The Tiny house Blog

5 Small Pool Ideas on a Budget for Backyard Fun

Updated on:
June 30, 2024
small pool ideas on a budget

Image Source: Canva

Imagine transforming your backyard into a cool oasis without draining your pockets. It's totally feasible with the right small pool ideas. Whether it's an inflatable pool for easy setup or an above-ground pool for a more permanent feature, there are countless options that can fit your budget and space constraints.

And don't forget about kiddie pools, a surefire way to keep the young ones entertained. But how do you choose the right one? Well, there are a few key considerations you'll need to ponder over. Let's explore, shall we?

Assessing Your Backyard Space

Before diving into pool designs, take a moment to assess the size, shape, and overall layout of your backyard to determine what kind of pool would best fit your space. Don't just glance out the window, but go outside and walk around. Feel the space, visualize where the pool could go, imagine yourself lounging poolside on a hot summer day.

Consider the accessibility too. You'll need a clear path for pool construction and future maintenance. Think about the sun exposure as well. Where does the sun hit your backyard the most? That's where you'll want to place your pool for maximum enjoyment. Also, take note of any trees or structures that could block the sun or shed leaves into your pool.

Account for the slope of your backyard as well. If it's too steep, you might need to invest in some landscaping to level it out before installing a pool. And don't forget to check local regulations – some areas have strict rules about pool placement in respect to property lines and structures.

Choosing the Right Pool Type

Now that you've got a good grasp on your backyard's specifics, it's time to explore the exciting part - choosing the right pool type for your space!

You've got a few options, each with their own unique benefits.

First, consider the traditional in-ground pool. They're a classic choice, perfect for an enduring, elegant look. They can be customized to fit any shape or size, but they're also more expensive and take longer to install.

Above-ground pools, conversely, are less costly and easier to install. They're great if you're looking for a quick setup, but they may not be as durable or as aesthetically pleasing as in-ground pools.

Next up, consider plunge pools – compact pools that are perfect for small spaces. These pools are great for cooling off on hot days without taking up too much of your backyard.

Lastly, there are endless pools, also known as swim spas. These are smaller than traditional pools, but with a current to swim against, they offer a great workout.

Inflatable Pools: A Quick Fix

If you're after a pool solution that's both budget-friendly and easy to set up, inflatable pools could be your best bet. Unlike traditional pools, inflatable pools don't require any excavation or construction. All you need is a flat surface, an air pump, and a water source. In minutes, you can have a pool ready for a invigorating dip.

Inflatable pools come in a variety of sizes, from small ones perfect for a solo soak, to large ones that can accommodate a group. They're also typically made from durable, puncture-resistant materials, ensuring they last through multiple summers. The best part? When pool season's over, you can simply deflate, fold, and store your pool, freeing up your backyard space.

However, it isn't all smooth sailing. Inflatable pools need regular maintenance. You'll need to check and adjust the water's chemical balance regularly to keep it clean and safe. Additionally, even though they're sturdy, inflatable pools aren't immune to punctures. But with a repair kit on hand, you can easily fix minor damages.

With a bit of care, an inflatable pool can be a quick and affordable way to enjoy some backyard fun.

Kiddie Pools: Safe and Affordable

For those with little ones excited to splash around, a kiddie pool offers a safe and affordable solution. These smaller, shallow pools are perfect for toddlers and young children, providing a controlled environment where they can play and cool off during the hot summer months.

You'll find kiddie pools in a range of designs and materials, from simple plastic models to more elaborate inflatable ones with built-in slides and water features. These pools are typically lightweight and easy to set up, requiring no more than a flat surface and a garden hose to fill them up.

Safety is a key advantage of kiddie pools. Their shallow depth reduces the risk of drowning, and many models include non-slip surfaces to prevent falls. However, remember that adult supervision is always required when children are in the water.

When it comes to affordability, kiddie pools are hard to beat. With prices starting as low as $10, they're a budget-friendly way to bring a splash of fun to your backyard. Plus, they're portable, meaning you can stash them away during the off-season, saving space in your yard.

Above-Ground Pools: A Step Up

Advancing in size and sophistication, you might consider an above-ground pool for a more permanent and spacious backyard water feature. Indeed, these pools offer a step up from the smaller, inflatable options, providing you with a more substantial area for swimming, relaxing, and entertaining.

Above-ground pools come in various sizes and shapes, so you're sure to find one that fits your backyard dimensions and budget. From round pools that encourage socializing to oval pools that allow for lap swimming, you've got options. They're also surprisingly easy to install, with many models offering DIY assembly kits.

You might worry about aesthetics, but fear not! Above-ground pools have come a long way in design. With options for custom siding like faux wood or stone, your pool can blend seamlessly with your backyard décor. Add a deck or patio area around the pool for an integrated look.

Maintenance-wise, they're a breeze. Most come with simple filtration systems and easy-to-follow care instructions.

Plunge Pools: Compact Luxury

Looking for a touch of luxury in a smaller package? Consider plunge pools, a compact yet chic option that fits perfectly in compact backyards. Despite their size, these little gems are big on style and can turn a modest space into a resort-like retreat.

The beauty of plunge pools is that they're designed for relaxation more than rigorous swimming. You can lounge in them, cool off, or use them for gentle exercise. They're usually deeper than traditional pools, making them feel more luxurious and spa-like.

Investing in a heating system lets you use the pool year-round. You can also consider adding jets for a soothing hydrotherapy experience. These features increase the cost but enhance the luxury factor.

You might think that such a luxury item would be out of your budget, but surprisingly, plunge pools can be cost-effective. They require fewer materials and less maintenance than larger pools. Plus, their smaller size means less water usage, keeping your utility bill low.

DIY Pool Projects: Get Crafty

If you're willing to get your hands dirty and have a knack for creativity, why not try a DIY pool project for a unique and personal touch to your backyard oasis? It's not only a great way to save money, but it also allows you to tailor every detail to your personal taste.

Consider converting an old shipping container into a trendy and modern pool. It's an eco-friendly option that's sturdy and customizable. You can choose the depth, the color, and even add a window for an underwater view.

Another idea is to create a natural swimming pond. It's a blend of a pool and a pond, filled with plants and fish that maintain the water naturally. You'll get an organic experience, and it's perfect if you're aiming for that rustic feel in your backyard.

Or, if you're short on space, why not build a spool? A spool is a hybrid of a spa and a pool and it's a fantastic way to enjoy the best of both worlds. It's perfect for a relaxing dip after a long day.

Image Source: Canva

Pool Maintenance on a Budget

Maintaining your small pool doesn't have to break the bank; with a few savvy strategies and some elbow grease, you can keep your backyard oasis sparkling clean and inviting on a budget.

Start by investing in a pool cover. It'll reduce the amount of debris that falls into the pool, saving you both cleaning time and money on filters.

Speaking of filters, don't forget to clean them regularly—it'll extend their life and keep your pool cleaner longer.

Next, consider switching to a saltwater system. It might be a bit pricier upfront, but the ongoing costs are lower since you won't need to buy as many chemicals. It's also gentler on the skin, a nice bonus!

Consistency in maintenance is key. Rather than splurging on expensive professional cleanings, set aside a little time each week to skim, vacuum, and check your pool's chemical balance. Regular upkeep prevents costly repairs down the line.

Accessories for Added Fun

Now that your pool's maintenance is under control, let's amp up the fun factor with some must-have accessories.

First off, a floating pool lounge can offer you a comfortable spot to relax and soak up the sun. They're available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and designs, so you'll surely find one that suits your style and budget.

Next, pool noodles are a cost-effective way to bring more joy to your pool. They're versatile, providing both fun and safety. Use them for games, workouts, or flotation aids.

A waterproof Bluetooth speaker is also a great add-on. It allows you to enjoy your favorite tunes while swimming or lounging by the pool. Just make sure it's fully charged before your pool day for uninterrupted fun.

Lastly, consider investing in a pool volleyball or basketball set. These games encourage friendly competition and keep your guests entertained. Plus, the sets are easy to assemble and disassemble, offering hassle-free fun.


So, you've seen how affordable small pool ideas can transform your backyard into a summer paradise. From inflatable and kiddie pools to DIY projects, you've got plenty of options.

Don't forget about budget-friendly maintenance and fun accessories. Now, it's time to take the plunge without splashing out too much cash. Immerse yourself, cool off, and enjoy your personal oasis.

Remember, a smaller pool doesn't mean less fun – it's all about making the most of what you've got!

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