Many homeowners today are aware that an in-ground pool is more desirable to home buyers than an above-ground pool because it looks better. The solution some people have thought of is to purchase an above-ground pool and install it in the ground. The obvious perceived benefit to the homeowner is that it costs far less to bury an above-ground pool than to have an in-ground pool built.
Is this really a good idea? Does it make sense in terms of home value? Although it may seem like a smart idea, here are some big reasons why it doesn’t make sense.
Ground Pressure Considerations
One of the biggest reason not to drop an above-ground pool completely in-ground is that it was not designed for that purpose. Pool manufacturers warn that although the average pool may look as if it is completely durable, it is not constructed to withstand external ground pressure. Ground pressure changes with the level of water in the soil. This is particularly true if the pool is drained for any reason, such as if the homeowner decides he needs to replace the pool liner. There is a very great danger that the walls could cave in, ruining the pool and even endangering lives.
Soil stability differs across the U.S. Some soils are made of clay, while others are made of sand and other softer materials. Professional pool installers will always make certain that the area where the pool will be installed has been amended and stabilized so that it is structurally sound.
Pool manufacturers are very aware of this danger. For this reason, most include terms within their warranty that will void the warranty if the pool is used in a way not originally intended. That means that if you choose to sink an above-ground pool completely in the ground, you can void the warranty in doing so. Pool collapse and repair would be solely at your expense.
As any experienced homeowner knows, the effect of wet soil against many man-made materials causes them to deteriorate. Metal surfaces will rust under wet soil conditions, and certain grades of plastic and vinyl will deteriorate as well. Some pool manufacturers are now creating above-ground pools that are made of materials durable enough to be sunk in the ground if desired – but the cost can be prohibitive.
Home Selling Considerations
Savvy home buyers know that sinking an above-ground pool into the ground is not the same thing as building an in-ground pool. The look is not the same, either. If they are aware of the danger involved, they will avoid buying your home, and the money saved will become a loss.
If you like the look of an in-ground pool, pool manufacturers advise that an above-ground pool can in some parts of the country be safely sunk up to two feet below the surface. However, this is not a job for the average do-it-yourselfer. Leave it to a pool professional or licensed contractor who knows what he is doing and is aware of the risks involved.
Also see: Can Above Ground Pools be Heated?