Homemade Swimming Pools

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The cost of installing and maintaining a permanent pool can be very expensive. From the initial construction to ongoing filters and chemicals, the idea of creating a homemade pool seems rather appealing. Depending on your level of construction skill, you may want to choose a temporary and movable route verses a large-scale project, but the options are available for you.

Small Scale Temporary

  • One of the ways to be creative in building a temporary homemade swimming pool is to use "recyclable" materials such as large appliance boxes cut long ways and lined with giant plastic liners. This will likely only be good for one use given that a wet box doesn't hold up well, but it costs you next to nothing, so repeating the process is easy.
    If you have a large bucket, basin or unused sandbox these can become mini-pools for smaller children. One family went for ultra-creative use of materials---a backyard stone, terraced flowerbed that was already dug a few feet deep. They dug deeper, placed a waterproof tarp to line the "pool," and filled it with a garden hose. It was a source of summer entertainment for their family. The biggest consideration here would be cleaning the eventual algae growth and keeping bacteria from forming in the pool as there is no filter or water flow option here.

Larger Construction

  • If you want a longer lasting swimming pool, you can design and create a natural swimming pool (similar to a pond) for approximately $2,000 to $3,000. Primarily this is done by digging a hole with sloping sides, adding a plant area to keep your pool clean and lining it with appropriate pipes to filter the water. For vertical sides, you may use Rasta blocks and make a perimeter of plants. Natural pools have the benefits of creating an ecosystem where the plants help filter your pool and provide water habitats for frogs and small amphibians who in return keep mosquitoes at a minimum.
    You can also build a concrete swimming pool. You'll pour cement like you would for making a sidewalk, but over a much larger area. Find a large enough space to dig a hole at least 4 feet deep and 12 feet wide and long. You'll need to have braces to hold the walls' shape while the cement dries. Books such as "The Boy Mechanic" series from the publishers of Popular Mechanics offer more complete directions on this project.

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