8 Affordable Above-Ground Pool Ideas for Enjoyable Backyard Escapes

Updated: May 09, 2024

Don't let your budget stop you! Bring your backyard dreams to life with these creative and affordable pool ideas.

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Stock Tank Pool Courtesy @cuckoo4design/instagram

Stock Tank Pool

A stock tank is a popular budget-friendly option for a backyard pool. an eight-foot option like this one will only cost you about $600.

The small size and easy installation makes it affordable, but it’s just right for lounging and cooling off. For her stock tank pool, @cuckoo4design also installed a pool liner and sand filter pump and surrounded the outside with bamboo camouflage. Check out the full project details.

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Natural Pool With Floating Wetland Via Leadandstone.naturalpools Instagram
Courtesy @leafandstone.naturalpools/instagram

Natural Pool With Floating Wetland

This natural pool by @leafandstone.naturalpools includes a floating wetland that naturally cleans the pool, so no expensive chemicals are needed! The conversion of this pool from chlorine to floating wetland cost $1,400. With the average pool chemicals costing $960 to $1,800 per year, not to mention the cost of pool-cleaning services, that’s big savings.

Here’s how it works: Plant roots underneath the floating structure create the perfect habitat for millions of microbes that use carbon, excess nutrients and algae in the water as their food source. That cleans and restores the water.

Plus: Speaking of cleaning, check out the Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus to cut down on the back-breaking work.

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Above Ground Pool With A Deck Via Vaughhillhome Instagram
Courtesy @vaughhillhome/instagram

Above-Ground Pool With a Deck

Even though they’re more affordable than in-ground pools, averaging around $700 to $3,600 depending on the size, many homeowners don’t like the look of an above-ground pool.

To make her above-ground pool look like a custom in-ground pool, @vaughnhillhome buried it about halfway in her sloped yard and built a deck around it. The result? A beautiful outdoor oasis for a fraction of the price of a regular in-ground pool.

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Pre Cast Plunge Pool
Courtesy @plungie.australia/instagram

Pre-Cast Plunge Pool

Enjoy a dip in a compact plunge pool without the high price of a full-size pool.

According to Endless Pools, “A plunge pool costs about $20,000 to $25,000, on average. Expect the price to rise with the addition of temperature control or a security cover. That price is lower than you would expect for a traditional in-ground pool, which can cost upwards of $60,000.”

Because this concrete plunge pool from @plungie.australia is prefabricated, installation is faster and cheaper than a pool built from scratch. A plunge pool is a great choice if you don’t have a big yard or a big budget, but still want to cool off after a long day.

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Shipping Container Pool Via Trekpools Instagram
Courtesy @trekpools/instagram

Shipping Container Pool

A shipping container pool is exactly what it sounds like — a pool made from a shipping container. This example from @trekpools features a 20-ft. shipping container with a coated steel interior for added durability. Thanks to their ease of transportation, shipping container pools offer a cost-efficient and quick solution.

Trek Pools shipping containers start at about $42,000, so they’re not exactly cheap, but still less expensive than a traditional in-ground pool. A basic 20-foot container pool from Ecopool starts at about $34,000.

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Template For Tiktok Screenshots For Taste Of Home via @momsblog/tiktok.com

Wood Pallet Pool Frame

This clever idea from @momsblog repurposes wood pallets and other lumber to give her above-ground pool a facelift. The wood frame makes the low-cost above-ground pool look more intentional and covers the bright blue siding and steel support poles. Stain or paint the wood to further customize the finished look.

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Diy Lap Pool via @StevensonProjectsLLC/etsy.com

DIY Lap Pool

Ready to stretch your DIY skills? You can build a lap pool with these digital plans from @StevensonProjectsLLC.

Lap pools provide full-length swimming while saving on yard space, maintenance, energy and money. The download includes drawings, text, photos and a materials lists for the pool and deck.

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Semi In Ground Stock Tank Pool Via Cutterslandscaping Instagram Courtesy @cutterslandscaping/instagram

Semi-In-Ground Stock Tank

This idea from @cutterslandscaping show how you can install the stock tank semi-in-ground for a more finished, custom look. The attached deck provides a nice place to sunbathe by the pool, and the horizontal cedar screen makes the space feel secluded and private.

The 10-foot model shown here from Cowboy Pools costs $2,900, including delivery and installation. Compare that to the average cost of a 10-foot in-ground concrete pool, about $20,000.