How Much Does an Above-Ground Pool Cost in 2024?

Dreaming of cooling off in your own backyard oasis this summer? An above-ground pool could be the perfect solution – particularly if you’re on a budget. But exactly how much will an above-ground pool set you back these days? In this detailed 1500-word pricing guide, we’ll cover all the factors that impact the cost, from size and shape to materials and labor. Get ready to dive into the specifics.

Average Costs for an Above-Ground Pool in 2024

Across the U.S., homeowners can expect to pay between $1,700 and $5,970 to purchase and install an above-ground pool, with a national average cost of around $2,700. For small, basic above-ground pool installations, you could potentially pay as little as $475. But if you’re dreaming of a high-end, feature-packed backyard oasis, be prepared for costs up to $13,400 or more.

To give you a better idea of pricing, let’s look at some typical pool kit materials costs:

  • Small 12-ft round pool kit: $1,065
  • Standard 15-ft round pool kit: $810 – $1,800
  • Larger 18-ft round pool kit: $1,120 – $2,600
  • Premium 24-ft round pool kit: $1,650 – $3,200

If you opt to hire a professional for installation rather than doing it yourself, you’ll need to factor in labor costs on top of the kit price. Most homeowners report spending between $825 – $3,235 for professional above-ground pool installation, depending on the scope of the project.

The installation labor costs account for transportation, equipment usage, and the time and skills required to properly level the ground, assemble the pool walls, connect the filter system, and ensure everything is watertight. While it may seem like a large added expense, paying for expert installation minimizes risks and ensures your new backyard investment is built to last.

Cost Estimator by Pool Size and Shape

Cost Estimator by Pool Size and Shape

The size and shape of your above-ground pool is one of the biggest factors driving total cost. In general, larger pools require more materials, take longer to install, and are more expensive. Most above-ground pools have an average depth of 4-4.5 feet.

As for shapes, round pools are the most economical, followed by oval, with rectangular being the priciest:

  • Round Pools: $
  • Oval Pools: $$
  • Rectangular Pools: $$$

To give you a better idea of pricing by size and shape, here are some common examples:

  • 12 ft round: $1,065
  • 15 ft round: $810 – $1,800
  • 18 ft round: $1,120 – $2,600
  • 24 ft round: $1,650 – $3,200
  • 24 ft x 12 ft oval: $1,950
  • 24 ft x 12 ft rectangle: $1,600 – $3,900
  • 33 ft x 18 ft oval: $2,900

[Insert visuals showing different pool shapes and sizes]

When selecting your ideal size and shape, think about how you envision using the pool. Larger oval or rectangular pools can accommodate more swimmers and allow for easier lap-swimming. 

Compact round pools take up less yard space but are better suited for games, lounging, and relaxation than exercise. Consider your property dimensions, desired water features like built-in seating areas, and future expansion plans. Picking the right size and shape upfront prevents expensive regrets down the road.

Other Factors That Impact Above-Ground Pool Costs

Other Factors That Impact Above-Ground Pool Costs

While size and shape are the primary cost drivers, several other factors can impact the total price tag:

Pool Material

When it comes to materials, you’ll choose between steel, resin, and aluminum above-ground pool walls:

  • Steel: The most affordable and durable option, but susceptible to corrosion and rust over time.
  • Resin: More expensive than steel but resistant to oxidation and cracking. Doesn’t get as hot in direct sunlight.
  • Aluminum: The premium choice – lightweight and temperature resistant. But the most expensive and can develop leaks.

The material choice affects both upfront costs and longevity. Steel offers attractive short-term pricing but may need replacing sooner than longer-lasting and more resilient resin or aluminum options.

Pool Brand

Higher quality pool brands from manufacturers like Doughboy, Kayak, and Aqua Leader will cost more upfront but may save you money long-term with a longer lifespan compared to budget brands like Intex. Premium pool kits often include thicker walls, superior filtration systems, hardier frame components, and premium accessories.

While it’s tempting to save money now with a cheaper pool kit, factor in replacement costs 5-10 years down the line. Spending a little more today on a quality product from an established brand could prove the better investment.

Existing Landscape

Do you need to remove trees, grind down stumps, or level the ground before installation? Factor in costs for any necessary landscaping or site prep.

Removing large trees can cost $385-$1,070 per tree, while stump grinding averages $180-$525 per stump. Site clearing and land grading runs around $650-3,600. These expenses quickly add up, so survey your yard thoroughly before budgeting.

Homeowners Insurance

Installing a pool, even an above-ground one, increases liability risk in case of injury or accidents on your property. Your homeowners insurance premiums may rise by several hundred dollars annually to reflect this greater risk. Be sure to notify your carrier and adjust coverage appropriately.

Items Included in Pool Kit

Basic above-ground pool kits generally include a ladder, pump and filter system, and a debris cover. But carefully check what’s included, as you may need to purchase some basics separately, like:

  • Pool heater ($170-2,200)
  • Premium pool ladder upgrade ($165)
  • Entry steps ($210)
  • Safety cover ($100-375)

Be sure to budget properly for any must-have accessories not bundled in your chosen kit.

Vinyl Liner Replacement

If your above-ground pool has a vinyl liner, expect to replace it every 7-10 years at a cost of around $240 – $1,300, depending on pool size. As the liner ages, it becomes more prone to cracks, tears, or color fading which can compromise water quality and blemish your pool’s appearance.

Pool liners are a standard wear and tear replacement cost for vinyl above-ground pools, just like replacing the roof on your house every couple of decades. Budget for this replacement as part of your pool’s overall lifetime cost.

Need Local Pool Maintenance

Maintaining above-ground pools can be a laborious task that many pool owners find less than enjoyable. While these pools generally demand less maintenance, it is crucial to ensure optimal performance and longevity.

Options for maintenance include hiring a professional pool cleaning service or taking on the task yourself. Professional pool maintenance services typically cost between $2,000 and $4,035 annually, with above-ground pools usually falling towards the lower end of this cost spectrum.

Add-Ons and Extras to Budget For

Add-Ons and Extras to Budget For

To create your dream backyard retreat, you may want to consider some additional upgrades and services beyond just the basic above-ground pool:

Above-Ground Pool Deck

Building a deck around your above-ground pool enhances safety and visual appeal. It helps cut down on slips, falls, and injuries while also creating a stylish, functional gathering space. Expect to pay $15 – $30 per square foot for a wooden pool deck installation. 

Decking offers ample space for lounge chairs, dining furniture, and shade structures. Building a multi-level deck with custom benches and planters allows you to create a connected backyard living area. Plan carefully to create convenient access points and flow between your deck, pool, and other backyard features.

Pool Ladder and Steps

While kits include a basic ladder, upgrading to a premium ladder (around $165) or adding entry steps (around $210) improves accessibility and safety. Heavy-duty, curved ladders provide greater stability and traction to make entering and exiting the pool easier. 

Steps allow people of all ages and abilities to walk in and out, reducing the risks of slips and falls. For peace of mind, sturdier ladders and steps are a worthwhile upgrade over bare-bones basics.

Pool Heater

Extend your swimming season with a pool heater, which allows you to regulate water temperature. Heaters generally cost between $170 and $2,200. Pool heaters hook up to your pump system to circulate water through a heating unit. 

They let you override Mother Nature’s chill and swim comfortably well into fall and as early as spring. When budgeting, factor in the heater costs plus higher monthly energy bills from increased electricity or gas usage.

Safety Cover

A quality safety cover keeps debris and unintended visitors out of the pool and acts as an important safety barrier, especially if you have young kids. Budget $100 – $375. Pool safety covers are held in place with tightly-fitted anchors and can withstand heavy weights. They are an essential safety precaution in addition to perimeter fencing. 

Annual Maintenance Service

If you don’t want to handle the cleaning, chemical balancing, and winterization yourself, hire a pro pool cleaning service, which averages $2,000 – $4,035 per year. Above-ground pools may require less maintenance than in-ground versions, but enlisting professional help still provides peace of mind and expertise. Cleaners have the equipment, chemicals, and know-how to keep your pool sparkling. 

Landscaping Services

Take your backyard to the next level with additional landscaping services like flower bed planting, tree installation, outdoor kitchens, landscape lighting, gazebos, and pergolas. Costs can vary widely:

  • Flower bed planting: $650 – $3,000
  • Tree planting: $25 – $3,000 per tree
  • Outdoor kitchen installation: $5,055 – $17,275
  • Landscape lighting: $2,100 – $4,900
  • Gazebo installation: $5,365 – $9,025
  • Pergola installation: $2,100 – $6,000

Landscaping additions help integrate your above-ground pool into the overall backyard aesthetic and create a cohesive entertaining space. Well-planned flowerbeds and trees provide shade and privacy. Lighting sets a relaxing ambiance at night. And an outdoor kitchen turns it into an all-day hangout. 

DIY vs Hiring a Professional Installer

DIY vs Hiring a Professional Installer

One of the key decisions you’ll face is whether to tackle installation yourself as a DIY project or hire a professional pool installer.

DIY Pool Kit Installation

Most above-ground kits include detailed instructions that allow homeowners to install the pool themselves with minimal risk. DIY pool kit prices range from $1,460 to $6,150, depending on the size, shape, materials, and included accessories.

Advantages of DIY installation:

  • Avoid labor costs
  • Greater sense of accomplishment
  • Don’t need to coordinate pro availability

Self-installation also carries some downsides, such as the risk of improper assembly leading to water leaks or other issues. DIY projects also tend to take longer as you’re learning proper techniques along the way.

Hiring a Professional

While DIY installation is certainly possible, many homeowners opt to pay for professional installation, at an average cost of $825 to $3,235 in labor fees. This ensures proper installation and minimal property damage.

Going the pro installation route means:

  • Peace of mind the job is done right
  • Faster project completion
  • No physical strain or injury risk
  • Expert knowledge about site prep and pool positioning
  • You can leverage their experience installing various pool types
  • Proper handling of permits or paperwork (if required)

Most pros offer workmanship guarantees, allowing you to call them back to correct any installation issues rather than getting stuck trying to troubleshoot problems yourself.

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Cost Variations By Location

Cost Variations By Location

All of the prices quoted in this guide reflect national averages across the U.S. But in reality, you’ll see costs rise or fall based on the specific companies and market conditions in your local area. Things like transportation fees for professionals can also impact total project costs.

As an example, installation labor costs in major metro areas like New York City or Los Angeles could trend higher than rural areas due to greater demand and operating costs for pool installers. Prices for landscaping services and tree removal also vary regionally.

To get an accurate idea of costs in your area, use this guide as a baseline, but be sure to also research local pool companies, get multiple quotes, and compare rates.

FAQ About Above Ground Pools

Do they need permits?

Small, basic above-ground pool kits under $100 likely won’t require a permit. But larger, more permanent installations often will – check your local regulations before purchasing.

Since codes differ by municipality, reach out to your local permitting office before purchasing larger pool kits over 15 feet in size. Ignoring permit requirements could lead to hefty fines down the line.

Should you winterize?

Absolutely! Properly winterizing your above-ground pool prevents algae growth, protects your chlorination system, and safeguards against damage from harsh winter weather.

Follow a winterization checklist like lowering the water level, blowing out pump lines, balancing pool chemistry, and installing a safety cover. In colder climates, it’s essential to prep your pool to avoid cracked walls or compromised equipment.

What are the main disadvantages?

  • Won’t increase your home’s resale value
  • Less aesthetically pleasing than in-ground or semi-inground pools
  • Inflatable pools can tear or puncture easily
  • Challenging to swim laps or exercise

While more affordable, above-ground pools do have some notable drawbacks. They aren’t a permanent home improvement and likely won’t impact your home’s resale price. Their above-ground construction gives them less visual appeal than sunken in-ground or semi-inground alternatives. And their smaller size limits swimming activities.

Are above ground pools cheaper than in-ground pools?

Yes, in most cases above-ground pools provide big cost savings over their in-ground and semi-inground counterparts:

  • In-ground pool average cost: $32,408 – $60,873
  • Semi-inground pool average cost: $6,500 – $24,750
  • Above-ground pool average cost: $2,700

Above-ground pools deliver immense value for money, letting you create a backyard paradise without the massive investment required for in-ground or semi-inground versions. The affordability is their major selling point.

Ready to Take the Plunge? Find a Local Pool Pro Today

Ready to Take the Plunge? Find a Local Pool Pro Today

There you have it – a comprehensive 1500-word look at how much you can expect to pay for an above-ground pool setup based on all the major factors. While you can potentially go the DIY route for under $2,000, hiring a professional to handle installation adds significant labor costs. 

No matter what size, shape or materials you choose, an above ground pool offers an affordable way to create that backyard oasis this summer. Start connecting with local pool pros today to bring your vision to life.


An above-ground pool is a smart investment that delivers big backyard fun for a fraction of what larger in-ground or semi in-ground pools cost. With some creative planning and budgeting, even a modest above-ground setup can be transformed into the focal point of a stylish, relaxing outdoor living space. Don’t let misconceptions about above-ground pools being an unattractive eyesore hold you back. 

By carefully selecting quality materials, enhancing with landscaping and decking, and thoughtfully designing integrated entertaining areas, above-ground pool owners can craft personal backyard retreats to rival any neighborhood. Get quotes from local pros and let your imagination run wild in creating your ideal staycation destination right at home.

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