5 Cheap And Easy Backyard Pool Ideas On A Budget

backyard pool ideas on a budget intex above ground pool

This Article Was Last Updated on January 3, 2023

Lets face it, inground pools are expensive. Starting around $50,000 when everything is said and done, these are becoming more of a luxury by the day. With inground pool prices unlikely to go down, you need backyard pool ideas on a budget. This may come with some compromising, but rest assure that you can swim in your backyard without it costing a fortune.

Define Your Budget

Oftentimes, two people’s ideas of having a low budget differ a lot. For this article to help, it’s important to understand what your budget is going to be. Perhaps it’s a few hundred dollars, or a few thousand or tens of thousands. Either way, we have some backyard pool ideas that will satisfy your budget.

Backyard Pool Ideas On A Budget: DIY Above Ground Pool

Believe it or not, there is a way to have a pool centric backyard for just about every budget. After all, inground pools cost so much because they require lots of material (concrete) and labor (employee) expenses. When you start to take out the need to dig underground and pay large crews a salary, the price of a pool plummets.

However, ranging from only a few hundred dollars to a few hundred thousand dollars, you can find something that works for you. For those on the low end of the budget, there are DIY above ground pools. You save money by installing yourself and they’re much quicker to install than a gunite pool. These are available on Amazon and are relatively easy to put together.

4 DIY Above Ground Pools For Any Budget

Check With Your Municipality First

It’s worth noting to check with your municipality before putting together your pool. Believe it or not, you may need a permit even for a DIY above ground pool. Also, you’ll want to get an electrician to install a GFCI protected waterproof outlet. This is what you’ll plug your pool equipment into. Using an extension cord to power your pool equipment is not safe.

How To Prep Your Pool Spot

To prep the site for the pool, you’ll need to level an area of the backyard. Once you have it level, some people put down old carpet scraps to prevent roots or pebbles from poking the floor of the pool. Or, you can just use sand to make a level and smooth base to put the pool on. Once you have the pool area leveled out and smooth, you can put together you above ground pool.

Next, you’ll probably want some patio space near the pool. Level off the area you want to be a patio, create a 6” thick sand bed and tamp it down so it’s compacted. Also, don’t forget drainage. You’ll want to use a level to give your patio a 1-2% grade minimum so water doesn’t puddle. Once your sand bed is leveled and prepared for the pavers, install some plastic edging along your edge row and lay down some pavers.

Inground Backyard Pool Ideas On A Budget: Plunge Pool

If you’re willing to spend more than a few thousand dollars, you might consider a plunge pool. These are inground pools that are smaller than standard backyard pools and come pre-assembled. These pools will cost less than your basic $50,000 or more gunite pool. If you’re set on an inground pool, these are the least expensive option. Companies such as Plungie advertise these pools at starting less than $20,000 excluding delivery and installation.

plunge pool for backyard pool ideas on a budget
Courtesy of Austin Home Magazine

Bottom Line On Backyard Pool Ideas On A Budget

There you have it. A DIY above ground pool is the least expensive way to put together a small backyard pool project. Now there are other options other than DIY, but for the homeowner looking to do a small pool by themselves for a few hundred dollars, that’s what we would suggest. For a homeowner seeking the most affordable and minimal inground pool, we recommend a plunge pool. Whichever fits your budget for a backyard pool, we hope you enjoy many hot days in the cold water.