The Latest Trends in Semi Inground Pool Designs

Semi-inground pools can grab people’s attention like almost no other pool design. You’ve probably thought about the benefits of both in-ground and above-ground pools. But semi-inground pools are both visually distinct and offer the best of both worlds. However, those unique benefits also come with some important issues to consider. And you’re about to learn everything you need to know in order to decide whether this intriguing design is right for you.

What Is a Semi-Inground Pool?

A semi-inground pool can be best thought of as a pool that begins under the ground’s surface and continues on for at least a few feet above it. In short, a semi-inground pool is exactly as the name describes. It’s a pool that is partially in and above the ground.

large backyard with a pool with a stone garden all over the property
For properties with a natural slope a semi inground pool can allow for a unique design while saving money on decking.

Why Do Semi-Inground Pools Exist?

The concept of a semi-inground pool might seem a little odd at first. People unfamiliar with them often wonder what the appeal might be over a standard in-ground or above-ground pool. But there are many different reasons to build a semi-inground pool.

Some of the most important comes down to geology and geography. For example, your property might have uneven ground or lots of sloped areas. The amount of work needed to fully level out your property for a pool can be challenging in terms of both time and money. But you can build a semi-inground pool on sloped ground by incorporating retaining walls. And by doing so you can create a more unified and visually appealing whole that really works with your land’s aesthetic.

A semi-inground pool is also a solution for property owners dealing with high water tables. Ironically, underground water can do a lot of damage to an in-ground pool. A high water table, meaning water that collects close to the ground’s surface, can exert considerable pressure on an in-ground pool as the water moves around throughout the year. A high water table typically prevents the construction of in-ground pools. But you can simply construct a semi-inground pool to sit safely above a high water table.

Of course, the benefits of a semi-inground pool extend beyond geological constraints. For example, semi-inground pools are easily extended with fountains or other ornaments. And you can even work them into your deck. In general, they’re a fantastic option for people who want to let their creativity shine.

rectangular semi inground pool with a small deck and pergola 
A major benefit is the reduction in the amount of earthworks needed to install the pool.

Differences between Semi-inground, In-ground, and Above-ground Pools

A semi-inground pool can be easily mistaken for an above-ground pool. After all, both pool types have walls extending out of the ground. But the main difference between the two designs is that an above-ground pool is constructed entirely above the ground. A semi-inground pool begins underground and continues above ground. The distinction is most easily seen in the pool’s walls. An above-ground pool typically has fairly thin walls, while a semi-inground pool usually has walls thick enough to sit on. And of course, a fully in-ground pool doesn’t extend above ground level at all.

Benefits of a Semi In-Ground Pool

You’ve seen a few important benefits so far. But you might be surprised by some of the less obvious elements of a semi-inground pool. While there are a lot of great things about this design, the following are among their most important but subtle elements.

Allow for an Unobtrusive Pool in a Situation Where a Fully In-Ground Pool Isn’t Possible

Semi-inground pools are typically less intrusive than above-ground pools because they’re partially below ground. This makes it an especially attractive option for people who want to keep their pool reasonably unobtrusive. Likewise, it’s a good match for people who can’t have an in-ground pool but still want a fairly subtle aesthetic.

Generally Cheaper Than an In-Ground Pool

Above-ground designs are typically the least expensive option for a pool. But a semi-inground design is a close second. You’ll be able to keep the overall cost of your pool down by going with a semi-inground option.

Infinity Edge

Semi-inground pools let you take pool design in some truly amazing directions. And infinity edge designs are one of the best examples of what you can do with semi-inground pools. Infinity edge designs use a semi-inground pool’s edge to create an illusion of infinite, watery, expanses. This is an especially effective illusion if you can incorporate the edge of a pool into a natural slope on your property. It’s like having the visual appeal of a huge lake in your own backyard.

stone swimming pool with an infinity edge and adjorning spa pool
Having a semi inground pool allows for an infinity edge which are usually not an option on a flat property.

Water’s Edge Bar

A water’s edge bar is your own semi-aquatic bar right on the edge of a semi-inground pool. The pool’s positioning makes it easy to incorporate bar areas or other furnishings onto its edge. This can be a full deck or a more intimate bar area. Despite the name, you can work a water’s edge bar area into almost anything you’d like. Basically, if there’s an activity that benefits from a countertop then it can be mimicked with this design element.

Pool Walls Can Become Feature Walls

A feature wall refers to anything which turns the wall of a semi-inground pool into a functional element. For example, the previously mentioned infinity edge design leverages a wall to create the illusion of infinite space. But the term is more often used to refer to something you’ll be physically interacting with on a regular basis. For example, by adding shelves that could hold decorations, pool toys, etc.

Living Space at Water Level

The semi-inground positioning and solid construction mean that it’s easy to incorporate the pool into your life. For example, unlike above-ground pools, the semi-inground style has firm walls that you could sit on while enjoying the sight of your pool.

stone swimming pool with raised edges and seating next to the pool's wall
Allows for a living space to go right up to the pool’s edge with the water at waist height or eyeline level when sitting.

Types of Semi-Inground Pools

There are endless different customization options for semi-inground pools. But in general, you can narrow their specific types down to a couple of options. Each puts emphasis on one of the two elements of a semi-inground pool.

Above-Ground Semi-Buried

An above-ground semi-buried pool puts an emphasis on having water above the ground level. You’ll still have the niceties of a semi-inground pool, such as thicker pool walls. And the above-ground portion of the pool will still be relatively small when compared to an above-ground pool.

Inground Semi-Exposed

An in-ground semi-exposed pool is essentially the flipside of an above-ground semi-buried pool. This style of semi-inground pool puts an emphasis on the in-ground part of the equation. The main difference between these two styles essentially comes down to how high the pool walls will extend above the ground.

Deciding on a Semi-Inground Pool

There are a lot of different reasons to go with a semi-inground pool. The style works well with different terrain and provides you with a number of options for customization. But the biggest question is whether you found yourself nodding along with some of the ideas and coming up with your own ways to work with the design philosophy. If so, you may have found your perfect pool.

If you are researching pools and want to get your dream pool with all the features that you imagined of when you thought of having your very own pool, talk to us. At Viking Capital we can offer finance on your pool project to ensure you get exactly the pool you want, at a monthly rate that suits you.


At Viking Capital, we try to provide accurate information on loans, credit scores and pool care, but it may not apply directly to your individual situation. We are not financial advisors and we recommend you consult with a financial professional before making any serious financial decisions. The content on poolloan.net is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as professional financial advice. Should you need such advice, consult a licensed financial or tax advisor.

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