An In-depth Look at Above Ground Pools – Is This the Right Option for You?

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Heather Jones
Heather Jones
I'm Heather, an author passionate about home improvements. My writing is your guide to making homes better. Let's explore easy ways to enhance your living spaces, from small fixes to exciting projects. Join me on a journey of making your house a cozy and stylish haven.

For most, when they think of a swimming pool for their backyard, an inground pool is the first thing that comes to mind, but what about an above ground pool? Can they look as good and why should you consider one? These are valid questions and to answer them, we’ve put together this post to share everything you need to know about above-ground pools and why they may be the perfect fit for your home.

What is an above ground pool?

An above-ground pool is a swimming pool that is installed on the ground rather than in it. Old school above ground pools are notorious for being bulky and a bit of an eyesore, and this is why many will dismiss the idea before investigating it further. Today, above-ground swimming pools can look just as good as in an inground pool, if not better! Pool technology has advanced significantly over the years, and above-ground pools now come in an abundance of styles, designs, shapes, and sizes.

Why choose an above ground pool over an inground pool?

There are many reasons why an above ground pool is a good idea, here are just some of them:


As above ground pools are placed on the ground, extensive excavation to prepare the site isn’t required. Not having to do this can save you a significant amount of money on the overall cost.

A great solution for those on sloping blocks

For those residing on a sloping, uneven or awkward block, sometimes installing a pool fully inground isn’t an option. This is where a partially above ground pool is an ideal solution. Part of the ground is excavated to make room for the pool, so it sits flat. Installing the pool this way can enable it to sit flush with the home to create a cohesive space. In fact, some don’t even realise the pool is above ground until it’s pointed out to them.

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Just as strong and durable as an inground installation

A quality fibreglass pool that is installed above ground by a team of qualified pool builders, is just as strong and long-lasting as one that is installed in the ground.

The installation process is fast

As mentioned, excavating the ground adds to the cost of a pool installation, and it also adds to the time that it takes to install your pool. An above-ground pool is straightforward to install and can be completed in less than a week.

Different types of above ground pools

There are several different types of above ground pools. Here are some of them:

DIY store-bought pool

Store-bought pools are cheap and convenient, but that’s where the positives end. Regardless of whether the pool is bought ready to go in a box or professionally installed if it is over 30cm deep, it needs a compliant pool fence surrounding it. Usually, the fence is considerably more than the pool itself. Unfortunately, these types of pools aren’t made to last. They are susceptible to tears and punctures. While they do come with repair kits, there’s only so many times you can repair it before it needs to be replaced altogether. In terms of aesthetics, they aren’t the best looking, and they aren’t going to add to the appeal of your backyard.

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Vinyl liner above ground pool

Vinyl liner pools are at the entry-level point of more permanent above-ground swimming pools however, they aren’t as popular as other types such as fibreglass and concrete due to their durability. The inner vinyl liner breaks down and needs to be replaced every five or so years. They are also prone to rips and tears.

Shipping container above ground pool

You may have seen a swimming pool made from a shipping container. They are a relatively new concept and proving to be rather popular. The only downfalls are they can be expensive, and if you don’t like the look of the shipping container, you’ll have to factor in additional costs to disguise it. Most companies only offer two sizes which can limit your options.

Concrete above ground pool

An above-ground concrete pool allows you to have any depth you choose and any shape, which gives you complete freedom over the design of your pool. They are strong and long-lasting but can be expensive as the entire construction is done from scratch. They can take a considerable amount of time depending on the complexity. An average concrete pool takes 3 to 6 months to build.

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Fibreglass above ground pool

Quality fibreglass pool shells such as ours here at Barrier Reef Pools are engineered to a standard never seen before. They have extreme tactile strength and are designed to be installed both above and inground. They look great and are simple to install. The only negative to a fibreglass pool is that you cant choose the depth and design of your pool although they come in a huge selection of styles, and you’d be hard-pressed not finding something you like.

How do I make an above ground pool look good?

This is the number one concern for those considering an above ground pool installation and understandably so, a pool is a big addition to a home, and you want to be sure it looks good. There are many ways you can create a stunning space that is inviting and welcoming using an above ground pool.


Flooring or decking surrounding your above ground pool is a great way to make it look more modern and appealing. This can make the area multipurpose and when done well, can add value to your home. Adding an entertaining area nearby or in the pool area is a sought-after choice.


Just because your pool is above ground doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the bells and whistles. Lighting can not only enhance the look of your pool, but it can make it safer at night time too.

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Above-ground pools can have heating, and it’s a great way to extend your swimming season. There are a few different options out there, and it’s best to research the various types to determine which is the best fit for your swimming pool. While heating doesn’t affect the look of your above ground pool, it can add to its comfort and make it more enticing.


The landscaping you choose for around your above-ground pool can have a huge impact on its overall look. It can add texture, warmth and colour and can draw you to the pool area. You can do this with plants, outdoor furniture such as a lounger and umbrella or oversized pots with in-trend plant choices.

Nowadays, there are no limits on what you can have for a swimming pool but, before getting your heart set on a particular type, it’s best to determine your budget first. Once you have done this, reach out to your pool builder to run through your design ideas. They will be able to advise you of the choices available to you given your style and budget.

Gone are the days where above ground pools are just plonked on the ground with no thought. Above-ground pools can be simply stunning! If you’d like more information, contact our friendly team here at Barrier Reef Pools

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