How to Build a DIY Pool Cover

Written by Michael Dean
February 27, 2024

pool cover and tool kit

Summer is the perfect time to relax in the pool, but what about when the weather starts to cool down? If you want to protect your swimming pool from harsh weather, debris, and wildlife, you’ll need a pool cover. Building your own pool cover is a good idea because it allows you to save some money and customize it to your preferences. If you are unsure about what materials you need or how to get started, I’ve got you.

In this article, I will go over everything you need to know about building a DIY pool cover.

Main Takeaways

  • Building a pool cover yourself is a great way to save money.
  • You will need a tarp, bungee cords, and a few other materials to build a pool cover.
  • Building a pool cover is not as difficult as it may seem. With the below steps and tips, you can create a durable, high-quality pool cover.

Types of Materials You Should Use

Building your pool cover is a great way to save money and get your ideal pool cover. Getting started with this project can be challenging if you’re unsure what materials you’ll need. Here are all the details you need to know about constructing a DIY pool cover.

You can use a few different materials to build a pool cover. The most important thing is to ensure that your material is durable.

A tarp is an excellent option because it is inexpensive and easy to find. You can also use a heavy-duty canvas tarp if you want a more durable option.

Another great material to use is vinyl. Vinyl is more durable than a tarp and will last longer. However, it is also more expensive.

If you want to build a durable pool cover, use a mesh tarp. Mesh tarps are made of a strong material that will allow water to drain through. This is an excellent option if you live in an area with a lot of rain.

Now that you know what type of material to use, you need to gather the rest of the required supplies.

Supplies Checklist

The first step to building your pool cover is gathering the needed materials. You will need a variety of materials for this DIY project. The specific materials you will need will vary depending on the size and shape of your pool. But usually, you will need the following:

  • Tarp of your choice
  • Bungee cords
  • Measuring tape
  • Sharp knife
  • Heavy-duty needle and thread
  • Sewing machine (optional)
  • Weight to hold the cover down
  • Ladder (for above ground pools only)

Step By Step Guide: How to Build a Pool Cover

Now that you have gathered all the needed materials, it is time to start building your pool cover.

Step one: Measure the pool

The first step is to measure the dimensions of your pool. You must know your pool’s length, width, and depth to purchase the correct size tarp. Once you have the measurements, add two feet to each dimension. This will give you enough material to tuck the tarp’s edges under the pool.

Step two: Cut the tarp

Then you need to cut the tarp to size. Use a sharp knife to cut the tarp to the dimensions of your pool. Be sure to leave enough material at the tarp’s edges to sew.

Step three: Sew the seams

After cutting the tarp to size, it is time to sew the seams. This will ensure that the tarp does not tear when in place. You can either hand sew the seams or use a sewing machine. Be sure to use a heavy-duty needle and thread.

Step four: Attach the grommets

The next step is to attach the grommets. Grommets are metal rings that attach the tarp to the bungee cords. They need to be placed every two feet along the tarp’s edges. You can either hand sew them or use a machine.

Step five: Attach the bungee cords

Now that the grommets are in place, it is time to attach the bungee cords. Start by threading one end of the cord through a grommet. Then, stretch the cord across the pool and thread it through the grommet on the other side. Repeat this process until all grommets are attached to the bungee cords.

If your tarp does not have grommets, you can make your own by punching holes in the tarp with a sharp knife.

Step six: Place the cover on the pool

Now that the cover is complete, it is time to place it on the pool. Start by stretching the cover over the pool. Then, use the bungee cords to secure the tarp in place. Ensure the tarp is snug against the pool so no water can get under the cover.

Step seven: Add weight to the cover

You may also want to place some weights around the pool’s edge to keep the cover from blowing away in the wind. Sandbags or bricks work well for this. Place the weights around the perimeter of the pool. Make sure that the cover is evenly weighted, so it does not blow away after your hard work.

Your pool cover is now complete. Now sit back, relax, and enjoy your pool all season long. By following these easy steps, you can build your pool cover for years and save money by keeping your pool clean and safe.

Advantages of a DIY Pool Cover

Here are some of the main advantages of making your own pool cover.


The main advantage of a DIY pool cover is that it will save you money. An average pool cover costs you anywhere from $100 to $500. By making your pool cover, you can save even hundreds of dollars.

Custom Fitting

Another advantage is that the pool cover will be custom-fitted to your pool. If you purchase a pool cover, it may not fit your pool correctly. By making your own pool cover, you can be sure it will fit your pool perfectly.

Increased Durability

A DIY pool cover will also be more durable than a store-bought pool cover. Unless you pay for a more expensive and high-quality cover, store-bought pool covers are often made from cheaper materials that are not as durable. By making your pool cover, you can choose the materials you use and ensure they are durable.

Disadvantages of a DIY Pool Cover

Of course, some downsides come with making a pool cover. Here are some of the cons, so you can properly decide for yourself whether DIY-ing a pool cover is for you.

Time Consuming

The main disadvantage is that it will take some time to make it. If you were to simply purchase a pool cover, you could have it in your pool within a few days. However, making your own pool cover may take you a few weeks to finish it.

Difficult to Make

Another disadvantage is that making a DIY pool cover will be more challenging. It won’t be easy if you have never made a pool cover. You will need to have some experience sewing and working with fabric to make a pool cover that looks good.

May Not Fit Correctly

If you do not measure your pool accurately, the pool cover may be too big or small. This can be a very frustrating experience, as you will have to redo the entire cover.

A DIY pool cover can be a great way to save money and get a custom-fit cover for your pool. However, it is important to weigh the pros and cons before making your pool cover. A DIY pool cover can be a great project if you have the time and patience.

Need Some Maintenance Help?

Send me a message! I can answer any of your pool maintenance, equipment, or other questions.

Save Some Money and DIY

Pool covers can be insanely expensive, so why not save some money and build your own? With a little bit of effort, you can create a pool cover that will last for years. All you need is to roll up your sleeves and switch on your creative side. DIY is not as difficult as it seems, and you can quickly get the hang of it. The result will be worth it.

If DIY just isn’t your style, feel free to check out my recommendations below!

More questions? Let me know; I’m happy to help!

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