Above-Ground Pool Cost

Last Updated on December 10, 2021 | Written by CPA Alec Pow
First Published on November 12, 2020 | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popivker

Swimming pools are perfect for warm weather and the summer season. Cool off in the swimming pool or unwind from the side – in any case, a swimming pool is a guaranteed magnet for fun and relaxation. An above-ground pool gives property owners the opportunity to have a swimming pool without most of the disadvantages of an in-ground pool.

In-ground swimming pools depend on a basin dug from the ground with heavy machinery. By comparison, an above-ground pool is a basin that rests on the ground, not in the ground. In many cases, this basin is supported by a metal or resin frame. In other cases, they are inflatable and self-supporting.

With above-ground swimming pool brand names such as Doughboy, Intex, and Namco, these swimming pools are far cheaper than an in-ground pool, particularly considering that most of them can be set up by the house owners themselves. Plus, they are not long-term solutions for the home. If the house owner moves to a new home, the swimming pool can be taken apart and brought along. On the disadvantage side, above-ground swimming pools hardly ever increase a property’s worth. Likewise, these swimming pools can be hard for some users to gain access to given that they need stairs.


  • Less costly than in-ground swimming pools
  • DIY solutions
  • No digging is required
  • Can be moved


  • Less sturdy than in-ground swimming pools
  • Subject to dripping
  • Will not increase property resale price
  • Tough to gain access to
  • Above-Ground Swimming Pool Expense

The least costly kind of above-ground swimming pool you can purchase is an inflatable swimming pool. You should be ready to pay as low as $350 for a 15-foot in size, 42-inch deep swimming pool. On the upper end of inflatables are 18-foot round, 48-inch deep swimming pools for around $700 to $900. A lot of inflatable pools for kids are priced even below $50.

You might also like our articles about the cost of a swimming pool, pebble tec pool, and in-ground hot-tub.

Metal framed and resin framed swimming pools are more pricey than inflatables due to the additional materials needed. For a 15-foot round, 48-inch deep swimming pool, you should be ready to pay $600 to $700. On the upper end, a rectangle-shaped 18-foot by 9-foot, 52-inch deep swimming pool will cost $1,200 to $1,400.

Strong steel wall swimming pools’ higher costs show their higher sturdiness and permanence. An 18-foot round, 52-inch strong wall swimming pool will cost $1,300 to $1,400.

Almost every above-ground swimming pool will be more economical than an in-ground swimming pool. In-ground swimming pools will have costs from $37,000 to $67,000. Even at the lower end of the price range, an in-ground pool will be 25 to 30 times more costly than an 18-foot round strong steel wall swimming pool ($1,300 to $1,400).

Repairs and maintenance

Above-ground swimming pools are reasonably easy to keep as long as you keep up on the upkeep schedule. Simple issues that are neglected can rapidly become more complicated and harder to fix.

Keep the swimming pool walls and frame as clean as possible with a mild soap solution, and never ever utilize any kind of abrasives. Some metal parts might need routine wax covering to prevent deterioration. Tiny holes and slits are very easy to fix with a patch kit. Some above-ground swimming pools might include a starter spot kit. Fix holes and slits right away. If they increase in size, they might end up being too big to fix on your own.

Just like in-ground swimming pools, above-ground swimming pools’ water needs to be treated and filtered with an electrically run filter/skimmer system.


Strong Wall Swimming Pools

Luxury Above-Ground PoolStrong wall swimming pools are the toughest and a long-term solution for above-ground swimming pools. The walls are all metal. Owners of strong wall swimming pools generally plan to own their swimming pools for several years. Some owners even set up the swimming pools partly in-ground or make decks to accommodate the height of the swimming pool’s rim. Strong steel wall swimming pools have a higher water capacity and can be filled higher than other kinds of swimming pools.

Inflatable Swimming pools

Inflatable swimming pools come without the inconvenience of a strong wall or frame assembly. If your idea of an inflatable pool is that of a shallow pool only made for kids, you should think again. Inflatable swimming pools have actually grown and can provide hours of pleasure for grownups, too. Inflatable swimming pools tend to provide the very best value when balancing expense, size, ease of setup, and sturdiness.

Steel or Resin-Frame Pools

Steel-frame and resin-frame swimming pools are a kind of a hybrid of the strong wall and inflatable swimming pools. The swimming pool basin is flexible plastic, however, it is not inflated. A light-weight exoskeleton of steel or hard, durable plastic holds the basin up and gives it the shape. Framed swimming pools can be as big as 16-foot by 32-foot, oval or rectangular in shape. Round-shaped framed pools’ optimum size is 26 feet.

Kid Pools

Call them kiddie, family, or wading pools: regardless of the name, these shallow inflatable swimming pools are made for kids to splash around in. These swimming pools will be no more than 30 inches deep, however, they generally are between 10 inches and 24 inches deep. Grownups, too, can cool off their feet while the kids play in a kiddie pool.

Tip for Safety

Kids in a kiddie pool, no matter how shallow it is, need to be under adult supervision. Kids can drown in even extremely shallow swimming pools.

Above-Ground Swimming Pool Setup

Many above-ground swimming pools are DIY projects of intermediate-level. Assembly is generally not made too complex but it does take some time. So make sure to have a week to 10 days available and a few helping hands around you.

It’s better to pick a reasonable season without any rain or snow, and, particularly, no wind. Owners of bigger swimming pools or owners who wish to speed up the process might want to have an expert set up the swimming pool for them. Experts can generally set up the swimming pool in a couple of days.

Set up the swimming pool on clearly flat ground that has great drainage. Building codes might require your swimming pool to be more than 6 feet from the property line and a minimum of 10 feet from the street. Other security codes referring to fencing and electrical wiring might also apply.

A few days before you start the setup, thoroughly go through the owner’s handbook and setup sheet. If you have a safe staging area, start to set out the materials ahead of time.

An essential issue

A lot of communities will require you to obtain a building authorization prior to developing an above-ground pool. Talk to your regional permitting office for details about licenses and about appropriate codes.

Top Brands of Above-Ground Pools

  • Summer Waves
  • Splash Pools
  • Intex
  • In the Swim
  • Doughboy
  • Coleman
  • Bestway

Above-Ground Swimming Pools vs. In-Ground Swimming Pools

In-ground swimming pools are challenging and costly to construct, however, they can have great resale value if you want to sell your house. In-ground swimming pools need substantial rebar and concrete work. The swimming pool professional requires enough access to the lawn for heavy machinery. In-ground swimming pools are long-term components of a lawn, which can be either a plus or a minus. As a plus, this means that a sound in-ground swimming pool will add value to a house. As a minus, the swimming pool needs consistent upkeep. Even if you no longer utilize the swimming pool, it still should either be kept or destroyed.

Above-ground swimming pools take less time to develop than in-ground swimming pools since they need no digging in the ground. Because you can install your own above-ground swimming pool, there are no labor expenses. With an above-ground swimming pool, you can have the swimming pool set up and loaded with water long before a swimming pool specialist would even break ground for an in-ground swimming pool.

Alec Pow
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