Most people dream of owning their own backyard pool, but this is a large investment, so it is essential to shop within your budget when you are looking to purchase a swimming pool. But is there such a thing as a cheap pool? And if you manage to save on cost, do you have to make sacrifices when it comes to the build quality and style of your pool?
Here we discuss everything you need to know about cheap pools, and how they fit into the bigger picture of the swimming pool market.
What makes a cheap swimming pool?
This depends entirely on your budget and the ways you intend to use your pool. There are a number of factors that have a major impact on the pool cost:
- The size and design of your pool
- Whether you want it built inground or above ground
- What material the pool is made from
- The shape of your backyard and how easily it can be accessed
For example, you will always pay the most for an inground concrete pool, as these have to be built entirely from scratch on site in your backyard. Because of this, the amount of work involved in building a concrete pool is much more extensive than for a prefabricated pool, and the installation will take weeks or months, so the cost will always be high. Even if you choose a small and basic concrete pool design, it could never be classed as cheap, unless you have a practically unlimited budget.
The larger the pool, the more you will usually have to pay for it. The price tag also increases with any extra features you choose to include, such as water features or an infinity edge.
The best cheap inground pools
Inground pools will always cost more than above ground pools, as your backyard needs to be excavated before the pool can be installed, so there is a significant amount of work involved in building the pool, which causes the price to rise.
The three most popular materials used to make inground pools are concrete, fibreglass and vinyl-liner. Concrete pools are often prohibitively expensive, so those looking for a cheap inground pool solution will usually choose a fibreglass or vinyl-liner pool. These are prefabricated in a wide range of sizes and designs, and these days there is a vast selection to choose from. They are far easier to install than concrete pools, as the pool shell is delivered direct to your home on a truck and installed in the ground, rather than having to be built from scratch. This keeps the cost down; however, you might find the cost increases if your backyard is a particularly awkward shape, if your site slopes, or if access to your backyard is limited.
Of the two main cheap inground pool options, fibreglass usually works out better value than vinyl-liner, as it is far stronger and more durable, so it will last a lot longer without the need for repairs. It is also easier to keep clean and maintain, which saves you time and money. Vinyl-liner pools can easily be damaged, and the lining tends to need replacing completely every five to seven years, so you can find yourself spending more on repairs than you initially bargained for.
Another important consideration is the size of your pool. The cheapest inground pool solution is often a plunge pool, as these are much smaller in length and width than regular swimming pools. However, they are designed to be extra-deep so you can still enjoy the full benefit of spending time in the water. This means the excavation work required is still significant, so a relatively cheap plunge pool may not be the most cost-effective option available to you.
Cheap above ground pool solutions
If you really want a cheap pool, you would be much better looking at above ground pools. These cost far less than inground pools, as there is no need for any excavation work to take place. Above ground pools simply need a level base to sit on and a connection to an electrical supply before they can be filled and used, so they are a cheaper and more convenient option. There are a wide variety of cheap above ground pools for sale, including fibreglass, vinyl-liner, and shipping container pools, each of which has their own advantages and disadvantages.
Shipping container pools are a particularly popular and relatively cheap above ground pool solution. There is a growing trend for shipping container pools right across New Zealand, due to their extreme convenience and comparatively low price tags. Made from upcycled shipping containers, these long, narrow pools offer extreme convenience, as they come as complete kits with filtration systems and lighting, which means that as soon as they have been connected to electricity and filled, they are ready to use. They can also be taken with you if you ever decide to move home, as they are easy to load onto a truck.
However, not all shipping container pools are created equal. There are three main ways of converting an old shipping container into a swimming pool: by adding an extra layer of steel on the inside, a vinyl-liner insert, or a fibreglass pool shell. These do not all have equal strength and durability, as fibreglass is known for being an extremely strong material which will withstand heavy usage and extreme climate conditions. There are also a wide variety of manufacturers making shipping container pools, so their price tags can vary widely.
The same is true of above ground fibreglass and vinyl-liner pools. Like shipping container pools, many of these are sold as complete kits which are ready to be used almost immediately once they have been delivered and positioned. However, they are not all built to the same high-quality standards, so you might think you have got yourself an extremely cheap above ground pool, but you might have to spend more than you bargained for on repairs and maintenance further down the line.
How cheap are Little Pools?
Little Pools are extremely cost-effective swimming pool solutions without being at the very cheapest end of the market. They have the advantage of being fully above ground pools, so they are quick and easy to install, which saves on labour costs. All a Little Pool needs is a level concrete pad to sit on, and a connection to an electricity supply, before it can be filled and used. Little Pools also come as complete kits with their own lighting, steps and filtration systems, so there is no need to spend out on extras unless you really feel you want to and you have budgeted for it.
Where Little Pools really score, however, is in their build quality. They have been developed and produced in conjunction with one of Australia’s leading manufacturers of full-sized, inground fibreglass swimming pools, so they use the very latest technology and have benefited from the highest levels of engineering expertise in the industry. This means they are as strong and safe as the highest quality fibreglass pools on the market, so your Little Pool will last for many years to come.
Because of these high standards, Little Pools are not as cheap as some of the other above ground pools on the market. They are designed to be more affordable versions of full-sized fibreglass swimming pools, giving you the highest quality in a budget-friendly package. Find out more about the pricing options of our pools.
How to identify a good quality and affordable swimming pool
There are many ways in which you can ensure you are getting good value for money when you are purchasing a swimming pool. The most important thing to look at is the build quality. It is essential to research manufacturers thoroughly and find out exactly what each one is offering. Read online reviews and see what other customers are saying about their products. While a number of these reviews may be fake, these can usually be identified quite easily. The vast majority of online reviews are the genuine opinions of people who have bought the product, so if people are complaining about the quality of the materials or the build of a swimming pool, it is best to leave that manufacturer alone.
Recommendations from family, friends and acquaintances can also be extremely useful here. Ask everyone you know who has a pool, and find out how happy they are with the quality of their swimming pools. You can also ask if they don’t mind telling you how much they paid for their pools, enabling you to make a realistic comparison between the different types available.
Finally, as yourself how well the pool will meet your needs. Obviously, you might have to make some compromises, depending on your budget. But all pools are large investments, so they should be capable of serving their purpose for a lifetime. There is no point buying a pool which does not allow you to enjoy the water to the full, or which your kids will quickly outgrow. It is sometimes better to spend a little extra and know that you have a pool which you can continue to enjoy for a long time to come.
Find out more about Little Pools
If you would like more information about the Little Pools range, please contact us. Our dedicated team will be happy to answer all your questions and help you make an informed choice.