Semi Inground Pools

We sell the three of the absolute best semi-inground swimming pools on the planet. What most people don’t know, is That tow of these pools can go completely inground too. We sell the Aquasport 52 and the Fox Ultimate Pool, and the Admirals Walk.

Semi -inground Admiral's Walk pool
Semi-inground Admiral’s Walk Pool

A good semi inground pool will last as long as an inground-pool. Also a good kit will run you $4k-$15k plus installation and excavation fees. Not to mention water and electrical service or permits.

All Packages & Pricing | Full Pool Review

Fox Ultimate pool installed inground
Fox Ultimate Pool with Step

This is a video I did back in 2018 that compares a few semi inground pools including the Radiant Pool/Optimum Pools

I’ve been selling pools and installing them a long time. I now have some installers I’ve taught, and they are now even better than me.

Call or text today for a local installation quote: (978) 710-8667

There are a few swimming pools that are perfect for installing partially in-ground. In fact, two out of the three I recommend are used as “inground pools”.

Mike MGK Pools installing 17x32 aquasport 52
Me installing 17×32 back in 2016

The image above: Is a sweaty amateur selfie of me getting ready to back-fill a 17x32x52 Aquasport 52 installed semi-inground pool

I could have easily dug a little deeper and installed this Aquasport 52 pool completely as an inground.

To install this pool completely inground you only need a couple different wall panels, an inground skimmer, and an inground pump which are now all available in a package. Build a Custom Package

Semi Inground Pool Models

Aquasport 52 fully inground
Aquasport 52 installed fully inground

These are the most popular semi-inground models. At one time I sold them all, but now I only sell and install the Aquasport 52, Admirals Walk and the Fox Ultimate. I only install in Massachusetts and Neighboring States. I do however ship my pools all over the country.

  • Aquasport Pools
  • Admiral’s Walk
  • Fox Ultimate
  • Radiant Pools
  • Wilbar Pools

Aquasport Pools

The Aquasport 52 (Brochure) model is not only one of the best semi inground pools, but, you can Install it: inground, semi-inground, or in sloping backyards too. Constructed of the thickest interlocking extruded aluminum panels. The Aquasport 52 has won awards for its innovative design.

Manufactured by an American company with real character Aquasport Pools LLC / Buster Crabbe.

The Admirals Walk

Admiral's Walk Semi Inground
Admirals Walk buried four foot inground – Some backfill and landscaping work left to do here for sure.

The Admirals walk is generally thought of as an on ground pool, but you can bury this pool with no concerns. We don’t recommend going this deep in the ground if your yard is not fenced in. At this depth the fence is to easy to climb.

This is a great pool to put into the ground a foot or two. The deck and fence add such great value and having it in the ground a couple feet, makes you less visible to your neighbors. There’s always one creepy neighbor.

Fox Ultimate Pool

Fox Ultimate Semi-inground pool
Semi inground completely inground

The Fox Ultimate even has an inground / in-wall step available. Made of American Galvanized Steel right in Pennsylvania and then powder coated for ultimate anti-corrosion. This is the only pool made of metal I feel comfortable recommending a salt system with it. Brochure Page

Radiant Pools

Radiant Pool Review - Pool Damage 3
Damaged Radiant do to ice. Water expands when it freezes.

I would not install this pool in areas of the country where lakes and ponds freeze over during the winter. The reason is obvious in this picture.

Radiant pools are attractive and are one of only three Above ground swimming pool models that can be installed entirely inground, or semi inground. So they must be included in an article like this one. However, their design has been knocked off by a more significant manufacturer (Wilbar). Wilbar calls it the Optimum and a few other names.

The new Optimum is the product of over five years of development, and while you would be hard pressed to see the difference. The new Optimum is a more environmentally friendly design, making it a better pool than the Radiant in my opinion.

The Radiant Pool is the only pool with a built in wall step like an inground pool. Nice feature, but cost an extra 3k for the step, added installation, and delivery. Also, it makes changing the pool liner tougher and more expensive.

SIDE NOTE: Aquasport Pools used to sell the same step (neither company manufactures the step). But they got away from it due to leaks and failures from poor installations.

Wilbar Pools Maker Of the Optimum & Oasis/Intrepid Semi-Inground Pool Models

Mentioned earlier, Wibar manufactures the Optimum, but they also make a pool called the Oasis/Intrepid. The Oasis/Intrepid models are a semi inground pool with a maximum installation depth of 36 inches. The other pools can go fully inground.

Oasis/Intrepid Pool – Semi-Inground Pool

The Oasis is an excellent pool, and it has a solid pool wall. Certainly better than any rolled wall (1 piece coil) pool. The Oasis is made of good aluminum panels that lock into each other like the Aquasport 52, just slightly wider panels. The Oasis ranks as my number three pick for semi inground pools in states with cold winters.

The wall is thinner than the Aquasport 52, and the hardware is tiny sheet metal screws compared to hardware as fat as your index finger for the Aquasport 52. The cost is about as much, but if the Aquasport 52 didn’t exist I would buy the Fox and then the Intrepid next for partial inground installations.

Optimum Pools – Wilbar Pool

Optimum Pools have an insulated pool wall like the Radiant. The Optimum uses nontoxic environmentally friendly adhesives to adhere their aluminum alloy acrylic coated skins. The Expanded Polystyrene foam core has an R-value as high as 10. The R-value supposedly helps to maintain water temps 5-10 degrees warmer than standard above ground pools, but would you insulate a house with no roof? I think it is more of a marketing ploy.

These are sturdy swimming pools like the Radiant, but recommend installing in frost-free geographic locations. Also not a good idea to install in areas with acidic soil. The aluminum skins are thin and prone to oxidizing quickly.

Semi Inground Pools Ideas

There are a lot of reasons to go with a semi above ground pool. Pools that are usually marketed as above ground pools, but are capable of being partially, or wholly installed inground. These are some reasons below.

Semi Inground Pool Deck Options

Decks cost less, as they do not require as much material for framing. Meaning it’s cheaper to build a pool-deck for a wall height of 27 inches, than a wall height of 52 inches.

If you install your pool entirely in the ground, you can pour a cement patio like an inground pool, or make one out of patio pavers.

We have an Aquasport Pools dealer on Long Island NY that installs 60 of these a year completely inground with patio pavers.

Patio Paver on the one side that gets the most sunshine.

Also, you get more privacy with a shorter deck, as you are not up on a stage for display to your neighbors as with a 52-inch high swimming pool completely on ground.


Most local and state code requires a 4-foot barrier to entry. Fenced in yards may need to install alarms on doors that lead to the backyard to meet building code. Yards without fences in or only partially fenced, will either have to fence in the yard, or install a fence around the pool.

The budget-friendly option is of course to just fence in the pool. Some people who have their entire yard fenced in will also install a fence around the swimming pool, for extra safety.

We had just our pool fenced in, and made a rule after a close call… Anyone who can’t swim has to wear a flotation device when inside the pool-fence (even with adult supervision).

Landscaping and Design

Hardscape Options

Your design options are endless with a semi inground pool. You can go with a deck all the way around, you can install decking just on one side and landscape the back of the pool with flowers, or rocks, you can build a waterfall or even plant grass.

A real popular option lately, are deck jets. Just a couple jets that shoot water up like a water fountain, and land in the pool. When the pool is not in use, you have a backyard water feature. For the more adventurous, and those with slightly deeper pockets, you can make the shooting water light up with different colors. There is nothing like a lit up pool in the backyard at night, with a couple lit up streams of water arching into the pool.

Semi Inground Pool Cost

It may surprise you to find out the Aquasport 52 is the least expensive of all these models, even the Oasis. This is because the manufacturer of the Aquasport 52 is a great company focused on providing value.

When you compare the pricing to even the smallest inground pool, you find savings of over 70%. But you can install the Aquasport 52 just like an inground. Add pool light, heaters, whatever you can imagine.

The Aquasport 52 17×32 inground pool package costs just $9084.00. Add installation, excavation, set-up, and plumbing and you’re looking at just $17,506.45 all in. This includes the pool, pool liner and skimmer. The Filter, pool pump, plumbing, the whole kit add $1500. Water and electrician are also extra, well and landscaping and patio/decking.

Final Thoughts

I am fortunate to have access to all these models, and you will find them for sale in my online pool store. I Initially only started selling pools to facilitate getting installation work (almost 5k on a 17x32x52 semi / full inground installation).

More Pictures Of Aquasport 52’s

semi-inground pool package
Pool with patio stones
semi inground with wood deck
swimming pool
pool with deck
18' above ground pool - Aquasport 52
DIY customer installed it themselves
Round Aquasport 52 above ground pool