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On average, above-ground pools cost $1,000–$3,500 for the pool alone and $1,800–$5,000 for the pool plus installation. So how much does an above-ground pool cost in total? This post will give you an idea.
- Above-ground pools are an affordable alternative to in-ground pools
- Cost can vary depending on the pool size and shape
- Above-ground pools are easier to install than in-ground pools
- There are several helpful financing options available
Above-Ground Pool Costs by Shape and Size
As you may have guessed, the size and shape of your pool will have a major impact on price. Here’s a quick pricing rundown of each type.
Round Above-Ground Pools
Here are some typical sizes and the estimated cost of above-ground pool installed with and without labor and other expenses factored in:
- 12’ Round Pool: Approx. $1,800 installed ($1,100 for pool only)
- 15’ Round Pool: Approx. $2,200 installed ($1,250 for pool only)
- 18’ Round Pool: Approx. $2,500 installed ($1,500 for pool only)
- 24’ Round Pool: Approx. $3,000 installed ($1,800 for pool only)
- 30’ Round Pool: Approx. $4,200 installed ($2,400 for pool only)
Round pools are generally the least expensive. As such, they’re a great choice if you're on a budget.
Oval Above-Ground Pools
Oval pools are generally a bit more expensive. Here are some common prices for purchase and installation:
- 12’ x 18’ Oval Pool: Approx. $3,800 installed ($2,800 for pool only)
- 15’ x 24’ Oval Pool: Approx. $5,500 installed ($4,000 for pool only)
- 18’ x 33’ Oval Pool: Approx. $6,500 installed ($5,000 for pool only)
If you like the look of in-ground pools, oval above-ground pools are a great option.
Rectangular Above-Ground Pools
If you want something that looks like a more traditional pool, a rectangle above-ground pool might be right for you. Here are some common prices:
- 12’ x 24’ Rectangular Pool: Approx. $3,300 installed ($1,500 for pool only)
- 15’ x 30’ Rectangular Pool: Approx. $4,000 installed ($2,000 for pool only)
- 18’ x 33’ Rectangular Pool: Approx. $5,000 installed ($2,600 for pool only)
If you want a small lap pool for your home, rectangular pools are a good choice. If you need the cost of above-ground pool with deck installed, add about $15–$30 per square foot.
Above-Ground Pool Costs by Material
You might picture above-ground pools as oversized kiddie pools, but they come in several different shapes, sizes, and materials.
Here are some of the most common materials and how much they cost. Keep in mind that a pool deck will add roughly $15–$30 more per square foot.
- Inflatable: Approx. $200–$500
- Steel: Approx. $500–$3,000
- Resin: Approx. $750–$3,500
- Aluminum: Approx. $1,000–$4,500
Price shouldn’t be the only factor when you're considering materials.
For instance, inflatable pools are very prone to damage. Similarly, steel is strong, but it can easily oxidize or corrode. Resin and aluminum are more expensive, but they’re incredibly long-lasting and won’t rust.
The brand can also influence the price. For example, Intex above-ground pools are high-quality and may be more expensive.
Above-Ground Pool Installation Costs
Inflatable pools are easy to install yourself, but for a permanent above-ground pool, it’s often wise to hire a professional.
Professional installation will usually cost between $1,720 and $3,840.
The national average cost of a 24 ft above-ground pool installed is $2,710. Here are estimated installation costs by pool type:
- 12’ Round: $750
- 18’ Round: $950
- 21’ Round: $1,050
- 24’ Round: $1,200
- 27’ Round: $1,500
- 30’ Round: $1,800
- 12’ x 24’ Oval: $1,800
- 15’ x 30’ Oval: $2,000
- 18’ x 33’ Oval: $2,400
Be aware that these figures are only for installation — there are other costs to consider as well. Permits (if applicable) are roughly $25–$1000, and site preparation is about $1,000–$3,000.
Location also matters. If it’s difficult to maneuver the pool to the installation site, you may end up paying more.
Should You Install the Pool Yourself?
If the ground is already level or you can level it yourself, a DIY installation may be worth it. If you can’t level it, you risk your pool collapsing.
You’d also likely need to pay to have the pool shipped. Make sure you’re comfortable installing filtration systems and heating systems if necessary.
Above-Ground Pool Liner Cost
All above-ground pools need liners to ensure that they’re watertight. Most liners are made of vinyl. They generally cost about $100–$700, depending on your chosen type. Several factors impact price, including:
- The size of your pool
- The shape of the bottom surface
- The type of liner you choose
- The ease of installation of the liner
Here are some of the most common types of liners:
Overlap liners fit over the edge of your pool. They’re very easy to install, so they usually only cost about $100–$400. However, they don’t look quite as sleek as some other liner types.
Beaded liners are harder to install, but they have the advantage of not overlapping your pool edge. Rather, the beads help hold them to the interior of the pool. They usually cost about $150–$500.
Unibead liners can be installed as either a beaded or J-hook liner. These versatile liners usually cost around $200–$1,000.
J-hook liners are also designed to precisely fit your pool. They have J-shaped hooks that fit over the side of the pool. They cost about $300–$900, on average.
Expandable pool liners expand to fit the size of your pool. They’re the best above-ground pool liners for unusually-shaped pools or those without flat bottoms. They usually run $200–$1,000.
Above-Ground Pool Add-On Costs
There are many different add-ons to consider for your above-ground pool, such as:
- Water features
Some of these, like filtration, are must-haves. Others, like heating and water features, aren’t strictly necessary.
Heaters usually cost between $170 and $3,000. Not all above-ground pools have heaters, but they can be a good investment if you want to swim on cooler days. Gas heaters tend to be cheaper to install but more expensive to run. Conversely, electric heaters are more expensive to install but cheaper to run.
Filters are a must-have for all types of swimming pools. Above-ground pool filters are about $300–$900, depending on the size of your pool. Sand filters are generally less expensive, but cartridge filters can remove smaller particles from the pool.
Pool covers come in a range of prices. Automatic pool covers can be operated with the push of a button and often cost $12,000 or more to install. Solar covers can also heat your pool and are much more affordable; they usually cost between $200 and $750.
Adding lighting is a good idea if you plan on swimming at night. LED and fiber optic lights offer a variety of colors but are more expensive; LED lights usually cost about $400–$900, while fiber optic lights are about $900–$1,500.
You can also install water features like fountains or waterfalls. They usually cost around $50 for a small waterfall and up to $8,000 for a more elaborate one. On average, they’re about $844–$4,503.
Above-Ground Pool Maintenance Costs
The maintenance costs of your above-ground pool will depend on whether you do it yourself or hire a pro.
If you do it yourself, it can be as little as $5–$15 per month, while professional maintenance is usually $60–$90 per hour. This doesn’t include the cost of chemicals, which can be as much as $60–$180 per year.
You may find that you invest more in maintenance your first year. That’s because you’ll need to buy tools like chemical test kits, nets, and a pool vacuum.
Benefits of an Above-Ground Pool
Above-ground pools have several benefits. For example:
- More Affordable than In-Ground Pools: Above-ground pools cost about $2,850 on average, while in-ground pools cost an average of $51,833.
- An Attractive Addition: Many people don’t think that a plain above-ground pool looks nice. But when you add quality decking and landscaping, an above-ground pool can look surprisingly upscale!
- Great for Hydrotherapy and Relaxation: Many above-ground pools are large enough for water aerobics, but even relaxing in the water can be therapeutic.
- A Luxury Feel for Much Less: Because above-ground pools cost much less than in-ground pools, you’ll have money left over for landscaping, lighting, decking, and other features.
The bottom line is that if you want a pool primarily for your own enjoyment, an above-ground pool is a great choice. It will provide just as much fun as an in-ground pool but at a fraction of the price.
Above-Ground vs. In-Ground Pool
Only you can decide whether an above-ground or in-ground pool is better for you. Here’s a quick cost comparison:
- Above-ground pools cost $1,000–$3,000 on average, while in-ground pools cost around $28,000–$55,000
- The cost per square foot is around $12, while in-ground pools cost about $125 per square foot
- Many above-ground shapes look similar to in-ground pools
- With a raised pool deck, you can make an above-ground pool look similar to an in-ground pool
If cost is a major concern, an above-ground pool is the way to go. However, in-ground pools are the better choice if you’re trying to increase resale value.
Does an Above-Ground Pool Add Value to Your Home?
You may have heard that adding a pool can increase your home’s value. However, most appraisers agree that homeowners should add above-ground pools for enjoyment rather than increase their resale value.
There are several factors that determine whether a pool will add value:
- Pools can increase your home’s value by up to 7%, but in some cases, they don’t increase it at all. Most appraisers will not consider an above-ground pool in a home valuation because the pool can be removed. But if the pool is very well integrated, it may be considered.
- In a neighborhood where most homes have pools, a pool may help your home sell.
- Pools can be a plus for homebuyers in hot climates.
- For some homebuyers, pools are an unattractive feature due to liability issues.
There are no guarantees when it comes to pools and your home’s value. Don’t count on your pool to increase your home’s resale price!
Above-Ground Pool Permits and Regulations
Like in-ground pools, above-ground pools are subject to permits and regulations. Here’s what you need to know:
- Pool Fencing: Most states require pool fencing, but some (like Arizona) don’t require fences if everyone in the home is more than six years old.
- Pool Permits: Some states require permits, which may be more expensive in areas with a higher cost of living.
- More Populated Areas Generally Have Stricter Regulations: In densely populated areas, there’s more risk of someone entering your pool unsupervised and drowning, so you may need to follow more stringent guidelines. For instance, in California, your pool must have an approved safety cover.
- Many Regions Impose Additional Regulations: For example, Tennessee requires all pools to be fenced in. At the county level, Knox County, TN also stipulates that ladders and steps for above-ground pools must be able to be locked, secured, or removed.
Before installing a pool, you should be prepared to follow all relevant federal, state, and local guidelines.
Above-Ground Pool Financing Options
If you’d prefer to finance your pool, here are some options for doing so:
- Personal Loans/Pool Loans: Discover, Best Egg, and Lightstream are among the best pool loan companies.
- Credit Cards: If you have a card with a low interest rate, this can be an easy way to finance.
- Home Equity Loans: These loans let you borrow against your home equity. Since they are secured by your home, they usually have lower interest rates than many other loan types.
- Retail Financing: Some pool vendors may offer their own promotional financing. In some cases, these financing deals may offer 0% APR for a set period of time before charging interest.
- Rent-to-Own: Some pool vendors also offer rent-to-own financing for above-ground pools. In some cases, they don’t run credit checks, so this may be an option if your credit isn’t great.
However you go about financing, make it a point to research interest rates and other terms before committing.
Ready for a New Pool?
Above-ground pools let you increase your quality of life without shelling out $30,000 or more for an in-ground pool. Just do your research beforehand and choose your financing options carefully. You’re one step closer to having your very own pool!