Gunite pools have been the first choice of homeowners for decades. But is the added cost of an in-ground pool really worth it? It’s hard to get to the bottom of this discussion because, in part, we’re flooded with advertisements that offer both in-ground pools and above-ground at rock-bottom prices, but they fail to mention some significant costs associated with each type. Here are some facts to help you sort out the hype and make the right decision for your home:
Initial Cost and Cost of Ownership:
We’re not going to mince words, here. Gunite pools cost a great deal more to install than above-ground pools. It’s important to consider all of the costs, though, before making a decision.
- In-ground pools are insulated by the ground, so they maintain more constant water temperature. If you’re heating your pool to extend your swimming season, an in-ground pool is much more efficient, because it retains the heat you add longer.
- Because above-ground pools’ temperatures vary more with the outdoor temperature, it’s harder to maintain water quality and chemical balance. You’ll spend more in chemicals and cleaning.
- Above-ground pools are more vulnerable to damage. Whether it’s from your golden retriever, your children and friends playing, or the neighbor’s tree dropping a branch onto your pool, you’re going to have more damage to repair on an above-ground pool than you would on an in-ground pool.
- Gunite pools need to be re-surfaced and re-tiled every 10-20 years, depending on use, maintenance, and environment. That’s a significant cost. Above-ground pools, though, will need a new liner every five to seven years, and the structure that holds the liner will last up to 15 years, so you’ll be replacing the entire pool at the time a gunite pool would need resurfacing.
- Above-ground pools are harder to clean than in-ground ones, unless you have a deck surrounding the above-ground pool. Solving that issue adds the cost of a deck, and more maintenance costs.
Value and Usability
The return on investment on an in-ground pool is greater than that of an above-ground pool. Potential buyers perceive in-ground pools as permanent additions to a home, whereas above-ground pools are viewed more in the light of furnishings: At some point, they’re going to have to pay to replace or get rid of it.
- Some homewoners’ insurance policies exclude coverage of above-ground pools, while covering in-ground ones.
- You can enjoy your in-ground pool for more of the year, because it’s practical to heat a pool that’s well-insulated against outside temperatures. Above-ground pools lose a great deal of heat through their exposed side, during chilly weather.
When you’re ready to start planning your pool installation, talk to the experts at Crystal Pools & Spas for more information on gunite pools versus above-ground pools.