WHEELING - Above-ground and in-ground swimming pools both have some advantages and disadvantages, according to local businesses which sell them.
The pricetag is the biggest distinguishing difference. Above-ground pools can range from $1,500-$2,000 and more, while in-ground pools may go from $15,000-$20,000 and up.
Bernie Slack, owner of Afford-a-Pool & Spa Inc., in St. Clairsville, said, "The cost is probably the No. 1 difference. Second, the above-ground pool can be taken down, or moved, while the in-ground pool cannot."
Janell Brown, manager of Afford-a Pool in St. Clairsville stands beside an above-ground pool.
Photo by Art Limann
She continued, "Most people build their backyards around their pools. An in-ground pool is more about landscaping and is obviously permanent. The whole thing with an in-ground is you can sit around it and relax or have a cook-out. It's like a vacation spot in your backyard."
"With an above-ground pool, some people put them in for themselves, while others put them in for their grandchildren, but they are just put in for fun," Slack added,
Janell Brown, manager of Afford-a-Pool, also noted, "This size of a backyard may be a factor between an above-ground or an in-ground, also with an in-ground you can dive."
Rick Zandron, owner of Waller Chemicals, in Wheeling, said his business only sells above-ground pools. He also emphasized the fact the above-ground pool is a lot less expensive.
"The good thing about an above-ground pool is if you don't want it in 10 years you can take it down or move it. An in-ground pool is permanent and much more expensive. With an in-ground it can also raise property value which will mean higher taxes. Excavation for an in-ground pool may also be an issue in our area. Safety is also an issue. Fences are required and diving can also involve legal issues."
Bill Anderson, president of Top Hot Stoves and Pools in Wheeling, pointed out, "The big thing is, with an in-ground pool, when you go to sell your house you are taking about half the people out of the market. With an above-ground you can take it out. On the other hand a home with a pool in the backyard can also sell a house. It works both ways. An in-ground will appreciate the value."
Bob Schramm, manager of Top Hot Stoves and Pools, stressed the above-ground pool is far less expensive than an in-ground pool.
He added, "With an above, you don't have to worry about a fence. The pool itself is the fence. With an in-ground there is aesthetics and charm. Some people also have them put in because they are easier to get into. Both are good for exercise. Above-ground installation is much easier and a lot faster."
While maintenance for both is about the same, Anderson noted, "With an above-ground you can change the plumbing a lot easier and heating an above ground is a lot easier."