Why Do People Not Like Above Ground Pools?

why do people not like above ground pools?

There are a ton of preferences in this world. Standards and norms that we often follow and believe in. Above-ground pools often get a bad wrap but personally, I don’t feel that way. If you have read any of my articles on this blog though, you know my dad is an inground pool builder so I of course love inground pools and prefer them. That doesn’t mean above-ground pools deserve any hate and my family has had multiple above-ground pools over the years.

So, Why do people not like above-ground pools?

People often don’t regard above-ground pools highly because of the stereotype of them being an eye sore, rusty, sharp, dangerous, and taking up a lot of space. Without the right model, size, decking, and landscaping this can be true and above-ground pools can possibly look terrible, we have all seen them! Another downside would be the lack of customization with above-ground pools, they come as they are with few options available to adjust the pool to your liking.

And last but not least, there is a prestige to owning an inground pool that just doesn’t apply to above ground. This is true, any inground pool is not cheap, it’s a big investment and even the nicest above-ground pool is only a fraction of the price of the cheapest inground pool build.

There are some advantages and disadvantages to the above-ground pool in comparison to the inground pools and I’ll discuss those in the rest of this article.

Do Above Ground Pools Look Ugly?

They can, for sure! And if you ask my dad, who builds concrete inground pools, they are all ugly. But this is a bias of course. We all have them. I on the other hand see a ton of examples online of people who have built some really beautiful above-ground pool setups. As mentioned before and in previous articles, today’s new models of above-ground pools have just gotten more stylish. Carvin pools for example have their downtown and diamond series models which look really amazing with wood-style panels that match concrete which come in a dark gray wood panel style or redwood colored panels. These simple style changes to the exterior wall take the above-ground pool game to a whole other level.

Carvin above ground pool model
Carvin Pool Downtown Series

Even the soft-walled above-ground pools look great these days. And they aren’t permanent structures so you can always remove them after a couple of seasons. If you want to see some good looking cheaper above ground pool models, check out Summer Waves or Bestway models with the Thatch style exterior walls.

This opinion of above-ground pools being hideous monstrosities is a bit of old-school thinking that will hopefully change in the future. There are a lot of HOAs out there that prevent people from putting in an above-ground pool, and I believe perhaps they should be willing to work with homeowners on the design of the above-ground pool rather than banning it altogether. Another way around the HOA rules though would be to build an above-ground pool that is partially or fully buried.

Partially buried above ground pool for people who don't like above ground pools
Partially Buried Above Ground Pool Model by Doughboy

Why Your HOA Hates Above-Ground Pools and How You Might Get Around It?

I love the memes I see online about random dads’ battles with the HOA and their hate for the rules. There is definitely some truth to it, especially in America where we hate people telling us what we can and can’t do with our property. I do understand why many HOAs prevent above-ground pools from being built. If someone goes with a cheap poorly built pool and then doesn’t add any landscaping and decking around it, it can look unattractive and make the whole neighborhood feel cheap. I discuss more in depth about decking and landscaping in my article here.

If you have this rule in your HOA terms, you might be able to look at getting a fully or partially buried above-ground pool! They look great in all honesty. If you want to fully submerge the pool in the ground or need to do that to get around your HOA terms then call up Doughboy pools. They have the only models that can be fully submerged in the ground. Other manufacturers like Aqua Leaders do have durable and attractive models that can be 50% submerged along the wall. That might be enough to get around those tricky HOA rules.

Fully buried above ground pool is an answer to why do people not like above ground pools
A Buried Above Ground Pool

Unmaintained Above Ground Pools are Ugly

This is absolutely true, an above-ground pool can become a huge eye-sore if it isn’t maintained. Leaks that aren’t caught could lead to some serious rusting along the wall that looks disastrous and dangerous. Random items sitting in the yard next to the pool just exasperate the situation. I believe if you do have an above-ground pool, you have to work a little bit extra at keeping it looking good otherwise your yard will fall into the cliche of the trashy above-ground pool.

There is help for homeowners in the newer models like Aqua Leaders who specialize in Resin pools that reduce and prevent rusting and also allow homeowners to use salt water which will cut down on the time spent keeping your pool chemically balanced. Of course, you’ll still have to track and adjust the chemicals but the salt water can make it easier.

Above Ground Pools Can’t Be Customized

There are probably many people who don’t necessarily hate above-ground pools but will always sway to the inground pools because of their customization features. This is true for most types of inground pools except fiberglass pools which like above-ground pools come as they are. There is a notable feature for above-ground pools that I wasn’t aware of until recently. You can actually buy an expandable liner and create a deep end for your pool. When taking this on most models and installers, you’ll be able to get up to a 6 ft. deep area with this liner or 72″ along the wall. You can even get up to 7 ft deep with Doughboy models which are the only installer/manufacturer currently who can build an above-ground pool that deep. I think this is a big deal with above-ground pools that can really create some interesting builds and compete with a few of the reasons some people prefer inground.


If you are wanting an above-ground pool but don’t want your neighbors to hate you, then be sure to do some landscaping and decking. Keep your pool clean and don’t leave any random objects in your yard around the pool. Try to dodge the HOA rules by getting submerged above ground or even submerging it just to look better and visually take up less space. If you do all of this, with today’s models of above-ground pools I think you can build a backyard setup that any above-ground pool hater would become jealous of.


The founder of Coolpoolhelp.com. I wanted a place to share all of the great information from my family to other pool lovers, builders, and those looking to buy a pool.

Recent Posts