The Cost of Installing an Above-Ground Pool


As the weather gets warmer, our thoughts turn to buying a pool, whether above ground or inground.  Last time, we talked about the cost of installing an inground pool.

After looking at that, you may have decided an inground pool is not for you.  However, that does not mean that you cannot have a pool at all!

Above ground pools have come a long way and are no longer the plain, gray oval pools of years past.  Many families are choosing an above ground pool and enjoying all of the benefits that come with it!

When talking about above ground pools, there are two main costs to consider.  There is the cost of the pool kit and the cost to install your above ground pool.

Above Ground Pool Kits

Many pool providers only sell above ground pool kits and will not help with installation.  The average above ground pool kit costs between $1,500 and $4,500, depending on what you choose.

A basic pool kit will include:

  • the pool frame
  • the pool filter
  • a pump system
  • the pool liner
  • a ladder

Higher end kits will include a skimmer, jets, and more durable liners and frames. A pool kit will usually come with a warranty; it will depend on the manufacturer how long the warranty lasts.


The labor costs for an above ground pool are between $2,000 and $5,000 and will take about two days.  The company that provides the pool kit will usually handle the installation.

First, we will discuss why choose an above ground pool.  Then we will talk about the factors that will affect how much it costs to install an above ground pool.

Why Choose an Above-Ground Pool

There are many advantages to installing an above ground pool instead of an inground pool.  These include:

  • They cost less.
  • It is quicker to install an above ground pool.
  • They are easy to safeguard and more difficult for a child or pet to fall in.
  • An above ground pool can be moved from house to house.
  • They are easier to repair and maintain.
  • Having an above ground pool will not increase your property taxes.

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Factors Affecting the Cost of an Above-Ground Pool

Before buying your above-ground pool, there are some choices that need to be made.  Each choice will affect the price, either making it higher or lower.


You need to do more than just choosing a pool – you want to make sure that it is installed in the right spot.  Look for a level space that does not have any obstacles, like tree roots or bumpy areas.

You need to make sure that there is enough room for your pool, along with any other equipment.  The pump, filter and heater should be up to 10 feet from the pool.

You also need to look at your municipality’s bylaws and the location of any underground wires.  The best place for an above ground pool is where it will get plenty of sunlight.

The site of your pool will affect the cost.  It will cost much more if you need to excavate the area or do a lot of grading.

Size and Shape

Like inground pools, above ground pools come in various shapes, sizes and depths.  Think about which one is right for you and your family.

A typical above ground pool will be between 48″ and 54″ deep.  There are many sizes, between 12′ in diameter to over 21′.

An oval pool will take up more room and require more structural support than a circle shaped above ground pool.  Therefore, an oval pool will cost more than a circular pool.

There are some rectangular pools that have been created.  They almost always need a deck surrounding them, which drives up the cost to at least $10,000.

Of course, when it comes to size, larger pools will cost more than smaller pools. As well, the height of your pool will affect the price with deeper pools costing more than shallower pools.


You can buy an above ground pool from almost anywhere – even Walmart sells them!  However, there is a wide range of quality between brands.

Many cheaper kits are not designed to last long – especially if your above ground pool will see a lot of use.  You may pay more for a quality brand, but it will last much longer.


Above ground pools are typically made out of steel or a steel/resin mix.  How do you know which one is right for you?

Steel is heavy and makes for a solid foundation for your above ground pool.  Higher quality pools use resin for their top rails and uprights.

Resin improves your above ground pool because it is corrosion-free and sturdy.  This will extend the length of your above ground pool’s life.

A steel / resin combination makes for a high-quality pool, meaning that your above ground pool will come at a higher cost.  The more resin your pool has, the higher the cost will be.


Much like we discussed with inground pools, there are many accessories that can enhance your above ground pool.  There are many ways that you can add on to your above ground pool.

You can add the following accessories to your above ground pool:

  • water features
  • saltwater systems
  • water jets
  • stairs (instead of a ladder)
  • waterfall
  • pool heater
  • pool cover
  • lighting around or in your pool
  • toys

Surrounding Deck

Many choose to build a deck or add landscaping around their above ground pool. One reason is to give the appearance of an inground pool but have the ease and convenience of an above ground pool.

There are a few benefits to doing this, including:

  • Your backyard looks nicer.
  • A deck provides extra support.
  • It will be easier to get in and out of the pool.
  • It makes it easier to clean your pool.

You can expect to spend between $15 and $30 to build a deck.  This will depend on the size of your deck and the materials that you use.

Your deck can be around the entire pool or only around 1 or 2 sides.  Having a full deck surrounding the above ground pool will cost more than a pool that is just on one side.

The average cost to build a deck can be up to $10,000.  However, there are deck kits that are available for as little as $800.

Types of Liners

There are four basic types of liners, depending on how they are installed: overlap, beaded, unibeaded and expandable.  Overlap liners are the least expensive; expandable liners are the most expensive


Overlap liners cost between $100 and $400 and are easy to install.  They go over the side of the pool and are held by an edging channel.

Beaded liners cost between $150 and $500.  They only cover the inside of the pool, do not go over the edge and are held in place by a channel in the top lip.

Unibead liners cost between $100 and $500 and are usually replacement liners. They are more versatile and can be used with an overlap channel or a beaded liner channel.

Expandable liners cost between $200 and $700 and are the most durable of the liners.  They stretch to fit the pool, meaning they can fit various sizes.

Safety Features

Of course, an important part of owning any pool is making sure that you are keeping your family and pets safe.  While it is more difficult for children and pets to accidentally fall into an above ground pool, it is not impossible.

There are many options to keep your loved ones safe.  For example, you could install a surface alarm that will go off if the surface of the water is broken, i.e. a child or pet falls in.

A much simpler solution is to install a fence or a pool cover.  The costs of these items are relatively low but are very important to have in place.

We have not included some costs, such as your municipality’s cost to have any necessary permits, or any cost to run electricity to the area where your pool will be located.

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Maintenance Costs for an Above Ground Pool

The maintenance of an above ground pool is similar to that of an inground pool.  You will want to make sure you are regularly completing the following tasks:

As we talked about before, regular pool maintenance is very important, no matter what type of pool you have.  If you want to enjoy the benefits of having a pool, but do not want to commit to regular pool maintenance, consider hiring a pool cleaning service.

Having a pool is a lot of fun, is a great way to get exercise and is something your whole family will enjoy.  Whether inground or above ground, take the time to do your research before buying any pool.

We hope these articles have given you some food for thought on what type of pool you want to install.  Of course, we have experience in maintaining all types of pools and would be happy to talk more about your options.

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