Shipping Container Pool Cost Breakdown

Written by Michael Dean
January 9, 2024

shipping container pool next to cost analysis

A trendy alternative to traditional swimming pools is a shipping container pool. These pools convert used shipping containers into swimming pools, which is eco-friendly and can help cut down on installation costs overall. But if you’re wondering if you should get a shipping container pool, one of the first considerations would be figuring out how much to budget for it.

In this article, I’ll break down all the costs of installing a shipping container pool in your backyard.

Main Takeaways

  • The cost of the shipping container itself can range from $2,500 to $7,000, depending on the size and the condition of the container.
  • When installing a shipping container swimming pool, you also need to budget for the pool liner, pool equipment, any plumbing and electrical work, and decking.
  • On average, you can expect to pay between $8,000 to $20,000 to install an above ground shipping container pool and between $35,000 to $55,000 to install an inground pool.
  • Some maintenance costs you will need to consider are the costs of chemicals needed, equipment, cleaning, and repairs.

Cost of a Shipping Container Pool

The cost of the materials needed for a shipping container pool can vary depending on several factors, but here’s a general breakdown to help you determine the costs of each aspect of the shipping container pool.

Shipping Container

The cost of the shipping container itself depends mainly on its size and condition. There are two general sizes of shipping containers: 8×20 and 8×40. A 20-foot container can cost around $2,500 – $5,500, and a 40-foot container can cost around $4,500 – $7,000.

Pool Liner

You’ll need a pool liner to stop leaks and offer a smooth surface for swimming. Prices can range from $1,000 – $3,500, depending on the size of the pool and the type of material used.

Pool Equipment

You will need a pump and a filtration system to keep the water clean and circulating. This will set you back around $1,000 – $2,000.

Plumbing and Electrical

You’ll need to install plumbing and electrical systems to fill or drain water and power your pool equipment, which you can expect to cost roughly $2,000 – $3,000, although this depends on whether your pool will be inground or above ground.


If you want to add decking around the pool for safety and style, expect this to cost between $900 and $2,400, depending on how much material you need and what type of decking you choose.

Installation Costs

When installing the shipping container pool, there are two options: hiring a professional or tackling it yourself. Let’s take a closer look at how much either option would cost.

Professional Installation

If you decide to hire a professional to install your shipping container pool, you can generally expect to pay between $20,000 to $65,000, including the cost of the pool itself, with the labor cost itself costing around $10,000 on average. However, this price can vary widely depending on several factors, such as the size and complexity of the project, whether the pool will be inground or above ground, any ground preparation needed regarding installation, and transportation costs.

While professional installation may be costly, I strongly recommend choosing a professional service over DIY. Installing a pool is a complicated process that requires extensive plumbing, electrical, and technical skills. One wrong step can snowball into a major safety hazard, which can cost you more money in the long run.

DIY Installation

The estimated cost of a DIY shipping container pool installation ranges from $15,000 to $25,000, including the cost of the pool itself. In terms of saving money, DIY installation is a fantastic solution if you’re handy and have the necessary experience and skills in construction, electrical work, plumbing, landscaping, and decking.

But remember that even if you’re skilled, installment will need a ton of time and effort and might not exactly be a solo project. You may still have to hire some help for excavation, transportation of equipment, and electrical work. You might not have all the tools needed to install the pool either, which means additional expenses.

Above Ground vs. Inground Shipping Container Pool

When installing any pool, you have two main options: above ground or inground.

Above Ground Shipping Container Pool

An above ground shipping container pool is easier and, therefore, much cheaper to install—average costs can range from $8,000 to $20,000. The actual cost of installing the above ground pool will depend on the size of the container, additional equipment, and any plumbing work. Minimal groundwork is needed compared to inground installation.

Inground Shipping Container Pool

Excavating and installing an inground pool is a much more complex and time-consuming process that requires significant expertise. You can expect an inground shipping container pool to cost you $35,000 – $55,000 to install on average, including the cost of the container itself.

Maintenance Costs

The maintenance costs of a shipping container pool can vary depending on factors such as the size of the pool, the type of pool, and the accessories and equipment installed. There’s no real difference between maintaining a shipping container pool and any other type of pool. Some maintenance costs you will need to consider are the chemicals, equipment, cleaning, and repairs.

Check out my article on swimming pool maintenance costs for a more extensive breakdown.


If you’ve never owned a pool before, you will need to get ready to shell out some money on the basic chemicals you’ll need to maintain your pool to keep it clean and safe. Some of the chemicals you need include chlorine, pool shock, muriatic acid, soda ash, test kit, algaecide, clarifier/flocculant, and stabilizer. Expect to pay around $250 to $350 for all of the above.


You’ll also need to purchase additional equipment to help take care of your pool, like a pole and net, vacuum, pool cover, and brush. The vacuum and pool cover will cost between $100 to $500, and the pole, net, and pool brush will cost around $50.

In the winter, you must properly store your pool equipment in a weatherproof shed, which can cost between $80 to $250.


Like any pool, a shipping container pool may require repairs from time to time for corrosion, damage, or wear and tear. The cost of repairs will depend on the extent of the damage and if any parts are required. This can range from anywhere between $100 to thousands of dollars.

Extraneous Costs

Depending on your state, certain jurisdictions require special approvals/permissions from the state government. This means you’d have to pay an added fee for special permits. Generally, permits and inspection costs can be around $100-350, depending on your area.

Additional costs you could run into could be lighting, water features, or any other unique elements for the pool. You’ll also have to consider the delivery fees of the equipment and the shipping container itself.

Are Shipping Container Pools Cheaper?

Shipping container pools can be cheaper than traditional inground swimming pools, but it ultimately depends on various factors such as size, features, installation costs, and, most importantly, the type of pool, whether concrete, fiberglass, or vinyl.

Concrete pools cost around $30,000 to $200,000 in some cases. Vinyl pools are much cheaper, costing between $25,000 and $35,000 to install. And fiberglass pools are a great middle-ground option ranging from $17,000 to $62,000.

Shipping container pools cost between $8,000 to $55,000. However, since most pools of this type are above ground pools, the average price is on the lower end of the spectrum.

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Pros and Cons of a Shipping Container Pool

To help you decide whether this type of pool is for you, you should look at the advantages and disadvantages of a shipping container pool.

One of the main reasons many pool owners nowadays opt for shipping container pools is that they are generally more cost-effective than traditional inground pools. Another big selling point is that they are eco-friendly, customizable, portable, and durable.

Of course, these types of pools have their downsides, too. Unfortunately, shipping container pools have limited size and design options due to the nature of these pools. They are also prone to rust and lack insulation due to the material.

Check out my article covering the pros and cons of shipping container pools for more on this.

Have questions? Shoot me a message.

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