If you love the idea of a swimming pool but have neither the space nor the budget for a built-in pool, you may be looking for above ground pool ideas.  Above ground pool ideas are great when you have a small budget.

They are also great for homes with soil issues.  Nice above ground pools will give you a chance to splash in the water during summertime and will spruce up your garden as well, and they come in different shapes and sizes too.

If you think you will hate the way an above ground pool will look in your garden, don’t fear.  Above ground pool designs can be incredibly aesthetic.  There are some great above ground pool landscaping ideas that will add a wonderful touch to your garden.

Above ground pools are often as attractive as built-in pools.  So if you are looking for outdoor above ground pools, and you hope to find your dream swimming pool, you’ve come to the right place.  This article will share cool above ground pools to suit all backyards and budgets.

Why are above ground pools so popular?

Image source: Pools & Spas a Go Go

There are many reasons why above ground pools are so much in trend. They are available to fit in any budget depending on the size. There are many brands who provide a cost-effective product without compromising on the quality.

These pools are very easy to install and maintain. Installation time depends on how smooth the area is and if it requires any leveling. Once you find a level ground, the building is just super-fast.

You do not have to break mountains for the maintenance of the pool either. Some basic things need to be taken care of regularly like cleaning and filtering the water, testing the chemical levels such pH, chlorine & stabilizer levels, etc, for the protection of your skin and the pool tiles.

These pools also provide the ease of moving it to a different location due to its easy installation process. The installation can either be done by professionals or you can do-it-yourself(DIY). Or if you are looking for a house with an above ground pool, you can also connect with The Maloney Team.

They come in a variety of shapes like round, oval, rectangular etc. to choose from, which also makes it even more exciting.

You will also need to factor in additional landscaping costs, alongside other outdoor accessories that could complete your area. For example, do you also want a BBQ or outdoor fireplace? A gazebo could also be nice, along with some quality outdoor furniture and fencing.

When setting a budget for a new above ground pool, remember to add up all these extras as well so that you don’t come up short at the end.

Pros and Cons

Image source: Aqua Star – On Ground Pools

Before choosing an above ground pool design, let’s look at the pros and cons of above ground pool ideas.

Some pros of outdoor above ground pools:

  1. Price:  Above ground pool designs are significantly more affordable than built in pools, even for a pool the same size.
  2. Easy to construct: It is much easier to install and construct an above ground swimming pool.  You won’t need a professional to build a pool.  All you will need to do is assemble the parts.
  3. Space: You need less space in your backyard to install above ground pool designs.  This makes them a great choice for small backyards.
  4. Maintenance: A raised pool is easier to maintain than a built in pool.  This is because it doesn’t require complicated drainage or a filtration system.  They will only need to be chemically treated and you can get these chemicals yourself from Amazon.  An above ground pool is also easier to prepare for winter. Even you can use pool robots for above ground pools to maintain your pool.

The cons of a raised pool

  1. Longevity: When you install a raised pool it will have a shorter lifespan than your built in pool.  Above ground pools will last between 7 – 15 years before the structure gives out.  This is an issue if you landscape around your pool, making it a permanent part of your garden.  A built in pool will last 20 years or more.
  2. Durability: An above ground pool is more vulnerable to damage.  Without support, the walls may be vulnerable to damage or abuse.
  3. Depth: An above ground pool won’t be as deep as an inbuilt pool.  They are usually a maximum of 4 feet deep.
  4. Aesthetics: You can certainly get some beautiful above ground pools, but you won’t have the versatility you get with an inbuilt pool.  Without the freedom to build your own shapes and styles, your above ground pool ideas will be limited to circles, ovals, and rectangles.

Above ground pool ideas

Above ground pool with deck

Image source: Aqua Star – On Ground Pools

Build a deck around your pool because not only it looks great but an above ground pool with deck is also a lot of fun. Some of the above ground pool deck ideas can be really cool such as adding a multi-level deck for the pool or a slide for some excitement. You can also add a wooden bridge or deck that blends with the above ground pool landscape of plants and flowers.

If you can afford to spend a little more money and have a big backyard, then, you can build a luxury deck with a lounge and gazebo for the pool. With some more work on the above ground pool landscaping, the final output would be an inspiration.

Automatic Cover

Image source: All-Safe Pool Fence & Covers

Automatic pool covers are great to prevent your pool from wanted debris and save your time cleaning it. It will also useful for water evaporation elimination and green benefits. You can easily fit it into any kind of pool design and comes in various shapes and sizes with the innovative technology of pool covers.

Some of the ways to apply an automatic cover are the single and dual-cover mechanism. The single-cover mechanism allows the cover to slide across portions of the deck. While the dual cover installation mechanism includes two covers from two ends of the deck and meeting in the middle. Both mechanisms have the same level of security.

And if you can’t afford an automatic cover, you can opt for a regular safety cover. It doesn’t take much to set up and they’re pretty safe for everyone, especially for kids and pets.

Above ground pool landscaping

Image source: Pioneer Family Pools London & Woodstock

Landscaping around above ground pools is very crucial in terms of the overall look and feel of the pool in your backyard. The pool should not seem out of place and has to blend in perfectly with the landscape around. There are few above ground pool landscaping ideas that can turn your backyard to a dream place.

Keep it tropical

Image source: Bates Landscape

Surround the area of the pool with a touch of the tropics using shrubs and palm trees, peace lilies, orchids etc. They are easy to care for and maintain and would make a beautiful tropical garden around the pool. If you’re in a more cold area, you can get these plants in a synthetic form. There are lots of nearly natural palm trees on Amazon that look great.

The concrete look

One of the popular above ground pool ideas in landscaping includes the use of concrete installation and wood. Design a wooden deck around the pool and spread concrete pad around the bottom ground of the deck to give a summer beachy appeal to it.

It is a very inexpensive option as you would only need a few rocks or pea gravel to create it. A combination of the simple green lawn blending with the wood and concrete is just the perfect place for a reposeful vacation at home.

The Palm Desert

Image source: Crestwood Pools, Inc.

Surround your deck with wood chips and plant some palm trees around it to create an oasis effect. Once trees are big enough it would also shade the area around pool keeping it cool even during the summer heat.

The only problem with trees to close to the pool is that they’ll make a lot of mess. For that, you can get a pool cleaner robot that will do the job for you. There are lots of options out there in different price ranges.

Apply these above ground pool landscaping ideas and enjoy the gorgeous outlook at the end. If you want to explore more above ground pool ideas, then keep scrolling down.

Above ground pool deck with a bridge

Image source: Aqua Star – On Ground Pools

Now doesn’t that sound fancy already. Build a bridge connecting to the wooden deck surrounding the pool and add flora in the landscape to create a resort at home. No more extra expenses for a vacation in a resort. You have it in your backyard! Spend some family time and see how the kids just love it.

Bohemian lounge retreat

Image source: Premier Pools and Spas

Create a Bohemian poolside décor with raw textures, terracotta planters, outdoor bistro tables, and bohemian throw pillows. Set up these on the deck side and give your pool a vibrant character.

Home Tiki Bar

All you need is some Hawaiian décor with a stylish outdoor bamboo minibar and a patio umbrella. Throw in some Tiki statues, decorative tableware, classic and colorful rugs to make it more authentic. Visit the island at home whenever you want and have fun with friends and family.

Above ground pool with glass fence

Image source: Performance Pool & Spa

Use transparent tempered glass wall as a fence for your above ground pool to not only add a beautiful look to it but also is a good safety measure if kids are around. Glass fence certainly enhances the beauty of the pool, ensures security and being transparent does not block sight.

Light up your pool

Image source: Matt Gibson Architecture + Design

This is perhaps one the best decorative option among the various above ground pool ideas. No need to end the party if the sun goes down, in fact, the party just began. Add pool lights to your pool and enjoy the beautiful scene at night. Not only it adds glamour to the pool also ensures safety and prevents accidents due to the lights.

You can opt for simple pool lighting solutions or you can go all-in with complicated ones. The more sophisticated they are, though, the more expensive, so you’ll need to think well before buying.

Image source: Pioneer Family Pools London & Woodstock

If you are happy with the idea of a raised pool, start collecting above ground pool ideas to add to your storyboard.  You will be able to explore the choices available to you, creating a beautiful and creative backyard.  Some above ground pool ideas are simply sensational.  Above ground pools can include striking landscaping, great decks, and soft, upscale patio furniture.  You’ll be able to create a beautiful outdoor space that you can enjoy for years to come.

Do it yourself

If you have the time, it will make sense to install your pool yourself.  You can do so using a kit.  Check out the prices (they do vary depending on size).  Look at the quality of the deck before making a purchase.  This will affect your price.  If you lack time or don’t feel confident making the installation, you can always call a contractor to assist you.

When you start your project, you’ll begin by purchasing a kit for your deck.  When you have created the frame for your floors, it’s time to set the posts into place.  Next, build quad rails for your deck.  Explore above ground pool deck ideas that will suit your yard.  When you purchase a great kit, it will add warmth to your pool and garden.

Grey Colored Bricks

Grey colored bricks make gorgeous above ground pool ideas.  You can use them to frame the edge of your pool, creating an infinity look. Grey bricks give a subtle, gentle appeal.

Brick borders give your pool a substantial appearance, and you can use them to create waterfalls that flow from the brick edges.  When you use bricks, you can create timeless above ground pool designs.

Rocks Around

Are you looking for earthy or rustic above ground pool ideas?  If so, don’t worry.  Add river rocks to your pool’s borders for a natural appearance.  All you’ll need to do is select the river rocks of your choice.  They come in a range of different shapes and sizes.  Choose those which will fit in with the style of your pool.  You’ll have a charming backyard oasis in no time at all.


Image source: Ehrich & Ehrich Construction LLC

Above ground pool landscaping will help you to create a beautiful back yard.  Use plants that won’t drop leaves or berries into your pool for the best results.

Foliage or broadleaf plants such as Hetz Japanese holly make great landscaping choices.  Your foliage will give you a lush feel.  Plants with soft or smooth leaves make great choices around a pool because there is no risk of prickles.  Try to look for plants that won’t attract bees or other pollinating insects.

Go for a budget option

If you are budget conscious, wooden pallets make an affordable above ground pool idea.  Purchase pallets and then use them to create walls for your pool.  Cover the surface of your pool with a durable blue plastic layer.  Ensure there are no holes so that you don’t find any leaks.

Although pallets make your above ground pool cheap to install, they still look attractive.  Your pool will be small enough to maintain easily.  And you’ll have a fun and refreshing space to relax during the hot weather. 

Landscape your lawn

Image source: ab Design Studio

Try to include landscaping in your above ground pool ideas from the very beginning.  Landscaping makes a big difference to your garden, and will add value to your home.

Installing an attractive lawn will add to the aesthetics of your home.  By removing any old grass and replacing it with Bermuda grass, you will have a gorgeous lawn in no time at all.  You can use Bermuda grass even in warm climates.

When you have an attractive lawn, you’ll beautify your pool area as well as protect your water from dust and debris.  Your lawn will give your garden an attractive texture.  It will also provide a soft space to relax after swimming.

If you’ve used a strong deck, the Bermuda lawn will provide great contrast, finishing off your garden with a lush, leafy carpet you will enjoy for years to come.

Fences for your above ground pool designs

Whenever you have a pool in your garden, fences become crucial.  It will help you to keep your kids safe without adult supervision.  When you have a fence you’ll know that whenever your kids are in the pool, they will be completely safe.

There are different styles of fencing for your outdoor pool designs.  Wrought iron will provide you with a very attractive fence with a French-style appeal.

If you choose wrought iron, the raw or industrial style of your fence will match with your deck.  This attractive combination will add beauty to your garden.  If you do choose to install wrought iron fencing, you should know that it does look dusty very easily.  However, with proper maintenance, it will remain clean and attractive for years to come.

In-ground appearances

Image source: Sudbury Design Group

If you would like to create the appearance of a built in pool, you can do so using pool deck ideas for above ground pools.  By raising your deck, your pool will appear to be built in, and a large deck will give you space to enjoy a refreshing drink before or after your swim.

Best of Both Worlds

Image source: Built Right Pools

If you have a great deck and then decided to install an above ground pool, you can still make the most of your above ground pool décor.  This will give your pool a built in appearance.  Install your pool close to your deck and then landscape the surrounding areas.  You will end up with a relaxing and enjoyable outdoor space which appears to be designed around your swimming pool.

Decking Details

Image source: Aqua Star – On Ground Pools

Raised decking makes great above ground pool ideas.  If you create an extended deck you will be able to use this space to relax.  With great lighting, furniture, and landscaping, and an extended deck can be a perfect spot for poolside entertainment.

Brick Walkways

If you have vacant space around your raised pool, you could incorporate brick walkways into your above ground pool ideas.  A large brick walkway would create a perfect space for lounging.  Including large plants in attractive containers could complete your look.

Nature Inspired

Built in pools are becoming more and more nature-inspired lately.  This may seem to be too expensive when you are installing a raised pool.  However, by focusing on your above ground pool landscaping ideas, you can create a natural look to your yard.  Add stone, fountains and neutral colors for a natural look.

Backyard Decking

If you have been exploring above ground pool ideas, and want to create a large patio, how about creating a floating deck in your yard which would also hold your swimming pool?

Warm Lights

Image source: SPF:architects

Lighting up your pool will help you to enjoy hot summer nights as well as create a feature for your garden.  If you are planning on including lighting in your above ground pool décor, purchase warm lights.  A warm light won’t be too bright, and will add an attractive look to your garden.

Lanterns, candles, and torches will also help you to create a peaceful outdoor oasis.  Lighting can be expensive but will help you to create an attractive atmosphere.

Big In Japan

When you are looking at above ground pool designs you could always take inspiration from Japanese styled hot tub designs.  These soaking tubs are often made of attractive woods such as cypress, teak, and cedar.

To create beautiful above ground pools, build your pool into a rectangular shape, and surround it with Hinoki wood.  Red cedar also makes a great finishing touch.

When using Japanese style designs, you’ll end up with high end above ground pools.  Japanese bathtubs are popular in luxury hotels, so you will certainly add a glamorous element to your backyard.

Add Japanese style plants, boulders, and small lanterns to your above ground pool landscape.  This will help you to create a relaxing and coherent backyard area.

Using a Container

Professional pool designs can be expensive.  If you are looking for above ground pool options that are cost-effective, a DIY swimming pool makes an excellent choice.

A shipping container (available from a port or online store) can be painted and covered in a plastic liner.  You’ll then have a beautiful above ground pool which is both simple and effective.

Add LED lighting

A great above ground pool design will make a wonderful space for late night swimming.  Great pool lighting will help you to turn your pool into an entertainment area.

Not only will attractive lighting make a great poolside space, but it will enhance your water, making swimming feel more enjoyable.

The best way to light up your pool is by installing LED lighting.  You’ll save on energy consumption, your lighting will be cost-effective and it will be long-lasting too.  What more could you ask for?

Floating Speaker

A floating speaker may be one of the most enjoyable outdoor pool ideas you could think of.  It won’t add to your décor but you’ll be able to listen to great music.  You can enjoy playful party music on a cool night with friends, or choose soft music for a relaxing night at the water’s edge. Check out some floating speakers you can find on Amazon.


A great hammock is a great way of creating a relaxed vibe.  You can choose a fabric that reflects the color of your above-ground pool landscaping, containers, or lighting.  Blankets and pillows will add comfort and texture.

Recommended: Great hammocks from Amazon.

If you don’t have anywhere to hang a traditional hammock, you could always select a hammock chair.  They will create the same relaxed aesthetic as a regular hammock.  You will also be able to get in and out of a chair hammock more easily. Click here for guidance on how to choose a hammock.

Fire Pit

Another great way to add a fun ambiance to your deck is with an outdoor fire pit. This functional piece of decor will keep your guests warm during those chilly nights. With so many different brands and styles to choose from, we recommend checking out Elementi. Their fire pits have a modern design that will add flair to any outdoor space.

What better way to dry off after a dip in the pool?

Pouf Seats

Pouf chairs are like beanbags for grownups.  They will fit well into your above ground pool ideas because they are easy to transport.  If you choose the right fabrics, a pouf seat will be water-resistant, mildew resistant, and UV resistant.  Pour seats come in a range of different shapes, heights, and sizes and may be flat, round, cubed, or ottoman shaped.

Do-It-Yourself Cinder Block Bench

Image source: Studio One Architecture, Inc.

If you would love to add a bench to your above ground pool ideas, it might help you to know that you can build one yourself.  That’s right; all you will need are some cinder blocks.

You can create a single bench, or put together a cluster of benches to make comfortable seating around your pool.  You could also choose to add a backrest.  4 x 4 x 10 blocks, sandpaper, paint, wooden (if you choose to add this) and wood sealant are all you will need.  You can add cushions for a plush feel.

Potted Plants              

Above ground pool ideas will always look great with a container garden.  However, you don’t have to spend a fortune on designer pots.  Paint some terracotta pots in bright colors and that will do the trick.

Adding a handful of sand to the paint will give you texture.  You can also decorate your pots using mosaics, jewels, fabric, or lace.  You can create pots in contrasting colors, or just add one creative pot to your collection.

DIY Cinder Block Planters

If you don’t want to use containers for your above ground pool landscaping ideas, you can always build a cinder block planter.  You can arrange the blocks in interesting designs if you would like to.  You can build your planter into a corner if you wish.

You can paint or plaster your planter to match the style of your home.  Add drooping ground covers or succulents for a relaxed, carefree garden.

Outdoor Rug

Image source: Milestone Dubai

What could be more appealing than an outdoor rug?  You can easily pick up a large rug for $100 to add to your above ground pool décor.  You can go bold or keep it neutral.  Added to your deck, a rug will add a cozy touch.  You can also use your rug to define your entertainment area.

String Lights

String lights give a magical and very festive quality and will enhance your above ground pool landscaping ideas.  You can use LED lights, Edison style lights, round bulbs, caged bulbs, or parrot lights.  No matter which style you choose, your garden will have a twinkling charm.

Shade Sail

Image source: Pools & Spas a Go Go

If you love your patio but hate the bright sun, you may long for shade.  If you are looking for shady above ground pool ideas, how about considering shade sail?  You can block out the sun without investing in a pergola.  A shade sail is also UV-blocking, affordable, and highly durable.

Dining Set

When you consider above ground pool ideas, remember to create a budget for seating.  Seating will be one of the most important elements of your entertainment area.  Your seating will depend on the number of people who include in your entertainment plans.

You could use dining sets as a great source of seating. You will be able to choose from a range of prices and styles.  Durable, water and UV resistant materials will increase the life of your set.

Table on Wheels

Image source: Pioneer Family Pools London & Woodstock

Almost all tables come on wheels now.  You could choose a coffee table and surround it with cushions for poolside board games or an easy lunch.  If would like to create an above ground pool bar, a bar table with stools would make a great choice.  Whatever your style, a table on wheels will enable you to enjoy your poolside activities.  It will also give you the option to push it aside to create space for relaxing or sunbathing when not in use.

Solar Shower

If you would like to add a shower to your above ground pool ideas, but don’t have a large budget, you could use a solar-powered shower.  A solar shower will enable you to connect your shower to a garden hose.  Installation is quick and easy and you will be able to unhook your shower when it is not in use.

Privacy Screen

Do you have neighbors looking onto your garden?  Would you like to use an outside changing area?  If so, you might want to add a privacy screen to your above ground pool décor.  Screens are very inexpensive and will add aesthetic appeal.  If you have a small space, you can fold up your screen when it is not in use.


You can buy a wide range of attractive tapestries to create gorgeous above ground pool décor.  Add gorgeous tapestries to a feature wall.  Alternatively, you could use them as space dividers or privacy screens.

Bird Feeders

Image source: Pools & Spas a Go Go

Do you have a lot of songbirds in your area?  If so, add bird feeders to your above ground pool ideas.  This way you will be able to relax in the water while a range of beautiful birds visits your backyard.

Vertical Garden

If you are looking for a unique above ground pool landscape, a vertical garden may be the idea for you.  You can buy a kit or build one yourself.  You can create a vertical garden in a range of different materials, from wrought iron to wood or fabric pouches. There are lots of options on Amazon that you can have shipped directly to your house.

Funky lighting

If you want to add great lighting around your raised pool, you can always use cable lights, handing lanterns, or mason jars to create sparkle.  If you are going for a more traditional approach, there are a range of great light fixtures and spotlights that you can install.

Candle Chandelier

If you’d love to create a romantic atmosphere around your raised pool, a candle chandelier makes an excellent choice.  You could choose to use an electric chandelier with faux candles.  Consult a professional to help you install it.

Floating Pool Lights

Have you added lights to your above ground pool ideas?  Even if you have great light fixtures you will love the gentle ambiance of floating lights like these.

You can choose from different styles, from whimsical jellyfish to lotus flowers.  If you intend to use your floating lights frequently, solar lighting makes a great option.

FAQs about above ground pools

1. What are the best materials for an above ground pool?

Steel, aluminum, and resin are the most widely used materials for above-ground pools. Steel is the most cost-effective and long-lasting material, yet it can corrode easily. While lightweight and rust-proof, aluminum can be more expensive. Due to its high level of durability, rust resistance, and low maintenance requirements, resin is growing in popularity.

2. What shape and size options are available for above ground pools?

Round, oval, rectangular, and square are just a few of the forms and sizes available for above-ground pools. Oval and rectangular pools are wonderful for larger parties or lap swimming, but round pools are the most common. Small 10-foot round pools and big 30-foot circular pools are also possible sizes.

3. What is the average lifespan of an above ground pool?

The materials utilized and the level of upkeep given can have an impact on how long an above-ground pool lasts. An aluminum or resin pool can survive up to 25 years or more, compared to an above-ground steel pool’s average lifespan of up to 15 years.

4. Can an above ground pool be installed on uneven ground?

On uneven ground, it is still possible to create an above-ground pool, but it may be more challenging and call for additional support. In order to protect the pool from damage and to make sure that the water is level, it is crucial to level the ground as much as possible.

5. Are there any specific maintenance requirements for an above ground pool?

Any pool, including above-ground pools, requires routine upkeep. This entails cleaning the pool and filters, testing and balancing the water’s chemistry, and looking for leaks or other damage. During the swimming season, it is advised to clean the pool at least once a week.

6. Can an above ground pool be converted to an in-ground pool?

Although it is technically possible, converting an above-ground pool to an in-ground pool can be costly and time-consuming. For this, it would be necessary to dig up the space around the pool, construct a new building, and put in new plumbing and electrical infrastructure.

7. What are some popular features to add to an above ground pool, such as decks or fencing?

An above-ground pool’s utility and aesthetic appeal can be improved by adding a deck or fencing to the area around it. A deck can offer a place to relax and host events, while fence can offer security and seclusion. Lighting, landscaping, and pool heaters are some more common amenities.

8. How much does it cost to install an above ground pool?

On average, a basic above ground pool can cost between $2,500 and $7,000, but larger and more advanced models can cost up to $15,000 or more. The price of building an above ground pool can vary based on the size, materials, and any other amenities.

9. Are there any local building codes or regulations that need to be considered when installing an above ground pool?

Before establishing an above-ground pool, it’s vital to check the local construction standards and regulations. Some places could need a permit or have particular rules for installing pools, like minimum setback distances, fencing specifications, and pool depth limitations.

10. What are the advantages of an above ground pool compared to an in-ground pool?

In comparison to in-ground pools, above-ground pools are typically cheaper and simpler to install. They can also be transported or dismantled if necessary, and they require less upkeep. However, in-ground pools can be bigger and deeper than above-ground pools and offer more architectural options.

Ending thoughts on these above ground pool ideas

We hope these great above ground pool ideas help you to turn your back garden into a beautiful and well-landscaped oasis.  By adding small touches to your above ground pool décor, you’ll create a unique and very personal backyard that you can enjoy all summer long. According to VIP Realty, you can also increase the value of your home too.

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