How many summers have you spent sitting in the sweltering heat, wishing that you could take a cool and refreshing dip in a swimming pool? You hear your neighbors next door enjoying theirs every day throughout the summer and are filled with envy. That's it, you've decided: you're going to build a pool!

One of the first considerations to make after deciding to have a pool built in your backyard is what type of swimming pool to build, as well as what the pros and cons are of each. We will explore each pool in kind.

ABOVE GROUND POOLS: Above ground pools are certainly quite popular, due to their lower cost and quick installation. However, above ground pools certainly do not last nearly as long as ground pools and many people find them generally unappealing to look at. To help an above ground pool look more attractive, you may want to consider building a deck around it. Also, do not think that because it is an above ground pool that it does not require construction; the land on which the pool is going to be placed needs to be leveled, and sand must be placed under the pool so that the plumbing may be held tight. Though you may be brazen enough to undertake the installation of an above ground pool yourself, save yourself the stress and hire a pool professional to be sure the job is done correctly.

IN-GROUND POOLS: There are three popular choices for an in-ground swimming pool, each of them offering their own benefits and drawbacks. The first that we will look at is the vinyl-lined pool. Vinyl-lined pools are the most popular, given that they are the least expensive of all of the in-ground swimming pools. They tend to have very similar construction as the above-ground pool; only it is sunken into the ground, making it generally more attractive on the property. The biggest inconvenience, however, is that every decade the vinyl needs to be completely replaced, meaning that the whole structure has to be changed. They are also known as being the most difficult of the in-ground pools to clean.

Poured concrete and gunite pools are growing in popularity, given that they are reliable and both offer many design options. Gunite is particularly great for those who have a unique design or structure in mind, as the rebar it is made from can be manipulated to suit any pool owners' needs. These pools also last for years on end, and do not require the lining to be changed every 10 years as the vinyl pool does.

Fiberglass pools are the last of the in-ground pools we will explore. These come in several sizes and shapes, as well as different colors. Though they are not as easily customized as gunite or poured concrete pools, they are still very attractive and last a long time.