When you decide to have a pool constructed in your backyard, you not only create a recreational environment for your family, but you stand to enhance the value of your property. Owning a pool provides many opportunities for fun and relaxation in the warmer months, more so if you live in a temperate climate that yields more time to swim and play. Question is, once you’ve decided to build that pool, should you go for an above ground model or in-ground?

Regardless of the style of pool you choose, you’re certain to enjoy the cool water and play with your family and friends. Both models are seen in backyards throughout the country, but as a homeowner you must decide which is best for you. Above ground and dug pools each have their own benefits and challenges, so if you are not leaning directly one way or the other here are a few considerations to help sway your choice:


How much does it cost to install a swimming pool? For in-ground models, prices will vary depending on size and depth. Do a search on the Internet and you may find numbers ranging from just over five thousand dollars to as much as ten grand – also factor in whether or not you have somebody install it for you.

By contrast, a nice above ground pool won’t set you back as much. Depending on size, you could pay as little as a few hundred dollars to as much as five thousand – the price often factors in the materials used to make the pool’s interior and walls. Traditionally, the above ground model will be less expensive, but that doesn’t mean it is always the correct choice for you.


Above ground pools have come a long way in the last few decades. Once upon a time, we might skim a peek over the fence to see the round blue object in the neighbor’s yard, while these days homeowners may choose between round and oval models. Above ground swimming pools typically start at twelve feet in circumference and may be extended to as much as thirty-three for round and oval models. If you have the yard to suit, you can even buy an oval kit that stretches forty feet long.

With in-ground pools, however, you can be more creative. Pool designers can offer designs from the simple rectangle to curvaceous shapes that give your backyard an aesthetically pleasing look. Depending on where you live, too, you can have one end as deep as eight feet. Above ground models, by contrast, usually go no deeper than four and a half feet…otherwise you’d need a tall ladder to get in!


Just because you have an above ground pool doesn’t mean you can get away with not buying a pump and filters and chemicals to clean the water. You cannot treat this model like an overgrown kiddie pool – it will need to be maintained the same as you would care for an in-ground pool. Issues like mold, clogged filters, and pump maintenance carry over to both types of pools.


To get into an above-ground pool, you’ll use a ladder. However, you can always enhance the look of your swimming area by constructing a raised deck around the edge. This not only makes for better socialization space around the pool, but easier access for swimmers – if a family member or guest has limited mobility, it may be difficult to get into the pool otherwise.

With an in-ground pool, there are ways to beautify the area with landscaping as well. In-ground models may also come with a diving board, something you don’t normally see on an above ground pool.

Swimming pools come in different shapes and sizes, and if you intend to have one installed at home you have the advantage of choice. Take into consideration all characteristics of above ground and in-ground pools before making your decision, then enjoy the water!