Get Estimates From Above Ground Swimming Pool Installation Services Near You

How Much Does an Above Ground Pool Cost to Install?

on 08/22/2023 | Reading time: 12 minutes

Above ground pool

An above-ground pool offers a refreshing way to cool down during hot summers without the commitment and expense of an in-ground pool. While the upfront cost of the pool itself is significant, installation costs can also factor heavily into your budget.

Types of Above Ground Pools

  • Inflatable Pools: These are the most affordable, often priced between $50 to $400, depending on size and quality.
  • Frame Pools: Made of materials such as metal, resin, or hybrid, they range from $300 to $3,000.
  • Hard-sided Pools: Made from steel, aluminum, or resin, these can range from $1,000 to $6,000.

Size and Depth Factors

The size and depth of your chosen pool can significantly impact the cost. For instance, a smaller pool meant for kids may only cost a few hundred dollars, while a more extensive, deeper pool for family use can run into thousands.

Basic Cost Breakdown

  1. Pool Kit:
    • Average cost: $200 (small inflatable) to $6,000 (large hard-sided)
  2. Installation Labor:
    • DIY: Essentially free, but requires time and effort.
    • Professional: $500 to $2,500, depending on complexity.
  3. Accessories and Add-ons:
    • Pool covers: $50 to $200
    • Heaters: $100 to $500
    • Cleaning tools: $50 to $200

Site Preparation Costs

  • Ground leveling: $200 to $1,500, depending on the size of the area and the work required.
  • Removal of obstacles: $50 to $500.
  • Sand or padding: $50 to $300.

Maintenance and Operational Costs

  • Energy costs: $50 to $200/month.
  • Water treatment: $20 to $100/month.
  • Repairs and replacements: Varies based on the issue, but expect at least $100 to $500 annually.

Permits and Regulations

Some municipalities require a permit for above-ground pools, especially for larger sizes.

  • Permit cost: $50 to $300.

Factors that Can Increase Costs

  1. Custom features:
    • Decks: $1,000 to $10,000 based on size and materials.
    • Lighting: $100 to $500.
    • Water features: $200 to $2,000.
  2. Upgraded equipment:
    • High-end pumps: $300 to $1,000.
    • Saltwater systems: $500 to $2,500.

How to Calculate Above Ground Pool Installation Cost

To estimate the total installation cost for an above-ground pool, you can use the following formula:

Total Cost = Pool Kit Cost + Site Preparation Cost + Installation Labor + Accessories and Add-ons + Permit Fees + Custom Features + Maintenance (First Year)

  1. Pool Kit Cost: This is the price of the pool itself, whether it's inflatable, frame, or hard-sided.
  2. Site Preparation Cost: Includes costs associated with leveling the ground, removing obstacles, and adding sand or padding.
  3. Installation Labor: If you're hiring professionals, include their fees. If you're doing it yourself, factor in any tools or equipment rentals.
  4. Accessories and Add-ons: Include costs for pool covers, heaters, cleaning tools, and other equipment.
  5. Permit Fees: Check with your local municipality to determine if a permit is needed and its associated cost.
  6. Custom Features: Include costs for decks, lighting, water features, or any other custom additions.
  7. Maintenance (First Year): Factor in the estimated costs for energy, water treatment, and potential repairs or replacements for the first year.

Example Calculation

Let's say you've chosen a medium-sized frame pool:

  • Pool Kit Cost: $2,000
  • Site Preparation Cost: $800
  • Installation Labor (Professional): $1,200
  • Accessories (Cover, heater, cleaning tools): $400
  • Permit Fees: $100
  • Custom Features (Deck and lighting): $3,500
  • Maintenance (First Year): $800

Using the formula:

Total Cost = $2,000 (Pool Kit) + $800 (Site Prep) + $1,200 (Labor) + $400 (Accessories) + $100 (Permit) + $3,500 (Features) + $800 (Maintenance) = $8,800

Therefore, the estimated cost for installing this particular pool, including all the chosen features and maintenance, is $8,800.

When using this formula, always consider that it provides an estimate. Costs can vary based on unforeseen challenges, plan changes, or market price fluctuations. Always allocate a buffer in your budget for unexpected expenses.

Potential Cost Savings

  • Seasonal discounts: Save up to 20% during off-peak sales.
  • DIY installation: Save on labor costs.
  • Bundle deals: Up to 15% savings when purchasing as a package.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Above Ground Pool Installation Costs

1. Why are there such significant price variations in above-ground pool kits?

Different pool types, materials, and sizes can significantly impact the cost. For instance, a simple inflatable pool is generally cheaper than a large, hard-sided pool made of durable materials.

2. Can I install an above-ground pool myself to save on costs?

Yes, many people choose to install their above-ground pools, significantly simpler models like inflatable or smaller framed pools. However, hiring professionals can ensure safety and longevity for larger, more complex installations.

3. What hidden costs should I know when installing an above-ground pool?

While the pool kit is a significant expense, pay attention to costs like ground preparation, accessories, permits, and future maintenance. Unexpected ground conditions like rocky soil can also increase site preparation costs.

4. Do I always need a permit to install an above-ground pool?

Permit requirements vary by location. Always check with your local municipality or county before starting any installation. Even if a permit isn't required, there might be zoning regulations or safety guidelines to follow.

5. How do I ensure my above-ground pool lasts a long time?

Regular maintenance is crucial. Ensure proper water treatment, clean the pool regularly, and protect it during off-seasons with a quality cover. Following the manufacturer's guidelines for care can also extend the pool's lifespan.

6. What maintenance costs can I expect after installation?

Typical ongoing costs include energy (for pumps and heaters), water treatments (chlorine, pH adjusters), and occasional equipment replacements or repairs (like liners or filters). Regular cleaning tools and supplies will also add to the maintenance budget.

7. Can I add custom features to my above-ground pool later on?

Many people add features like decks, lighting, or upgraded equipment after installation. Ensure any additions meet safety regulations and do not compromise the pool's structural integrity.

8. Are there benefits to installing my pool during a particular season?

Purchasing and installing during off-peak times, like late summer or early fall, might get you discounts. However, if you live in an area with harsh winters, it's best to complete installation before freezing temperatures arrive.

9. How do I decide between a saltwater system and a traditional chlorine pool?

Both systems have pros and cons. Saltwater pools are often more gentle on the skin and require less chemical fine-tuning, though they might come with increased initial expenses. Chlorine pools can be cheaper initially but may require more ongoing maintenance.

10. Can I move my above-ground pool to a new location or home?

While inflatable and some frame pools are relatively easy to disassemble and move, hard-sided pools can be challenging and might not retain their original integrity when reinstalled. Always consult with a pool professional before attempting to move a significant structure.

We hope this FAQ section clarifies some common concerns about above-ground pool installation costs. Always consult professionals and do thorough research for your unique situation.

Questions to Ask When Evaluating Above Ground Pool Installation Companies

When you're considering installing an above-ground pool, choosing the right company can significantly affect quality, costs, and overall satisfaction. Here's a compilation of crucial inquiries to pose to prospective installation firms:

1. Company Background and Reputation

  • How long have you been in the above-ground pool installation business?
  • Could you share feedback or endorsements from past customers?
  • Are there any online reviews or ratings I can check for your company?

2. Licensing and Insurance

  • Are you licensed and insured for above-ground pool installations?
  • Can you provide proof of both license and insurance?

3. Pool Options and Materials

  • What types of above-ground pools do you offer, and what are the differences in cost and durability?
  • What brands or manufacturers do you work with?

4. Installation and Labor

  • How long does a typical installation take for my chosen pool size and type?
  • Will I have a dedicated team or point of contact throughout the installation process?
  • Are your installers trained or certified by any industry organizations?

5. Site Preparation

  • What do you include in your site preparation services, and are there any associated costs?
  • How do you handle challenges like uneven ground or underground obstructions?

6. Costs and Financing

  • Can you provide a detailed cost breakdown for the entire installation process?
  • Are there any potential hidden fees or charges I should be aware of?
  • Do you offer payment plans or financing alternatives?

7. Permits and Regulations

  • Will you handle obtaining any required permits for the pool installation?
  • Are you familiar with local zoning regulations and safety guidelines related to above-ground pools?

8. Warranties and Guarantees

  • What warranties or guarantees come with the pool and installation?
  • How do you handle repairs or issues that arise during the warranty period?

9. Post-Installation Support

  • What kind of maintenance and care instructions will you provide after installation?
  • Do you offer post-installation support services like maintenance or seasonal opening/closing?

10. Customization and Future Upgrades

  • Can you incorporate custom features like decks, lighting, or water features during installation?
  • If I decide to upgrade or add features in the future, do you offer those services?

11. Communication and Logistics

  • How will we communicate throughout the installation process?
  • What preparations do I need to make before the installation begins?
  • If unexpected setbacks or problems arise, how do you manage communication and address them?

When you ask these questions, you can better understand each company's proficiency, trustworthiness, and services. Always ensure that you feel comfortable and confident with your chosen company to ensure a smooth installation process and long-term satisfaction with your pool.


When considering an above-ground pool, always factor in the total cost, from pool kit to installation and maintenance. By conducting thorough research, you can find the best options to fit your budget while enjoying the incredible benefits of your pool.

The opinions articulated in this piece are the guest author's and may not necessarily align with those of Crackerjack. Find more about staff authors of Crackerjack

About the author
Fancy House LLC
Fancy House LLC is a seasoned contractor and a prolific writer in the field of home improvement. With their extensive experience and expertise, they have earned a reputation for delivering exceptional results in construction projects of all scales. As a writer, they share their knowledge through well-researched articles that offer practical tips, advice, and inspiration to homeowners and DIY enthusiasts. With a friendly demeanor and a commitment to quality, Fancy House LLC is a trusted contractor who consistently delivers outstanding home improvement services and informative content.

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At Crackerjack, we assist many people each year with their projects. Our process involves collecting estimates from local professionals and conducting our own research, which we use to provide you with valuable price information. Please note that the prices provided in the current article are for informational purposes only and may change at any time. To receive a personalized cost estimate for your specific project, we recommend contacting a professional in your area.

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