The Pros and Cons of An Above-Ground Pool

Summer is coming, and you might be thinking of adding an above-ground pool to your home. It’s a great way to get your family outside to enjoy Michigan’s sunny days, plus swimming is great exercise! 🏊

Having a pool in your own backyard can definitely be an awesome source of fun and a great way to make memories. But does it make financial sense? 

Let’s consider the cost and work associated with putting in an above-ground pool.

For starters, HomeAdvisor estimates that it costs between $734 and $4,609 to purchase and install an above-ground pool, and the average cost hovers around $2,569. 

That’s way less expensive than an inground pool, which can run anywhere from $28,000 to $55,000 to install, but it will still make a dent in your bank account.

The ultimate cost of an above-ground pool installation will depend on the following components:


The three primary options are steel, aluminum, and resin. Resin is the most expensive, durable, and rust-resistant option. A higher cost upfront means it will give your more years of backyard fun and be more reliable. 

Pool Maintenance  

If you maintain the pool yourself, then it’ll only cost around $200 a season for chemicals. But it takes practice to get the pH, chlorine, alkaline and other chemical levels just right, not to mention keeping the water clear of debris, cleaning the filters, brushing the walls to prevent algae, and so on. If you want to hire someone else to maintain the pool, then it’ll run about $150 per service – and that should happen weekly (or at least monthly if you can do some tasks in-between professional services) to maintain healthy water conditions.


Without some intentional landscaping, an above-ground pool can stick out like a sore thumb. Although this isn’t a requirement, it’s a good idea to budget about $1,000 for landscaping around the pool to make it blend into the natural environment more seamlessly. 

Electrical Work 

Typically, an above-ground pool will raise your electric bill by $30 to $250 per month. Expect the higher end if you are heating the water – which will extend the number of days you can use your pool and make it relaxing to swim even in cooler Michigan weather. The initial electrical cost will be about $350 to $1,500 to get your new pool pump and filter up and running. 


Many Metro Detroit cities require a permit to install an above-ground pool. This will be a one-time cost of between $150 to $300 and helps ensure your pool is placed legally and does not sit on top of any underground utility lines, sewer and water pipes. There are also code requirements for the electrical aspects of the pool, and a separate permit may be required for electrical installation.


Many Michigan townships and communities have fencing requirements for above-ground pools, depending on depth. At the very least, you’ll need to ensure the steps leading to the water line are inaccessible by small children when you are not around. Gates with childproof locks are a must.

All things considered, while it will definitely be relaxing to sip lemonade in the sunshine floating on a raft in your above-ground pool, those idyllic moments don’t come cheap or easy, especially considering Michigan’s relatively short swimming season.

If it sounds like too much to get an above-ground pool up and running, then you might consider selling your home and purchasing a place that already has a pool. This is a great way to avoid the major startup costs of installation. 

With summer only weeks away, it’s a great time to get moving! If you’re ready to find a new house with a pool-side backyard, Mitten Made Properties can purchase your existing house fast for a fair cash price — we can close in as little as two weeks and we’ll buy your house as-is! Give us a call at (248) 883-3340 to learn more. 

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