Above-Ground vs. In-Ground Pools: What’s the Best Option?

WRITTEN BY: Mark Romero


Swimming pools are a great way to cool off on a hot summer day but can also increase your expenses and home insurance rates. Discover the pros and cons of above-ground and in-ground pools, and how they impact your home insurance.

Pros and cons of above-ground swimming pools

  • Less expensive
  • Easier to maintain
  • Fits in smaller yards
  • Shorter installation time
  • Less durable
  • Aren't as aesthetically pleasing
  • Max out at around six-feet deep

Above-ground swimming pools are a great option for people with smaller yards, renters, and people with smaller budgets. However, like everything, there are a few cons to choosing an above-ground pool too.

Pros of above-ground pools

Above-ground pools are typically less expensive to install than in-ground pools. Large above-ground pools generally cost between $7,000 and $8,000. But you can find much smaller inflatable versions for a few hundred dollars.

They’re also easier to maintain, and depending on the pool size, you can take them down in the winter if you live in a cold climate. This means you don’t have to worry about winterizing your pool and continually checking on the pool to make sure it’s okay throughout the season.

In most cases, above-ground pools are also smaller than in-ground pools. This makes them ideal for smaller yards. And because they aren’t a permanent fixture, you can take them with you if you decide to move.

Lastly, installing an above-ground pool doesn’t take as long as installing an in-ground pool. You can expect to have a large above-ground pool installed in one to three days, while installing an in-ground pool takes a few weeks.

Cons of above-ground pools

One of the major cons of above-ground pools is that they aren’t as durable as in-ground pools. On average, large above-ground pools last between 10 and 20 years – of course, smaller inflatable pools don’t last nearly that long. 

Also, many people think above-ground pools aren’t as aesthetically pleasing as in-ground pools. In-ground pools can be customized for your yard and have various shape options. While above-ground pools are limited to round or oval (for the most part). 

While the smaller size of an above-ground pool is ideal for people with smaller yards, their depth typically maxes out at six feet – most max out at four to five feet deep. Because of this, you can’t dive into the pool and it could be more dangerous for small children to jump in.

Pros and cons of in-ground pools

  • More durable
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Customizable
  • Expensive
  • Longer installation times
  • Harder to remove
  • Strict space requirements

While not as affordable as above-ground pools, in-ground pools tend to make your yard look nicer. But on the flip side, they’re harder to maintain. Check out all of the pros and cons of in-ground pools.

Pros of in-ground pools

In-ground pools are more durable than above-ground options. You can expect an in-ground pool to last several decades when properly maintained. This is a good deal longer than both small and large above-ground options.

As mentioned above, in-ground pools tend to look nicer too. They’re customizable. So you can choose the shape of your pool and even add a water feature if you want. 

You can also customize the size and depth of an in-ground pool. This makes them a great option for avid swimmers. 

Cons of in-ground pools

The biggest con of an in-ground pool is the cost. Not only will the installation cost you tens of thousands of dollars, in-ground pools are typically more expensive to maintain. They hold more water, which means you’ll have larger water and electricity costs, you’ll need more chemicals, and they’ll need cleaning more often. 

In addition to higher pool maintenance and installation costs, you’ll probably have to shell out a few thousand dollars every 10 to 15 years to have the pool resurfaced. And it’s common for in-ground pools to raise your property taxes.

Another thing you need to consider is the size and layout of your yard. You need a large, flat surface to accommodate an in-ground pool. And in most cases, yards aren’t large or level enough to install an in-ground pool.

Lastly, if you ever want to get rid of your pool, removing an in-ground one will be harder. You’ll have to pay hefty fees to have the pool filled in and the landscaping fixed, whereas with an above-ground pool, you empty it and take it down.

How above-ground and in-ground pools impact your home insurance

Home insurance companies typically consider pools to be an attractive nuisance, which means they’re more likely to attract children and adults who may not be aware of the risks involved. As a result, having a pool can increase your home insurance rates by 10% to 20%. That’s why it’s important to understand the pool coverage options your carrier offers before getting your pool.

The amount your rates increase will depend on a number of factors, including the type of pool you have, your location, and your insurance company. In most cases, above-ground pools typically increase your rates less than in-ground pools.


Is it easier to maintain an in-ground or above-ground pool?

It’s not necessarily easier to maintain one type of pool or another. However, in-ground pools can take more time and chemicals because they’re typically larger than above-ground pools.

Is owning an inground pool worth it?

Owning an in-ground pool can be worth it for some individuals, while it may not be the best investment for others. Here are some factors to consider when determining if owning an in-ground pool is worth it for you:

  • Frequency of use
  • Lifestyle and personal preferences
  • Climate
  • Cost and budget
  • Property value
  • Maintenance and responsibilities
  • Safety

What are the cons of having a pool?

While owning a pool can bring enjoyment and recreation, there are also several potential cons to consider:

  • Cost
  • Maintenance
  • Safety concerns
  • Liability and insurance
  • Limited use
  • Property value and resale

Find coverage for your swimming pool

Swimming pools can be a great addition to your home, but it’s important to be aware of their potential impact on your overall expenses and your home insurance rates. By understanding the pros and cons of above-ground and in-ground pools and how they impact you, it’s easier to decide whether a pool is right for you.

To get the best price on swimming pool insurance, use our comparison tool to view rates for several companies in minutes.

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