In-ground vs. Above Ground Pools: Comparing the Costs

Adding a swimming pool to a home is generally only a good choice when the surrounding area experiences high temperatures all year round. Homeowners living in those areas may still find that installing a swimming pool does not have a high return on their initial investment. Whether you opt for an in ground swimming pool or an above ground swimming pool, you’ll want to consider the initial cost and any later costs you face.

The Cost of an Above Ground Swimming Pool

An above ground swimming pool will generally cost much less than an in ground swimming pool does. You can find pool kits from home improvement stores that let you set up a pool of up to three feet deep in just a few hours, and many of these kits cost well under $1,000. If you need extra space or want something more permanent, it can cost between $3,000 and $5,000 for the professional installation of an above ground swimming pool. Adding a deck around the pool can add a few thousand dollars more to the project.

The Price of an In Ground Swimming Pool

According to Lisa Gibbs of TIME, the average cost of an in ground swimming pool is just under $22,000. This price includes the cost of digging up your yard for the pool, pouring the foundation, laying any tile work and adding the water. Water features like a fountain, adding a heater or installing speaks in the pool all add to the cost. The cost also varies based on the size of the pool and the design you choose. A traditional oval, rectangular or kidney shaped pool are among the cheapest options. Any customizing you do to the pool brings up the total cost.

How Much Does Maintaining a Pool Cost?

Before you decide to install a new swimming pool in your yard, you need to consider the maintenance costs associated with each one. You will need to clean the pool of leaves and debris, use the right combination of chemicals to kill algae and other substances growing in the pool and pay for repairs to the liner, heater and other components. Paying for routine maintenance from a pool cleaning company can add a few hundred dollars to your cost each year. U.S. News and World Report also points out that you will need to extend your homeowners insurance to $100,000 or more. Depending on where you live, you may need to pay for a fence that circles the pool as well.

Owning a pool can provide excitement for your family and friends, but you need to look at the costs carefully. While maintenance costs are similar, installing an in ground pool costs significantly more than an above ground pool does.