How to Build a Cheap Swimming Pool

A cheap swimming pool will need to be small in order to save money.

Having a swimming pool in the yard is a great way to cool off in the summer and entertain friends, but not everyone is able to afford the expense of a pool bought from and installed by professionals. Going the do-it-yourself route can save you a lot of money and leave you with a more original and interesting pool. Also, a pool that you've designed and built yourself will be customized to your exact specifications, and you will have the satisfaction of knowing you built it yourself.


Build a Conventional Pool

Step 1

Dig a hole in the ground to the size that you want the pool to be. Remember that the larger you make the hole, the more the pool is going to cost in terms of materials and labor. You can save a lot of money by digging the pool by hand, but this will take a lot of time and labor.

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Step 2

Build a framework of steel rebar to set off the dimensions of your pool. Make a crisscross pattern of rebar spaced at 12 inches, and wire the vertical and horizontal pieces of rebar together where they cross each other.


Step 3

Cover the rebar with gunite, or spray concrete. This is a concrete material that is applied to a framework by a high-pressure hose and hardens after it has been applied. Spray on several coats of gunite to create the profile of pool that you want.

Step 4

Save a lot of money by forgoing a built-in drain. You can drain your pool for the winter using an exterior pump and pipe.

Step 5

Use a portable filter installed in a corner of the pool to keep the water aerated and clean.


Build a Natural Pool

Step 1

Dig a hole that mimics the natural contours of a pond. Leave one end of the hole relatively shallow, between 4 and 18 inches, and plant aquatic plants in this end of the pool to serve as a natural filter for impurities and excess nutrients in the water.

Step 2

Be sure that the edges of the pool don't get too steep. By making them with a gradual slope, you avoid the risk of wall collapse, and remove the need for expensive steel frameworks and concrete to support the edges of the pool.


Step 3

Cover the bottom and sloping walls of the pool with gravel and sand. This will allow you to swim in it without stirring up mud every time you use the pool.

Things You'll Need

  • Backhoe

  • Shovel

  • 1/2-inch rebar

  • Wire

  • Gunite

  • Pool filter

  • Hose

  • Pump

  • Aquatic plants

  • Sand

  • Gravel


You may want to hire a professional to spray the gunite in your pool if you're unsure of the procedure.


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