Pros and cons of an inground pool compared to an above ground

Kids in pool

It could be difficult to decide if you should get an inground swimming pool or an above ground swimming pool. There are advantages and disadvantages with both of them and therefore also a few things to consider before deciding. Below is a summary of the major considerations:

Advantages of getting an inground pool

Property Value

Inground pools can increase your property's value, making them more appealing to homebuyers than a pool above ground.

They are also visually appealing, seamlessly blending with your surroundings. They offer customization with various finishes, shapes, and landscaping, enhancing.


Inground pools last longer than above ground pools since they are made from stronger materials like concrete, vinyl, or fiberglass. Properly maintained, inground pools can last for decades, making them a long-term investment.


Since an inground pool blends more into its surroundings than one above ground, it can be easier to decorate the pool range with stone or trellis.

Deeper Water

Inground pools offer the advantage of deeper water, accommodating diving and a wider range of water activities. Deeper water also caters to lap swimming and other aquatic exercises.


No stairs or ladders are usually needed, making it easier for people with limited mobility to enter the pool.

Disadvantages of getting an inground pool


Inground pools come at a higher cost compared to a more budget-friendly above ground pool. The extensive excavation, materials, and labor make them a premium choice. Homeowners considering inground pools should weigh this expense against their budget.

Installation Time

Inground pools require more time for installation compared to the quicker setup of above ground pools. If you consider an inground pool, be ready for extensive groundwork. Also, expect delays getting the council approved for the installation.


It is not always possible to excavate the pool because of different ground substrates. This could also be an extra cost to look over if considering an inground pool.

If you choose an inground pool, you will always have to dig, regardless of how your property looks. Digging will also make the overall cost higher.

Advantages of getting an above ground pool


The main advantage of choosing above ground swimming pools are the easy installation and the lower price. Since the pool is placed directly on the ground, you do not have to pay for any major groundwork, which lowers the total investment cost. Of course you need to prepare the base by making sure the ground is flat, but in most cases, no digging is required and therefore a cheaper alternative.

In some areas, it's not even possible to excavate for a pool, for example, if the pool is to be placed close to the foundation of the house or if there is a bedrock that cannot be blasted. In a situation like this, a pool above ground is a perfect solution. 


Since the pool is not dug into the ground, it will not blend in into its surroundings as well as an inground pool would do. One solution is to build decks around the pool. This will make it look like an inground pool and have the same effect.

Above ground pool with desk


Above ground pools are incredibly budget-friendly, offering a cost-effective alternative to inground options. Pools above ground have lower setup and maintenance costs, making them a great choice for cost-conscious individuals.

Quick Installation

Above ground pools stand out for their swift installation, typically taking only a few days. Unlike inground pools, you can enjoy your above ground pool in no time, minimizing disruption to your outdoor space.


One key advantage of this pool is its portability. Should you need to move, you can disassemble and relocate your above ground swimming pool to your new home. 

Child Safety

A pool above ground offers a clear advantage for families with young children. The higher walls and secure access points make it easier to keep children safe and prevent accidents. This provides peace of mind for parents, reducing the risk of accidents. In contrast, inground pools are at ground level, making it easier for small children to enter the pool area without supervision.

Disadvantages of getting an above ground pool


One significant difference with a pool above ground is that they have a shorter lifespan and are more prone to wear and tear compared to inground pools. Inground pools, often built with robust materials like concrete, fiberglass, or vinyl, offer a longer-lasting solution. In contrast, the materials used for above ground pools, such as steel or resin, may not be as durable, leading to more frequent maintenance and repair needs.

​​Limited Depth

Pools above ground are generally shallower, restricting their suitability for diving and certain water activities, making them less versatile compared to their deeper inground counterparts.


If the pool is not built together with a deck, you will probably need a staircase or ladder to get up to it. This can make it harder for people with limited mobility to enter it.

Heating Efficiency

Above ground pools can be less energy-efficient and slower to heat compared to their inground counterparts. Their design makes it challenging to maintain consistent water temperature, especially in changing weather conditions. Inground swimming pools offer greater heating efficiency, making them more comfortable during cooler seasons, distinguishing them from above ground swimming pools.


Choosing between an inground pool and an above ground pool depends on various factors, each offering distinct advantages and disadvantages.

Inground pools enhance property value and offer superior aesthetics, durability, and deeper water for diverse aquatic activities. However, they come with a higher cost, longer installation time, and potentially extensive groundwork. Inground pools are ideal for those seeking a long-term investment in their backyard.

Above-ground pools are cost effective, easy to install, and portable. They are a practical choice when inground installation isn't feasible. While they may not blend seamlessly with the landscape, creative solutions like decks can enhance their appearance. 

Although shallower, they offer quick setup and lower maintenance costs, making them a cost-effective above ground swimming pool. We at Stern's pools are sure that you won't be disappointed choosing an above ground pool from us!