When a family decides they would like to buy a swimming pool, the first question they’ll face is what type they would like to get: in-ground or above-ground?

Although one is not necessarily better than the other, there can be many advantages and disadvantages to going in either direction – especially regarding cost. So, here’s what you need to know about both types.

Above-Ground vs In-ground Pool Costs

According to the Angies List, the cost for in-ground and above-ground pools but typically range from $1,007 – $5,958for above-ground models, and $39,000 – $70,000 for in-ground models.  for in-ground pools.

Why such a price difference? Here are a few of the key areas where they differ.


Without a doubt, installing an above-ground pool is far cheaper than an in-ground pool. This is because the contractor can build the pool structure on top of the ground with little to no digging. The filtration system can also be built alongside the pool with little effort as long as the pool is set up within reach of required utility connections.

By contrast, the installation costs alone for an in-ground pool can easily cost over ten thousand dollars. This is because the contractor will spend multiple days:

  • Surveying the area
  • Excavating the ground
  • Installing the solid pool structure
  • Digging trenches for the filtration system
  • Pouring a concrete patio around the pool

Given the larger scope of tasks, you can expect this part of the process to be expensive.

Structure Materials

The cost of an above-ground pool itself is much cheaper than an in-ground pool. These types of pools generally have a plastic skeleton to support a large vinyl liner. These materials are relatively inexpensive and can be easily transported to the homeowner’s location.

In-ground pools, on the other hand, are generally a solid construction made of fiberglass or poured on-site with concrete. Either way, the cost will be far greater than for the above-ground pool.


Since most above-ground pools contain less water than an in-ground pool, they won’t require nearly as powerful filtration systems or sanitation routines. That will result in fewer chemicals purchased throughout the year and less expensive to replace components when they go bad.

Qualitative Factors

While above-ground pools may be less expensive, there are several important features you’d be giving up by going this route. Consider the following: 

  • Limit to the water depth. Since most above-ground pools are only four or 5 feet deep, it’s impossible to use them for diving. Meanwhile, in-ground pools can be as deep as you’d like them to go. Most have a deep end that goes 10 to 12 feet down – perfect for diving.
  • Not as aesthetically pleasing. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and for some, an above-ground pool can be something of an eye-sore.
  • Easier to damage. Because an above-ground pool’s structure is exposed, it can become more easily damaged and leak. Damage could occur through wear and tear, weather events, and more.

Financing is Available

If you want an in-ground pool but the cost keeps you from moving forward, it may be helpful to know that pool financing is available. Many lenders offer pool loans, which are essentially personal loans designed to help homeowners buy a pool. They come with a fixed annual percentage rate (APR) and can generally be repaid over a term of 2 to 5 years.

The Bottom Line

Undoubtedly, an in-ground pool will be much more expensive than an above-ground pool. This is generally because of the complexity of the installation, the heavier duty filtration system required, and more maintenance. However, no matter which option you choose, pool financing is available to help with the purchase. Prospective buyers should consider the pros and cons of each approach and select the option that best fits their needs.


Source: https://www.riverpoolsandspas.com/blog/how-much-do-above-ground-and-inground-pools-cost