Affordable Alternatives To A Standard In-ground Pool

Written by Jaymi Naciri Posted On Sunday, 03 July 2022 00:00

It's hot, the kids were bored well before summer even officially began, and you're not loving the idea of hanging out at the community pool this year. Sure, you could build your own pool. But you don't exactly have an extra 75k burning a hole in your pocket.

What's a swimmer to do? We have ideas.


A “normal” in-ground pool can be pricey, “depending on the pool type, shape, size of the pool, and degree of customization for your pool,” said HomeGuide

You can save a ton of money by going small. Enter the spool, also known as a cocktail pool. According to HomeAdvisor, “The average cost to install an in-ground spool is $22,650 including labor, but this can vary depending on the type you choose.” 

Because $20,000 of that $22,650 is in materials, you can cut your cost dramatically by choosing something more affordable. Fiberglass costs $5,000 less than gunite on a typical 350-square-foot spool, and you can cut your materials cost in half by using vinyl. 

Shipping container

As the shipping container have grown in popularity as a viable housing form, so, too, has it grown in popularity as a pool form. Modpools is a well-known shipping container pool company that offers a variety of solutions with one big benefit. “Unlike conventional pools that can take weeks to pour and cure, your Modpool can be up and running the day of its arrival,” they said. 

Prices range from $16,500 for an 8’x12’ pool to $39,900 for an 8’x40’ pool.

Stock tank

This is one of the hottest trends in outdoor enjoyment because it's a cheap and easy way to create a small swimming area. The stock tank itself will cost you just a few hundred dollars. Add a small filter and chlorine tabs to keep it from becoming a mosquito haven for another hundred or so, and you’ve got a small pool in a day for what it would cost to you for a couple of runs to Costco. 

Backyard pond

Want a more natural look for your water feature? If you’ve got some decent DIY skills, you can build your own backyard pond for as little as $2,000. “Ask most American swimming-pool contractors to build a backyard pool and chances are they'll roll out a long list of goods, including rebar, gunite, fiberglass, chlorine and an energy-sapping filtration system. But in recent years, a few builders and a growing number of homeowners have learned how to build pools without relying on a mass of manufactured materials and chemical additives,” said Mother Earth News. “They've found it's possible to construct pools that are more about building with nature and blending into the natural landscape. Natural swimming pools use gravel stone and clay in place of concrete or fiberglass, and aquatic plants instead of harmful chemicals and complicated mechanical filtering systems.”

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