Last Updated on October 17, 2021
Backyard pools are a great way to beat the heat in the summertime. However, you may be on a strict budget and want to know what options you should consider that will make your kids and your wallet happy! Read on for our best backyard pool ideas on a budget and how to find the best pool for the money…
Our Top Backyard Pool Ideas on a Budget
Temporary Or Inflatable Pools Are The Way To Go
Today, we’ll show you some creative ways to make your new pool stand out from all the rest without breaking the bank.
Since you are looking for a budget pool, then it is likely that you are not going to be installing an in-ground pool with a deck and water features! Those can cost between $50,000 to $100,000, so they are not budget-friendly.
However, temporary or inflatable pools from manufacturers such as Intex, Bestway, Summer Waves, or Coleman are just the thing for your project. These setups can be as inexpensive as a few hundred dollars up to a few thousand dollars for a very large pool such as the Intex XTR line.
First, get an idea of what you are willing to spend on your summer oasis. If you only have a few hundred dollars to spend, that will limit your selection somewhat. However, if you are willing to spend between $1000 and $2000 you can get a really nice temporary pool set up in your backyard.
Location – Where to put the pool?
Choosing one location over another might seem like an easy decision at first, but you have to consider the following:
Proximity to a water source – ideally your pool will be near a source of water such as your outdoor spigot. You can put the pool further away from the house, but you will need a longer hose to fill the pool.
Sun exposure – Take into consideration whether or not there will be any natural shade available. You will find that your pool gets more use if it is not constantly in the direct sun. Here are some ideas for shading your pool.
The slope of the land – You want to find a spot that is already quite level. If not, you may need to level the ground yourself or hire someone with a machine to level it for you. This can add to the cost. If the pool is not level, it can lead to serious problems.
Which brand of pool to buy?
You will find temporary pools made by Intex, Bestway, Summer Waves, and Coleman. They are all quite popular. Honestly, they all have similar quality.
We usually recommend Intex pools for the inflatables, because they seem to have the best longevity when taken care of properly.
For frame pools, we recommend either Intex or Bestway, they are quite comparable.
If you’re a little bit short on swimming space, you can make up for it by installing waterfalls, jets, and bubblers. They add variety to an otherwise plain-looking swimming pool. This also helps make your backyard pool unique from others and is something to consider if you want your swimming pool to stand out.
A Note About Cost: As we compiled the information for this article, we are taking into account not only the cost of the pool set itself but also the other maintenance supplies and accessories you will likely need.
Best Backyard Pool Ideas On A Budget
If you are on a budget, don’t fret! Here are five of the best backyard pool ideas for anyone with a tight budget.
These are all creative and inexpensive ways to get the same use out of your yard as if you had built an in-ground pool. You can even do them all yourself without any outside help.
Backyard Kiddie Pool
Best Pool Under $200
A backyard kiddie pool is a great way to cool down and have some fun in the summer heat. They are inexpensive, easy to maintain, and safe for kids of all ages.
There are various kiddie pool shapes and sizes that you can choose from and many major pool manufacturers like Intex and Bestway have these in their inventory. All you have to do is order one and get it set up in your yard. We’ve never encountered or experienced having any difficulties setting up a kiddie pool, so we’re confident you should be able to get one up and running without any professional help.
If you are on a really tight budget, then this is the pick for you. We even have a few tips on keeping kiddie pools clean here.
They’re also very easy to clean and maintain, and if you’re on a tight budget, this can be the perfect backyard pool for you.
- Easiest type to set up
- Low maintenance
- Very affordable
- Not much room to swim
- Best for kids under 10
For more information on how to choose and set up a kiddie pool, you can check our post about the best kiddie pools.
Backyard Inflatable Pool
Best Pool Under $500
The inflatable pool is a terrific invention. It has opened up pool ownership to many who could have never afforded it before. If your budget is in this range, then you will be able to get one of these pools and any accessories you need within your budget.
These are a great way to introduce your kids to the idea of a pool and get them comfortable with being in the water. Then, you can decide later if a larger investment is worth it as they grow older.
If you prefer to set up a much bigger pool than a kiddie pool but are cautious since you still have small kids, then getting an inflatable pool is a great option to consider. The best thing about this is they’re very inexpensive and you have a wide range of options to choose from.
Despite looking vulnerable, inflatable pools are quite durable as long as they are maintained and stored properly.
Here are our top inflatable pool recommendations for your budget backyard pool!
- Set up in less than an hour
- Lots of sizes to choose from
- Great value for the money
- Will only last a few seasons
- Must take down in cold months
Small Backyard Frame Pool
Best Pool Under $1000
If you are thinking about a backyard pool that is a little more durable, then the next step up is a frame pool. Again, these are made by manufacturers such as Intex, Bestway, Summer Waves, and Coleman with the quality being quite similar.
One benefit of the frame pool idea is that it can be deeper than the inflatable pools, so your kids will have more room to play and even swim.
- More room for kids to play
- Setup within an hour or two
- Take down or winterize during cold months
- A little more costly
- Can last 3-5 years
Large Backyard Frame Pool
Budget $2000 – $3000
Just because you are installing a temporary backyard pool does not mean that it needs to be small. You will be surprised at how large some of the options are. There are some that are the size of a small inground pool!
For the price, these truly are a great value and with a little bit of care, they will last 5-10 seasons.
These pools do require a little more effort to maintain since they are larger. For that reason, you may want to invest in a robotic pool cleaner or upgraded vacuum to make the task of keeping the pool clean just a little easier.
Also, since these pools have a lot more water, better circulation is needed. While the pump that comes with these pool sets is technically sufficient for the size, it is much better to upgrade the pump. The included pump will need to run so much to keep up, it will quickly wear out.
Pro Tip: Don’t wait for the pump to wear out and break. Go ahead and purchase an upgraded pump when your pool is new and sell the one that was included on Facebook marketplace to someone who has a smaller pool. That way you can offset the cost of the upgrade.
- Lots of size for a family to enjoy
- Most sturdy of the temporary pools
- Lasts up to 10 years with the right care
- Bigger pools mean more mainteance
- May want to upgrade the pump to get the best results
Another popular upgrade for these types of pools is to convert them to use salt water. This lessens the weekly maintenance tasks that you will need to complete.
Frequently Asked Questions About Backyard Pools
Which pool shape is the cheapest?
The cheapest above-ground pool shape is round or circular pools. Most above-ground pools are round and when comparing their prices to oval or rectangular-shaped pools, they’re more inexpensive.
How much does it cost to put a pool in your backyard?
One of the most common questions pool owners and homeowners ask is how much does it cost to put a pool in your backyard? The answer depends on many factors, including size, shape, location, and other outdoor features.
Kiddie pools may cost anywhere between $50 to $200
Inflatable pools are priced anywhere between $100 to $500.
Small frame pools will cost up to $1000 and large frame pools can be up to $3000.
Inground pools can cost between $50,000 to $100,000+
Why are temporary pools so popular?
Temporary pools like those from Intex and other brands are popular because they are easy to setup for the average homeowner and very affordable. Owning a pool is a big commitment. These pools provide a way for the kids to enjoy the hot summer days without taking out a second mortgage!
Are backyard pools worth it?
Yes, they can be. If you’ve got children who are asking you to get them a pool for a long time now, then getting them a new pool can be a great way for them to spend more time outside. Backyard pools can also serve as a haven for the whole family to bond and have fun together.
How many years do temporary above-ground pools last?
Since there are different types of these pools, this can be tough to answer. the inflatable type will likely only last up to 3-5 years. Metal frame pools can last 7 – 10 years with the proper care and maintenance. Other factors to consider are the climate of the region and how rough the kids are when playing in it.
One great feature about the frame pools is that even if the liner gets torn, it can be replaced without buying an entirely new pool. The inflatables, on the other hand, need to be purchased again if they tear.
What is the best backyard pool?
Depending on your budget, the best backyard pool for those who have about $1,000 to spend on a new pool is the Intex Prism Frame Set. If you have a budget of $500 or less, then you can choose between the Bestway Fast Set or the Intex Easy Set.
However, if the budget and backyard space is a little bigger, then you can go with the Intex Ultra XTR Frame Set. It’s the premier above-ground pool and I am sure the entire family would love to see it in their backyard.