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Cost of above ground pools vs. in-ground pools

Owning a swimming pool is a huge investment any way you look at it, but picking the right pool can cut down on initial and long-term costs. Above ground pools have an advantage over their in-ground counterparts, offering many of the same refreshing amenities at a significantly cheaper price. The less expensive material, installation and maintenance of above ground pools make them the budget-friendly choice.

First let's consider above ground pools:

Above ground pools are dramatically cheaper, averaging $6,243 to build without raising property taxes, and costs can easily be alleviated by self-installation. Additionally, for the first time pool owner there are many above ground pool models that are even cheaper. Pools can range from soft side at $467 to nice hard side round models at $2,500. Instead of building the above pools from scratch, many of these models come in easy construction kits. You can order have the pools up and running in a weekend! The cost of an above ground pool will vary based on size and shape. Larger, as well as oval-shaped pools will be most expensive. Filling this type of pool uses only 18,015 gallons of water, on average, and chemicals average $80 a month. With above ground pools open an average of close to five months of the year, annual chemical costs will total near $400.

Next, let's take a look at in-ground pools:

Generally, in-ground pools cost ten times more than above ground pools, averaging $21,919 to build. These swimming pools are more expensive to install and maintain due to their large size, and filling them uses considerably more water -- 25,064 gallons on average - than above ground pools. In-ground pools vary in cost, depending on their size, lining and extra amenities. Vinyl-lined pools are least expensive ($7,000 - $16,000), fiberglass pools cost $15,000 - $25,000 and concrete or gunite can run you anywhere between $17,000 and $45,000. Chemical costs average $95 a month, and as the average American keeps the pool open seven months of the year, annual chemical costs can exceed $660.

above ground vs. in ground pool costs

Keep in mind the cost of extra amenities when financing either type of pool - such as cleaning equipment, heating systems, ladders, slides, diving boards and decks and fences.  

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