In-Ground Pool VS Above-Ground Pool: The Ultimate Difference Guide

Pools are one of the relaxing luxuries that people often thrive for, and being an owner of one is great bliss. But the main question that arises for the soon-to-be owners is “In-ground pool or Above-ground pool?”

The demand for pools had been doubled in recent years, but deciding on the types of pools depends on the budget and land space. But with both conditions out of the way, it is still an overwhelming and confusing decision to make.

Thus, I have compiled few crucial points on both types of pools to ease the decision. Both pools have their own pros and cons, but again, it all comes to what suits you the best.

In-ground Pool

In-ground pools are referred to as the permanently installed pool. It adds great value to your and a beautiful and relaxing view too. They are ideal for the people who live in an area with a warm climate throughout the year.


When it comes to an in-ground pool, the price may vary significantly based on the area to cover. Here the main concern is that it is a one-time investment, and it should be very practical to use. To understand how to budget, you might have to understand the process an in-ground pool goes through:

  • Excavation
  • Installation
  • Pool flooring
  • Pool fence
  • Installation material
  • Permits

Indeed, it is like constructing a house, but the benefit is that it is a long-term property to have, and it just needs maintenance. The maintenance may also not cost much for two to three years if you have a good pool cleaner and used good quality material.


The installation of an in-ground pool requires patience and time, unlike above-ground pools. As I said, it is like building a house; the base panels to excavate need time. Moreover, applying for safety permits might be difficult for many states.

The most important thing about the installation of In-ground pools is choosing the right company. Yes, in-ground pools come in kits and require at least a team of professionals, and the construction goes for weeks or even months. The construction duration solely depends on the flooring material to be used; vinyl, fiberglass, gunite, etc.

Appearance and Customization

In comparison, the in-ground pool has no limitation of size, shape, and depth. They are more attractive than the above-ground pools, no doubt! You can have attached a relaxing deck and can get very creative with it.

Similarly, customization for in-ground pools is endless. You want a fire pit in the middle of the pool, and you got it. You want a pool of the shape of a star, not a problem. In-ground pools are like personal statements, and you can add on whatever you like. The most popular add-ons are spas and diving board. It is all up to you and the pool construction company.

Safety measures

Many people may say that in-ground pools are very notorious when it comes to safety. Since the depth of each inground pool is custom made, the risk of slipping off the deck and drowning can be increased by 50 percent.

Thus, the pool construction companies ensure better quality material, pool fences, and inbuilt safety level on water fill in the pool. Moreover, the owner also has to apply for a safety permit right that the start of building one.

Property Value

An in-ground swimming pool definitely adds value to your property. It might not recover the total cost spend on it, but according to the duration of use personal use, it is totally worth it. Especially if you live in a region with a maximum year of warm and sunny climate, an in-ground pool is just perfect and can also increase the property’s value for sure.


Maintenance of in-ground pool depends on how the quality of the material is used. Honestly, a new in-ground pool will give easy three years of no maintenance, but it does not mean that you should clean it. Seriously, cleaning the pool helps a lot with the maintenance and the life span of the pool. Do keep in mind, the construction and installation were expensive, the maintenance will be expensive too.

Looking for an in-ground pool cleaner for your in-ground pool? Click here.

Above-ground or On-ground Pool

As the name suggests, above-ground pools literally sit on the ground, or their base can be partially in the ground, unlike In-ground pools. They are easy to install and may be a permanent addition to the property too. They are restricted to 50 ft to 60ft in depth with limited shapes and sizes. Thus, they are a better choice for the regions with a short summer season and small backyards.


Above-ground pools are very cheap as compared to in-ground pools. They literally cost almost half then the in-ground pools due to the easy and pre-made installation. You don’t have to hire an entire team of professionals for above ground pool.

Above-ground pools also come with a kit and a list of instructions for you and your family to work on. Thus, the cost of special permits and installation is zero, unlike the in-ground pools.


Above-ground pools are very easy to install. It is like a summer DYI project for the family and friends. The pre-made above-ground pools come with a kit and few instructions. Where an in-ground pool takes weeks and months, you can install an above-ground pool in a day, and it is all ready for the pool party.

The installation process is comprised of the following steps:

  • Setting up the frame
  • Installing the lining
  •  Installing the pump and filtration hose

Appearance and Customization

When it comes to appearance, the above-ground pools may lack the choices. They have a limitation of 60 ft. depth with limited shapes and sizes. You may customize the outer look of the above-ground pools, but you will not have the patio, spas, and diving boards customization option, unlike in-ground pools.

But we have seen many people getting creative with the limited resources, so the lack of customization is not a bad thing in this case. But do remember to customize the pools according to what the lining can bear; otherwise, you might end up with leakage.

Safety measures

Above-ground pools are 50% safer than the in-ground. They have limited depth and no accidental slips for both children and adults or construction injuries. But do use safety for the younger ones.

Property Value

The above-ground swimming pool may reduce the value of your property. Let’s be real, and they are cheap and easy to install. People can easily remove it or can ask you to do so. In the case of an in-ground pool, it requires a lot of construction and the cost over the above-ground pool in half.


The maintenance of the above-ground pool is relatively cheaper than the in-ground pool: no broken diving boards or flooring material. The only maintenance it requires is no leakage in the lining. Moreover, the only extra maintenance you will spend on is a good above-ground pool cleaner. If you are wondering which one, I have a list of the best ones for you. Do check it out by clicking here if you are thinking of having one.

Final Verdict

The decision of having an in-ground or above-ground pool completely depends on the budget and the region where you live. If you have good backyard space and a budget with the long summer season, then an in-ground pool is perfect for you. It also adds value to the property if you consider selling.

Similarly, if you have limited space and budget or a small summer season, above ground is just right for you. It may have limited options, unlike the inground, but it is always satisfying to relax your body on a hot summer day along with friends and family.