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What Are the Different Types of Backyard Swimming Pools?

Lumara Lee
Lumara Lee

There are many different types of backyard swimming pools in sizes and materials to fit any budget. Backyard swimming pools can either be located in the ground or above ground. Above-ground pools are the least expensive, with the hard plastic child’s wading pool being the cheapest. They are also easier and quicker to set up than in-ground pools, which require a hole to be excavated. In-ground pools also require professional installation, while most above-ground pools can be set up by anyone.

The next size up in above-ground backyard swimming pools is the inflatable pool. This style of pool is available in various sizes that range from a small wading pool to a larger one that the entire family can enjoy. Besides the lower cost, another benefit of hard plastic and inflatable pools is that they can be easily drained and moved from one location to another. In addition, they generally don’t require a ladder for entry and exit to and from the pool, being easy to step into.

Many in-ground backyard swimming pools have a rectangular shape.
Many in-ground backyard swimming pools have a rectangular shape.

Most family-size above-ground pools consist of a vinyl liner and a plastic or metal frame. They are usually around 4 feet deep, although they are also available in other depths. A double-sided step ladder is typically used to enter and exit this type of pool, and sometimes a deck is built around the pool. Some above-ground pools are designed to be set up for the swimming season and then taken down during the cold months, while some more expensive models are permanent constructions. Most above-ground backyard swimming pools are round, and some are either oval or square.

A ladder is commonly used to enter and exit above-ground pools.
A ladder is commonly used to enter and exit above-ground pools.

In-ground backyard swimming pools are usually constructed of fiberglass, concrete, gunite, or vinyl. Many are rectangular, but they can be any shape. Depending on the budget, embellishments that aren’t available in above-ground pools such as waterfalls and spas can be added to an in-ground pool.

The vinyl in-ground pool is made of a frame built to fit the excavation and covered with a vinyl liner. This is the cheapest type of in-ground pool. Unlike the other kinds of in-ground pools, the vinyl pool is subject to being punctured. It isn’t as durable since the liner needs to be replaced periodically.

Fiberglass backyard swimming pools are often more durable than those built using concrete.
Fiberglass backyard swimming pools are often more durable than those built using concrete.

Poured concrete pools are considered the best in-ground backyard swimming pools. They are the most expensive, take the longest time to install, and they are more durable. First, a wooden frame is constructed inside the excavation, sand is placed at the bottom, and then concrete is poured into the frame.

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    • Many in-ground backyard swimming pools have a rectangular shape.
      By: alexandre zveiger
      Many in-ground backyard swimming pools have a rectangular shape.
    • A ladder is commonly used to enter and exit above-ground pools.
      By: Wolfgang Jargstorff
      A ladder is commonly used to enter and exit above-ground pools.
    • Fiberglass backyard swimming pools are often more durable than those built using concrete.
      By: ViewApart
      Fiberglass backyard swimming pools are often more durable than those built using concrete.