The Top Boulder Pool Designers Explains: What Is An In-Ground Pool?

Thinking about getting a pool for your Boulder backyard? Pools are a great way to create an oasis for yourself and your loved ones, and they’re also an excellent way to entertain guests. But what type of pool should you choose? Here at Mountain Sky Landscaping & Pools, we specialize in custom pool installation and any landscaping and hardscaping services you need to really bring your space to life. Learn more about in-ground pools from our Boulder pool designers, and if you’d like to talk about your vision, schedule a consultation today!

In-Ground Pool Basics

If you’re ready to take the plunge into pool ownership, it can be helpful to know a few things about in-ground pools. For starters, what exactly are they? The term “in-ground pool” is simply a pool built into the ground, but that can look like a lot of different things! A great part of in-ground pools is how you’re able to customize them, and we’re going to dive into the nuances of in-ground pools vs. above-ground pools.


Above-Ground Pools

When considering your pool options, it’s helpful to understand the differences between an above-ground pool and an in-ground pool. An above-ground pool is exactly what it sounds like: a pool that is built vertically on top of the ground, typically using steel or vinyl pool walls to keep the water inside. Above-ground pool installation is a great way for homeowners to get pool ownership started without spending too much money.

Above-ground pools are very easy to install, but there are also several downsides that accompany them. Above-ground pools are not nearly as durable or long-lasting as in-ground pools, and they require more upkeep than an in-ground pool. Because they’re built vertically, pool walls wear down and pool liners can tear more easily than an in-ground pool liner that is installed flush with the ground. Above-ground pools are also much less energy efficient than in-ground pools, which means pool heating will be a larger expense.


Benefits of In-Ground Pools

An in-ground pool, on the other hand, is created by digging a pool hole and lining it with pool walls that are usually made of fiberglass or concrete. Because the pool walls are installed flush with the ground, they’re much sturdier and less likely to tear pool liners. In-ground pool designs usually have pool features — like ladders and skimmers — built into the pool walls rather than being attached separately, making it a much more customizable pool experience. In addition to being more energy-efficient, in-ground pools are a great choice for a homeowner who wants something that lasts a long time.

Types of In-Ground Pools

There are a variety of pool types built into the ground, and pool builders will help you choose the right pool type for you!


Concrete Pools

A concrete pool is made from a pool liner that is installed flush with the ground, and it’s covered in a pool shell (also called “gunite”) made of concrete. Many pool builders will pour the pool shell directly on the pool liner, which is a more economical option for pool owners. Concrete pools are usually very durable and can last up to two decades with proper pool maintenance, but they do require pool resurfacing every few years in order to keep them looking beautiful.


Gunite Pools

Gunite pool shells are made of a pool liner that is spray-constructed with pool plaster. This pool type requires pool resurfacing every few years, but it’s one of the most durable pool types available. The gunite pool shell can take on an almost infinite number of shapes and sizes to design your ideal pool.


Fiberglass Pools

Fiberglass pool walls are made from pool liner that is spray-constructed with fiberglass, making them very strong pool types. Like gunite pool shells, a fiberglass pool requires pool resurfacing every few years to maintain its high quality, but it’s one of the most durable pool types available.

Feeling overwhelmed by your options? Don’t worry, our team of expert pool designers will help you through every step of the process, ensuring that you get exactly what you want!

Additional Pool Features

When you choose an in-ground pool, you have a ton of customizable options that simply aren't possible with an above-ground pool! Here are a few things you can add to your custom pool.


Pool Lights

A pool light is a great addition to your pool, especially if you want to swim at night. Pool lights come in different shapes and sizes, and we can help you determine what would look best in your pool.



While pool waterfalls may seem like a luxury, they add an element of beauty and relaxation to any pool. A waterfall at the edge of your pool is often used as a pool fountain, but it can even be built into the pool wall itself!


Tile Design

Custom pool tile can become a huge focal point of your pool. Tile pool design is all about the aquatic theme you want to set, and we can help you decide what would look best for your pool!


Slides or Diving Boards

Adding a pool slide adds a fun extra to your pool, while diving boards add a pool dimension for pool parties. We can help you decide which would look best in your pool, and install it securely!

We also provide hardscaping and landscaping to really bring your pool to life!

Let Our Boulder Pool Designers Create Your Backyard Oasis!

Ready to create the backyard oasis of your dreams? The team at Mountain Sky Landscaping is here to make your vision a reality! Contact our expert Boulder pool designers today to get started.