How Much Does an Above-Ground Pool Cost?

Making the decision to build an above-ground pool is a big one. It’s not just about choosing a shape, size, and design — it’s also about deciding where you’ll put it and how much it will cost to build.

If you’re thinking of building an above-ground pool, here are some things to consider:


Depending on the size and style, above-ground pools can cost anywhere between $1,000 and $15,000. If you’re looking for something more elaborate than the basic models but still want an affordable option, there are several places online where you can find used pools for sale. A used pool is generally less expensive than a new model because it isn’t covered by warranty or manufacturer defects. The downside is that they may be hard to find locally and shipping costs can be high if they need to be shipped across state lines.


The location that you choose for your above-ground pool can have a significant impact on its price. For example, if your yard is sloped or otherwise difficult to work with, it’s going to cost more money for labor than if your yard was flat or easy to use. It’s also important that you have an easily accessible power source nearby so that you don’t

Install an attractive above-ground pool at a fraction of the cost you might expect. Plan for around $820 to $5,356 for above-ground pool cost, or an average of $2,966.

Above-Ground Pool Cost


  • Typical Range: $820 to $5,356
  • National Average: $2,966

How Much Does an Above-Ground Pool Cost?

Enjoying an afternoon lounging (or splashing) in the pool is the perfect way to enjoy those lazy summer days. But skip one of those cheap plastic pools and upgrade your summer plans with a budget-friendly above-ground pool. According to HomeAdvisor, an above-ground pool comes at a great price when compared to the alternative inground pool. You can expect to pay between $820 and $5,356 for above-ground pool cost (or an average of $2,966). Much of that cost is made up of labor and materials, but there are other factors to consider as well. Don’t wait to cannonball into your backyard pool—keep reading to find out all about above-ground pool costs.

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Factors in Calculating Above-Ground Pool Cost

Above-Ground Pool Cost


When it comes to pools being built above ground, you can expect similar factors as when considering inground pool cost. As with any building project, the size and shape will be a major consideration, as will the materials, brand, labor, and your home’s location.

Size and Shape

From rectangle above-ground pools to oval above-ground pools, the size and shape of your future pool will significantly affect the total price before installation. For instance, materials for a 12-foot by 24-foot rectangle pool cost between $1,200 and $2,800, but a 33-foot by 18-foot oval pool costs between $1,800 and $3,530. Round above-ground pools tend to start a little cheaper at $820 to $2,100 for a 15-foot pool.


Once you’ve decided on the shape of your pool, you’ll need to choose the type of pool you prefer: hard-sided, metal frame, or inflatable. A hard-sided pool might be made of steel, aluminum, or resin, but the size and shape available are often limited. Metal frame pools are a popular option that is easy to install with a frame and liner, but they aren’t compatible with saltwater generators. Inflatable pools are easy to set up for a low cost, but they must be taken down and stored carefully at the end of the season.

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Common above-ground pool materials include steel, resin, and aluminum; inflatable pools are also available. Steel frames are one of the cheapest options at $800 to $3,000. However, they are prone to rust over time, so resin is a more attractive choice. Aluminum is the most expensive option at $1,000 to $4,500, and it holds up to extreme temperatures. And while inflatables are the cheapest at $200 to $500 and the fastest to set up, they aren’t as durable as any of the other options.


Big-box retailers or pool installation companies sell many DIY pool kits. Popular name brands include Intex, Wilkes, Trevi, Doughboy, and Kayak. The latter two are the more expensive brands ($3,000 to $12,000), while Intex and Wilkes are on the cheaper end ($200 to $4,000). Some of these higher-cost above-ground pools come with materials for a deck to make the pool even more appealing and enjoyable.


If you opt for a metal or hard-sided above-ground pool, you’ll also need a liner that’s usually made from vinyl. The most common type of liner is an overlap, which costs $100 to $400. But there are also beaded ($150 to $500), unibead ($150 to $500), and expandable ($200 to $700) liners available. It’s best to search for “above-ground pool installers near me” and ask a local rep which combination of frame and liner is best for you.


Labor makes up a fair portion of your above-ground pool cost: $1,000 to $3,000. This is just a base price, so if you plan any extra customization or a larger pool, the price will increase.

Geographic Location

In many cases, your geographic location will significantly affect the price of your new above-ground pool. Materials and labor vary from one city to the next, and there’s always a higher cost in more urban areas where pools are popular. This is especially true if you live in an area with significant residential construction, as demand will drive prices higher. Look for “above-ground pool installation near me” to get a quote from a local company.


Typically, an inflatable pool won’t require a permit since it’s not a permanent structure. However, your local municipality might have regulations about other types of above-ground pools, so it’s best to check before purchasing and scheduling an installation.

Above-Ground Pool Cost


Additional Costs and Considerations

Beyond the basic cost factors for above-ground pools, there are other features to consider. Some of them are intended to enhance the overall design or the pool use experience.

Site Preparation

Unless you’re planning to install an inflatable pool, you’ll need to do some site preparation. While some might consider installing an above-ground pool on top of a deck, this isn’t recommended since the weight of the water could cause the structure to collapse. Installing on the ground is best, which means that the ground beneath the pool needs to be level and free from debris and vegetation. If a lot of dirt or landscaping needs to be removed, heavy equipment might be needed. The soil will also need to be packed down and layered with a base like sand—or a contractor can install a concrete slab for an average of $6 per square foot.

Filters, Pumps, and Heating Systems

In most cases, the filters and pumps will come with an above-ground pool kit, but pool heaters are always an added cost. Fortunately, above-ground pool heaters cost less than those for inground pools; expect to pay between $300 and $2,000. It’s also worth noting that many of the filters and pumps included in DIY kits will not last more than a couple of years, but they are a good way to get started. Buying one of the best above-ground pool filters usually costs between $40 and $770 and will last longer than the starter models.

Deck Installation

Many homeowners like the idea of building a deck around their above-ground swimming pools; it creates additional space to enjoy the pool area. A pool deck usually costs $300 to $3,000, but this can vary based on the size of the pool and the deck materials.

Fence Installation

Installing a pool fence is usually associated with an inground pool where it’s easier to fall into a pool accidentally. Still, there are benefits to installing a pool fence around an above-ground pool too—even if only to keep the kids out while you’re gone. On average, pool fences cost $1,500 to $10,000.


If you choose not to install a deck, you’ll probably need a way to get into your above-ground pool, which means you’ll need to choose steps or a ladder. These typically cost $20 to $700. But if you opt for a slide as the more exciting way to get into the pool, expect to pay more. You might also want to add custom water features like a waterfall or fountains ($30 to $130) or decorative lighting ($30 to $120) for evening pool parties. And if you choose a pool compatible with a saltwater generator, you can get one installed for $1,400 to $2,000.

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As with any pool, keeping it clean is necessary to enjoy it. Pool maintenance for above-ground pools is no less essential than it is for an inground pool, and you can either do it yourself or hire a pool service company. With a cost of around $115 per month, above-ground pool maintenance is a little cheaper than inground pool maintenance. This generally includes cleaning the filters, skimming the water, and balancing chemicals, but it might be trickier to reach into an above-ground pool to clean it. That’s partly why building a deck around the pool is popular.

Types of Above-Ground Pools

The type of above-ground pool you choose will affect your total cost since some materials are more costly than others. Here are the types of pools you can choose from as you look at above-ground pools for sale. These costs are for materials only and do not include installation.


An inflatable pool isn’t just your average kiddie pool. With side walls reaching up to 48 inches high, inflatable pools can be constructed for adults and kids to enjoy together. They are typically round and can measure up to 18 feet in diameter. Inflatable pools are the best DIY option since there is no need for a contractor to build the pool. Hook up the air compressor, fill up the pool as needed, and deflate and store it for winter. You’ll probably pay between $200 and $500 for these pools, but larger 18-foot pools could cost up to $900.


Metal frames are a popular choice when you’re considering above-ground pool ideas on a budget. They are cost-effective and fairly easy for a pool installer to set up. A liner is stretched over the frame and the pool stays in place year-round. Granted, the metal frame is prone to rusting over time, and it will corrode quickly if a saltwater generator is installed. Nevertheless, a metal frame pool is more durable and longer lasting than an inflatable pool. Expect to pay around $800 to $3,000.


Resin pools are included in the larger category of hard-sided pools. These are constructed with metal walls and plastic parts on the tracks and rails. The walls are then coated with resin in place of a vinyl liner. The advantages are that resin won’t get hot to the touch, can handle a saltwater generator, and is cheaper than aluminum. However, the resin will crack or chip over time due to UV exposure—though not as quickly as metal will rust from splashing water. Resin pools typically cost $1,000 to $3,000.


Aluminum is considered the high-end frame option for above-ground pools with an average cost of $1,000 to $4,500. The biggest advantage is that aluminum resists rusting, corrosion, and peeling, and that means these pools will last the longest of all. You’ll need to have a vinyl liner installed, and there is some risk of getting holes in the liner as the aluminum oxidizes, but liners need replacing every so often anyway. Aluminum is also lightweight and holds up well in extreme temperatures.

Above-Ground Pool Cost


Benefits of Installing an Above-Ground Pool

If a backyard pool is on your mind at all, you can feel confident that an above-ground pool is a solid choice for enjoying pool time without blowing the budget. Above-ground pools have a lot of great benefits for homeowners and their properties.

Recreation, Relaxation, and Exercise

Pools are well known to be a source of relaxation for adults who want an afternoon of peace and quiet. To be fair, it might not be as quiet if there are kids splashing about, but the kids can also enjoy the extra recreation. If you enjoy swimming laps in a pool, you can ask a local pool installer about above-ground lap pools. Pools can also be highly therapeutic for anyone getting back into exercise or doing physical therapy after an injury. And since above-ground pools tend to be shallower than in-ground pools, it’s easier to float or stand as needed.

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Excluding inflatable pools, adding an above-ground pool is a great way to enhance your overall backyard experience. Pools are appealing features, especially if a deck is added to mimic an inground pool. As a bonus, a deck provides more space for dipping your toes in the pool if you’d prefer to avoid a full soak.

In addition, above-ground pools are quick to install (so the yard doesn’t have to be torn up for weeks), and they’re more affordable than inground pools. And don’t forget that you’re not stuck with only round pools; you can choose a style that matches your design preference.

Above-Ground Pool Cost


Above-Ground Pool Installation: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional

The easiest pool to install is obviously the inflatable pool. There’s no need to tear up the grass as long as you shift the pool’s position occasionally, and it’s easy to blow it up with an air compressor. That being said, one of the most challenging parts of above-ground pool installations is often getting the ground fully prepped and leveled. Even if you feel confident about installing the easier metal-frame-and-liner pool, improperly preparing the ground can leave you with an uneven surface that can cause issues down the road.

Hiring a pro to install an above-ground pool is a wise option since they will have all the necessary equipment and know-how to get the ground fully prepared. They’re acquainted with any quirks of getting the frame, tracks, unique nails, and liner installed properly, too. For instance, most liners will need to have the wrinkles vacuumed out of them to prevent mold from growing in the shadowed area. It’s surprising how much time it actually takes to prepare the ground and get a pool set up, especially if you’re working on your own. And in the end, there isn’t a whole lot of money saved since your time is also valuable.

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