With warmer weather on the horizon, many homeowners ponder the addition of a pool to their backyard. When choosing a pool, several decisions present themselves, including whether to purchase an above-ground pool or an inground one.

Choosing between an above-ground pool or an inground one requires forethought. There are a number of factors that set these pool styles apart, and homeowners should carefully weigh the options before breaking ground.


Cost is a major factor when undergoing a home renovation, including adding a swimming pool. Because of the work involved for excavation and essentially building the pool from below the ground and up, inground pools will generally be more expensive than above-ground ones.

Homeowners can expect to pay between $10,000 to $25,000 for an inground pool, depending on the pool’s size and features. On the other hand, above-ground pools may range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. There also are above-ground pool kits that install relatively quickly, or there may be inflatable options.

Ease of Installation

For some, above-ground pools can be a do-it-yourself project. With the help of a few friends, it’s possible to set up a pool in a weekend. Inground pools, however, are a professional undertaking. The labor involved is often what makes this type of pool more expensive.

Homeowners who want a quick set-up may prefer an above-ground model.

Depth and Size

Individuals looking for an Olympic-size swimming pool at a depth of 8 feet or more will have to choose an inground pool. These pools can be customized into different sizes and shapes and greater depths.

On the other hand, above-ground pools are usually manufacturered according to set size and depth limits. They’re also generally round or oval and cannot be custom shapes. A person may be able to get a pool up to 5-feet-deep, and that’s the limit.


Many states and provinces mandate self-latching fences around the perimeter of any pool to safeguard against animals or children falling in. It is easier for children to wander into a pool that is at ground-level, which could give above-ground pools a slight safety advantage. But above-ground pools that are built with a deck surrounding them are not necessarily safer.

No one should be allowed to play around the pool or swim unattended. Keeping careful watch can prevent injuries or death.

Property Taxes

In some areas of the country, the installation of an inground pool is considered a permanent modification and can increase property taxes. An above-ground pool can be removed, and is therefore not a permanent change. Property taxes may remain unaffected.

Before installing a pool, homeowners should check with the municipal office to see if permits are needed and what the regulations regarding pools may be. Electrical wiring, pool placement and water fill-up may have to be worked on to avoid fines.

A pool can be a welcome addition to the yard. Depending on price range and amenities desired, the choice will have to be made between above-ground and inground styles.

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