How to Make an Above Ground Pool Look In-Ground?

One of the most significant purchases I have during these recent years is the Above Ground Pool. We didn’t have a Swimming Pool in our Backyard Since we built the house and we desperately needed one. We were tired of going to the public swimming pool, which is usually very crowded. Since we bought the Above Ground Swimming Pool, we really like it; however, there is one thing which we didn’t like is the actual design of the swimming pool. It didn’t look great at all and wasn’t eye-pleasing at all. That’s where we thought of making this Above Ground Pool – Inground and give it a more natural look.

So, are you someone who is going through the same situation? Then don’t worry as we have done all the research. We know how difficult it is to figure out the right way to do it and thus we are here with this fantastic article which will guide you through the basics. We have personally tested these out, and honestly, these are the most effective ones. So, in this article, let us guide you through the four most effective ways to make your above ground pool look in-ground. These methods will save you a lot of bucks and also maintain the aesthetics of an in-ground pool. 

In-Ground Vs Above Ground, which one looks better?

The traditional in-ground pool is always the first choice of choosing a swimming pool with the best appearance. It is far more attractive than above ground pools. The in-ground pool feels like a natural water body such as an ocean, pond or river. The Above Ground Pool also comes in a variety of different designs ranging from Wood to Concrete and you can have tons of variations in it. This type of pool doesn’t look natural at all and feels like a giant bathtub instead. It also doesn’t mean that you cannot make it look attractive, functional exterior design and the right choice of the landscape can make it look even more beautiful than an in-ground pool.

Here are Some Chosen Ways to Make it Look In-Ground

So, below you will find some of the proven ways to make your Swimming Pool alternative look inground. As said before, we have personally tried some of these before, and you can choose one depending upon the design of your home and garden. Some methods will work correctly for you, while some may not work at all. Do let us know which one you tried and what are the end results.

So, let’s begin. 

Burying the Pool

The first method is to bury the above ground pool in the ground to make it look in-ground. It is also one of the most natural methods, and you can choose to bury the pool entirely or partially depending upon your need. You can also match the level of the pool with other garden features like the Patio. On that note, we recommend you to Partially bury the pool as it makes it a little safer. This is mainly because the loose soil in the ground may cause the structure of the pool to collapse as the circular design of the pool exerts more pressure towards the outwards. When you partially sink the pool and avoid completely burying it inside the soil will prevent half of the exterior from coming in contact with the soil. Although it is a great idea to bury the pool inside, but the contact of soil will marginally reduce the lifespan of the body of the pool, so keep these things in mind.

Surrounding the Pool with Decking

If you feel like burying the pool inside the soil is not a safer option as in most cases it definitely isn’t. You can try out the next option, which is surrounding the pool with a deck. In this way, you will have all the benefits of an in-ground pool as well as it maintains the aesthetics of the above ground pool. You can choose to have a deck with Wood which comes in a lot of variety however keep in mind that the decking will eventually add up to the overall cost of your Above Ground Pool but still, it will be a lot cheaper than building the In-Ground Swimming Pool. Timber and Japanese Wood are some of the common choices when it comes to the wooden desk, and they can also provide a place to relax, maybe add a lounge or a barbeque space and have food together while the children enjoy their time in the pool.

Surrounding the Pool with Hardscaping

Moving on, the next best method is to surround the Pool with Hardscaping. It is basically decking the pool, but instead of Woods, we are going to use Concrete Platform. This is also one of the expensive ways to make your above ground pool look In-Ground. However, you can save some bucks in case your Patio is already high in height to that of the above-ground pool, and you can simply encase your pool entirely or partially. You must also consider your pool’s exterior design and get something similar to it. Usually, White Stone Veneer is one of the common choices people go for. Although keeping in mind that Building the hardscaping will eventually add up to the overall cost of the swimming pool and it can be costly depending upon the design, you are going for. Still, at the same time, it acts as an access platform and contributes to the pool’s safety. 


The last option we have on our list is to take help from nature. You can use Bushes to make the surrounding of your pool look good. Although it is not a perfect solution and we are using the illusion to make the above ground pool look inground. You can add evergreen bushes like moonlight broom, and you can let them grow to their maximum height or just let them grow to your pool’s height. Let them grow slowly and trim them when necessary.

Wrapping Up

Making an Above Ground Pool look inground is very easy and also doesn’t require a lot of hard work. You just need to follow some basic instructions and get it done quickly. It can also act as a DIY project, or you can take some help and get it done professionally.

Decking the Pool or Hardscaping is some of our favourite methods, although they require you to spend a decent amount of money, the result is fantastic. 

Erica Puisis
Erica Puisis holds a Master’s in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, specializing in outdoor structures and recreational spaces. Since joining our website as a platform in 2020, Erica has provided insights into above-ground pool selection, installation tips, and maintenance practices. Her background includes roles in civil project management and as a freelance outdoor living consultant. Erica is a keen swimmer in her leisure time and participates in community environmental initiatives.

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