Many people who are considering getting a pool for the first time have a lot of questions about in-ground vs above-ground pools. Each has their own unique pros and cons, and whichever you decide to go for will also depend a lot on various restrictions your family may have (such as the amount of space you have to work with or safety concerns, as well as your budget).
That being said, each option is very different, so let’s jump in and talk a little about each and their different qualities, before discussing something that might be a happy medium between the two.
In general, in-ground pools are the first option for many families, as they can literally come in any shape or size. Typically, there are three main types: plunge pools, lap pools, and free form pools (with shallow and deep ends). They are typically made of three materials: concrete, vinyl, and fiberglass. Each material is extremely sturdy and built to last.
As in-ground pools can come in any shape or size, you can build something fairly sizeable – you’re only restricted to the space you have available. They are the more expensive option, however. Keep in mind that although the price tag comes with a pool that will stand the test of time if in-ground pools are carefully maintained, they can last a lifetime. That means, of course, if you don’t want your in-ground pool any longer, it will also cost to remove it or fill it in.
There are certain realities to consider before committing to an in-ground pool: maintenance is more expensive, and, because certain things like pipes and other equipment for cleaning and water circulation will be underground, if something goes wrong, the fix can be more costly.
Still, there’s nothing more versatile than an in-ground pool! From being able to choose different pool liners to adding extras like slides and water elements, an in-ground pool can be a great addition to a back yard.
Here’s a break-down of the general pros and cons of installing an in-ground pool:
While in-ground pools tend to be built to last above-ground pools have much shorter life spans (anywhere from 5-9 years for a typical pool liner). That might not be a bad thing if you don’t want to commit to a lifetime of pool maintenance or have the pool more for the kids than yourself.
As above-ground pools do have a shorter lifespan, they do come at a lower price tag. They also have fewer features, don’t allow for changes of depth, and as all elements are exposed, can be more easily damaged.
Another upside is the simpler maintenance. As all pipes and drains are above-ground as well, it’s easier to deal with any issues that may arise (without having to dig up your back yard). Winterizing is also much simpler, which is a big bonus for Canadians that will have to close and open their pools according to the season.
Think about how you wish to use your pool. If exercising, hosting parties, or doing anything above wading and relaxing, an above-ground pool will be very limiting due to its depth and size limitations. On the other hand, it’s great for a family with young children who may be just getting used to the water.
Weighing Your Options
Remember that in-ground pools will take quite a bit of work and planning, and often quite a bit of landscaping after installation. Holes will need to be dug, and dirt removed in order to allow for the pool’s shell. Above-ground pools are almost the exact opposite, with less planning and time needed from purchase to set-up. That being said, there’s more that can be done with an in-ground pool, which can be made to your specifications, with the ability to add all sorts of features to transform your backyard. An above-ground pool is much more limiting in terms of size and depth and can’t really be integrated into the environment in the same way an in-ground pool can.
A Happy Medium?
If you are looking for an option that gives you the benefits of an in-ground pool’s look, feel and longevity but with the simpler maintenance of the above-ground pool, you may want to consider a free-standing pool. Narellan Pools happen to engineer pool shells to accommodate a wide variety of terrain. These special shells stay above-ground, allowing homeowners to build a deck around it, thereby allowing access to piping and drains, and allowing for visual examination of virtually the entire shell if any problems should arise. They also have the durability, strength, and resilience of a fiberglass pool.
If you’re still weighing your options, and want to talk to a professional, we’re here to help! Contact us today for a free quote or to have us discuss your options. We’re here to transform your backyard into your own personal oasis.