Ever think about putting a pool in your backyard? It was something that my husband and I wanted to do for years. And don’t even get me started on the kids. If they so much as overheard us talking about it, they went crazy every time. And of course it was always a major letdown each time we told them we still didn’t think we could do it.
There are so many reasons why it’s a challenge to install a pool in the backyard. In most cases, it seems to boil down to one of the following two issues:
1-Either you have a concept which is going to look fantastic but totally break the bank,
2-You’ve come up with something you can afford, but it’s going to be a complete eyesore when you install it. Ugh—talk about buyer’s remorse.
And then there are a slew of logical problems involving plumbing and whatnot to contend with as well. It’s no wonder we got so discouraged. So if you’ve been wussing out of installing your own backyard pool, don’t fret—you’re hardly alone.
Lately though we’ve started thinking seriously about installing a backyard pool again, and it’s in large part because there are quite a few inspiring projects I’ve found online! So I have been pulling together this huge list, and I thought I’d share them with you.
A lot of these ideas are pragmatic and affordable … but I’ve thrown in a few which are quite opulent and a better fit for bigger budgets as well. Why? Well first of all, because they’re just cool. Secondly, they can still provide you with inspiration for lower budget projects.
Check out 38 brilliant backyard pool ideas that could transform your own backyard into a private Eden!
1. Surround Your Aboveground Pool with Beautiful Plants.
Aboveground pools are always more affordable than those built into the ground—but they also tend to be the most unsightly. Here is a pool which proves you don’t need to do anything fancy to make an aboveground pool look good. Even just adding a few plants around the perimeter can work wonders!
2. Build an Aboveground Pool Deck
One way you can really spruce up the appearance of an aboveground pool is to build a deck around the outside of it. This also can provide a place to sit around the edge or place pool toys, drinks, and so on. Check the link below for some instructions to get you started.
3. Build Your Own Private Tiki Bar
Here’s a genius idea! That is a pretty standard aboveground pool—on its own, it really would be an eyesore. But simply by fencing it in with some reeds and adding an umbrella and some barstools with a small countertop, it has been transformed into an adorable little slice of the tropics!
4. Make a Cute Sign
This is a continuation of the project above. This adorable sign is made from pallet boards, and helps to complete the look—and add some humor!
5. Build a Rock Step Entry
Here is another very cool way to help an aboveground pool to better meld into the surrounding landscape. Along with some plants, a set of steps has been constructed here out of rocks. It’s absolutely beautiful to look at!
6. Build a Swimming Pool Using Pallets
Who says you need to buy a regular aboveground pool? If you don’t like that look at all, no matter how well it is disguised, or you just want to do-it-yourself, consider building an aboveground pool from the ground up using wood pallets. The supplies are cheap and the finished design is gorgeous!
7. Use a Galvanized Steel Stock Tank
This backyard swimming pool is the perfect size for the kids to splash around in, and it is made out of a galvanized steel stock tank with some improvised plumbing. This is a very clever and affordable design, coming in at around $500 for the whole project.
8. Make a Pool Out of Pallets and a Tarp
Previously I shared a swimming pool made out of pallets. Now I want to share another wood pallet design. If you check out the source link, you can view a series of photos showing the steps as it all comes together.
9. Build the Pool Out of Hay Bales
You wouldn’t think that you could build a swimming pool out of something as simple as hay bales, but with a tarp, it can be done. This is probably one of the most cost-effective methods you could use, especially if you already had the hay bales handy.
10. Go Dumpster Diving.
This photo comes from a block party that was thrown in Philadelphia. If you search the web, you’ll find many other photos like it of other impromptu swimming pools made by filling dumpsters with water. These Philly locals got in some trouble since they used water from a fire hydrant—so whatever you do, don’t do that.
11. The Pool Box
This backyard swimming pool in New Orleans reportedly also began life as a trash container, but looking at it, you would never guess! It is absolutely beautiful to behold, and certainly is a far cry from most of the other dumpster pools you’ll see. Architect Stefan Beese really took this concept to new heights!
12. Build a Pretty Staircase
One way you can quickly spruce up the appearance of even the most mundane backyard pool is to incorporate a beautiful staircase. Not only is the staircase functional, but it vastly improves the appearance of the pool, and makes it feel more inviting.
13. Add a Pool Slide
More concerned with how fun your backyard pool is than how it looks? Think about adding in a waterslide for your kids. Believe me, they won’t be the only ones who love it—suddenly your backyard pool will be the envy of the entire neighborhood! Plus, even though the slide doesn’t necessarily beautify the pool in any traditional sense, it does give it a more “finished” appearance.
14. Build a Sun Dome
If the summer backyard swimming season ends sooner than you’d like, consider constructing a sun dome like this one. A sun dome can help regulate and trap heat, which could help you reduce your costs and enjoy your pool later in the year. Additionally, it helps to screen out insects (a great benefit throughout the summer) as well as debris, making it easier to clean and maintain your pool.
15. Heat Your Pool with a DIY Solar System
Speaking of cheap ways to keep your pool warm, another idea is to use solar panels! This may be easier than you think; check out the video to find out how it can be done.
16. Place Your Pool in the Ground
Seriously, sometimes it really is worth it to just dig a hole in the ground. Is it a lot of work? Yes. But can it make even the most basic aboveground children’s pool look fantastic? Yes!
17. Build Your Own Concrete Swimming Pool
This guy was looking at $30,000 to get a concrete swimming pool installed, so he scrapped that plan and built it himself with his son for a mere $7,000. It was a lot of work, but well worth it as you can see in this photo—just take a look at that amazing view! Be sure to visit the source link to and check out photos of the pool in development and find out more about how he did it.
18. Shipping Container Pool
Got an old shipping container lying around not doing anything? Why not turn it into a swimming pool? As this photo proves, this works quite well—though rust is a bit of an issue. If you visit the link below, you can find out more about how the shipping container pool was constructed and what challenges it has posed. After 7 years, it has held up pretty great.
19. Add a Few Embellishments
In many ways, this little backyard pool is the essence of simplicity—and on its own, it wouldn’t look like much, would it? What really makes it look outstanding is its proximity to the fence along with the little embellishments—the shelf, the plants, the lights, the shower heads, and of course that cute little waterfall, which is just genius! It just goes to show, you don’t have to get too fancy or expensive just to make your pool look incredible.
20. This Pool is Flat-Out Gorgeous
I don’t even know where to begin when it comes to describing how stunning this backyard pool is! Obviously this would be a very expensive job to commission, but the results just steal your breath away. Beautiful work.