If your next big home project involves adding a backyard swimming pool, knowing the ins and outs of above-ground vs inground pools can go a long way. A few factors worth considering before making the final decision about which type you should install in the backyard include the project’s budget and the surrounding environment.
If you live in a warm or hot climate, going for an inground pool will be something you can always enjoy, plus will bring additional value to your house. However, if your budget is limited, or you are just in a hurry, the above-ground pool is always an option. In just a few days you can have a fully installed pool, compared to the inground one which will take weeks.
Nevertheless, the following factors will help you arrive at a final decision once and for all.
When installing inground pools, your imagination is the limit. Shape, construction materials, and amenities will play a significant role in the final figure. However, an inground pool will always be more expensive than any above-ground pool. It is possible to buy an above-ground pool, including all amenities, and still not reach the price of an inground pool.
As a rule of thumb, inground pools might require more maintenance compared to above-ground pools due to their surroundings (ie: paving, coping, tile, and so forth) when you add filters, cleaning chemicals, electrical bills due to the heater, or water bills due to refilling, the cost of an above-ground pools’ might be slightly less, however. After all, most of those items are on the above-ground pool also.
Many owners even go with pool contractors when it comes to pool winterizing, which is another expense. Therefore, above-ground pools appear to be cheaper and easier to maintain since most of the work is done by the owners themselves. And on the other hand, you’ll find it easier to hire someone to maintain an inground pool. This is because investing in professional expertise can pay dividends when it comes to saving time and effort on maintenance.
Above-ground pools, while they can be large, have a limited number of models. There are several different shapes, styles, and sizes, but that is nothing in comparison with what you can get if you opt for an inground pool.
Inground pools, specifically gunite pools, can be constructed in any form you like. Plus, you can choose from a range of features, including attached spas and tanning ledges. You can even go for a diving board or slide, something that is not possible with above-ground pools.
Based on a model, above-ground pools can be counted as big pools, but their depth will only range from 48-52 inches deep, making them unsafe for diving purposes. In-ground pools, on the other hand, can be created in any shape, size, and depth. Most often, homeowners decide to have at least a few depth areas. This is one shallow side for the kids and another for the rest of the family and guests.
When it comes to appearance, many times there is a clear winner. For most people, inground pools are just more attractive. However, with a little bit of creativity, proper landscaping, and amenities, your above-ground pool can also show a superb appearance. But even still, the highest compliment is often stated as “it looks like an inground pool” which is a pretty good indicator of which option would be considered ideal.
For longevity, just like appearance, in-ground pools come out as a winner. When there is regular and proper maintenance in place, plus a rehab job or two, you can expect an operational pool for 50+ years. Above-ground pools on the other hand, even with proper maintenance and no major damage, will only last for 10 to 15 years.
In conclusion, the choice between an in-ground and an above-ground pool largely depends on your personal preferences, budget, and the space available. In-ground pools offer more customization options, a more permanent installation, and potentially higher property value. However, they also require more upfront costs and ongoing maintenance. Above-ground pools, on the other hand, are generally less expensive and easier to install and maintain, but they may not offer the same level of aesthetic appeal or longevity as in-ground pools. Ultimately, it’s important to carefully consider your needs and priorities before making a decision about which type of pool to install in your home.