The pros and cons of an above-ground pool

Image: Sergio Sergo /

Everyone causes a sensation, especially on hot summer days. As a homeowner, if you are considering adding a swimming pool and are not ready to commit to in-ground swimming pool durability, an above-ground swimming pool may be the best choice for you.

Sometimes shunned as a less attractive version of in-ground pools, the above-ground pools have their merits. But before you take the plunge into installing one in your yard, let’s take a look at the pros and cons.

Benefits of Above Ground Pools

Let’s take a look at what makes above-ground pools a great addition to your garden.

Easy to install and remove

Installing a pool in the ground is a professional job that requires digging, leveling, and isolating. However, adding an above ground pool can be a home improvement, and installing a pool is faster and less labor intensive. The limited impact on your yard is another benefit, and you can easily remove an above-ground pool without worrying about the scars it will leave. In fact, you can resell the pool if you want or even take it with you when you move.


The price difference between above ground and underground pools is drastic – you see savings worth tens of thousands of dollars just by walking above the ground. Not only do they have to pay less for labor and materials, but they are often non-taxable because they are not permanent establishments. Even if you choose to add additional features to your above-ground pool, the overall cost is significantly lower.

Low maintenance

Above-ground pools are less likely to get dirt or insects into the water because of their height. They’re also smaller, making them easier to pick up and dispose of, even with the usual leaves being blown in. Pool maintenance can be a breeze compared to other types of pools. It’s also easier to install a pool cover that will keep it tidy longer. And even if the walls or the bottom of the pool are damaged, the repair costs will be lower than in-floor versions.

You are safer

With depths between 48 and 52 inches, above-ground pools are shallower and therefore safer than underground pools. They’re also easier to get in and out of, and the edges provide a wraparound grip that can keep them from slipping. The fact that they are above ground also makes it less likely that someone would accidentally slide into the water, whether it be children, pets, or even wildlife.

Disadvantages of above-ground pools

Above-ground pools are not always just fun and games. Before installing one, here are some things to keep in mind.

They can be damaged more easily

The average lifespan of above-ground pools is between 10 and 15 years. However, thorough maintenance can add another decade to this. Even so, that’s still half the lifespan of in-ground versions. Severe weather, especially storms and snow, can damage the lining and walls of above-ground pools. Nobody wants to deal with several thousand gallons of pool water getting into their yard or the costly repairs that will follow.

They do not increase the house value

If you are thinking of selling your home and putting on an above ground pool which is a desirable feature, think again. Having a pool in your yard is a gamble at best when it comes to selling, but at least in the ground there are additional rating points. As a temporary facility, above-ground pools do not add value to the home and can even put off prospective buyers during demonstrations.

Limited versatility

While you can always upgrade your above-ground pool with features like heating or custom lights, the design options are quite limited. The default maximum depth is 52 inches, while the greatest width is approximately 41 feet. And while you can still swim in it, it might feel a little closer to just splashing around. You also won’t have access to features like a stepping stone unless you’re willing to invest in a seriously customized wooden deck.

They can look cheap

Let’s face it, above-ground pools don’t look as stylish as their in-ground version, let alone the elegance of infinity pools. Some models can act as cheap hot tubs or even glorified kiddy pools. You can always upgrade its look by purchasing a wood-paneled version or by surrounding it with garden plants and patio decorations, but the overall effect is just not the same.

Whether or not you choose an above-ground pool ultimately depends on your personal preferences. However, it is best to weigh the pros and cons beforehand. Cheaper, safer, and easier to install, they can also pack in hidden costs without adding to the value of your home. But if you’re looking to splash around in the sun after a good time, above-ground pools are definitely a fun and quick way to ensure it.

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