong nature.

Above-ground pools are known to incur frequent maintenance repairs. These include filter cartridge replacements, frequent maintenance, liner replacements, and other repairs to the pool structure.

Talking in numbers, the average cost of an in-ground pool installation tends to revolve around $30,000-$70,000 or sometimes even more, depending upon the above-mentioned factors. If you're going for materials that are supposedly high-end in nature, like fiberglass or custom designs, the cost is going to see a hike. Therefore, before making a decision, it's important and wise to budget smartly for these upfront costs.


On the other hand, above-ground pools are cheaper to install when compared to in-ground pool installations. They usually involve less construction work and tend to be sold as complete packages that come with a liner, ladder, and a proper filtration system. The whole installation process is straightforward and can be carried out by the property owners themselves but professional help is recommended. When talking about numbers, an above-ground installation is found to be ranging around $2,500 to $15,000, the final cost affected by the size, quality, and other additional features.


Besides the installation costs, another major cost aspect that is to be incurred for as long as the pool is owned is that maintenance. Maintenance costs will include electricity for the filtration system, chemical treatments for the balancing of chlorine levels, and potential repairs and renovation costs. These costs are in line with utility rates, usage frequency, and pool measurements that include its size.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Inground or Above-Ground Pool

After analyzing the costs and advantages of the choices in front of you, it's time to take into consideration several other complementary factors that will affect your decision to a great extent. These factors include:

  • Backyard size: The larger the pool size, the bigger the ground pool you can install. Hence, backyard size plays a significant role when it comes to the installation of a ground pool. In-ground pools are a great option for you if the pool size is roomy, as such pools require more space due to their permanent nature. They also require great space for excavation and construction. If you're the owner of a larger yard that's accompanied by ample open space, an in-ground pool might just be the right option for you. Besides considering the pool size, the area required for a deck or patio site along with space for installing the necessary safety barriers is also to be brought to notice. Above-ground pools when compared to the in-ground ones are more versatile. Due to their flexibility advantage, they can easily be bent and fitted according to your background dimension. If you have a smaller or irregularly shaped yard, an above-ground pool might be the more suitable option for you.
  • Long-term goals and maintenance requirements: When making the final purchase decision, it's important, to be honest with oneself. Ask yourself if you can easily commit to the regular maintenance of the pool. If yes, then in-ground pools are going to be a more suitable option for you. The reason behind this suggestion is that in-ground pools are more likely to demand regular maintenance and upkeep due to the size factor and the fact that they have a permanent structure. If you're more inclined toward an in-ground pool, you have to mentally prepare yourself for putting in the required effort and time for regular cleaning, water treatment, and potential renovations. Above-ground pools require lower maintenance levels but they do require a proper filtration system and a regular cleaning routine if the pool is being used frequently. When talking about future goals and aims, if you have no plans to continue living on the present property, an above-ground pool is the perfect option due to its portability feature. An in-ground pool, in contrast, is more permanent, making it difficult to be disassembled and moved around.
  • Landscaping considerations: Landscaping requirements are important for both in-ground and above-ground pools. For in-ground pools, landscaping space is an integral part when it comes to the overall design of the pool. A visual description of how well the pool will fit with the landscaping design and other complementing factors is to be carved out. An in-ground pool is known to complement trees, plants, and other landscape features like a deck or a patio to create a cohesive look. Landscaping around an in-ground pool requires great upkeep and thought, demanding both your time and money. With above-ground pools, elevating the landscaping features also play a great role in enhancing the aesthetics of the backyard. Accompanied by shrubs, plants, and a decorated patio, the whole look can be made visually appealing.
  • Safety and accessibility requirements: When installing in-ground pools, safety barriers such as gates, fences, or even pool covers are required. These requirements need to be fulfilled to comply with the regulations set by the local council of the area and are essential for the safety of children and pets. The same demands are also to be checked when it comes to an above-ground pool installation.

Maintenance Tips for Taking Care of Your Pool All Year Round

If you're interested in maintaining the durability and condition of your pool, either in-ground or above-ground, throughout the whole year, follow the tips mentioned below:

  • Effective filtration system: Many say that the filtration system of a pool is its backbone. Checking and cleaning the pool's filtration system regularly is essential in light of the fact mentioned above. Make sure to backwash or clean, whichever option suits you the best, in line with the instructions set down by the manufacturer to achieve optimal filtration. A properly cleaned filtration system ensures a clean pool and balanced pool water.
  • Winterization: If the property that has the pool is situated in a region with a freezing temperature, proper winterization of your pool is essential to avoid any ultimate damage. To initiate the process, make sure to start by lowering the water level, draining the plumbing lines, adding winterizing chemicals, and topping it all off with a pool winter cover. It's recommended to religiously follow the manufacturer's instructions or consult a professional for accurate guidelines.
  • Regular cleaning: Pools tend to accumulate leaves, debris, and other floating objects over time, especially when not properly looked after. To get rid of the aforementioned items, use a pool vacuum or cleaner for an effective cleaning routine. Brushing the walls regularly also helps prevent the buildup of algae and other contaminated particles.
  • Skimmer baskets and pump strainer: To avoid clogging and ensure the proper flow of water, clean the skimmer baskets and pump strainer. Do remember to remove any remaining debris or leaves accumulated over time due to negligence.
  • Liner care: Inspecting the liner regularly to detect any signs of damage or wear on time is significant. It's recommended to clean the liner with a soft brush or a mild detergent. The use of abrasive or sharp objects is to be avoided at all costs.


With the hot sun of summer here and glistening, it's time to get yourself ready for a splash. Now is the time to make the decision and wisely evaluate and compare the pros and cons of both the in-ground and above-ground pools. Discover the distinguishing features and maintenance requirements for each option. Make sure to select the pool of your choice after considering your preferences, budget, and backyard size. Don't wait around and make a well-informed decision today!

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