Did you know there are over 10 million residential swimming pools in the United States?

At first glance, that number seems too high. When you think about it, though, it makes sense: pools are the perfect yard upgrade. It can serve as a training area, a family fun zone, or a relaxing retreat.

If you’re planning on adding a pool to your yard, it’s worth doing some research. Swimming pools come in many styles, and the one you choose will determine the cost, installation process, and resale value.

Ready to get started? Here are the main types of swimming pools and why they may be the right choice for you.

Above-Ground sPools

When it comes to affordable swimming pools, the above-ground options reign supreme. On top of the low upfront cost, they’re also easy to install.

These pools sit on the surface of a yard, often with a patio or deck around them. With the entry point high off the ground, there’s not much risk of falling in. Still, children shouldn’t be around any pool unsupervised.

Above-ground pools come in many designs and materials, including resin and aluminum. They may also include built-in features like jet sprays or lights. Some pools are temporary structures, so you can take them with you.

The biggest downside of above-ground pools is that they’re not as pleasing aesthetically. Due to their design, it’s hard to disguise them in a landscape. They also don’t last as long as other types of pools.

In-Ground Pools

In-ground pools are permanent fixtures built into the landscape. They’re very common, most houses for sale with pool include in-ground pools.

In-ground pools come in three materials: concrete, vinyl, and fiberglass. Concrete pools last the longest, but they’re the most difficult to maintain. The installation takes 3-6 months, but you can build it to any specifications.

Vinyl pools also come in many sizes and shapes while having the lowest installation cost. That said, the vinyl liner is thin and easily damaged. As a general rule, you’ll need to replace it every five to ten years.

A fiberglass pool combines the highest upfront cost with the lowest maintenance cost. They’re quick to install, but you can’t choose the shape. Also, fiberglass pools can’t be wider than 16 feet.

All three types of in-ground pools are reasonably durable and add resale value. Still, each material has some drawbacks, and they all need some routine maintenance.

Architectural Pools

As the name implies, architectural pools are designed by architects. Though they’re stunning to look at, they’re also very expensive.

Ideally, an architectural pool should complement the design of the house. Swimming pool builders incorporate the same materials, creating a cohesive look. This is why these pools are often built at the same time as the house.

Due to the sophistication of the process, these pools take a long time to install. The process can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. That said, there’s no better way to add resale value to a home!

Lap Pools

A lap pool has a specific purpose: swimming laps. This makes them a poor option for families, but a perfect one for swimmers looking to exercise.

Lap pools are always rectangular and they’re usually 30-70 feet long. Unlike most pools, they don’t have a shallow end. Instead, they’re deep throughout, allowing swimmers to make turns on both ends of the pool.

These pools have both above-ground and in-ground versions. Above-ground lap pools are cheaper, but most still cost tens of thousands of dollars. On the other hand, lap pools have lower maintenance costs than other pools.

Natural Pools

Contrary to popular opinion, a natural pool isn’t a pond. It’s simply a greener alternative to traditional chlorinated pools.

Natural pools have an area for swimming and an area for regeneration. The latter zone is shallow and filled with aquatic plants. The water from the swimming area gets naturally cleaned in the regeneration zone.

The two-zone system means that natural pools take up a lot of space. Most pools of this type also include other landscaping. As a result, a natural pool takes a while to install and has a high upfront cost.

Infinity Pools

Looking for the best swimming pools to post on your Instagram? If so, look no further than the majestic-looking infinity pools.

An infinity pool creates the illusion that the water flows over one of the edges. That way, the pool appears to merge with a larger body of water. This type of pool is also known as a zero-edge or infinity-edge pool.

Experts estimate that the illusion of infinity adds about 30% to the cost of the pool. This makes infinity pools an expensive luxury. You’re more likely to see them in a commercial establishment than somebody’s yard.

Specialty Pools

These pools aren’t quite as popular as the ones above, but they’re still worth noting. Specialty pools include spools, plunge pools, and saltwater pools.

A “spool” is a combination of the words “spa” and “pool.” These pools are small, cheap, and generally meant for lounging rather than swimming. They can include some hot tub features as well.