Underground vs Aboveground Pools: Costs and Comparisons

Occasional home investments can provide both functionality and added value to any property. There are a variety of different renovation, remodelling and construction projects to consider – but not all are created equally. For those who want to add a bit of leisure to their home life while enhancing the value of their property, swimming pools are definitely worth considering.

While many believe that the cost of a swimming pool is out of reach, there are a variety of options at varying price points that can accommodate virtually any budget. If you are considering making this home improvement but do not know whether an aboveground or underground pool is the best choice for your needs, then keep reading to learn more about their costs and how they compare to each other.

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Base Costs

Arguably the single biggest decision in selecting either design is the upfront cost. While underground ones provide the most durability, they can often cost anywhere from $40,000 to $100,000. This puts true underground options out of reach for many who aren’t willing to finance the construction or who have sizeable savings that they can use.

Aboveground pools, by comparison, offer more reasonable price points. Most can be constructed for anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000, depending on the exact size. This cost is merely for the structure itself, and does not include any decks, stairs and other accessories that make it more accessible and inviting.

These are just cost estimates, however: the terrain, size and other aesthetic factors can make a big difference in any construction costs. For a comprehensive quote meeting your exact specifications, visit Riverina for more information.

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Long-term Costs

Believe it or not, the costs associated with any design don’t end after installation. There are a number of costs that any homeowner must take into account, including chemicals and cleaning, general maintenance, and any inevitable replacement.

Aboveground are simply less durable than their underground counterparts, and may only last for a decade or so. With proper maintenance and preventative care, getting up to 20 years out of a design is possible. However, underground pools are sturdy and will last for decades before needing to be rebuilt.

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While the amount that is required to treat and clean swimming pools will remain the same for two equally sized designs, eventual maintenance and repairs on underground options are substantially more expensive.


For anybody installing a new swimming pool, safety is often a prime concern. Considering that most home owners have children, taking precautions to ensure accidents, injuries and even death are avoided is paramount. Generally speaking, aboveground is considered to be safer since fewer unintentional falls are made possible thanks to the way it is designed. However, underground pools can be designed with fencing around the perimeter to prevent any slips or falls as well.

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Size & Appearance

For those seeking larger structures, the allure of an underground pool is often most common. However, today’s technology coupled with modern installation tactics mean that virtually any size of aboveground pool can now be purchased and installed. For those in search of an Olympic-sized option, underground is probably the best choice; for everybody else, designs can be found in both options that are viable.

When it comes to the overall appearance, most agree that underground offers more flexibility. This is because they can be shaped in virtually any way imaginable and can also be built so as not to disrupt the landscape. Aboveground pools naturally create a distraction by being above the ground, but many owners incorporate decks, railings, shrubbery and other elements into the broader design to mask this. They are also generally constructed of substances such as vinyl and plastic (which look more artificial), while underground pools naturally use concrete as the primary ingredient.

Img Source: alpinepools.com

There are a variety of considerations when selecting the right swimming pool for your home. By far, cost is the biggest concern: aboveground costs a fraction of what underground does. However, additional costs in the form of maintenance and improved appearance can offset some of this – and other factors such as size and safety must also be considered when making the right choice.