Above-ground vs In-ground Pools

The kids have all their future pool toys picked out and your spouse has the first backyard pool party planned, but you are still on the fence about getting a pool.

What’s holding you back? We’ll bet you are dithering about what type of pool would best suit your situation. Let’s see if we can help you study the options and finally take the plunge into pool ownership.

In the above-ground vs in-ground pool debate, here are some considerations to keep in mind:

Installation Time

Above-ground pool kits go together pretty quickly. It is usually a DIY project, and with planning, you could put together your pool, fill it, balance the water, and be floating on your raft in a single weekend. Realistic installation time, including ground leveling, entry/exit step installation, etc. is more like three days. In contrast, in-ground pools usually take 3-4 weeks to be installed, at a minimum.


If you want the biggest bang for your budget, your best option is an above-ground pool. Do-it-yourselfers could install an above ground pool for $4,000-$14,000. If you have it installed by professionals, it costs $6,000-$15,000 on average. Decking and landscaping around your above-ground pool will be an added cost. In-ground pools range from $25,000-$75,000 but can reach $100,000 plus, including decking, landscaping, and the features you include.


The space you have to work with will limit your choice of pool. Whether you’re getting an above-ground pool or an in-ground one, we can help you narrow down which options work best for your yard. We have many shapes and sizes to fit your needs!


A sloping terrain can present a challenge to putting in a pool. Retaining walls, terracing, and heavy excavation can add to the cost of both above-ground and in-ground pools. Before you throw in the towel, one other option is a semi-in-ground pool, which just might be within your budget. Installing this type of pool requires less earth moving than would a fully in-ground one.


The basic on-going maintenance for either type of pool is going to be similar. However, in exchange for the lower upfront cost of installing an above-ground pool, you will need to replace the vinyl liner every 5-10 years.

  1. A concrete in-ground pool usually needs to be resurfaced every 10-15 years. 
  2. A vinyl-lined in-ground pool will need to have the liner replaced every 10 years or so.
  3. A fiberglass pool, if chemically maintained properly, can last for decades.


One advantage to an above-ground pool is that if you tire of it or if it wears out, you can remove it. It is even possible to take it with you if you move. An in-ground pool is definitely a greater commitment.  

Added Value

An in-ground pool can add value to your property, particularly if you live in a warm climate, if most of your neighbors have pools, and if your pool is landscaped attractively. Your property value could increase by approximately 7 percent with an inground pool.

To sum it up, an above-ground pool may be the right choice for you if:

  • You’re looking for the best budget-friendly option
  • Space is limited
  • Faster, easier installation is a priority
  • You want to take your pool with you if you move

An in-ground pool may be your best option if:

  • You’re ready to make a bigger investment 
  • You want a pool your family will still be enjoying decades down the road
  • Adding value to your home is important
  • Customization is a priority or you’re envisioning a pool with water features and other upgrades

We hope this information was helpful to you. We’d love to discuss your pool options with you and help you make the best decision for your lifestyle and family. Give us a call today at either of our locations!

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(910) 425-6138

4206 Cumberland Rd
Fayetteville, NC 28306

Mon-Fri: 9am to 6pm
Saturday: 9am to 3pm
Sunday: Closed


(910) 738-8110

1380 Linkhaw Rd
Lumberton, NC 28358

Mon-Fri: 9am to 6pm
Saturday: 9am to 3pm
Sunday: Closed

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