Deciding whether to install an above-ground pool or an in-ground pool depends on both where you live and your budget. In warm, sunny parts of the country, such as California and the Southwest, in-ground pools are common. However, for those living in colder parts of the country or for those on a tight budget, an above-ground pool could be appropriate.
Above-Ground Pool Installation
If you are on a tight budget or want a pool right now, an above-ground pool is a good choice. An above-ground pool installation can take just a few days. Also, if you live in an area that freezes over the winter, draining the water below the jets and skimmer to prevent frozen plumbing is easily done with an above-ground pool.
Above-ground pools can be heated, and decking and landscaping can be added to incorporate them into your yard. If done well, an above-ground pool can be a very attractive addition to your outdoor lifestyle.
However, the main disadvantage of an above-ground pool is that it adds no value or even detracts from the value of your home. Also, above-ground pools are shallow, typically only 4-5 feet deep, so diving is out of the question. Finally, an above-ground pool requires much the same maintenance as an in-ground pool.
In-Ground Pool Installation
A shimmering in-ground pool epitomizes the stereotypical California lifestyle, and indeed, they are common throughout the warm regions of the west. While costly and time-consuming to install, an in-ground pool can also increase the value of your home. With the right landscaping, an in-ground pool can create a beautiful oasis in your backyard.
However, there are drawbacks to an in-ground pool, not the least of which is the cost. In 2021, the average cost of an in-ground pool was $35,000, compared to an average of $2,800 for an above-ground pool. Also, there is weekly maintenance and related costs.
Where you live will also influence the cost of building an in-ground pool. For example, if you live in a cold region of the country, expect to pay more. Also, if you live more than 50 miles away from your pool contractor, they can add onto your price for transportation. Finally, if the pool contractor must dig through the hard ground with a lot of rocks, that will slow down construction, adding to the cost.
Of course, additional features such as pool lighting, heating, covers, waterfalls, decks, and landscaping will add to the cost of both above-ground and in-ground pools.