Last Updated: August 18, 2021

What is an Above Ground Concrete Pool? (Cost & Construction)

Written By: Pool Care Guide

Nothing feels quite so relaxing as cooling off on a warm summer evening in your very own pool. You know you’re the envy of your neighborhood. 

You don’t have to go anywhere to take a load off.

You don’t have to drive across town in rush hour traffic to sit in a community pool with fifty other people.

All you have to do is walk across your backyard. 

If you’ve considered adding an above-ground pool to your life and you’re just not sure how to go about it, you’ve come to the right place. We will look at what an above-ground pool is, what the construction entails, and some of the downsides and benefits that come with it. 

So What is an Above Ground Concrete Pool?

The above-ground pool is exactly what it sounds like: a pool that sits above ground as opposed to one that sits in the ground. Instead of digging out a spot in your yard to have a pool installed, you would pick from the many options that an above-ground pool can afford. 

A team can quickly assemble most above-ground pool kits. A concrete pool, however, is poured with wood forms and finished in another material like plaster or tile. This makes the process a little more intricate.

A Brief History

Above-ground pools have always been more economical for families than an inground pool. There was a time, however, when the above-ground pool was little more than an experiment. The early versions lacked proper filtration systems, so the water had to be emptied and refilled regularly. There was virtually no variation in the features and shapes offered, and they were expensive.

The industry changed and grew in recent decades. Above-ground pools could be simple and affordable for the average homeowner, or more high-end and intricate for the upper demographics. 

What Makes Them Attractive

First and foremost, the above-ground pool offers greater functionality for the prospective buyer. They have design options to fit mobility needs, they are easy to clean, and they don’t impact the landscaping in the same ways as an inground pool. Usually, they’re a safer option if you have children in the home, and they can add a lot aesthetically to a backyard. 

What it Takes to Build

The above-ground concrete pool is a great way to overcome sloped or rocky terrain. If you have an uneven yard, the pool design can work around it. If you have too much rock in the ground to dig out a pool, the above-ground option can solve your pool needs easily and economically. 

Hiring Out

While some like to tackle such projects on their own, it’s a safer bet to hire contractors who have experience in the process. A simple pool kit is a different undertaking than setting rebar and pouring concrete.

Hiring a construction crew will streamline the process of design, getting the proper permits, and making sure all circulation and filtration systems are properly installed. If you have landscaping concerns, such as a sloped yard, the crew can overcome this better and more efficiently based on their experience.

Timeline

The amount of time it takes to build a pool is contingent upon the kind of pool you’re getting and your design preferences. Concrete pools typically take longer to build, as the concrete needs about 3-4 weeks to cure after being poured. After that, construction can take another 4-6 weeks, depending on the features or amenities that you want. 

Cost

Depending on who you hire, an above-ground concrete pool can cost anywhere from $18,000 to $60,000. The higher end of the spectrum reflects a more extensive design or larger pool sizes. While more expensive than a standard, do-it-yourself above-ground pool, the concrete option opens doors to a plethora of added benefits.

The Pros and Cons of Above Ground Pools

It takes time and deliberation to make an informed decision about something as expensive and time-consuming as a pool installation. It helps if you know the downsides and benefits before jumping into such an extensive project.

Downsides

Any project that involves contractors, permits, and cement trucks will have legitimate negatives attached to it. For an above-ground concrete pool, there are a few concerns that ought to be considered before making a final decision.

  • Price
  • Size
  • Maintenance 

Price

We’ve already looked at the financial cost of installing a concrete pool. Thousands of dollars is a lot to invest in something that tends to be more of a “want” than a “need.” 

Size

Because of the cost, you may not be able to afford the large pool that you hoped for initially. While a small pool is still a pool, you might find that you want more space down the road to host those epic pool parties. 

Maintenance

Concrete pools do take more effort to maintain. While you can certainly work with a pool company to deal with cleaning and maintaining, this will add to the overall cost of the pool. 

Benefits

The good news is that for every downside that comes with the project, there will almost always be a benefit. The most notable positives of the above-ground concrete pool are:

  • A great aesthetic addition
  • There’s no digging required
  • Added safety

Aesthetics

A concrete pool is one of the best-looking features that you can add to your backyard. With the right design, it can easily match your home and draw the eye and envy of all your neighbors. 

If landscaping is your passion or even just a hobby, you will be amazed at what a pool can do for you. Whether extended off the deck or separated to have quality seating, an above-ground pool adds a certain panache to a home that just can’t be beaten. 

No Digging

When an inground pool is installed, there’s a fair amount of excavating involved. This can prove tricky if you have rocky soil, slanted ground, or uneven ground. Costs can skyrocket with those concerns present, and what should have been a fun, simple project can turn into a nightmare. 

You bypass all of that when you go with an above-ground option. It’s much easier to maneuver bad terrain, and since you aren’t digging anything out, you don’t have to worry about the rocky ground. 

Safety

One of the most important benefits of an above-ground pool is its safety. Especially with children around, the removal ladder makes it less likely that an accidental drowning might occur. An above-ground pool also has the added benefit of walls, which makes it difficult for kids to climb in when the ladder is not present.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, over half of 2011’a annual pool fatalities for children from the ages of 1-4 occurred in inground pools. In 2020, the CPSC reported inground pools as responsible for over half of reported fatalities in children younger than 5, 5-9 years old, 10-14 years old, and younger than 15.

Conclusion

When it comes to making a big decision, it pays to be educated. Though expensive and a little more difficult to maintain, an above-ground concrete pool presents unique opportunities for anyone looking to spruce up their home. And if you’re not ready to take the plunge, there’s always the inflatable option. 

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