Best Backyard Pool Ideas on a Budget

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Are you looking for backyard pool ideas that won’t break the bank? You’re in luck! There are plenty of affordable options for backyard pools, from small above ground pools to large inground pools. And if you’re a DIYer, there are even some great backyard pool ideas that you can do yourself.

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We live in Texas, so access to water in the summer is a must! Triple digit temps pretty much mean staying inside, or staying in the water around here.

I was really excited to find the perfect small above ground pool for our backyard this summer. It’s affordable, and it was easy to set up too!

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the best backyard pool ideas on a budget. Whether you’re looking for a small pool to cool off in during the summer or a large pool that will be the centerpiece of your backyard, we’ve got you covered. So let’s dive in!

Backyard pool ideas on a budget

A backyard swimming pool is the perfect way to cool off during the summer months. But for many homeowners, the cost of installing a pool can be a major barrier. The good news is that it is possible to create a backyard oasis on any budget.

With some careful planning and research, you can find ways to save money on every aspect of your pool, from the initial construction costs to ongoing maintenance expenses. By taking the time to learn about all of your options, you can create a beautiful and affordable swimming pool that will provide years of enjoyment for you and your family.

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Summer Waves Quick Set 10 ft Pool

Above ground pools

Above ground pools come in a variety of shapes and sizes, making it easy to find one that will fit in your backyard. However, deciding on the right above ground pool can be tricky- especially if you’re working with a limited budget.

One option is a frame pool, which is typically made of metal or PVC. Frame pools are sturdy and relatively easy to set up, but they can be more expensive than other types of above ground pools (depending on the size).

Another option is an inflatable pool, which is often the most affordable choice. Inflatable pools are also easy to set up, but they are not as durable as frame pools and may need to be replaced more frequently.

Finally, there are also semi-inground pools, which are built partially into the ground. Semi-inground pools are more durable than inflatable pools, but they can be more difficult to install. When choosing an above ground pool for your backyard, consider your budget and the amount of space you have available. With so many options on the market, you’re sure to find the perfect pool for your needs.

Inflatable Pools

Inflatable pools are a great option for those who want to keep cool in the summer without spending a lot of money. They are much cheaper than above ground pools and can be set up in just a few minutes. Plus, they’re much easier to store than inground pools. j

My absolute FAVORITE budget pick for inflatable pools is this 10 ft rectangle pool from Walmart under $25!

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Inflatable pools come in a variety of sizes, so you can choose one that’s perfect for your yard. They’re also great for kids, since they can be used as kiddie pools or water slides. And if you get tired of the pool, you can always deflate it and put it away until next summer.

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So if you’re looking for a cheap and easy way to beat the heat, an inflatable pool is a great option.

Small above ground pools

One of the most budget-friendly backyard pool ideas is a small above ground pool. These pools are typically less expensive than inground pools and can be great for small yards. Above ground pools also come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so you can find one that will fit your backyard perfectly.

Summer Waves 10 ft x 30 in Above Ground Frame Pool

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Summer Waves 10 ft x 30 in Quick Set Pool

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Large above ground pools

If you have a large backyard, an above ground pool is a great option. These pools typically cost less than inground pools and can be just as spacious. Above ground pools also come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so you can find one that will fit your backyard perfectly.

Intex 18 ft x 9 ft x 52 in Large Rectangle Pool

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Summer Waves 18 ft x 48 in Large Circular Pool

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Stock Tank Pools

If you’re looking for an affordable way to add a pool to your backyard, there are a few options to consider. One option is a stock tank pool. These pools are made from metal or plastic tanks that are typically used to store water on farms. Stock tank pools are becoming increasingly popular because they’re affordable and easy to install. Here is a DIY stock tank pool tutorial, so you can see if it’s right for you!

Hot Tubs

A hot tub can be a great alternative to swimming pools, especially if you’re worried about the cost of maintenance. While hot tubs do require some upkeep, they generally don’t require as much as a full-sized pool. In addition, hot tubs come in a variety of sizes and styles, so you can find one that fits your budget.

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For example, inflatable hot tubs are a popular option because they’re relatively affordable and easy to set up.

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Whether you’re looking for a relaxing way to unwind after a long day or a fun place to entertain friends, hot tubs can be a great option.

Inground Pools

There are a few things to consider when choosing an inground pool on a budget. The first thing you’ll want to consider is the type of inground pool you want. There are three main types: plunge, lap, and water feature.

  • Plunge pools are the least expensive and are great for small spaces.
  • Lap pools are more expensive but offer more features, such as customizable swimming lanes.
  • Water feature pools are the most expensive but offer the most luxurious features, such as built-in Jacuzzis, rock waterfall features, or an infinity edge.

The second thing to consider is the size of the pool. Inground pools come in a variety of sizes, from small pools that can fit in your backyard to large pools that take up an entire yard. The size of the pool you choose will depend on your budget and the amount of space you have available.

  • A small inground pool will typically cost less than a large rectangular shape or circular pool, it’s a good idea to consider how much space you have, and the cost before starting a pool installation.
  • You might consider putting in a small plunge pool, instead of a larger lap pool. This is not only better for a small backyard, but smaller pools are less expensive to have installed by pool builders.
  • If you are an avid swimmer, and want to be able to swim long distances in a small space, you might consider an endless pool, that uses a counter current to swim against you, so you can swim laps with less space than a larger pool.

The third thing to consider is the type of material you want your inground pool to be made from. There are three main types of materials: concrete, vinyl liner, and fiberglass.

  • Concrete and vinyl inground pools are less expensive but require more maintenance.
  • Fiberglass inground pools are more expensive but are easier to maintain and offer a longer lifespan.

When choosing an inground pool on a budget, it’s important to consider all of your options. With a little research, you’re sure to find the perfect pool for your backyard.

DIY inground pools

If you’re handy, you may want to consider building your own inground pool. This can be a great way to save money on your backyard pool. However, it’s important to note that DIY inground pools can be more difficult to maintain and may not last as long as a professionally installed pool.

Additional Features for the Backyard

Even if you can’t afford a large luxurious pool with a modern design, there are plenty of options to elevate the surrounding area of the pool to create an oasis in your own backyard.

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Outdoor Furniture from Big Lots

Pool Deck

Adding a wooden deck or concrete patio around the area of the pool is a good option to create easy access to the pool, and to be able to add a seating area or tanning ledge for family members or guests to enjoy your new backyard pool. Before installing the pool, make sure you leave enough space for a deck or patio. This will add additional costs to your pool design ideas, so make sure you consider that in the pool price, or put it on your to do list to add the following summer, there’s no rush!

Outdoor Furniture

A simple way to to create a perfect place for the whole family to gather in the backyard, is to add some pool furniture to the surrounding landscape. You can easily take your backyard to the next level by grabbing some simple patio furniture so there will be plenty of room for your guests to sit and enjoy your new pool. Personally, I love Big Lots for their affordable outdoor furniture, and did an entire patio makeover in my own backyard this summer for well under $1,000 (including my 10 ft above ground pool).

Fire Pits

If you love to be outside after the sun goes down, a fire pit is a great choice to add poolside. Not only will it keep your swimmers warm when they get out of the pool (if you live in a cooler area), but it’s perfect for roasting s’mores or hot dogs, so you can go ahead and have dinner taken care of too.

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You can purchase affordable fire pits and fire bowls online or in hardware stores, or if you’re extra handy you can even build your own with a few of these DIY fire pit ideas here.


Overall, there are a number of backyard pool ideas to choose from, and all will make a great addition to your home, depending on your budget. If you’re looking for the best small pool ideas to enjoy on a hot summer day, small above ground pools and large above ground pools are great choices.

For something more affordable than an inground pool, consider a stock tank pool or simple metal frame above ground pool. Even a hot tub or inflatable pool can be a great alternative to swimming pools if you need to stay cool, but don’t have the space for a traditional swimming pool. With a little research, you’re sure to find the perfect backyard pool for your needs.

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Leave a Reply

  1. Using hot tub attachments for places like our large pool could be a good idea for us. That way, in case we are experiencing some chilly weather, we can use those attachments and features just to stay warm. Once I find a pool renovation expert in the area, I’ll ask them to help us use these features for sure.


hi! I'm shannon

I’m a wife, mom of three, doctor, and blogger! In 2018, I decided to turn my mom blog, into a personal finance blog so others could follow along on our journey to pay off over HALF a MILLION dollars in student loan and practice start up debt. I hope you enjoy following along, and maybe even find some inspiration along the way.