6 Amazing Small Pool Ideas on a Budget

small pool ideas on a budget

Having a home with a nice swimming pool to relax and unwind with your family is one of the most fascinating things you can ever have.

Contrary to popular beliefs, you don't need to have a big house or be overly rich before you can make your dream of owning a pool a reality. All it takes is for you to look closely at the spaces in your backyard or patio and decide on the best spot to install your pool while working with the budget you have.

You will be amazed at the diverse options you can choose from to enable you to successfully have a nice and jaw-dropping pool.

Small pools are now very popular with most homeowners because of how cheap they are to install and the less maintenance and space they require.

This is particularly true when compared with the big or Olympic-sized pools. They can also add elegance and fun to your home irrespective of how small they look.

This article is a must-read for you if you want to be thoroughly informed about the best small pool ideas available out there. Here, we shall be taking you through the various factors you should consider before having a small pool, the types of pool materials that you can work with, and the most breathtaking small pool ideas that won’t require you to break a bank.

The pool ideas in this article are budget-friendly, aesthetically appealing, and some of the best ideas out there. So, gear yourself up for your pool installation process as we take you through it all by giving you the information you need to make your dream of having a small pool come true regardless of the size of your home.


Factors to Consider Before Owning a Pool

A. Pool Type

There are two major types of pool you can opt for. Each of them has various peculiarities that help to differentiate one from the other, especially when you’re more interested in cost, structure, durability, maintenance, and aesthetics.

They include the following.


I. In-ground swimming pool

small pool ideas on a budget

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This is otherwise known as the underground swimming pool. It is the most popular type of pool that’s widely used by most homeowners, especially those who have a large family.

An underground swimming pool adds beauty and luxury to most homes and serves as a source of entertainment for families who love to relax by the poolside. Unlike the other type, the underground pool is quite expensive to install and maintain.

You will have to budget for water bills due to constant refilling, chemicals required to treat the water, and other maintenance expenses after installation.

Underground pools can last for many years. The average cost of building a standard one (with a patio) is between $30k and $70k. But you can always get a smaller-sized pool for $10k to $20k.

The materials to be used should be given adequate attention because they go a long way in determining the total cost of building the pool. We shall discuss them in detail.


Types of Underground/In-ground Pool
  • Concrete pool

This has to do with excavation and the process of making a framework out of steel where concrete is poured and sealed with a plaster coat. This might be reapplied when the need arises during maintenance.

Concrete pools are very durable and can be easily designed to fit your taste or preference. However, they’re one of the most expensive and labor-intensive types of underground pools.


  • Shipping container pool

This is a cheaper and latest alternative for an in-ground pool. It has to do with the use of uncycled metal shipping containers to make a swimming pool. They come in different designs and models; some have hot tub partitions and clear viewing panels by their sides.

The only downside of this type of pool is the lack of a structural wall, which might likely lead to pool failure. Also, the corrugated walls and wood floors could lead to rusting if they are not properly maintained or well-manufactured.


  • Vinyl pool

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly in-ground pool, the vinyl-lined pool is what you should opt for. Unlike concrete, it is cheaper and easier to install due to its non-standard shape and size.

In terms of durability, it can only last for about 18 years if properly maintained. It tends to cause costly repairs or pool failure because the vinyl liner is fragile and can easily be punctured.


  • Fiberglass pool

This is a cheaper and renowned alternative to the concrete pool. It is also durable and can last for more than 15 years if properly maintained. Hence, going for this type of in-ground pool for your small pool is cost-effective.


II. Above-ground pool

small pool ideas on a budget

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If the in-ground pool is way above your budget, this is the cheaper alternative to go for. It is easier to install and usually arrives in a kit. So, you can either hire the service of a professional or easily install it yourself without hassles – if you’re DIY savvy.

Unlike the underground pool that takes weeks to install, the above ground pool can be installed in a few days. It is movable; hence, you can carry it along with you when you decide to move to a new place.

The only demerit of the pool is that it's not as flexible and versatile as the in-ground pool, which can be designed to any shape for aesthetics. The above-ground pool only comes in round or oval shapes, which could be less attractive. This also provides limited options.

It is not as durable as its counterpart and can only last for 5-9 years. But in terms of budget, you can install your small swimming pool without problem with $2 to $4k.


B. Depth

The underground pool is deeper than the above-ground pool. So, if you’re less concerned about depth, the latter is preferable.


C. Budget

If you’re on a very tight budget, the above-ground pool is more advisable. Later on, you can install the underground pool when you have a bigger budget.


D. Water type

You can choose between a saltwater pool and a chlorine pool. Even though chlorine is very popular and widely used among homeowners, saltwater is now being used to aid a softer and smoother skin and also prevent chemical smell.

The saltwater pool is easier to maintain when compared with the chlorine pool, even though there is no significant difference in their cost price during installation.


E. Durability

The in-ground pool is more durable than the above-ground pool that is susceptible to damage or abuse if it doesn't have adequate support.


F. Additional Features

If you intend to add extra or custom features like waterfalls or fountains, color-changing integrated lights, built-in fire-place, among others, then you will have to spend higher.


Awesome Budget-Friendly Small Pool Ideas to Choose From

You can always have a nice swimming pool in your backyard or wherever you choose to install it with the following small pool ideas.


1. Mini Lap/Narrow Pool

small pool ideas on a budget

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If you’re a swimming enthusiast who craves an Olympic-styled swimming pool but has a very narrow backyard, you don't have to worry about that anymore. This small lap pool will fulfill your needs with its brilliant design for narrow spaces.

You can now do laps and even practice for the Olympics (if you’re going for one) right at the comfort of your home and still have enough space in your backyard to unwind with family and friends.


2. Deck-Style Pool

small above ground pool ideas on a budget

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Do you have a spacy deck? Have you been pondering about the best way to use the deck to further help to give your home the aesthetics it deserves? If your answer is affirmative, then you should consider having a small deck pool.

This type of pool is not labor-intensive and is very cheap to install. Once you have enough room on your deck to work with, coupled with a solid foundation, you can proceed to install the pool into the existing deck setup.


3. Small Square Pool

 small backyard pool ideas

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Why go for a rectangular pool when you can have it squared to save some money and space?

Unlike the conventional rectangular pool, a square-shaped pool is more elegant and budget-friendly. You can easily install it in any strategic part of your home with small spaces. And it is wide enough for you to have a great swim with your family.


4. Small Indoor Pool

small pool ideas on a budget

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If you have an empty room or space on the first floor of your house, it's about time that you put it to good use. A small indoor pool is a perfect idea if you yearn for a pool.

Even though this type can be expensive, labor-intensive, and time-consuming (due to planning), the fulfillment you get after completing the pool will make it worthwhile. It is another way of adding luxury and glamour to your home.


5. Wall-Mount Pool

small pool ideas on a budget

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You can also have a small pool designed to be mounted along the perimeter of your backyard wall if you have a small space there. This type takes little space.

The only downside is that you will only be able to have access to it from three sides because of the wall. But it is a budget-friendly way of managing your space for a small pool.


6. An Above-Ground Pool with a Nice Deck

small pool ideas on a budget

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If you have a small space to spare in your backyard, you can decide to install an above-ground pool with a beautiful deck. This helps to add splendor to your home and gives you a recreational spot where you can relax and have fun with your family and friends.

It is budget-friendly, making it one of the ideal small above-ground pools on a budget.



Having a small space in your home does not stop you from enjoying the luxury and fulfillment that comes with owning a pool. The ideas in this article will assist you in designing your pool with the little space and budget you have.