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Beautiful backyard landscape with a semi-inground pool.

How a Semi-Inground Pool is the Perfect Fit for Your Backyard

A pool is a great item to add to your outdoor space. It can increase your property’s value, add a focal point to your outdoor space, and allow you to make the most of summer. Not many homeowners realize that they have three style options to choose from when it comes to pools. These styles are as follows: the ingound pool, the aboveground pool, and the semi-inground pool. A semi-inground pool is only partly buried in the ground, and is an option not many consider when deciding on a pool for their yard. Here are some top considerations that may make a semi-inground pool the right choice for you:


The biggest factor in any home renovation or improvement project is budget. Having an inground pool installed in Ottawa is normally in the range of $35,000 to $50,000, depending on the size and design of the pool. How much does a semi above ground pool cost? A semi-inground pool is much more affordable, with the average price ranging from $16,000 to $22,000. One of the main reasons the inground pool costs more is because more concrete is required. A semi-inground pool comfortably fits in your budget so you have room for other improvements to your yard, such as building a deck or installing beautiful patio stones around the pool area.


When it comes to the design of your pool, you have a lot more flexibility when you choose one that is semi-inground. This pool style is available in all the same shapes and sizes as an inground pool, and it also offers you more options for the pool’s location and surrounding design. Some accessories you can install in your semi-inground pool include underwater lighting, pattered liners, steps or ladders, a progression floor, and much more!

There are more restrictions with the area surrounding an inground pool because of the walkway space required for around the pool’s edge. Installing a semi-inground gives you more freedom in creating a space that matches your design style!

Saltwater vs Chlorine Pools

This is an important design feature to consider when choosing inground or semi inground swimming pools in Ottawa. Some pool owners prefer saltwater pools since there are no harsh chemicals that could irritate your skin and eyes or damage your hair and swimwear. These systems are also more cost-effective over time since you won’t need to buy chlorine.

The salt cell generates chlorine to sanitize the pool water, but the chlorine levels are low enough so they won’t smell or irritate swimmers. However, because salt corrodes steel over time, saltwater systems are only used in polymer pools with the appropriate equipment.


You also have the option of adjusting the height of your semi-inground pool to meet with your patio or deck in your backyard—something that cannot be done with a pool that is fully inground. If your yard is sloped, a semi-inground pool can be easily installed without building a retaining wall or changing the grading of your yard. Retaining walls are often needed for ingound pools and significantly increase the cost of installation.

Construction Timeline Tips

Whether you choose to start building your new semi inground pool this spring or next fall, here’s what to expect during different seasons in Ottawa.

Keep in mind that you may need extra time to receive a building permit for your new pool. This could take two to four weeks, and your pool builders won’t be able to start working until they have the permit in hand.

According to the City of Ottawa bylaws, if you plan to install a pool that has a depth of 24 inches or more, you must:

  • Get a pool enclosure permit before you can start construction;
  • Install a fence with a minimum height of five feet; and,
  • Install a self-locking gate on the fence for safety.


You should start looking for pool companies in early spring. Spring is the beginning of the pool-building season, so you will want to book your pool installation before the builders are all booked up. Also, the earlier you start construction on your new pool, the earlier it will be ready to use.


Ottawa’s hot and humid summers make people desperate for a pool to cool off in. This is why summer is the busiest pool-building season.

If you haven’t booked your inground pool installation by summer, you may have to wait until fall because most pool builders will already be booked up for the summer months.


If you missed the summer rush for building inground swimming pools in Ottawa, the fall is the next best time. Pool builders will have more flexible schedules and you won’t feel rushed to have your pool completed by a specific date. Best of all, your pool will be ready to use come spring, so you will beat the rush next year. Additionally, if you want to add a spa or hot tub installation while you’re at it, you can enjoy this added luxury all fall and winter.


Although the cold Ottawa temperatures make it nearly impossible to excavate the ground and install inground and semi inground pools in winter, this is a good time to plan for your spring pool installation.

The winter is a slow time for pool builders, so you can take your time working with them to design your new pool instead of rushing to complete the project during the hot weather. It’s also easier to obtain building permits during the off-season, so you can have everything planned and ready to go come spring.

If you are planning on installing a pool in your yard, make sure you consider all your option, including the semi-inground pool. Remember that inground pools come at a higher price and may not suit your backyard. Once you have your new pool, we are sure you will enjoy splashing the summers away in your new pool!