Temperatures are rising, everyone is encouraged to stay home, and you may be Googling “DIY Pool Designs”. It makes sense – with low budgets and few options to keep entertained this summer, many are looking for interesting ways to add a DIY pool to their backyard.
Read below to find out why you might want to build a DIY pool and get some inspiration on the type that might be right for you.
Why Choose a DIY Pool?
There are a number of reasons that many are looking to build their own DIY pool. Here are just some of those reasons:
The more that you are able to do yourself, the more it will cut down on your costs. With the average pool costing tens of thousands of dollars, it is a significant expense. A DIY will cost significantly less.
You Enjoy Home Improvement Projects
The COVID-19 has created a renewed interest in home improvement projects, and you might be looking for your next project! Why not select something that will entertain your family all summer long?
Having a traditional pool installed is quite a project. A fiberglass or concrete pool can take weeks or even a month to install.
With summer already well underway, having a DIY pool means you can be enjoying a swim much more quickly and with much less fuss. A DIY pool can be installed in hours and will not disrupt your home life.
Especially with everything going on right now, you do not want to wait if construction is delayed for pandemic-related reasons. With you building the pool, you can start as soon as your schedule allows.
They May Move with You
If you are not in your “forever home”, installing an in-ground pool does not make much sense. Once you move, you have to start the process all over again.
DIY pools are sometimes portable. When you move, you can pack them up and take them with you.
Once you are set up in your new house, you can set it up once more and continue enjoying it at your new home.
You Are in Control
Hiring someone to build your pool means that someone else is running the project. If that is not your style and you want to be in command of your pool project, then a DIY pool may be a better option for you.
Depending on your skill level, your pool project may not be 100% DIY. There may be portions that you will hire out to be completed by other professionals.
If you are hiring others to help you build your DIY pool, there are a few things to keep in mind. These will ensure that your project is done correctly and that you have no regrets.
Before choosing someone, get a few bids. This will help you get a sense of who is the right person for you and what kind of pricing is fair.
Make sure you have a written contract that spells out clearly your expectations, what work they will complete. Make sure there are deadlines attached to each task so the work will be completed in a timely manner.
Keep a record of everything. You may need to ask whoever you hired to return, so keep all of your paperwork, contact information, etc. in a place that is easy to find.
Be open to suggestions! You may have a specific vision in mind, but a professional may have a better idea of what will actually work.
Finally, do not be afraid to go in another direction if things are not working out for you. Listen to your gut when it tells you that it is time to find a new contractor to help bring your DIY pool vision to life.
If you are building an in-ground pool, you will need to excavate the ground. You should hire someone to complete this work that can safely operate the equipment.
Electrical work must be done to be in line with your county’s code. An electrician is your best bet to be able to complete this work properly.
Consider your Budget
There are few deciding factors that matter more than your budget. We have talked about how expensive a pool can be, whether its in-ground or above ground.
Make sure that you list out each and every item that you are going to need. You do not want to be surprised down the line with a massive bill that you cannot afford to pay.
You may have budgeted for your pool kit or your materials, but have you budgeted for the extras?
You will also need the following:
- Safety fencing around your pool
- Maintenance tools and other maintenance costs
- The cost of permits, inspections and warranties
- Lighting, decor and landscaping around your pool
- Any extras you want to have, such as a slide, diving board or water features
Follow the Rules
All Texas residential swimming pools are subject to rules and regulations. If you want to build a swimming pool, it must follow the following regulations:
- A residential swimming pool must have a safety fence installed.
- The safety fence must be at least 4 feet in height in each section.
- Any gaps in the fence must be smaller than 4 inches in diameter.
- The pool fence must not be constructed of chain link materials.
- The pool fence must be self-closing and self-latching.
- The fence’s latching mechanism must be at the top quarter of the poolside of the gate.
- The gate must have a locking mechanism that uses either a padlock, combination lock, or key/card lock.
- The gate must open outward, away from the swimming pool.
Buy a Kit
This, of course, is the easiest way to build your own swimming pool. You can buy a kit to install either an in-ground or above ground pool and it will cost a fraction of the price as hiring a contractor to do it all for you.
There are many advantages to going this route, including:
- Affordability – again, it is much less expensive than hiring a contractor to design and build your pool.
- Easy Installation – these kits are made to be simple to install, so you will be able to follow the instructions to build your own pool.
- Durability – if built correctly, these pools last for a long time.
An above ground pool kit will generally come with:
- bottom rails
- upright rails
- stabilizer rails
- top and bottom plates
- a wall
An in-ground pool kit will generally include a steel and polymer wall pool and will also include:
- a pump and filter
- main drains
- pool returns
- a-frame braces
- aluminum coping
- deck anchors
- ladder and handrail
- rebar stakes
- vinyl liner
- wall panel and bolts.
There are few tools involved that you would not normally already have in your garage. Anything else can be easily picked up at your local hardware store.
Creative DIY Pools
Why limit yourself to off-the-shelf kits when you can get creative? Here are just some of the ways that some imaginative homeowners are building pools.
Galvanized Stock Tub
Galvanized stock tubs are gaining popularity as an inexpensive and easy to install option for a DIY pool. You will need to keep it well-maintained though, as algae could become an issue.
These can look sleek and modern, fun and tropical, or country chic. It is really up to you!
Where can you find what you need for a stock tub? Check out your local tractor supply store!
A Natural Swimming Pool
For those that want to be more in harmony with the nature around them and use fewer chemicals, swimming ponds are becoming increasingly popular.
A Shipping Container
If you can get your hands on one, a shipping container can easily be fitted to be your swimming DIY pool. While it could be prone to rust, owners have found that preventative maintenance helps it hold up even years later.
The internet is full of examples of people using pallets to build their own pool. Here is basically what you would do:
- Place the pallets in a circle
- Secure the pallets with straps
- Place the second liner inside and line the corners to cushion the corners.
- Line with bamboo boards, cover with a third inner tarp and secure with adhesive.
- Fill with water and enjoy your swim!
This tutorial shows how you can build a DIY pool with wood pallets that will cost less than $100!
Don’t Forget Maintenance!
Even though the cost to build a DIY pool is a fraction of what you would pay for someone else to do it, the maintenance costs and efforts remain the same.
You will want to make sure that any pool you choose is one you can maintain. If you’d like to avoid the chores involved in maintaining a pool, a pool cleaning service is always a great option.
No matter how your pool is built, it is a great investment and a fun way to spend the summer. Your family will enjoy creating memories there, and you will be glad that you decided to get one.