What’s the Total Cost Of an Above-Ground Pool

WRITTEN BY: Emily Retherford


Having a swimming pool in your backyard is a dream for many homeowners. They offer endless hours of relaxation and recreation for family and friends. And above-ground pools have gained popularity due to their affordability, ease of installation, and flexibility in terms of placement. However, before deciding to install an above-ground pool, you should thoroughly understand the cost of an above-ground pool, including the price of the initial setup and ongoing maintenance.

The cost of installing an above-ground pool

How much does an above ground pool cost

Above-ground pools come in various sizes, materials, and designs, each with a different price point. According to Forbes, homeowners spend an average of $2,850 to purchase an above-ground pool. 

You could find a pool kit for a few hundred dollars or install a more elaborate pool for upwards of $11,200. The price fluctuates depending on the type, size, shape, and additional features. 

Let’s break it down further so you can make an informed decision.

Cost by material

Above ground pool cost by material

Above-ground pools are typically made with steel, resin, and aluminum. However, inflatable pools are also an option. Here’s how the pool material affects the cost.

Inflatable pool

Inflatable pools are your cheapest option. In fact, inflatable children’s pools run between $30 and $50. 

You can find an Intex inflatable pool that’s 15 feet in diameter and 48 inches deep for less than $400 – and that includes the pool ladder and pump. If you’re looking for a larger pool, you can find an inflatable pool with an 18-foot diameter and 48 inches deep for between $500 and $600. 

Steel, aluminum, and resin pools

Steel, aluminum, and resin are all good options for above-ground pools. These options do cost more than an inflatable pool, but they’re designed to last a lot longer. 

Also, you don’t need to take them down in the winter. Instead, you cover them. And because they’re a bit more permanent, you can even build a deck around the pool to make entertaining and getting in and out of the pool easier. 

As far as cost goes, steel-frame pools are cheaper than aluminum and resin pools because steel can corrode or oxidize when exposed to the elements. Resin and aluminum won’t. 

Expect to pay between $500 and $3,000 for a steel-frame pool. Aluminium is the most expensive option, with pools ranging between $1,000 and $4,000. The cost of resin above-ground pools sits somewhere in between.

Cost by shape and size

Above ground pool prices by size

Obviously, the larger the pool, the more expensive it is. But the cost also depends on the shape you choose. Round pools are the cheapest to install because they’re the easiest. In fact, you can easily find a round above-ground pool at a big box store and set it up yourself. 

That’s not the case with oval or rectangular pools, though. If you have an oval or rectangle pool installed, expect to pay between $1,000 and $4,000 – higher if you need to purchase accessories. And if you install a deck around your rectangular pool, it could cost more than $11,000.

Site preparation and landscaping expenses

Site prep and landscaping costs

Before the pool installation begins, the chosen location must be adequately prepared. This involves leveling the ground to ensure the pool’s stability and safety. 

If your yard isn’t level, you might need to hire professionals to do the work. On average, it costs a little over $2,000 to level a yard. However, it could be as low as $1,000 or as high as $3,500.

Landscaping around the pool area to enhance its aesthetics and functionality might involve expenses like sodding, gardening, or adding pathways. Average landscaping costs range between $3,000 and $13,000. Paying between $4.50 and $17 per square foot is common. 

Also, you might need to hire a landscaping architect to plan your yard layout. Expect to pay between $300 and $500 for this.

Permit costs

City and county permit costs

Depending on the laws in your city or county, you might need a permit to install an above-ground pool. Building permits for big outdoor projects cost, on average, between $250 and $2,000. However, in most cases, people installing above-ground pools should expect to pay between $100 and $300.

Additional costs for pool accessories and equipment

You also need a swimming pool pump, filter, ladder, and pool cover. While these costs all vary, depending on your needs, they add to your overall budget. 

The table below shows what you should expect to spend on some of the more common pool accessories.

Accessory TypeLow CostAverage CostHigh Cost
Pool Cover$35$150$750

In addition to the accessories and equipment necessary for your pool, you might also want to purchase pool games, toys, and floats. Be sure to add the cost of these things and anything needed for safety, like swimming vests and life rings, to your budget.

Maintenance and operational costs

Maintenance and operational costs

Swimming pools need ongoing maintenance. And because of this, you need to purchase chemicals for the pool regularly. These include 

  • Chlorine 
  • pH balancers 
  • Algaecides 
  • Clarifiers 

The cost of these chemicals can add up over time, especially during peak pool usage seasons or when battling algae blooms or other water quality issues. However, on average, it costs between $5 and $15 monthly to maintain a swimming pool if you do the work yourself. If you hire a professional, expect to pay between $80 and $150 monthly.

Utility expenses

Operating an above-ground pool requires a substantial amount of water, particularly during the initial filling and refilling after maintenance. This leads to increased water bills. Furthermore, running pool equipment, such as pumps and filters, consumes electricity, contributing to monthly utility expenses. If you have a natural gas-operated pool heater, expect your monthly gas bill to increase too.

UtilityAverage Cost
Electricity$300-$500 (monthly)
Propane or Natural Gas$200-$400 (monthly)


Is it expensive to run an above-ground pool?

Running an above-ground pool can be expensive due to ongoing costs, including energy for pumps and filters, water bills, chemicals, cleaning equipment, and maintenance.

To reduce expenses, homeowners can opt for energy-efficient equipment, practice water conservation, and perform optimal maintenance.

How many years do above-ground pools last?

Above-ground pools can last 10 to 20 years, depending on material quality, maintenance, climate, and usage. Proper care and maintenance are crucial for prolonging their lifespan.

Are above-ground pools a good investment?

Above-ground pools can be a good investment for homeowners seeking affordability, ease of installation, and flexibility. They provide enjoyment and recreation while requiring lower upfront costs than in-ground pools.

However, ongoing maintenance expenses should be considered. Ultimately, the decision depends on individual preferences and budget constraints.

Home insurance costs and finding the best rates

Your home insurance premiums increase when you install an above-ground pool because there’s an added liability risk. Fortunately, they only increase by about $50 annually on average. So the cost shouldn’t be the only deciding factor for getting a pool.

To make sure you’re getting the best rates possible, use our online quoting tool to compare several policies in minutes.


  • How Much Does Pool Excavation Cost? [2023 Data] (Angi)
  • How Much Does It Cost to Level a Yard? (Bob Vila)
  • How Much Does An Above-Ground Pool Cost? (Forbes)
  • Above Ground Pool Cost Perks Include Boosting Your Home’s Value (House Beautiful)
  • Average Above Ground Pool Cost (homeguide)

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