Above-Ground Pool Cost

How Much Does an Above Ground Pool Cost?

Last Updated on January 23, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Installing an above ground pool in your backyard can provide countless hours of family fun and recreation. But before taking the plunge on an above ground pool, it’s important to understand the costs involved so you can budget accordingly.

This guide will break down the key price factors, help you estimate total costs, and give tips for keeping your pool affordable.

An above ground pool is often seen as a more budget-friendly option compared to installing an in-ground pool. Above ground pools have the advantage of being easy to set up, requiring less site preparation and no excavation work.

However, you’ll still need to account for expenses like the physical pool structure, accessories, installation labor, and ongoing maintenance.

How Much Does an Above Ground Pool Cost?

The cost of an above-ground pool is anywhere between $100 and $15,000, depending on their size, materials they are made from, and so on. When calculating the total price, you’ll need to look at these components that comprise the overall pool cost:

  • Pool kit – This includes the pool liner, wall panels, supports, and other structural parts. Expect to spend $100 to $7,000+ on the kit depending on size and material.
  • Installation – Hiring a pool pro for installation typically adds $1,500 to $3,500 in labor fees. DIY is cheaper but requires more effort.
  • Site preparation – Leveling and clearing the installation area can range from $500 to $2,000 depending on the yard.
  • Decking – While optional, a pool deck provides a safer surface for around $1,500 to $4,000.
  • Additional equipment – Things like pool pumps, filters, ladders, and other gear will be $500 to $2,000.
  • Permits and inspections – Building permits and safety inspections can cost $200 to $500 in most cases.
  • Ongoing costs – Expect to budget $500 to $2,000 yearly for chemicals, maintenance, utilities, and repairs.

With all these expenses in mind, a new above ground pool will typically cost a total of $4,000 to $12,000+ on average. That range depends largely on the pool size and which features you include.

According to HomeGuide, the average total installed cost of an above-ground pool ranges from $1,600 to $7,500, with the pool itself costing between $800 and $4,500.

Pool Gnome states that homeowners typically pay between $1,460 and $6,150 for an above-ground pool kit, with cheaper options available for $100 or less. The total cost of installing an above-ground pool ranges from $1,700 to $5,970, with an average cost of $2,700.

Forbes reports that the average cost of an above-ground pool for most homeowners is $2,850.

House Beautiful mentions that steel-frame pools cost between $500 and $3,000 on average, while resin pools have a similar price range. Professional installation for an above-ground pool costs $1,000 to $3,000 on average.

Types of Above Ground Pools

There are a few main types of above ground pools to consider, which have an impact on the total installation price.

  • Inflatable pools – These are the least expensive portable pools and start at just $100 for small sizes but can go up to $600+ for larger family-sized options. Installation is quick and easy with no tools needed. However, durability is limited to 1-2 seasons in most cases.
  • Frame pools – For a semi-permanent pool, frame/panel pools range from $1,500 to $6,000+ depending on size. Most kits include durable padded resin or steel walls. Installation takes 1-3 days and basic tools.
  • Hybrid pools – Offering more customization, hybrid models with partial in-ground installation run $6,000 to $15,000+. Hybrids blend the look of in-ground with reduced cost. Professional installation is recommended.
  • Wooden wall pools – For a natural aesthetic, wood wall pools start around $6,000 and installation takes 3-5 days. Lifespan is shorter than other materials and maintenance costs are higher.

Size Matters: How Pool Dimensions Impact Price

One of the biggest factors determining the cost of an above ground pool is simply the physical size and capacity. Basic pricing breaks down like this:

  • Small pools (less than 12′ diameter) – $1,500 to $3,000
  • Medium pools (12′ – 24′ diameter) – $3,000 to $7,000
  • Large pools (over 24′ diameter) – $7,000 to $15,000+

With each foot of diameter, the price increases significantly because more materials are required. There is also higher cost for installation labor, extras like decking, and maintenance for larger pools.

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

Carefully measure your backyard space and assess your family’s needs to choose the right above ground pool dimensions. Avoid going over-budget on size.

Which Pool Material is Most Affordable?

Luxury Above-Ground PoolThe composition of the pool walls and liner is another price variable to weigh. Here are the popular above ground pool material options ranked from most to least affordable:

  • PVC – Durable, low maintenance, and budget-friendly. PVC panels cost $3,000 to $7,000 installed.
  • Steel – Strong and economical but may be prone to rust over time. Steel pools start at around $4,000.
  • Resin – Made from plastic polymers, resin pools offer good value at $5,000 to $8,000. Long-lasting but can fade over time.
  • Wood/Composite – Natural wood appearance but requires frequent staining/sealing. Composite wood pools run $6,000 to $12,000+ installed.
  • Aluminum – Lightweight for easy DIY installation and lasts many years. Aluminum pool packages start from $6,000.

Get quotes on different material options and weigh durability against cost. PVC is the most budget-friendly.

Should You Install the Pool Yourself?

Tackling a DIY above ground pool installation can save thousands compared to hiring a professional crew. But keep in mind it requires physical labor, basic construction skills, and many hours to complete.

Realistic cost to install an above ground swimming pool yourself:

  • Small pool – Around $2,000 in supplies + 30-40 hours of labor
  • Medium pool – Around $3,500 in supplies + 50-70 hours of labor
  • Large pool – Around $6,000 in supplies + 100+ hours of labor

For most homeowners, a medium-sized DIY fiberglass pool installation is manageable and will cost 50-75% less than hiring pool contractors. Larger pools become challenging. Get help from family/friends to ease the workload.

Optional Accessories to Enhance Your Pool

While not essential, certain upgrades provide added functionality and enjoyment for your above ground pool investment:

  • Pool deck – Safer access at $2,000 to $5,000 depending on size and material like wood or composite.
  • Pool cover – $300 to $700 can save water, lock in heat, and prevent accidents when pool is not in use.
  • Heater – Extend the usable season with a natural gas or electric pool heater starting around $1,500 installed.
  • Saltwater system – Reduces chemical usage for softer water feel at $1,200 to $2,000 parts and installation cost.
  • Filtered pump – Better water circulation with cartridge or sand filters for $500 to $1,500.

Carefully weigh the benefits versus added cost when deciding on upgrades. Focus on ones that match your family’s priorities.

Accounting for Maintenance and Operating Costs

The ongoing pool maintenance costs for chemicals, heating, cleaning, and regular upkeep can add up for above ground pools, ranging from $700 to $2,500 annually. Consider a few ways to minimize these recurring expenses:

  • Install an efficient variable speed pump for lower energy bills
  • Use a pool cover when not in use to retain heat and minimize evaporation
  • Buy bulk chemicals and supplies to save per unit
  • Learn DIY care and avoid pool service fees
  • Winterize properly – this saves major repair costs down the road

With smart operation and care, you can keep maintenance costs to around $1,000 yearly for medium above ground pools.

How Much Value Does an Above Ground Pool Add to a Home?

Installing an above ground pool can increase your home’s value, but typically only around 70% to 80% of your project cost is added. Pools are not seen as essential home features, so not all expense is recouped through increased property value. Still, an attractive above ground pool can pay off in these ways when selling:

  • Increased buyer interest and offers
  • Higher property value compared to homes without pools
  • Ability to command a premium home sale price

Overall, a pool adds more lifestyle value for everyday enjoyment versus financial payoff in home value. Focus more on current benefits than returns later.

Comparing Above Ground vs. In-Ground Pools

How does the cost of above ground pools compare to traditional in-ground models? Here’s an overview:

  • Above ground pool – $1,500 to $15,000+ for materials, installation, and site prep. More budget-friendly but has a visible structure.
  • In-ground pool – $30,000 to $60,000+ for excavation, masonry, extensive site prep, and higher-end finishes. Customizable design but is far more expensive.

Above ground pools provide around 60% cost savings on average compared to in-ground options. Great for cost-conscious buyers focused more on function than aesthetics.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are above ground pools worth it?

Above ground pools can be a worthwhile investment for homeowners looking to add a backyard oasis without breaking the bank. The upfront cost is far lower than inground pools, averaging $4,000-$12,000.

Above ground pools also provide fun family recreation and can increase property value slightly. Just be sure to account for maintenance fees and plan for repairs as the pool ages. Overall, above ground pools offer an affordable way to enjoy swimming at home.

How long do above ground pools last?

With proper maintenance and upkeep, an above ground pool will typically last 5-10 years on average. The longevity depends on the quality of materials, usage levels, and consistent care.

To maximize lifespan, have any small repairs handled promptly, replace the liner every 5 years or so, and practice diligent chemical maintenance. Higher-end options with reinforced steel or resin walls can potentially last 15-20 years.

How deep can an above ground pool be?

Most above ground pools range from 3-5 feet deep on average. Pool depths are limited due to the structural design and need for sloped walls within the above ground frame.

Larger diameter pools may have depths up to 6 feet, but 8 feet or more is rare without partial in-ground installation. Consider kids’ safety and your own height needs when choosing depth. Most families find 4-5 feet ample for safe recreation.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *