Above Ground Pools v Inground Pools: The Benefits of Each Pool

As they say, it’s the summer and and the living is easy. Well, for people that own pools (or have close friends or family that are pool owners) that is true. For those of us that do not own pools, there may be many questions. From above ground pools to inground pools, there are questions about cost, comfort, cleaning among many others potential concerns.

To help with the decision making process, we have provided some general information, benefits and concerns about owning a pool (whether an above ground pool or inground pool). From the natural benefits like exercise to some understandable concerns like pool maintenance and pool care, we hope the following information provides a guide that will enable you to make the best decision for your family.

Benefits of Owning a Pool

From increased family time and a sure fire way to provide some fun, pools offer many benefits. In addition to the fun and family, there are also many unsung benefits that you will enjoy as a pool owner.

  • Fitness Benefits

Swimming is not the only exercise that can be done in a pool. In fact, you don’t have to know how to swim in order to exercise in a pool. Activities such as walking or jogging are low-impact forms of aquatic exercise. The water provides extra resistance for the muscles while simultaneously protecting the joints and bones.

Plus, since we think exercising in the pool is more fun, it is more likely you’ll stick to the program!

  • Mental Health Benefits

For most of us, water is a great natural stress reliever. For example, floating weightlessly in water (or on a pool float) is an extremely comforting activity that tends to make anxiety dissolve. Plus, the beautiful surroundings around the pool offers some soothing visuals for quiet meditation.

  • Sleep Benefits

Simply being around a pool causes physical fatigue, which will help increase sleep time (and aid in creating a deeper sleep). From swimming and walking to floating or playing in the pool will surely tire out anyone, the cool water also lowers your body temperature, which forces you to expend energy behind the scenes to balance things out.

Benefits of Above Ground Pools

The general benefits of being a pool owner do not differ much between above ground pools and inground pools. However, there are a handful of differences between the two types of pools (beyond the pool being above or below your property). To aid in the research and decision making process, here are some specific benefits of above ground pools compared to inground pools.

  • Cost Benefits

To start, above ground pools are simply more cost effective. From installation to maintenance, above ground pools are typically smaller than inground pools. Smaller pools mean less chemicals, less maintenance and less supplies to keep the pool looking good. Plus, for those of us in colder climates, the overall expense of using a water heater will be substantially lower, and take less time for the water to warm.

  • Installation Benefits

To add an above ground pool to your home, then you can start today. There is no need to dig a large hole or spend thousands of dollars on construction. Above ground pools are typically installed in a single day (or can even be installed as a DIY project).

  • Pool Maintenance Benefits

Every pool requires maintenance and proper pool care. Every pool owner needs the same equipment, such as pumps, filters and chemical. However, above ground pools tend to be smaller, so you’ll need less chemicals or smaller sizes of the necessary pool equipment. Plus, your overall water usage will be lower, which also translates to more savings.

  • Water Temperature Benefits

Generally, above ground pools contain warmer water. In colder climates, such as the Northeast, the water is above the ground and warm weather will help increase the temperature (compared to the water contained below the ground). Of course, water heaters are available, but above ground pools enhance Mother Nature and her ability to warm water.

  • Safety Benefits

Each home and pool setup will vary, but generally, it is more difficult for small pets and children to fall into above ground pools. For those pools with a surrounding deck, then a fence and latched gate will help protect against accidents.

  • Backyard Benefits

Above ground pools and packages come in a variety of shapes and sizes, which means they can fit into multiple places in your backyard. Also, above ground pools can be portable, so you can actually choose to move the location (or even take the pool with you if you need to move). At the same time, if you decide that you no longer want to use the pool, then it can be disassembled.

  • Tax Benefits

In general, inground pools are tend to add value to your property. Although this may be a good thing when you look to sell, an inground pool means more property taxes every year. Above ground pools are not considered permanent additions, therefore they do not impact your annual property taxes.

Benefits of Inground Pools

Every family is different, so if you are going to add a pool to your home, you should know the various benefits between above ground pools and inground pools. To aid in the research and decision making process, here are some specific benefits of inground pools vs above ground pools.

  • Aesthetic Benefits

In general, many people feel that inground pools are more aesthetically pleasing than above ground pools. Although both types of pools can leverage landscaping tips to create a beautiful backyard, inground pools have more options because the pool is below the ground.

  • Customized Benefits

Inground pools can be customized to fit into your yard and lifestyle. From choosing the depth and shape to color scheme and other amenities, inground pools offer more options for customization.

  • Durability Benefits

Although fairly obvious, inground pools are below the ground. As a result, they tend to be more durable over time because the pool is protected from storms and the other natural impacts of the environment.

Above Ground Pools Vs In-Ground Pools

Adding a pool to your home will mean changes. Both great changes like more exercise and family fun. But also, more responsibility, like weekly pool maintenance and added safety concerns. If you are considering adding a pool to your home, then it is important to also understand the changes a pool will bring and how above ground pools vs inground pools impact your new lifestyle.

  • Difference in Cost

One of the primary differences between inground pools and above ground pools is cost. Pure and simple, inground pools are more expensive. On average, inground pools cost between $30,000 – $70,000 and above ground pools cost between a couple hundred dollars and a few thousand dollars.

For inground pools, then in addition to the pure cost of the pool, you also need to consider items like the patio and deck around the pool, electrical hookups, landscaping updates and equipment or other accessories.

For above ground pools, then you need to consider the price of the pool kit, installation and landscaping around the pool.

  • Difference in Size

Above ground pools and inground pools can vary in size. In order to determine the best pool for your home, then it depends on your yard and how a pool fits into your existing landscape. For example, if you have a big tree in the middle of your yard, then you’ll need to either cut the tree down and remove the roots or fit a pool around the tree.

For inground pools, then there is more flexibility to design a pool around your home. Homeowners can determine the depth, shape and color of the pool.

For above ground pools, then the pure diameter of a pool can be quite large. For example, a 30’ round above ground pool actually has more area than a 18×36 inground pool. However, above ground pools generally are limited to the shape, color and depth of the pool kit.

  • Difference in Longevity

A well made and properly installed pool that is maintained every year will last a long time. However, due to the differences in design and general exposure to the elements, above ground pools and inground pools differ in general longevity.

For inground pools, the typical longevity depends on the material of the pool. For example:

  • fiberglass pools should last over 20 years.
  • vinyl pools require new liners roughly every 6-11 years.
  • concrete pools need to be resurfaced every 9-13 years.

For above ground pools, the average pool lasts between 7-15 years before the structure starts to wear down and the pool liners should be replaced every 5-9 years.

  • Difference in Seasonal Use

Another factor to consider is climate. Do you live in a warm or cold climate? For example, for warmer regions of the country, then inground pools are almost an expectation because they can be used year round. In colder climates, than above ground pools may be more fitting because they are less expensive and not used throughout the year.

  • Difference in Property Value

The difference between the structure of above ground pools and inground pools goes beyond simple appearance. The tax man views an above ground pools as a semi-permanent or temporary structure and inground pools as a permanent structure.

For inground pools, this means that your property value will be impacted. Generally, an inground pool will increase your property value and annual property taxes. However, when it comes time to sell your home, then the jury is out on the overall value that an inground pools adds to prospective buyers.

For above ground pools, your property value will not be impacted, which means no increase in the annual property tax bill. Also, since the structure is temporary, then it can be removed before or after you potentially look to sell your home in the future.

  • Difference in Safety

Every pool requires certain safety parameters (some of which may vary based on local rules and regulations). Generally, every home with a pool requires proper fencing to ensure unattend animals and children do not enter the pool area and harm themselves.

For inground pools, then it is vital to include fencing or similar design to ensure children cannot enter the pool area. The safety measurements need to protect the entire pool and surrounding area, so this is an important design element when constructing the pool area.

In addition to protection, in-pool safety measures matter because most inground pools are deeper. Proper supervision is required for everyone due to the depth of the pool. Plus, pool ladders may be slippery or difficult for young (or old) guests to operate.

For above ground pools, then the pool protection and barricade may change depending on the design. Pool ladders can be raised and locked as a way to protect the pool. However, some above ground pools are designed as part of a home deck and would potentially require fencing around the water area to ensure that small children do not fall into the pool.

In-pool safety measures should generally be the same as inground pools, but the pools are not as deep. Anyone can potentially harm themselves or drown in any depth of water, so proper supervision is still required at all times.


Summer is a fantastic time of the year. For those thinking about adding a pool to their home, then we say yes!

Pools are quintessentially part of the summer experience and the overall benefits far outweigh the added responsibility of pool maintenance. From floating in the pool and relaxing the day away to laughing and playing with the kids, both above ground pools and inground pools provide similar experiences.

Depending on your budget, yard and general preference, every family should make the best decision for what type of pool fits their lifestyle. We hope this helps explain some of the benefits and difference between above ground and inground pools.

For any questions or tips on how to enjoy your pool, then always feel free to stop by the nearest NAMCO superstore and find that summer feeling!

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