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What are the Different Types of Swimming Pools?

Dec 12, 2023

 There are many different types of swimming pools to choose from. From concrete pools, to fiberglass pools, to vanishing edge pools, and everything further down the line or in between, there isn't a one-size-fits-all pool for everyone. Each family is unique in their habits and preferences, so it's important that your swimming pool fit your lifestyle.

Here at DIY Pools and Spas, we understand that. We know that a pool can bring a family together in ways other things cannot. That's why we have specialists standing by, waiting to help you design your dream pool. A pool that will work with your yard, match your house, and fit your lifestyle and aesthetic.

Still, the many choices can leave homeowners wondering where to begin. How can you communicate clearly if you're not even sure what words to use? Don't worry. We've got you covered. This article will cover all the basics you need to know about the major pool types.



Your first impression of a saltwater pool may be that the water is similar to the ocean. However, that's not quite accurate. A saltwater pool, in reality, has about ten times less salt in the water than the ocean does. This amount needs to be consistently maintained for the pool to stay clean and clear.

Saltwater swimming pools are popular because they expose you to a lot less chlorine (and other chemicals) than other pool types. You don't eliminate 100% of the chlorine because it's still necessary to sanitize the water, but the water is a lot gentler on your skin.

Pros of Saltwater Pools

  • Fewer harsh chemicals
  • Lower maintenance
  • More affordable to maintain
  • More gentle on pool materials

Cons of Saltwater Pools

  • Higher upfront costs

Inground Swimming Pool

Inground pools are the perfect way to liven up your backyard space. They can seem a little intimidating to install, but with the help of our expert team, it's a breeze. These pools are incredibly versatile in terms of size, shape, material, and aesthetic. There really are in-ground pools for every family, lifestyle, and vision.

Another huge benefit of choosing to go with an inground pool is that you can install an amazing number of water features. Water fountains, waterfalls, hot tubs, tanning ledges, etc... you name it.

Pros of Inground Pools

  • Appearance
  • Size
  • Shape
  • Water features
  • Longevity
  • Resale value

Cons of Inground Pools

  • Upfront cost
  • Space requirements


Above Ground

Above ground swimming pools usually range from four to six feet deep and twelve to thirty feet in diameter. They're fairly inexpensive and creatively easy to assemble and install. In today's market, some higher-end pool setups can include luxuries such as decking, railing, and even heating. And it's always nice when, should you decide to move, you can pack up your pool and take it with you.

However, we don't see the above ground version of your pool as the best option. In our opinion, the pros aren't worth the cons. Here's what we mean:

Pros of Above Ground Pools

  • 1-day installation
  • Can be relocated
  • Low upfront cost

Cons of Above Ground Pools

  • Does not allow most water features
  • Likely won't last more than 15 years when properly maintained
  • the vinyl liner is exposed to the elements risking holes and tears
  • Limited size and shape options
  • Lowers property value
  • Lack of aesthetic appeal



Natural swimming pools are on the rise in popularity because they require no chemicals to maintain. Instead, they benefit from perennial plants and water flora which purify the water for you!

How does it work, you ask? Well, natural pools rely on filters and moving water to do all the hard work. Biological filters, such as natural shale, absorb phosphates and promote the growth of healthy bacteria that easy algae and "bad" bacteria. Plants are also located adjacent to the swimming area. These plants act as natural filters. Additionally, these swimming areas are constructed with a membrane-like pool wall that protects against the soil and silt.

Pros of Natural Pools

  • Does not use chemicals
  • Lower maintenance cost
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Does not irritate skin or eyes
  • Does not upset natural landscape

Cons of Natural Pools

  • Twice the cost of a gunite pool
  • Bigger space requirements
  • If not properly designed or built the pool will not work correctly



Lap pools are long, narrow, and rectangular. They're usually installed in the ground, but above ground is also an option. As the name implies, lap pools are designed for swimming laps. They're typically about 40 feet long, sometimes reaching up to 75 feet. Their width ranges from six to ten feet.

Pros of Lap Pools

  • Works in a narrow or shallow backyard
  • Perfect for serious lap swimmers
  • Can be installed in concrete, vinyl, or acrylic sheet
  • Can be customized with heat or a resistance current

Cons of Lap Pools

  • Length may be limited by yard size or materials
  • Less versatile for family fun and relaxing
  • Little to no cost savings compared to a traditional in-ground pool
  • Will require a gate or fencing like a regular pool, depending on local regulations


These pools are also known as zero-edge pools or rimless pools. They're designed to give the illusion of a vanishing edge. so that the water appears to go beyond the edge and spread into infinity. These pools are often built with open skies behind them, completing the look.

Pros of Infinity Pools

  • Aesthetics
  • Versatile
  • Incredible views
  • Increased property value

Cons of Infinity Pools

  • High upfront cost
  • More maintenance than other pools


An architectural pool is usually built at the same time as the rest of the home and is designed by an architect. The goal of these pools is to complement the home using several of the same materials, designs, and aesthetic considerations as were used to create the home itself.

Pros of Architectural Pools

  • Adds value to your home
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Attractive to buyers

Cons of Architectural Pools

  • Large upfront cost
  • It can be hard to prioritize this kind of pool during your house build

How Do You Choose the Best Type of Swimming Pool for You?

Weighing the pros and cons of each pool type is going to be crucial for you s a homeowner. Since no one pool is going to fit every need, you have to prioritize what's most important to you and your family. It's best to consult an expert on what your yard can handle, what would look best with your home, and what will best suit your lifestyle.

What Materials Are Used to Make Swimming Pools?

Pools are made out of several different kids of materials used for outdoor pools. Let's cover the most common ones:

Concrete Pool

Concrete pools last the longest by far. They endure weather, use, and even neglect well. A properly maintained concrete pool will last you a lifetime. They're also beautiful and adapt to every size and shape you could dream up.

Vinyl Pool

Vinyl liners, while popular, are fairly fragile. They don't hold up to abuse well and they need to be replaced regularly.

Fiberglass Pool

Fibreglass pools are among the most expensive materials. They are fairly strong, but they have their own issues, such as mismatched repairs on some colored gel coats, spider cracks in the gel coat, pool walls bulging, fading and discoloration, leaks from plumbing settlement.

 What is Best: Above Ground Pool vs In Ground Pool

Ultimately, it is a matter of preference. What's most important to you? Are the risks of an above ground pool worth the lower initial cost? Is the durability and safety of an inground pool worth the higher upfront cost?

We know that there's nothing that can compare to inground pools in terms of longevity and getting the most for your money. It's why we've dedicated our entire business to getting you the pool you want and deserve.

Why Should You Choose Us?

There isn't a price tag on family bonding time, but that doesn't mean there isn't one on pools. This is why DIY Pools and Spas focuses on making sure every person is able to have a stunning, high-quality pool in their backyard. We believe that every family deserves this chance. When you work with us, we will save you $20,000 compared to other pool companies.

To us, pools are so much more than concrete structures with some water dumped inside. They're a chance to bond with the people nearest you, deepen those relationships, and make memories that will last.

Learn more about our wholesale pool program here: