Swimming Pools: In-Ground Versus Above-Ground  

by Pool Builders on 12-16-2013 in Articles

There are two main types of swimming pools. You can either have an in-ground version, where the pool is directly in the ground, or an above-ground version, where the pool is suspended above the ground and you have to climb a ladder to get inside. The main difference between these two is how the structure is constructed.

Most above-ground options are put together using prefabricated kits. The first step is to level the ground so that there is a flat building surface, followed by assembling a perimeter track to support the outer wall. The track can be made of wood, metal, or plastic. The installers then spread sand inside the track and lay the plumbing, after which they will secure the vinyl liner over the walls, fill the pool with water, and fasten the liner into place. Once the installers hook up the pump and filtering system, it will be ready to go.

Above-ground swimming pools have several advantages. They are less permanent, which can be a good thing if you and your family decide to move. You will be able to easily take apart the structure and reassemble it in a new location. They are also less expensive than in-ground models, making them accessible to more people. However, they don't really add any value to your home.

In-ground swimming pools come in many different varieties, including fiberglass, vinyl, and gunite, which is a mixture of cement and sand. In-ground swimming pools are constructed by digging an appropriately-sized hole in the ground and laying the necessary plumbing and filtration systems. For a fiberglass model, installers will lower a preformed structure into the hole. If you opt for one made of vinyl, installers will build a metal frame inside the hole and secure vinyl lining to it. Gunite swimming pools are the most popular in the United States. Installers will lay down steel reinforcing rods and fill the spaces between the rods with gunite. The gunite must dry for a week. Once it dries, the installers will spray a finish or place concrete tiles over the rough surface.

In-ground swimming pools are more durable and sturdy than above-ground models. They can also add value to your home if you ever decide to sell it. They are also pleasant to look at and provide an aesthetically pleasing view whenever you look in your backyard. The major drawback, however, is the initial expense of constructing it. Installing an in-ground model is a huge investment and is much more expensive than going with an above-ground version. It may also increase your utility bills, since it must be filled with water year round to resist the pressure from groundwater in the soil around it. Additionally, it must be cleaned and maintained year-round, even if cold weather prevents you from using it in the winters. This can get pricey as well.

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