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Semi-inground Pool Pros and Cons

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If getting a swimming pool installed in your backyard is your next outdoor project, then you’ve probably heard of semi-inground pools. So much is known about inground and above ground pools but not as much about semi-inground pools. If you’re not sure what type of pool is best for you yet, knowing some semi-inground pool pros and cons can help you decide.

Semi-inground pools are the mid-point between inground pools and above ground pools. They are built halfway inground and halfway above ground just as the name suggests. Here’s what you need to know to help decide if they’re the right option for you.

Why Get a Semi-inground Pool?

The kind of terrain you have often determines the type of pool you can get. Gone are the days when rocky and mountainous land meant you were doomed to a backyard without a pool forever. Semi-inground pools can be blended into the slope of your yard in a unique way.

Apart from terrain, power lines, underground pipes and cables sometimes make it impossible to get an inground pool. But that doesn’t mean you have to settle for an above ground pool.

You can get a semi-inground pool by carefully calculating the depth that can be dug safely without causing any damage to underground structures. Semi-inground pools require only about half of the digging than inground pools.

But getting a semi-inground pool can also be a design choice. Even if you aren’t facing limiting factors that makes it difficult to get an inground pool, the unique design style of semi-inground pools can still have an allure.

Semi-inground Pools vs Inground Pools

Deciding to get a semi-inground pool (or any pool for that matter) requires an understanding of exactly what you’re getting, as well as what your options are. It’s worth noting that semi-inground pools can be installed either inground or above ground.

Structurally, semi-inground pools are as strong as inground pools. In fact, semi-inground pools can be submerged completely in the ground. This can be done at a lower price than installing an inground pool. Installation takes about 3-5 days instead of multiple weeks, which is the case for installing inground pools.

So if a cheaper, faster pool is something you’d like, then semi-inground pools might be the right option for you.

Semi-inground Pools vs Above Ground Pools

Above ground pools can be installed half way into the ground like semi-inground pools. There is, however, still a big difference between above ground pools built to look like semi-inground and the real thing.

This is because most above ground pools are temporary structures and partially submerging them into the ground doesn’t change that.

Above ground pools are most popular among DIYers and because they aren’t permanent structures, you can move with them if ever you need to move to a new home. Also, if your terrain is impossible to dig through, an above ground pool may be your best option.

Semi-inground Pool Installation

The main difference in the installation process is the degree to which the pool is submerged in the ground. A semi-inground pool is usually installed partially or almost completely above ground, but can also be submerged completely as an inground pool.

As for the size, they are the same as inground pools ranging from 12 x 24 feet for the smaller ones and 20 x 40 feet for larger pools.

As a result of their flexible installation options, semi-inground pools make it easy for homeowners to comply to local swimming pool height codes and regulations.

Though easy to install, these pools are made of extruded aluminum interlocking walls and frames that are corrosion-free and twice as strong as steel, almost like inground pools. For a custom exterior finishing, you have a choice of either aluminum, vinyl, or wood side paneling depending on what complements your backyard best.

Are Semi-inground Pools Cheaper?

The cost of semi-inground pools depends on a number of factors:

  • The building materials used, namely whether you use fiberglass, concrete or vinyl
  • The size of the pool
  • Whether you choose to have it built above ground, semi-inground or inground.

On average, a semi-inground pool will cost around $10,000. Semi-inground pools are known to cost less than inground pools, but more than above ground pools. However, the additional labor and materials required for forming the walls around them, plus extras like decking and paving, raise their costs quite significantly.

Semi-inground Pool Pros

If you’re shopping for pools and need more reasons why you should choose a semi-inground pool, here are some benefits:

  • The 14-gauge galvanized steel wall panels used to build semi-inground pools comes with a lifetime warranty, meaning your pool will be durable.
  • Semi-inground pools aren’t that difficult to install. They come with all the materials, instructions and dig specs you need, thereby helping you to save thousands of dollars by DIY-ing the whole project if you’re working with a limited budget.
  • Flexibility of installation is another feature that make semi-inground pools stand out. They can be installed inground, semi-inground or above ground according to your preference or terrain restrictions.
  • Aesthetically, semi-inground pools are pleasant to look at and will offer you more flexibility in terms of customization and style to suit the rest of your backyard.

Semi-inground Pool Cons

As with most things, semi-inground pools have a few drawbacks you should know about before committing yourself, these include:

  • A raised semi-inground pool has the disadvantage of not being able to keep water as cool as an inground pool because it’s not as submerged in the earth. You might have to artificially cool your pool water, which could skyrocket your energy.
  • Semi-inground pools have more features requiring routine maintenance to keep the pool in good condition.
  • You have a limited option of shapes to choose from. If you want a custom design with curves or asymmetrical shapes, you may have to settle for an inground pool.

Semi-inground Pool Ideas

After getting the major decisions like location, shape, size, depth and vinyl liner colour out of the way, you will need some inspiration to decide on the features that will add a wow factor to your new pool.

Pool Design

Apart from being the most versatile to install among the three options, semi-inground pools also offer a wide range of customization options. You can build a beautiful multi-level design. This can include a high deck and a low yard, a sitting area by the pool and even a tiered hot tub.

This is a great way to have a better view of your surroundings. If you have a sloped yard with an amazing view, you could even simulate an infinity pool. Don’t forget to plan the finer details of your pool such as lighting if you’re going to swim at night.

Decking Options

Semi-inground pools are referred to as deck pools because they are usually installed with an attached deck. The deck is not only for aesthetic purposes but also makes access to the pool much easier and serves as a nice lounging area.

If you’re not keen on having a deck around your pool but still want to hide the partially protruding walls of your pool, you can complement it with plants, flowers, or paving.


Because semi-inground pools are versatile and easy to install, you don’t need a large flat. They can adapt to rocky and sloped terrain. This makes your pool blend in uniquely and looki like a natural part of the environment.

During the process of deciding on a good pool, remind yourself that getting a pool is all about enjoying yourself. Regardless of whether it’s to spend quality time with family, entertain friends, or just cool down in the summer heat, customize your pool in a way that meets your needs best.

Joseph FernandezSemi-inground Pool Pros and Cons

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