Above-Ground Vs. Semi Above-Ground Pool: Which Is Right For Your Outdoor Space?

The warm-weather months may bring with them the inclination toward adding a pool to your backyard, which is a great way of beating the heat and enjoying gatherings with family and friends. However, deciding which type of pool is no easy feat. Above-ground pools and their semi-above-ground counterparts both come with similar maintenance necessities in relation to cleaning, although the outer walls of semi-above-ground pools often require more care since they're usually crafted from masonry. Plus, the outer edge of the pool will have a narrow concrete or tile pathway which also needs regular upkeep.

Moreover, semi-above-ground pools also cost more due to the materials and the installation time. The price for a semi-above-ground version averages out to around $25,000 for an installation process that might span three days to nearly a week, whereas an above-ground pool only takes a day or two to set up and costs about $2,700.

The aesthetics factor

When deciding between an above-ground pool or a semi-above-ground, your need to consider how the aesthetics will complement your backyard. Compared to a few years ago, above-ground pools have greatly evolved in relation to shape and outward appearance. Plus, you have many choices of colors and designs for the interior and the exterior of the pool.

Moreover, if you build a deck that flanks the pool — which makes climbing in and out easier — it gives additional poolside space, and serves as an appealing focal point for your yard. On the other hand, if you don't want the extra work of constructing a surround then it would look just fine as a stand-alone feature.

A semi-above-ground pool, however, is more versatile when it comes to the shape and the type of outer finish that you can choose from. For instance, you can opt for brick, tile, or stone, which can accent any pre-existing hardscaping in your space. Also, the outer surroundings could provide seating space and easy entry and exit similar to a wood deck.

The amount of space needed

Being that a semi-above-ground pool gives more flexibility in relation to size and shape, it might prove to be more suitable for a narrow yard or one that has an odd shape. On the other hand, keep in mind that a semi-above-ground pool is a permanent structure and can't be moved around in the same manner as an above-ground pool. Therefore, as you plan out the design, think about how you will integrate the deck, steps, or other parts of the pool into your overall landscaping and hardscaping. 

Another factor to consider is the potential to increase the value of your property if you go with a semi-above-ground pool. However, if you're not sure if you'll keep the pool in the same spot, or if you suspect that you might have to drain and disassemble the pool to make way for a landscaping update or some other major backyard project, then an above-ground pool might be the prudent choice.