Budget-Friendly Pool Renovation Ideas

Written by Michael Dean
February 1, 2024

pool renovation idea

Does your swimming pool feel a little stale to you? Perhaps you bought a house that already came with an inground pool, or you built it years ago, and your tastes have changed. Whatever the reason, a total pool overhaul might not be financially practical. Thankfully, there are several smaller pool renovation ideas and upgrades that fit into a variety of budgets. Here are a few ideas. Also be sure to check out my thoughts on pool renovation ideas for all budgets!

Main Takeaways

  • You can add water features to your pool, like a sprinkler system, bubbler, or a small waterfall.
  • Saltwater pool systems are becoming increasingly popular as you spend less money on chemicals.
  • Other budget-friendly pool renovation ideas include LED lighting, automation systems, UV sanitization, and Baja steps.

Water Features

freeform pool with fountain in spa

Although these are certainly not the most inexpensive pool renovation options, adding features like fountains, waterfalls, cascades, sprayers, and spas to an existing pool design is often reasonably easy. Usually, for a reasonable installation fee, you can energize a tired pool area with motion and sound. Installing a simple sprinkler or even a small cascading waterfall won’t break the bank and will make your pool look amazing! Budget-friendly water features include deck jets, fountain spitters, small waterfalls, bubblers, and sconces. Also of note – water features can increase the cost of maintaining your pool by using extra electricity and increasing water volume and rate of pool water evaporation.

Check out my complete list of water feature ideas.

Salt Water System

garden inspired swimming pool

Salt water systems are becoming increasingly popular for serving swimming pools. These systems use salt to create chlorine in the water, so you don’t have to add it via traditional methods. Salt water pools generally cause less skin, eyes, and hair irritation. Not only do you save money by not having to buy expensive chemicals, but your pool’s surface lasts longer.

To learn more, read my guide on converting your pool to salt water.

LED Lighting

There is no more cost-effective way to quickly and easily transform your pool into a unique backyard sanctuary. LED lights can be installed below the water or anywhere in the pool area and come in different colors. Additionally, they are much more energy-efficient than floodlighting or other traditional pool lighting, which helps offset the installation cost. They make it simple to add your sense of style to your poolscape.

For more, check out my recommendations for the best pool lights.

Automation Systems

Like all other technologies, pool technology constantly evolves, and most newer gadgets can be retrofitted to older pools. These high-tech systems make having a pool far less work. Some equipment to consider includes robotic cleaners, automatic pool covers, and all-in-one pool automation systems, which often can be controlled by an app on your phone.

Ultra Violet Sanitizing

UV sanitizing is a neat technology that has been slowly growing in popularity. The pool’s dirty water gets pumped through the filter, and then the UV light shines on the water, which kills bacteria, viruses, mold, and algae. Although it won’t completely prevent you from using chemicals in your pool, UV sanitization will significantly reduce the amount of money you’ll be spending on cleaning supplies.

Baja Steps

unique freeform pool

A Baja step is essentially a large shelf on the side of the pool that allows you to sit and relax in shallow water. Installing a Baja step may be a good idea if you want to sunbathe in the water, but your pool doesn’t have a shallow part, or if you have small children. These shelves also look great and can be customized to fit the aesthetic of your pool.

Thinking About Resurfacing Your Pool?

Resurfacing a pool isn’t cheap, but it is a solid and long-lasting way to use your remodeling budget. Since pool surfaces need to be replastered every 10-15 years, this is a way to aesthetically enhance your swimming pool while taking care of a necessary repair. Aggregate finishes come in different colors and incorporate stones, shells, or other materials that can completely change the look of your pool and, in turn, your entire backyard. Be sure to read my intro guide on pool remodeling and when to know it’s time to resurface your pool as well.

Need Help Building Your Pool?

I offer design consulting services to help you build your ideal pool. I'll work with your contractor, create build-ready designs and specs, and much more.

Any other renovation upgrades you’re thinking about? Let me know!

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