So you have saved up your money and are ready to make that big purchase – the backyard pool. It’s an exciting time, especially when you realize how much planning goes into installing a swimming pool and how many decisions you need to make before you can suit up. Where will you put the pool, and what equipment do you need to make it operate smoothly? Will you install a saltwater pool, and – most importantly – will you get an in-ground model or an above ground pool?

There are advantages to having either model in your backyard. Whether you entertain often or just want to spend your summers at home relaxing in the water, either style of pool can guarantee enjoyment. Depending on where you live, you may not have a choice if it is not possible to dig deep enough to make an in-ground pool. If you have options, however, you’ll want to weigh the pros and cons of both.

One important thing to note about the in-ground pool that sets it apart from the above ground model is that the entire pool doesn’t need to be the same depth. You can have a shallow end for younger swimmers and a deeper end on which you can affix a diving board. If you desire a bit of variety in this respect, you may wish to look into having a pool dug.

On the flip side, an above ground pool leaves your lawn intact. You may think you won’t be able to relax poolside with such a model, but with some additions like a raised deck that encircles the rim of the pool you’ll find there isn’t that much of a difference from an in-ground model. As with an in-ground space, you can set up a slide for swimmers to enjoy and beach chair on the deck for sunning when you’re not in the water.

Ultimately, though, the deciding factor for you may be cost – not necessarily the price of construction and installation, but the maintenance involved. You’ll pay for chlorine and equipment, water testing and accessories. If you have concerns about how much a pool will cost in the long run, make a list of all expenses and compare the price of construction on top of that. This will help you better budget your pool money.

Swimming in your own backyard pool gives you a sense of luxury and freedom. Take care to make the right decision for your home.