Leisure Pools Mediterranean fiberglass inground swimming pool

Which is Better: Inground Pool or Above Ground Pool?

Leisure Pools Mediterranean fiberglass inground swimming pool

Now that you have decided to get a backyard pool, another question still remains: should you get an inground pool or an above ground pool?

We have compiled this guide to give you a better understanding as to what type of pool will be best for you by comparing many factors. Before you take the plunge, read on to discover relevant information that can guide you to making an educated and informed decision.

What is an Above Ground Pool?

Although the name basically tells us what it is, an above ground pool is a semi-permanent structure that is usually four to six feet deep and has a diameter of up to 30 feet.  An above ground pool is relatively friendly on the wallet and not a significant challenge to assemble.

Above ground swimming pool

What is an Inground Pool?

An inground pool is one that doesn’t stick up out of the lawn. Instead, the yard has been excavated to accommodate the pool. Inground pools are often viewed as an attainable luxury item that can provide your family with years of fun and enjoyment.

The Breakdown: Above Ground Pool vs. Inground Pool


No matter what major purchase one is considering, cost is always at top of mind. When it comes to swimming pools, many variables can affect the total cost of your new pool. This can include installation, construction materials, and even factors such as permits, insurance, and repairs.

Above ground pools are a popular choice for those cost-conscious homeowners. Some homeowners don’t want to commit to a permanent structure or don’t intend to use the pool frequently.

On the other hand, an inground pool has the potential to provide you a better return on your investment. (We’ll get to that a bit later!)

As for associated costs between these two styles, here is a brief run-down of what to expect:

An inground pool can have a starting price tag of around $35,000. Because there are different types of inground pools (gunite, vinyl liner, and fiberglass), the associated costs can vary.

On the flip side, an above ground pool can start as low as $2,000. You may even get lucky and find one for under $2,000 at any of the popular big box stores.

An above ground pool holds a cost advantage in a couple of ways. First of all, you do not have to pay for installation and lifetime maintenance.  Secondly, an above ground pool is easier to install and subsequently remove.

An inground pool varies greatly in costs depending on the overall project, taking into consideration factors such as location, excavation requirements, permits, and more. Despite a higher initial cost of inground pools, they do hold a wealth of advantages that seem to outweigh those of an above ground pool:

Installing an above ground swimming pool
  • Longer lifespan than an above ground pool.

  • Greater durability from wear-and-tear

  • A greater variety of customization options

Additionally, an inground pool allows you to create an aesthetic look for your backyard. You can put your imagination and design ideas to the test and create the backyard oasis of your dreams.

Next, if you have many family members and you know everyone will want to be in the pool together, an inground pool tends to be the more cost-effective choice.

Plus, inground pools have flexible payment options through financing and monthly payments. As such, an inground pool may not be as far out of your reach as you imagined.

For an inground pool, the cost varies due to multiple factors:

  • The size of the pool

  • The addition of any features

  • The need for special equipment to install the pool

If you want to get a ballpark idea as to what you might spend on an inground pool, feel free to crunch some numbers and discover the affordability of an inground fiberglass pool from Leisure Pools.


It probably comes as no surprise that an above ground pool doesn’t have as long of a lifespan as its inground counterpart. You can expect an above ground pool to last anywhere from seven to 15 years. It all depends on how much use and care it had and any environmental elements that might attribute to its wear and tear: weather, animals, etc.

An inground pool, however, definitely checks the box in terms of durability. This is due in large part to its infrastructure, which usually comes with a significant warranty.  At Leisure Pools, our inground fiberglass pools come with a Lifetime Structural Warranty and a Lifetime Structural Osmosis Warranty. We are committed to using the highest quality raw materials through our cutting-edge manufacturing process.

Additionally, an inground pool from Leisure Pools is subject to a rigorous quality control process to ensure the highest possible standards. From our Composite Armor™ to our patented blend of three amazingly tough fibers, our inground fiberglass pool models are designed to withstand the test of time.


When it comes to the enjoyment you will receive from your backyard pool, it isn’t all about cost. If you plan to make your pool the centerpiece of your backyard, then appearance and aesthetics are important.

Most homeowners prefer the look of an inground pool, and for good reason.  They are more customizable than an above ground pool.  As a result, you can create more of a lifestyle and an experience in your backyard than an above ground pool will give you.

Plus, an above ground pool sticks out among your landscaping. It will also be more noticeable during the winter months.  If you have neighbors that deem this unsightly, you may have a problem on your hands.

Further, your HOA may have certain restrictions against above ground pools.  Be sure to check into that before you make your final decision.

An inground pool appeals to those who desire a more luxurious appearance and ambience to their backyard. You really cannot compete with their overall style and visual appearance.

Landscaping an above ground swimming pool

Inground pools also come in more sizes, shapes, and colors. And don’t forget the add-ons: water features, slides, spas, and even swim-up bars.

When it comes to decking options, an above ground pool really only has the option of wood. This requires regular maintenance, too. When you have an inground pool, you have a much wider selection of deck options from which to choose, as well as a wider range of materials.


With an above ground pool, the bells and whistles are somewhat lacking. Other than the liner, there is not much to them that can be customized. You can’t put in a waterfall or swim up bar, but you can add some ambient lighting and some heaters.

On the other hand, an inground pool is a great palette upon which to flex your creative muscles. If customization is important to you, an inground pool is a great choice. With myriad styles, sizes, finishes, and accessories, you can let your imagination and creativity run wild. You can design something that fits your lifestyle and complements the architectural flavor of your home.

Also, with an inground pool, you have more control over the final product and look. Here is a list of some of the many features you can add on to your inground pool:

  • A spa

  • Pool steps

  • Sheer descent water features

  • A tanning ledge or splash pad

  • A fire pit

  • LED lighting

  • Flower planters

  • A pool cover

  • A grotto

  • A slide


Even though an inground pool comes with more upfront costs than an above ground pool, an inground swimming pool has the potential to boost your overall property value. This makes it a good investment in your home.

Further, because inground pools have longer lifespans than above ground pools, you and your family can enjoy your pool for much longer.

While an above ground pool is great for fun and entertaining, an inground pool offers the most value overall and comes with a wide range of options.

The Final Choice

If you are still uncertain as to what style of pool to choose – above ground or inground – we invite you to consider another viable option that is a great alternative to an above ground pool: the plunge pool.

Leisure Pools has two beautiful plunge pool designs from which to choose:

The Fiji Plunge

If you just want to relax and spend some quality time in your backyard, this plunge pool fits the bill. Cool down and escape the heat.  This plunge pool adds a romantic touch to your backyard.

The Fiji Plunge pool from Leisure Pools

The Palladium Plunge

If you just want to relax and spend some quality time in your backyard, this plunge pool fits the bill. Cool down and escape the heat. This plunge pool adds a romantic touch to your backyard.

The Decision is Yours

Choosing a backyard pool for your home is a significant decision. It all boils down to what you can afford, the type of landscaping you have or want, and any regulations for your project.

If you have any questions or simply want to discuss the best way to design a pool project that is ideal for you and your backyard, we are happy to help.  Just contact us today and we will gladly put you in touch with a dealer in your area for a consultation.

If you are ready to start your experience now, we’re ready, too. Let’s begin.

You deserve a life of leisure….and it is waiting for you.

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