Inground Pool Prices vs. Above Ground Pool Prices, & Pros and Cons

February 2nd, 2011 by Robert Miller | No Comments | Filed in pool-prices


No doubt about it – inground pools are expensive.  Inground pool prices can range from $25k to $60k+ for the initial installation, plus the cost of maintaining the pool over its lifetime. For comprehensive information on how to buy an inground pool, I recommend the site below:

How to Buy a Swimming Pool the Right Way

Alternatively, you can buy an inground swimming pool kit for much cheaper.  Tip: You can find great-quality but inexpensive inground pool kits at the website below:

Inground Pool Kits – from Specialty Pool Products

A typical inground pool kit costs around $8k-$12k+ for the pool only, plus an additional $2k or more for accessories such as pump and filter, chlorinator, pool cleaner, lights etc.

Also, if you don’t really need a pool that’s deep enough to dive into, and you can do without putting in a slide for the kids, a much more economical option would be to get an above-ground pool instead.  You can get a decent above ground pool for around $600-$1000+, with pricing varying widely from option to option.  Again, you can refer to the same site I mentioned above for a good selection of above ground pools:

Above Ground Pools – from Specialty Pool Products

For your information, below are summaries of the pros and cons of both the inground pool and the above ground pool.

Inground Pool – Pros:

  • Increases the value of your home if you ever want to sell it.
  • Looks much better (more extravagant) than the above ground pool.
  • More durable and therefore lasts longer than the above ground pool.
  • Typically bigger and deeper than above ground pools, and has both a shallow and a deep end instead of uniform depth throughout.
  • More flexibility in design and customization.

Inground Pool – Cons:

  • Fairly expensive – even if you go with an inground swimming pool kit
  • Longer installation time and higher labor costs
  • Not portable – can’t take it with you when you move
  • Costs more to maintain – both in dollars and in terms of time

Above Ground Pool – Pros:

  • Typically a lot cheaper than the in-ground pool
  • Easy to install (you can assemble it on your own, or hire someone to do it for much less compared to an inground pool)
  • Costs less money and work to maintain than for the inground pool
  • Portable – you can take it with you when you move (or sell it)
  • Lots of sizes, shapes and colors to choose from

Above Ground Pool – Cons:

  • Can’t accommodate slides
  • Not deep enough to dive into (usually only 48″ or 52″ high)
  • Depth is uniform throughout the pool
  • Usually not as durable as the inground pool, and doesn’t last nearly as long
  • Doesn’t look as grand as the inground pool

If, having consider inground pool kits and above ground pools, you still have your heart set on a custom inground pool, please see my other post for more information.

The high cost of installing and maintaining a pool is the unpleasant part.  However, don’t forget the reasons why you wanted to get a pool in the first place.  Having your own pool can be a lot of fun not only for your kids, but for you and your spouse as well, and even for your aging parents.  Also, swimming is a great way to stay in shape and is one of the most gentle forms of exercise there is, for kids and seniors alike.  Moreover, if you should ever decide to sell your house, having an inground pool in the backyard means you can sell for a higher price.  In a way, by getting an inground pool you’re investing in the value of your home.

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