18 Fascinating Above Ground Pool Ideas on a Budget

Besides Yoga and jogging, swimming is one of my favorite sporting activities. In summer, I always look forward to the weekend to go swimming. If you’re like me, this year, you should try the following above ground pool ideas on a budget.

Honestly, a lot of people desire to have a small pool in their backyards. Unfortunately, most people give up on the idea because of how expensive it is to install a traditional inground swimming pool.

However, any homeowner can have a pool in the backyard. As discussed below, you can have fun swimming with your family and friends without breaking the bank with an above-ground pool.

How much does it Cost to Install an Inground Pool?

Depending on your location and the size of the pool you desire, the least expensive option for an inground pool would be constructing a fiberglass or vinyl liners swimming pool. In the US, for the fiberglass and installation, you should expect at least $30,000.

How cheap is an Above Ground Pool?

On the contrary, you can find above-ground pools like inflatable pools under $200 and steel outdoor pool sets under $500 on amazon and other online retailers.

Unlike an inground pool, an above-ground pool can be installed in just minutes. And most importantly, you can install it on a rental property –something that would not be possible with an inground pool.

Above Ground Pool Ideas on a Budget

Here are some of the ingenious ideas for an above-ground pool.

1. Inflatable above-ground Pool

Inflatable above ground pool_one of the Above Ground Pool Ideas on a Budget

An inflatable pool is one of the best above-ground pools. FYI: this is a type of pool that is typically made of PVC material and is inflated using an air pump to create a rigid structure for swimming and playing.

This pool is a favorite among homeowners and renters for three main reasons. It’s easy to set up, easy to maintain, and, most importantly, affordable. 

Of course, it’s worth noting that an inflatable pool is not as durable as the inground one, it’s limited in size and depth, and it’s not ideal for diving.

2. Intex family pool

Intex above ground pool

An intex pool is an above-ground pool made from PVC (again) and an inflatable top ring. These pools are ideal for any family because they’re available in different sizes and shapes.

They are affordable, easy to set up and maintain and offer a convenient and portable alternative to permanent in-ground pools. They also come with a range of accessories such as pumps, filters, and ladders.

The obvious downside to these pools is that they’re temporal. They can’t be used year-round with deflating like an inground pool or some above-ground pools.

3. Dumpster Wooden Swimming Pool

Dumpster swimming pool

This is a type of swimming pool made by repurposing a large commercial trash dumpster and lining it with wooden boards or planks to create a pool.

If you’re woodwork savvy, you can create a dumpster wooden pool right in your backyard by repurposing an old dumpster you may have in your garage. It’s relatively cheap and easy to build compared to traditional swimming pools.

The main downside of a dumpster pool is that it can’t handle a large family for it is usually small. And of course, repurposed materials can’t be as durable as the original ones.

4. DIY above-ground swimming pool

DIY swimming pool above the ground

An above-ground swimming pool is one of the DIY projects that you venture into if you’re a DIY enthusiast. You can make a pool of any shape and from the material that you’re comfortable with.

Whether you want to make a partial deck pool, pallet-and-tarp pool, or dumpster pool, it’s totally possible to do it yourself. In fact, some of the popular above-ground swimming pools are usually made as a DIY project.

5. Pallets and tarps Over the Ground Pool

Pallets and tarps Over the Ground Pool

This is a DIY swimming pool option that involves building a frame from wooden pallets and covering it with a tarp to create a waterproof lining.

Since the pool is constructed from scratch, it can be customized to fit any size or shape desired. Additionally, the tarp can be chosen in various colors to match the aesthetics of the surrounding area.

However, pallets and tarps over the ground pools don’t look as cute as other above-ground pools or inground pools. Besides, they don’t last longer than inground pools.

6. Metal above-ground Pool

Metal above ground pool
Source: Pinterest

Another great idea is to go for an above-ground pool made of metal and steel. Of course, this is one of the more expensive types of above-ground swimming pools.

At the same time, it’s one of the above-ground pools that are durable as it can be made as a permanent pool. When you install a heavy-duty metal swimming pool, it can last more than ten years.

7. Elevated Deck Swimming Pool

Pool with elevated deck

As the name suggests, an elevated deck pool consists of an above-ground pool, some steps, and a raised platform (deck). This pool can be made of refurbished wood, bricks, rocks, and tiles.

As you might have guessed, this above-ground pool design works well as a permanent or semi-permanent pool. It beats most of the shortfalls of most above-ground pools for it is durable and beautiful, and increases the value of your property.

8. Partial Deck above-ground Pool

Pool with partial deck

A partial deck for an above-ground pool is a raised platform that is built around a portion of the pool. It provides an area for lounging, sunbathing, and socializing that is elevated from the ground and can be accessed easily from the pool.

If you’re a DIY enthusiast, you know that this is one of those ideas that you can implement as a cool side DIY project.  For sure, you can make above-ground pool decks using materials like wood, composite materials, and PVC decking.

9. Above-ground pool with a Pool slide

above ground pool with a slide

Are you looking for an above-ground swimming pool for your young ones? An over-the-ground pool with a pool slide is an excellent choice.

The water in the pool provides a funny experience for kids. However, a pool with a slide is even funnier because the slide itself is an element of excitement.

There are so many affordable pool slides. If you’ve got an inflatable pool, you can also go for an inflatable slide. Otherwise, a slide with a ladder is also an option.

10. Rectangular wooden pool

Another excellent over-the-ground pool idea is a rectangular wooden pool. As the name suggests, this is a swimming pool made of wood panels and rectangular.

Wooden pools are known for their natural look and durability. And can be a great option for homeowners who want a low-maintenance pool that blends in with their outdoor living space.

Additionally, wooden pools can be customized in terms of size and design to fit your specific needs and preference. All this can be done without burning a lot of cash.

11. Above-ground pool with a fence

above ground pool with a fence

An above-ground pool with a fence is not only aesthetically pleasing when installed properly but it’s a must-have for any home with a pool.

As discussed in this post, the fence can be made of cheap materials like bamboo, wire, and PVC or cost ones like glass and vinyl panels. For the pool fence to stand out, the key is in its installation.

If you’re into DIY, install an above-ground pool fence that will add value to your home. Otherwise, if you are a layman, hire an expert to install a cute fence for your pool.

12. Round Pool with a deck

A round pool with a deck is my favorite above-ground swimming pool. It creates such amazing scenery in the backyard.

The deck provides enough space to add some pool furniture. And you can invite your family and friends over to hang over around this above-ground pool.

Of course, to avoid unmonitored entry of pets or kids, you need to install a strong fence. With a self-locking gate, you’ll keep your kids and family safe.

13. Plunge Above-ground Pool

Plunge above ground pool

Naturally, a plunge pool is a small well that is formed at the foot of a waterfall due to the falling water. However, there are also man-made pools which can be inground or above-ground pools.

Compared to a standard pool, a plunge home pool is usually smaller. As for the plunge above-ground pool, this is a small rectangular or round pool whose container stands above the ground.

Pools of this type can be made in a DIY project by repurposing home basins like a broken plastic or metal water tank or a dumpster container, or by constructing a plunge above the ground. You can then add a deck and some steps to finish to have a complete pool.

14. Container above-ground pool

a beautiful container swimming pool
Source: Pinterest

Another interesting idea is a pool constructed from a shipping container. This idea works for both an inground and an above-ground idea.

As for the above-ground container pools, they come in different sizes and shapes. Some are constructed with a deck while others just stand like a shipping container on the ground.

One of my favorite container pools consists of a flat partial deck, steps, and transparent glass on one side. The glass and the partial deck make the design unique and stunning.

15. Steel Framed Above-ground Pool

If you’re looking for a more reliable long-term above-ground pool option, a steel-framed pool is the one. As the name suggests, it consists of frames made of strong steel.

Of course, there are some temporal pools with steel poles like the Intex pools. However, this is not what I’m referring to.

I’m talking about permanent steel pools like container pools. They can be used year-round and with supporting structures like pool decks and steps, they look amazing and functions like any standard pool.

16. Bamboo above-ground pool

Bamboo pools are a type of natural swimming pool that utilizes bamboo as a primary building material. When they’re built properly by an expert, they look creative and sleek.

They are environmentally friendly pools that can be customized to fit any size or shape. They also provide a natural filtration system, using plants and other aquatic life to purify the water.

17. Concrete Block Pool

concrete block swimming pool

This above ground pool idea involves making a pool from concrete blocks. This is relatively cheaper than some of the pool construction materials like glass and metal.

Besides, if you know how to construct using blocks or bricks, this idea should be easy to put together. And most importantly, this is totally different from other above ground pools.

An above ground pool made of blocks adds value to the property and can last as long as the inground pool. And similar to an inground one, a concrete block pool works well with a concrete or wooden pool deck.

18. Add a simple above-ground deck

Most above ground pools would be unusable minus a deck. Think of a shipping container above ground pool without a deck, it wouldn’t be safe for kids and ideal for by-the-pool chilling.

The solution to all this is to construct a simple deck around the pool. This is 100 times better than just a tank of water.

With a deck installed, you’ll be able to put pool furniture where you’ll be able to chill with friends and family.

FAQs on above-ground pool ideas on a budget

For profound understanding, read through the following answers to some frequently asked questions on this topic.

How do you make an above-ground pool look good on a budget?

An above-ground swimming pool can look attractive without breaking the bank. If you want an eye-catching pool, create steps, a deck, and pavement using wood, tiles, or bricks.

Additionally, you should opt for a cool shape, clean the pool regularly, add some décor like potted plants, and create a cool landscape using gravel or paver stones.

What is the cheapest way to landscape around an above-ground pool?

For landscaping, paver stones are the best, but they may be a bit expensive. If you want budget-friendly landscaping materials, gravel may be the best option.

Are cheap above-ground pools worth it?

A cheap above-ground pool is a better alternative to an inground pool. If currently, an inground pool is out of reach for you because of cost or space, then a cheap above-ground pool is the best idea for you.

What is the disadvantage of an aboveground pool?

An above-ground pool is for those who want a temporal or semi-permanent swimming pool. It does not last long. And unlike an inground pool, an above-ground pool can easily get damaged by harsh weather like a strong wind, snow, and heavy rain.

Final Thoughts on above-ground Pool Ideas on a Budget

Having a swimming pool in the backyard is not for Beverly Hills property owners only. Anyone can create a fun place for kids and family by getting or installing an above-ground pool.

There are tons of above ground pools for almost every homeowner out there. You can find above-ground pools at as cheap as $200 or as expensive as inground pools.

I hope this post has provided you with enough inspiration to install an above-ground pool that suits your budget. Here are some more ideas that may interest you.

17 Small Pool Ideas on a Budget for Amazing Backyard & Indoor

15 Stunning Black Patio Chairs for Porch, Backyard & Garden

Otherwise, I wish you the funniest summer.


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