Underground vs. Above-Ground Pools
There are two main styles of home swimming pool: underground models and above ground variants. Each of these pool offers different benefits and drawbacks.
The primary difference between the two basic models of pool is, as the name would suggest, is how they are constructed whether they are buried below-ground or whether they are free-standing. Both types could hold the same volume of water and offer the same swimming area, so the choice really depends on four simple factors:
- Aesthetic preference
Each of these factors will be discussed in this article.
This is a rather self-explanatory point, but is worth a mention regardless. When purchasing your new pool, it is critical that it will look right in your garden or you may end up regretting your decision to purchase it. Take the time to consider this before buying any pool: will you want it out in the open for all to see, as an above ground pool is, or would you rather it was hidden away and less obvious (an underground pool). The answer to this, of course, is simply based on your personal preference.
Pools are not a cheap investment, and so it is important to determine your budget before choosing a style of pool. An average-value above ground unit, installed, will set you back approximately $8,000 (before the cost of a decking is even thought of). If that makes you cringe, you don’t even want to think about an underground pool—a fully installed model can cost up to $70,000, with the average being $50,000.
Clearly, the difference in price is definitely going to be a factor in which pool you eventually go for.
A fairly important point to consider is the longevity of your investment. A well-built pool of either style should be capable of withstanding the elements for quite a few years, but the average estimate for an above
ground pool is approximately ten years, with the pool liners needing to be changed as frequently as every five years. This doesn’t sound bad, but it pales when compared to a below-ground pool which can easily last decades! This will still vary between the materials your pool is made of, with concrete pools needing resurfacing every ten to fifteen years, whilst a vinyl or fiberglass pool may not need much work at all.
The differences in maintenance requirements for each model of pool is negligible, however it should be pointed out that an above ground pool will need its outer walls cleaned frequently if it is to stay inviting, and the decking that is usually used to surround an above ground pool will also need work (and can be dangerously slippery when wet).
All in all, both an underground pool and an above ground pool should serve you and your family well if it is looked after properly. However, it is up to you to weigh up the positives and consequences for each design based on your personal situation, especially in regards to finances.