There can be a significant difference in total cost when comparing above-ground and inground pools, but with that higher total cost of an inground pool comes some notable advantages that you may be looking for. If your budget is leaning toward above-ground, but your wishlist is leaning toward inground, you should know there may be a happy medium for you: semi-inground pools

If you’re unfamiliar with the semi-inground pool, but you’re intrigued and want to learn more, take a look at this easy guide for all you need to know.

What Is a Semi-Inground Pool?

A semi-inground pool is a pool that is installed partially under the ground, like an inground pool, and partially above it, like an above-ground pool. It can provide a convenient balance of the advantages that above-ground and inground pools are known for, making it an ideal option for anyone who can’t choose between the two.

The Advantages of a Semi-Inground Pool

Semi-inground pools offer a unique combination of the benefits you can enjoy from inground and above-ground pools.

Semi-Inground Pools Are Faster to Install

An inground pool can take weeks or even months to install, depending on the type of pool you choose, but a semi-inground pool only takes a few days. While the installation takes longer than the single day needed for an above-ground pool, it is still an incredibly quick process. Ultimately, the installation process is fast and convenient, especially considering all the benefits you stand to gain.

semi-inground pool with a spacious deck and a serene backyard setting

Semi-Inground Pools Have a More Affordable Installation

The price of installing an inground pool can vary widely, but typically, it can cost somewhere in the tens of thousands of dollars all the way up to well over $100,000. Of course, you get a lifetime of enjoyment after installation is complete, but not everyone has that sort of budget. If that’s you, then you should know you can have a semi-inground pool installed for far less.

More Versatile Design Options

Because semi-inground pools can be installed at varying heights depending on your personal preferences, you have a variety of options for what you might want to surround your pool with. You can build a deck or patio around your pool or you can line your pool up perfectly with an existing deck or patio,  which can make for a beautiful-looking addition to your property.

Semi-Inground Pools Are Great for Sloped Yards

If your yard is sloped, a semi-inground pool is a great way to add value to your home without relying on the expensive retaining wall that an inground pool would require. You also have the benefit of working with your yard’s natural curves instead of possibly leveling the terrain — another expensive option.

Safer for Families and Water Quality

Inground pools come with an increased risk of children and pets falling into them. With a semi-inground pool, you can reduce that risk significantly.

Better Finished Product

Besides interesting paver designs, an inground pool doesn’t leave a lot of room for creativity. But a semi-inground pool creates an opportunity to add a unique flair to your backyard. For example, you can finish your pool with a beautiful stone edge or add a set of steps that leads up to the pool deck. You could also implement various landscape elements that turn your pool into an outdoor oasis. 

Can You Really Save More With a Semi-Inground Pool?

Budget is almost always one of the biggest factors in an investment like a swimming pool, and it’s important to consider all the costs that go into these little pieces of paradise before you commit to one. Take a look below for the estimated total costs for each kind of pool to get a better idea of what fits your budget.

Above Ground

Above-ground pools are the most affordable option, as they don’t require nearly as much installation. Purchase and installation costs can vary, but typically, you can expect to pay somewhere between $2,000 and $6,000 for one.


The next step up in terms of cost is the semi-inground pool. You can anticipate paying somewhere between $11,000 and $23,000 for one. There is a leap in price from an above-ground pool, but not an incredibly dramatic one, particularly when you consider all of the advantages a semi-inground pool offers. You are basically buying an inground quality pool at a fraction of that price. The only difference is that it is partially in the ground. 

stand alone semi-inground pool

Semi inground pools are really popular for sloped yards, ground with rock or clay down below and those wanting a pool raised up.

Stealth Inground

If you want the appearance of an inground pool but don’t want the considerable expense that comes with it, there is another option: stealth inground pools. These pools are semi-inground, but they’re made to look fully inground by surrounding them with decks or elevated landscaping. This has the additional benefit of eliminating the need for an expensive retaining wall.

Inground Pools

Inground pools are the most costly option thanks to their wide array of fantastic features. They’re also the option that has the widest price range. Depending on the type of inground pool you choose, you can expect to pay anywhere from $55,000 to $100,000, with some higher-end features and additions more than doubling the cost.

Which Pool Option Is Best for Me?

There are a lot of factors that go into deciding which type of pool you might want. If budget is no issue, you can simply choose the one that you personally prefer. If budget is a high priority, then the semi-inground offers a fantastic balance of the features you want at the price you can afford, making it well worth your consideration.

As you weigh your options, here is a handy pool comparison guide you can use.

Are Semi-Inground Pools Cheaper?
Are Semi-Inground Pools Cheaper?