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Above and Semi In-ground Pools: Which one is right for you?

Updated: Jan 13, 2021

Buying an above ground pool can be a stressful process. There are many different pool styles and liner options and certain types are better than others in different situations. In order to make your pool buying experience a little easier, we have laid out the pros and cons of each so you, as a future pool owner, can have a better idea of exactly what you want.


First we will start with above ground pools. Many of the advantages of keeping your pool above ground have to do with actually having access to the entire pool. If you eventually decide to add decking up to your pool, just keep in mind you may need to make sure there is access to underneath the deck (see decking for more). If you ever need a repair, or when you eventually need a liner change, not having to worry about spending any extra on getting access to your pool can be a plus.

Another more obvious advantage to keeping your pool above ground is the cost; Overall it is relatively cheaper going above ground. You don't have to have machines in your yard to dig, and the general install itself is usually cheaper. If you are limited on space in your yard, keeping your pool above ground can also be a plus. With pool sizes out there as small as 8ft round, you can fit an above ground pool in almost any sized yard.

There are also a lot more options when going above ground as far as what type of pool to go with. There is really no pool type that is necessarily better than another when installed above ground.

The only real disadvantage to having your pool above ground is that it can limit your options. As far as looks go you may not be able to deck or pave up to the pool to get that fully in-ground look.


One of the big advantages of going semi in-ground is simply the look. You are able to get the look of an in-ground for a much cheaper price and, if kept within your town code, you will not be taxed as an in-ground. Depending on your overall plan for your backyard, it may be well worth having your pool put in the ground.

At Sparkle Pool Service we do our own excavation work. From tight yards to bigger, more open yards, trenching and stump removals, you can have it all done by one company.

When going semi, you have to be very careful when draining the pool for repairs. When the pool is filled, there is water pressure pushing out on the wall itself. When you are semi, there is pressure from the dirt pushing in on the pool. So when a semi in-ground pool is filled, the pressure from the water holds the pool in tact. When you eventually need to drain the pool for either a pool repair or liner change, you now have zero pressure pushing out and only pressure pushing in from the dirt. This can sometimes lead to the pool caving in in certain areas, sometimes causing unrepairable damage. In order to help prevent any damage in this case, it is highly recommended that you call your local pool professional to have it repaired the correct way.

There are also different types of pools that are better for semi in-ground. There are generally two types of above ground pools and those are ones that have a coil wall, and ones that have a slot wall. Coil wall pools are cheaper but are also not designed to go in the ground over 18 inches. Slot wall pools are a little more expensive but are built a lot stronger and they're designed to be installed up to about 4ft in ground.

At the end of the day, which type of style you decide to go with depends on how much you are willing to spend and what exactly your plans are for your backyard. We hope this article helped give you a better idea of what works better for you. If you still have any concerns please feel free to comment, give us a call at 631-981-0685, or email us at and we'll be happy to answer any other questions.

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Stephen Brusalis
Stephen Brusalis
Feb 06, 2020


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