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Clear Differences Mark Above and In-Ground Pools

April 17, 2014
By ART LIMANN - Staff Writer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING - Besides the obvious, above-ground and in-ground swimming pools have clear differences which should be considered when deciding on a pool purchase.

Dennis Wardle, business manager of Top Hat Stoves and Pools in Wheeling, first points out the ease of serviceability with an above-ground pool. Above-ground installation is much easier, a lot faster, and they are easier to heat.

"With an in-ground, all your lines are in concrete," he said. "With an above-ground everything is right there and easily serviced."

Article Photos

Photo by Art Limann
Hillary Blass, sales manager, left, and co-owners Jeff and Lauran Craig of Waller Chemicals in Wheeling, stand with an above-ground Aqua Leader Elixir resin composite pool. It is a new high-quality pool that introduces new textures and warm colors to what has been considered the norm.

Bob Schramm, manager of Top Hot Stoves and Pools, added the above-ground pools are less expensive than in-ground pools. Also with an above-ground pool you don't have to worry about a fence. He explained the pool itself is the fence.

In addition, he noted 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.

Lauren Craig, co-owner of Waller Chemicals Inc. in Wheeling, said she believes, "The main difference between above-ground and in-ground pools is the cost. You're talking about $5,000 for above-ground to upwards of $25,000 for an in-ground. The other thing around here is our season is shorter. Is it worth it to make such a large investment to use for maybe just a three-month summer?"

In addition, Craig pointed out, "Above-ground pools have come a long way with their maintenance and filtration systems. It's a lot easier to take care of them than it used to be. Size is another factor. Some people have small backyards and an in-ground is just not practical. With above-ground there is little or no excavation and an above-ground pool can be put up in a day."

Bernie Slack, owner of Afford-a-Pool & Spa Inc., in St. Clairsville, agreed, "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."

However, she pointed out, "Most people build their backyards around their pools. It's like a vacation spot in your backyard."

Janell Brown, manager of Afford-a-Pool, also noted, "The size of a backyard may be a factor between an above-ground or an in-ground; also with an in-ground you can dive."

Other factors that need to be taken into consideration is an in-ground pool is permanent and can raise property value, which will mean higher taxes.

Excavation for an in-ground pool also may be an issue locally. Safety is another issue. Fences are required for in-ground pools and diving can involve legal issues.

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