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The Ultimate DIY Guide to Building a Shipping Container Swimming Pool

The Ultimate DIY Guide to Building a Shipping Container Swimming Pool

You might be familiar with shipping container homes, offices, and sheds. Did you know you can also make great swimming pools out of repurposed shipping containers?

Splash into a new DIY project that’s both unique and fun—an at-home shipping container swimming pool. This is a fresh take on backyard entertainment, combining practical design with a sense of adventurous style.

Our ultimate guide makes it simple, leading you step-by-step into creating your very own summertime oasis.

Regardless of your previous DIY experience, we’ll equip you with the tools, knowledge, and attitude needed to embark on this refreshing endeavor.

So, if you’re ready to take the plunge into the world of DIY container pools, let’s get started!

container pool beside a 2 storied home

Photo from Modpools

Key Takeaways

  • DIY shipping container pools are cost-effective, customizable, and can enhance aesthetics.
  • It’s important to obtain permits, consult an engineer, and choose a pool size before starting your project.
  • Consider the foundation for the pool to ensure it has adequate support.
  • The overall cost of a container pool depends on the size, liner type, foundation cost, temperature control system, and customizations added to it.
  • While rewarding, building a container pool requires time and expertise. Weigh up the pros and cons before deciding to DIY or hire professionals.

Why Build Your Own Shipping Container Pool?

A shipping container pool is a swimming pool made from a repurposed shipping container. These pools are typically modified to include all the necessary components, such as filtration systems, pumps, and heaters.

Shipping container pools are popular due to their durability, affordability, and ease of installation compared to traditional pools.

When you build your own pool, you can save money by not having to buy a pre-made or in-ground pool and by avoiding paying for shipping and handling. You also won’t have to wait as long for a pre-made pool to be delivered to you.

Plus, building your own pool gives you more control over the design and customization options, ensuring that it fits your preferences perfectly.

Photo from Modpools

What to Do Before Building Your Container Pool

Building a container pool? Here are some important steps to consider before you start.

Obtain the Necessary Permits

Before you start building your container pool, it’s important to check with your local government to find out what permits you need.

Different states and counties have specific requirements for container pools, so make sure to comply with all applicable laws and regulations.

For example, in Florida, a permit is required if your pool will be more than 5,000 gallons. In California, a permit is needed for pools exceeding 10,000 gallons.

To avoid potential legal issues, familiarize yourself with your local laws and regulations. This will ensure that you build your pool correctly.

Take the time to research and obtain the necessary permits for your specific pool design before diving into your container pool project.

Consult with a Structural Engineer

Before embarking on the construction of your DIY shipping container swimming pool, it’s crucial to consult with a structural engineer to ensure the safety and stability of your project.

A structural engineer will thoroughly assess the location and size of the shipping container, as well as determine if any additional reinforcement is required.

Converting a shipping container into a swimming pool involves careful consideration of the container walls and floor.

Since shipping containers aren’t designed to hold water, it’s essential to have a professional evaluate the structural integrity of the container. They’ll provide expert guidance on how to make it suitable for use as a pool.

Determine the Size of the Container 

When planning your DIY container pool project, it’s important to decide on the size you want. The size of the shipping container you purchase will directly determine the size of your pool.

So, think about how you plan to use the pool. If you’re looking for a small pool for relaxation, a smaller shipping container might be enough.

But if you want to swim laps or have multiple people using the pool at once, you’ll need a larger container.

Remember that the size of the container will also affect the space you’ll need for installation. Before buying a container, measure the available area in your backyard to make sure there’s enough room for the pool.

family enjoying beside container pool

Photo from Modpools

How to Build the Foundation

Creating a strong foundation is essential when building a shipping container swimming pool. You need a sturdy and level surface to support the weight of the pool.

While there are different types of ground you can use, a concrete pad is the best choice. Concrete is durable and provides stability.

To build the foundation, start by pouring a concrete pad. Make sure it’s at least 4 inches thick and extends 2 feet beyond the pool’s perimeter.

This will give the container pool a solid base and distribute the weight evenly. It’s important to ensure the concrete pad is level, so use a level tool to achieve accuracy.

Having a level and strong foundation is crucial for the longevity and stability of your DIY shipping container swimming pool.

A well-built foundation will support the weight of the pool and prevent any structural issues. So take the time to create a solid base before moving on to the next steps in your pool-building journey.

How to Line a Shipping Container Pool

A pool liner is a protective layer that covers the interior surface of a swimming pool. It acts as a barrier between the pool structure and water, preventing leakage and prolonging the pool’s lifespan.

There are a few options to consider when it comes to lining your pool.

One option is to use a pool liner that’s specifically designed for shipping container pools. These liners are usually made of PVC and come in different colors and patterns.

They’re placed inside the pool and held in place with coping, which is a trim that covers the top edge of the liner. This option provides a reliable and customizable solution for lining your pool.

Another option is to use a concrete coat for the walls of the container. This can be applied using a trowel and then smoothed out to cover the entire surface.

Once the concrete coat is dry, you can paint it in any color you prefer. This option allows for more flexibility in terms of design and color choices.

When choosing the lining option for your shipping container pool, it’s important to consider the type of container you’re using and your specific needs. Both the pool liner and concrete coat options can provide a waterproof and durable lining for your pool.

Cost of a DIY Container Pool

On average, the purchase and installation of a shipping container pool can range from $16,500 to $47,000. Of course, this number may change depending on the customizations you add to your pool.

To stay on track financially, you need to plan and research the various costs involved. This will help you create a swimming pool that not only aligns with your vision but also fits your budget.

Factors in Calculating Container Pool Cost

The total cost of your project will depend on several factors, such as:

Pool Size

Container pools typically come in a width of 8 feet, but the length can vary from 20 feet to 45 feet. The price of a container depends on its size and dimensions.

Naturally, a bigger container will cost more than a smaller one. If you have a smaller household, a 20-foot container pool might be sufficient for your needs, and this option will also be kinder to your wallet.

However, if you have a larger family or expect multiple users, it’s recommended to opt for a 30-foot or 40-foot pool. These options offer more space and can accommodate more people, but may cost you more.

For those who desire even more room, there’s a 45-foot pool available. However, it’s important to note that this option will come at an even higher price.

Determining the appropriate pool size is crucial to ensuring that your shipping container pool meets your specific needs and fits within your budget. Take some time to consider the size that will work best for you and your family.

Pool Liner

There are different materials available for pool liners, including vinyl, fiberglass, concrete, plaster, epoxy, and elastic polymer.

The cost of pool liners can vary significantly, ranging from $100 to $1,500. Above-ground pool liners generally cost between $100 and $600, while in-ground pool liners can range from $700 to $1,500.

To determine the most suitable pool liner for your container pool, it’s advisable to consult with a pool company.

They can consider factors such as durability, maintenance requirements, and overall cost-effectiveness. Choosing the right pool liner is essential to ensuring the longevity and visual appeal of your container pool.


Building a container pool involves considering the foundation and reinforcement needed for the structure.

The installation process starts with laying a concrete slab foundation. This foundation must be strong enough to support the weight of the container when it’s filled with water and people.

The cost of a new concrete slab is typically around $6 per square foot, or $110 per cubic yard.

Once the concrete slab is in place, the walls and base of the shipping container pool require reinforcement. This reinforcement ensures that the pool can withstand the water pressure when it’s full.

The extent of reinforcement needed will determine the cost of welding, which can range from $122 to $492.

Temperature Control

Calculating the cost of temperature control for your container pool involves considering the type of heating system and the pool’s size.

The temperature of the pool water is crucial for ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable swimming experience.

To get your pool ready for temperature control, you must select an appropriate heating system. You have options like gas heaters, electric heaters, or heat pumps, each with its own advantages and cost implications.

The size of your pool also affects the cost of temperature control. Larger pools require more energy to heat up and maintain the desired temperature.

Take these factors into account when planning and designing your container pool. This way, you can ensure your pool meets your temperature control needs and remains inviting throughout the year.


Creating a customized container pool involves additional costs that need to be considered.

Building your own shipping container pool will give you the freedom to choose various customizations according to your preferences. Keep in mind, however, that each customization has its own price.

If you’re dreaming of adding a diving board, slide, or built-in pool lighting to your container pool, calculate the cost of these features beforehand.

Planning and budgeting for these customizations are essential to ensuring that you can create the ultimate shipping container swimming pool that not only meets all your requirements but also fits within your financial means.

Photo from Modpools

Should You Buy or Build Your Own Shipping Container Pool?

When deciding whether to buy or build your own shipping container pool, there are a few key factors to consider: cost, time commitment, and the expertise required.

If you choose to buy a shipping container, you have the option to search online or check out local suppliers. Keep in mind that there are different sizes, conditions, and prices available, so please do your research and find one that fits your needs and budget.

Working with professional container pool builders also guarantees expert craftsmanship, ensures safety standards, and provides a hassle-free construction process.

If you have the necessary skills and knowledge, building your own shipping container pool can be a rewarding DIY project. You also don’t have to worry about labor costs.

Building your own container pool is a lot of work. You have to level the ground, reinforce the container, install a liner, and set up a pump and filtration system.

Having a certain level of expertise in pool installation and construction is important to building a safe and secure container pool.

If you lack experience or time, it might be more practical to hire professionals to ensure a successful and safe installation.

Ultimately, the decision to buy or build your own container pool depends on your resources, capabilities, and preferences.

Take your time to weigh the pros and cons and make a decision that aligns with your goals and circumstances.

Final Thoughts

Building your own shipping container swimming pool can be a great way to have a unique and customized swimming experience, all while saving money.

With careful planning and smart choices, you can create a unique swimming experience that you and your family will enjoy for years to come.

For other helpful tips about container living, check out our guides here.

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Container Home Hub is not a shipping container home construction company. While we do our best to make sure our information is accurate, please contact a professional shipping container home builder for information. Container Home Hub is also a blog and does not independently sell shipping container houses and/or shipping container house plans. Container Home Hub currently uses advertisements from a third-party advertising site in addition to occasional affiliate links.