Backyard Pool Ideas on a Budget

Backyard Pool Ideas on a Budget

Many people think of a backyard pool as something fancy and financial out of reach for them. However, if you do your research and get creative, there are many ways to design and install a backyard pool on a budget. It can look and feel luxurious without breaking the bank! 

In this article, we’ll share different types of budget-friendly backyard pools and compare costs to help you make an informed, budget-conscious decision. 

Backyard Pool Ideas on a Budget: Important Considerations 

If you’re looking to install a backyard pool on a budget, you should consider your motivations for getting a pool and prioritize them. Pools can serve many different purposes, including health and fitness, aesthetics, recreation, social gatherings, and more. If your main reason for getting a pool is to swim laps, for example, think about that when you decide what kind of pool to get, design the layout, and determine the features you want to include so that you can save some money. 

Another key consideration when choosing a backyard pool on a budget is longevity and return on investment. Some pools are much cheaper than others upfront, but they are meant to be temporary rather than permanent. If you intend to use the pool for the next ten years, it may be worth investing in a more durable, long-lasting pool to avoid replacement and repair costs. 

When installing a backyard pool, you also need to budget for items like landscaping and poolside furniture. One great way to save money is to invest in our waterproof cushion covers for your poolside seating areas. These removable cushion covers will protect your outdoor cushions from mold, mildew, stains, and fading so that they can look great for years to come. That way, you can avoid having to constantly replace your cushions and outdoor furniture. 

Now, let’s get down to the specifics and compare different types of pools and their costs… 

backyard renovations

Backyard Pool Ideas on a Budget: Types of Pools

Inground Pools: Inground pools are generally more expensive than aboveground pools, though there are ways to make them work on a budget. First of all, there are different types of inground pools, and some are more affordable than others. Vinyl liner pools typically have the lowest initial costs, and the material can be customized to different shapes and sizes. However, vinyl liners require more maintenance and often need to be replaced after just 4-7 years. Fiberglass inground pools are more expensive than vinyl in the short term, but they are more durable and long-lasting, so they can save you money in the long run. Fiberglass is also a cheaper option compared to concrete. 

Above-Ground Pools: An above-ground swimming pool is (obviously) placed above the ground. We’ll compare average costs in the section below, but above-ground pools tend to be significantly cheaper than inground pools and take much less time and effort to install. Another advantage of above-ground pools is that they can be moved or upgraded easily, whereas inground pools are much more permanent. 

Plunge Pools: Another way to save money is to keep the size of the pool to a minimum. Depending on your reasons for getting a backyard pool, a small plunge pool or cocktail pool can be equally enjoyable. They’re great for cooling off, enjoying quality time with your partner, or socializing with a small group of friends. 

Semi-Inground Pools: As the name suggests, a semi-inground swimming pool is one that’s partially installed in the ground and partially installed above ground. The raised edges can be used for bar space, water features, and pool entry points. You can either install an above-ground pool semi-inground or build an inground pool that is semi-inground, the former being much more budget-friendly. 


Swim Spas: Instead of a pool, you may want to consider a swim spa. Swim spas are similar to above-ground pools, but they typically come with special features, such as built-in current systems for fitness, jets for hydrotherapy, comfortable seats for relaxation, etc. Because they can function as a pool or a hot tub, they offer great flexibility. 

Average Backyard Pool Costs

The average cost of a background pool varies depending on many factors, including the type of pool (inground vs. above-ground), the size, the materials used, the brand, the additional features, the installation costs, and more. Generally, an inground pool costs between $28,000 and $55,000, or between $50 and $125 per square foot. Above-ground pools are much more affordable, typically costing between $1,850 and $4,977 on average, including the cost of installation. To save money on the cost of installation, consider constructing the pool during the low season or tackle it on your own if you feel confident enough in your skills. Another important thing to consider when comparing the costs of different types of pools is that inground pools generally require an increase in homeowners insurance

backyard pool landscaping

Backyard Pool Landscaping Tips & Ideas

If you go with an above-ground pool, there are many creative ways to conceal the edges and make them look beautiful. Building a wooden deck around the pool is one popular and aesthetic choice, but it can be expensive. Decks around above-ground pools add extra support, make it easier to get in and out of the pool, and provide easier access for cleaning. To cut down on costs, you can go with a smaller sundeck on one side of the pool instead of a wrap-around deck. 

Other budget-friendly ways to hide unappealing above-ground pool walls include lattice, stone, faux stone, and concrete. Another idea is to strategically plant garden beds, shrubs, or trees around the above-ground pool to conceal the edges. If you have a sloped yard, you can use this to your advantage; set the pool partially into the hillside and create a nice seating area on the higher ground behind the pool. 

For inground pools, the landscaping options are endless. If you’re on a tight budget, plants, rock gardens, and concrete tend to be cheaper than wood. 

Kids Outdoor Furniture & Pool Ideas

If you have kids, they’re probably extremely excited about getting a backyard pool. To help them enjoy the pool, consider adding a few fun features like a slide, diving board, pool volleyball net, or shallow sun shelf. Pool floaties are always a hit with the kiddos, and they tend to be pretty inexpensive. 

When it comes to poolside furniture, there are plenty of kid-sized options out there. If you buy lounge chairs or other furniture with cushions, you’ll save money in the long run with removable, machine-washable, waterproof cushion covers. We can make custom cushion covers to fit any type of outdoor furniture, no matter how small.  

Finishing Touches: Backyard Renovations & Additions 

To get maximum enjoyment and comfort out of your backyard pool and outdoor space as a whole, here are some renovations and additions to consider: 

  • Build a sun deck for poolside lounging 
  • Install backyard lighting to increase safety and improve the overall ambiance 
  • Add a backyard firepit for a place to warm up after an evening swim 
  • Build a covered patio for protection from the elements 
  • Install a canopy for shade 
  • Create several different backyard seating areas for different purposes (socializing, dining, sunbathing, etc.) 

kids outdoor furniture

Spruce Up Your Poolside Furniture with Fig Leaf Cushions! 

Once you’ve installed your new backyard pool, top it off with our affordable Fig Leaf cushion covers. These cushion covers come in a wide variety of fun colors and festive prints to add a bit of flair to your backyard. They can be customized to fit any type of patio or poolside furniture, from couches to chaise lounges and everything in between. What’s more, our waterproof material is mold and mildew-resistant, so you won’t have to worry about getting your cushions wet after jumping in the pool!