How to Choose the Right Pool Inground Pools Inground Pools: Pros & Cons Above Ground Pools Above Ground Pools: Pros & Cons Optimum Pools
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How to Choose the Right Pool

Do you dream of having a backyard swimming pool, but don’t know which type of pool is best? If you’re debating between an inground pool and an above ground pool, this article should help. We’ll dive into the world of pools and help you figure out which type meets your needs.

Many factors help determine the best swimming pool for you: landscape, budget, lifestyle, and future plans. Above ground pools are affordable and easy to install while inground pools provide a different experience and appearance.

Consider the pros and cons of the two main types of pools:

Inground Swimming Pools: Overview

For many homeowners, inground pools are the gold standard of backyard bliss. The visual appeal—from natural lagoon-like water features to sparkling tropically inspired pools—can be simply stunning. For homeowners who dream of a gorgeous backyard retreat, an inground pool is often the star attraction. Think an Inground pool is right for you? Read our overview of inground pool types.

Inground pools come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. In fact, you can make an inground pool nearly any size you want. If you want a pool for recreation like swimming laps or diving, an inground pool can provide ample length and depth. Inground pools provide relaxation and many types of aquatic exercise.

The options for customization inground pools abound. From waterfalls cascading over towering rock formations to colorful lights and majestic fountains, customization is only limited by your imagination. Of course, additional features add to the price of an inground pool, but having a gorgeous backyard oasis is worth every penny.

Inground Swimming Pool, Backyard Oasis

Inground Swimming Pools: The Pros and Cons

When compared to above ground pools, inground pools offer three major advantages:

  • They’re a permanent addition. An expertly installed, well-maintained inground pool can last a lifetime. These pools may need occasional repairs, but they’re built to last. They even add value to your house when it comes time to move.
  • Wow Factor. A beautifully designed inground pool can become the star feature of your landscape.
  • They provide fitness and recreation. From waterslides to diving boards, these pools allow the depth needed for recreation accessories. Plus, inground pools offer custom lengths if you want to swim laps for fitness.

Of course, inground pools offer these perks at a price, so consider your budget. Unlike above ground pools, you can’t decide to pick up and move your pool or change its design—it’s staying put.

The bigger size of inground pools also means additional maintenance effort and expense. Consider using a pool service company to maintain your pool.

For more information on the different types of inground pools and which is best for you, check out our comparison of inground pool types. Now let’s take a look at above ground pools.

Above Ground Swimming Pools: Overview

Above ground pools usually sit completely above ground, though some models can be partially in the ground. The above ground placement makes the installation process easy. You simply need to prepare your space and get to work setting up the pool. Because customization options usually come after the pool is set up, in the form of decking and landscaping, you don’t need much time to take you from purchase to splash. This means that above ground pool installation is significantly shorter than that of inground pools. For instance, you might achieve above ground pool installation in one day while inground pool installation could take 6 to 8 weeks.

Pool companies usually sell above ground pools in a kit that includes everything you need—from pool frame to mechanical equipment. Pool companies usually offer professional installation, or you might choose to install your above ground pool on your own. The installation process involves erecting the framing, installing the liner, installing a pump and filter, and filling the pool with water. Then you only need to balance the pool water with pool chemicals and soon you will be swimming.

Above ground pools offer the flexibility to move them or disassemble them if your landscaping inspiration for your backyard takes a new direction. And best of all: you get quick and easy setup plus flexibility.

Think an above ground pool is right for you? Read our overview of above ground pools.

Above Ground Swimming Pools, Pool Installation

Above Ground Swimming Pools: The Pros and Cons

Still not sold on an above ground pool? You’ll want to consider pros and cons before deciding which pool will make the ideal splash in your yard.

Here are some of our favorite perks of above ground pools:

  • They’re quick and easy to assemble. Whether you hire professionals or do it yourself, assembly can go from start to finish in a day! Less labor means less expense, which is one of the reasons why above ground pools are so affordable.
  • They’re flexible, requiring no permanent commitment. If you decide to sell your house or have a new vision for your backyard, just drain and disassemble your pool. It’s as easy to take down as it is to set up.
  • They can squeeze into small spaces. Have a tiny backyard? No problem. Above ground pools come in various sizes, and some of them are perfectly suited for pint-sized landscapes. And size doesn’t determine your pool’s potential: You can achieve large-scale relaxation even in a small pool.
  • They’re less work to maintain. Remember your elementary math class concepts of area and volume? Those apply to the work advantages of above ground pools, which are usually smaller than their inground counterparts. Smaller pools mean less area to scrub and vacuum, as well as less water volume to keep clean and chemically balanced.

Above ground pools don’t last that long—usually averaging a lifespan of 7 to 10 years with proper maintenance. While this lack of permanence leads to increased landscape flexibility, it also means that you’ll probably have to replace your pool one day.

Above Ground pools can be made of steel, aluminum, or resin and can be a hybrid as well.

Optimum Swimming Pools:

An Affordable Hybrid That Can Be Installed Anywhere

Optimum Pools (also known as semi-inground swimming pools) give you the best of both worlds: You get a durable, attractive, and (relatively) permanent swimming pool – for less than you’d pay for a traditional inground pool.

You can install an Optimum Pool almost anywhere – even in places where traditional inground or fully above ground pools can’t go. Optimum pools can be installed totally above ground or partially in the ground, which makes them a great fit for, say, backyards built on very steep hills or cities with restrictions on digging or pool height.

And, if you love the look of an inground pool – but you don’t love the price or the weeks of construction work – you can opt to have your Optimum Pool buried in the ground.

Optimum pools are constructed from high quality materials such as heat-retaining, corrosion-resistant aluminum and thick, insect-resistant foam.

Optimum Swimming Pools


The right pool for your family depends on personal preference, determined by factors like landscape, budget, and desired recreational use. If you want backyard refreshment on a budget, coupled with the flexibility to change your landscape on a whim, an above ground pool might be the best option. If you want to create an impressive backyard oasis with luxurious features and ample room, contact a builder and get a quote on your dream pool.


Once you’ve chosen a pool type, the next step is choosing accessories:

Continue to Step 2:

Choose Accessories and Features

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