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10 Tips for Deciding on an In-Ground vs Above Ground Pool

There are approximately 7 million American households that have a swimming pool at the moment. Are you interested in adding to that number by putting a pool in your backyard?

If so, you’ll have the option of putting in either an in-ground pool or an above ground pool. But before you do, you should weigh the pros and cons of an in-ground vs above ground pool to see which would work best for you.

By taking your time and considering both of your choices carefully, you’ll be able to make the right decision for your home. Here are 10 tips for deciding on an in-ground vs above ground pool that will make things a little easier.

1. Think About How Much You Can Afford to Spend on a Pool

What is your budget for pool installation? That could, to a large degree, determine which type of pool you can afford to put in.

The cost of an in-ground swimming pool can vary dramatically. It depends on everything from how large the pool is to what kind of custom features you add to it. But on average, you’ll spend about $22,000 putting in an in-ground pool.

An above ground pool, on the other hand, will cost a lot less than that. Above ground pools only run about $6,200 on average.

Crunch the numbers and figure out how much you can afford to spend on a pool before you start looking around for one.

2. Calculate the Amount of Space You Have to Devote to a Pool

Cost should be one of your first concerns when considering an in-ground vs above ground pool. But it shouldn’t be your only concern.

The amount of space that you have in your backyard is going to be another big consideration for you.

If you have a lot of room on your property, an in-ground pool might fit perfectly, while an above ground pool will look far too small for the space. But if you don’t have a lot of room to spare, an in-ground pool might crowd your backyard, while an above ground pool will fit like a glove.

Measure your backyard to see how large it is so that you can calculate which of the two types of pools will fit best in it.

3. Consider the Maintenance That Will Need to Be Done to an In-Ground vs Above Ground Pool

You’re obviously going to need to maintain both in-ground and above ground pools. To keep your water crystal clear, you’ll have to check your water’s pH levels all the time and adjust them accordingly.

But there is a good chance that you’ll need to do slightly more maintenance on an in-ground pool, simply because of the size of it. Most in-ground pools are larger than above ground pools, which means you’ll need to take a little more time to maintain them.

Consider how long it’ll take you to do these tasks when maintaining in-ground vs above ground pools:

  • Skimming leaves, sticks, and other debris off the surface of the pool
  • Vacuuming the bottom of the pool
  • Brushing the sides of the pool
  • Emptying out the skimmer
  • Checking on and backwashing your pool filter

You might find that you’ll be able to save some time by going with an above ground pool, depending on how large it is.

4. Find Out Which Type of Pool Filters You’ll Need for In-Ground and Above Ground Pools

Maintaining your pool filter is arguably one of the most important maintenance steps you’ll take. A clean filter will ensure that your water gets filtered properly at all times.

Before purchasing a pool, educate yourself about the different types of pool filters, and see which one will be best for the pool that you want. Make sure you’re prepared to maintain it and replace it accordingly to keep your pool water looking and feeling its best.

5. Envision the Number of People Who Will Use Your Pool Regularly

Are you the type of person who is going to want to throw wild pool parties every Saturday afternoon and invite the whole neighborhood over to swim? You’re probably not going to be able to fit everyone in an above ground pool.

Or are you the type of person who likes to relax in your backyard by yourself and soak up some sun in peace? You’re probably going to have a pool that’s way too big for just one person if you go with an in-ground pool.

Spend some time thinking about how many people are going to use your pool on a regular basis. In-ground pools are ideal for large groups of people, while above ground pools are the better choice for small families and those who aren’t going to host pool parties often.

6. Mull Over How Important Pool Safety Is to Your Family

Let’s be clear: Pool safety is something that should be a top priority for everyone. You should always strive to keep your pool area as safe as it can possibly be.

However, those with young children should be especially mindful of how dangerous in-ground pools can be. More than 300 children die every year as a result of accidental drownings in in-ground swimming pools.

That doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t get an in-ground pool if you have kids. It just means you need to take the proper precautions to keep an in-ground pool safe.

It also means you might want to think about an above ground pool that is inherently safer due to its design. They come with their own set of safety risks and can also be dangerous. But they’re the better option in some cases for those who have children.

7. List the Activities You’re Planning to Do in Your Pool

What exactly are you going to use your swimming pool for once you have it installed?

Are you going to swim laps every morning to improve your physical fitness? It’ll be tough to do that when you’re in an above ground pool. An in-ground pool might be the right choice for you if you see laps in your future.

Are you going to lay on a raft every summer afternoon and soak up as much sun as you can get? You can do that in both in-ground and above ground pools, but above ground pools will allow you to do it at a better price.

Your pool activities should help determine which type of pool is going to work best for you. You don’t want to get a pool that’s too small to do laps or so large that you don’t even get to use most of it.

8. Question How Your Pool Will Affect Your Home’s Value

Generally speaking, a swimming pool won’t usually affect your home’s value all that much.

Even if you invest in a custom in-ground pool with waterfalls and sliding boards all over the place, people might not see that as a positive when they go to buy your home one day. So it won’t bring your home’s value up a heck of a lot.

With that in mind, you might not want to spend a fortune on a pool if you’re not going to see a return on it later. A less expensive pool will alter your home’s value just as much as a more expensive one will in most cases.

9. Remember to Keep Potential Pool Repairs in Mind

In addition to maintaining your pool regularly, you’re also going to have to make repairs to it from time to time. As long as you maintain your pool, repairs shouldn’t need to be done too often, but you will want to budget for them accordingly.

On average, repairs to in-ground pools will usually cost more than repairs to above ground ones. So you’ll need to factor that into your final decision.

Take a look at the prices for parts for in-ground vs above ground pools to gauge how much you can expect to spend for certain repair jobs.

10. Go With the Type of Pool You Think You’ll Ultimately Like Best

At the end of the day, you’re going to be making a sizable investment in a pool, regardless of which type of pool you pick. It’s important for you to love your pool once it’s been installed.

When you love your pool, it’ll be easier for you to maintain and repair it. It’ll also be easier for you and your family to get out and enjoy it every chance you can.

Choose the pool that fits into your budget and catches your eye. It’ll help you steer clear of regretting your decision later.

Decide Between an In-Ground vs Above Ground Pool Today

The in-ground vs above ground pool debate is likely going to rage on for years to come among homeowners. Some people prefer in-ground pools and don’t mind the extra cost of them, while others are just fine with above ground pools.

Only you can decide which pool will work best for your home. Use these tips to guide you towards the right decision.

Check out our blog for more information about pool filters and other types of filters.

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