Installing a swimming pool in the yard can not only increase a home’s value but offers an enjoyable way for homeowners to spend time outdoors and to stay cool in hotter seasons. In-ground pools are expensive to install, starting at $20,000 and going up from there depending on size, design, heating and filtration systems, and a wide range of extra features. An above-ground pool, while not usually as long-lasting as an in-ground pool (after five to nine years, they usually need a new liner) can give many of the benefits of an in-ground pool at a more affordable price. An above-ground pool can cost as little as $150 for a set-and-fill model up to $2,500–$8,500 for a permanently installed version complete with a pump and filtration system. In general, set-and-fill pools tend to last just a couple of summers. Adding a deck surround to a permanently-installed above-ground pool helps support the pool’s weight and provides lounge space as well as easy entry.
Many above-ground pools are sold as kits that homeowners can assemble and install themselves or hire a professional to install. Pools come in round, oval and rectangular shapes, and most are made of metal or heavy-duty plastic resin supported by metal framing. The size, construction and materials determine the kit costs. Round pool kits range from $1,000 for a 12-foot pool to $3,000 for an 18-foot model. Kits also come in oval and rectangular models that range in cost from $2,400 up to $4,400. Most pool kits come with the pool materials, liner, a pump to filter out debris and a ladder. A heater, lights and any other add-ons cost extra.
The most affordable above-ground swimming pool is a set-and fill type, such as those made by Intex. This company makes heavy-duty inflatable pools in varying sizes and round or oval shapes that cost $100–$600, including a 110- to 120-volt filter pump. These pools are made to be easy to set up, with no permanent installation required.
Before installing an above-ground pool, homeowners should make sure the site is flat. Costs to hire a pro to level the ground vary based on how much work is required. Hourly rates for this type of work range from $50–$70. Experts recommend treating the area where the pool will go with a nonpetroleum-based fungicide, which could add $100–$200 to the cost for materials and labor.
Hardscape or fencing
Adding a hardscape walkway around the pool or a fence for privacy and safety adds further costs to an above-ground pool installation. This work may require the services of a landscaper who specializes in concrete hardscapes and fencing. A walkway around the pool could cost $200–$1,000, depending on the square footage and materials used. Fencing prices vary based on similar factors and can range from $1,300 up to a few thousand dollars. Above-ground pools made of resin can be outfitted with safety fencing around the rim for $200–$300.
Adding a deck surround to an above-ground pool will cost an additional $2,500–$4,000, depending on the size of the pool and the decking materials required.
Filtration and heat
As with in-ground pools, above-ground pools typically require pumps to filter put debris. Some homeowners also install a heater so the pool can be used in cooler weather. Costs vary depending on pump and heater capacity. Some professionals who install these items charge by the hour, and others charge a flat project fee. Here are some average costs for installation:
As with an in-ground pool, the water in an above-ground pool must be kept free of algae and microbes. A filter can help keep the water clear, but homeowners should also buy a net to skim out large debris, leaves and bugs. In addition, it’s a good idea to treat the water with chlorine. The average monthly cost for chlorine, pH test strips and other supplies averages about $80.