Shipping Container Pools: Should You Build One?

Written by Michael Dean
April 3, 2023

shipping container pool

Shipping container pools are an eco-friendly and cost-effective option for homeowners who want to add a swimming pool to their backyard. These pools are made by repurposing a shipping container and equipping it with a pool liner and a filtration system.

In this article, I will review the pros and cons of shipping container pools and dive into maintenance needs, cost, construction considerations, frequently asked questions, and more, to help you determine whether this type of pool is for you.

Main Takeaways

  • Shipping container pools offer several advantages, such as being cost-effective, eco-friendly, customizable, portable, and durable.
  • These pools also have some disadvantages, including limited size and design options, prone to rust, and lack of insulation.
  • Shipping container pools have a lifespan of 15-20 years.
  • A basic shipping container pool can cost upwards of $25,000 to install.

What is a Shipping Container Pool?

As the name suggests, a shipping container pool is a swimming pool made from a repurposed shipping container. They’ve recently become popular as a possible solution to people wanting an alternative to installing a traditional swimming pool.

The process involves taking a standard-sized shipping container (8x20ft or 8x40ft), engineering it to include a pool liner, a pump, and a filtering system, and installing it in the desired location. The pool can be installed above ground, inground, or partially inground.

Benefits of a Shipping Container Pool

People always love the idea of sustainably recycling objects, so it’s no surprise that shipping container pools are the new trend. There are several benefits to owning a shipping container pool.


Shipping container pools are cheaper on average than traditional inground pools. However, keep in mind that if you install the container as an inground pool, the price difference may be negligible, depending on the features and add-ons you opt for.


Repurposing a shipping container reduces waste and grants new life to an existing resource. If you want to add a swimming pool to your backyard but are conscious of creating waste, a shipping pool container is a great option.


Shipping container pools can be customized to fit your needs and desired aesthetic, with several options for heating, lighting, or unique paint jobs and finishes. You can also add additional features like decking and stairs.


Unlike traditional inground pools, shipping container pools can be easily moved if you relocate, which is a huge plus if you are not fully settled in your current house!


Shipping containers are designed to withstand harsh weather since they’re originally meant for rough seas and rocky conditions, making them a sturdy option for outdoor pools.

Downsides of a Shipping Container Pool

While there are several pros to owning a shipping container pool, there are also a few potential downsides to consider.

Limited Size and Design Options

Shipping container pools are limited in terms of boundaries and depth due to the size of the container. All shipping containers are rectangular boxes, so while it’s a great choice if you want a lap pool, this might be a bummer for those with a specific pool shape and size in mind. Shipping pool containers usually come in just two sizes: 8×20 or 8×40.

Prone to Rust

As shipping containers are made of metal, they are, of course, prone to rust. Even though these containers are built to withstand harsh conditions, it doesn’t mean the metal is rust-proof. You need to maintain your pool properly and likely treat the shipping container with a corrosion-preventative oil to keep your shipping container pool in good condition.

Lack of Insulation

Maintaining the proper water temperature in a shipping container pool can be difficult. Shipping containers are made of steel, so they are not well-insulated. If you plan to install the container above ground, you’ll likely be spending a lot of money on heating, especially if you live in a colder climate.

What is the Lifespan of a Shipping Container Pool?

The lifespan of a shipping container pool can vary depending on several factors, such as the quality of the container used, the quality of the modifications, and the level of maintenance provided. I’ve heard of well-maintained shipping container pools lasting 25 years or more! But on average, a shipping container pool should last 10-20 years.

Keep in mind that the durability of the container itself is a significant factor in the lifespan of the pool. Additionally, while these containers are built to withstand rough weather conditions, not all containers are designed to hold water 24/7 without seeing some level of deterioration over time.

What Kind of Maintenance Does a Shipping Container Pool Require?

The maintenance needs of a shipping container pool are similar to those of a regular inground pool. Regular cleaning, balancing the water chemistry, and taking care of all pool equipment can go a long way in prolonging the lifespan of a shipping pool container. In addition, since shipping container pools are made of steel, you should take care of the pool’s surface to prevent rust and corrosion. Check your pool now and then to confirm it’s in good shape, with no rust, cracks, leaks, or other issues, and fix these problems as needed.

Can Shipping Container Pools Be Saltwater?

Technically, yes, shipping container pools can be converted into saltwater pools. To do so, you’ll need a saltwater chlorine generator. That said, I wouldn’t entirely recommend it. Shipping containers are made predominantly of steel. And while you will line your pool, the container will still be vulnerable to rust and corrosion. Salt is very corrosive to steel, so if the saltwater constantly comes into contact with the pool, you will significantly reduce the pool’s lifespan. 

Can Shipping Container Pools Be Heated?

Yes, shipping container pools can be heated. Depending on your preference, you can pick pool heaters and use an electric, gas, or solar heater. However, consistent temperature regulation is a challenge, especially with above ground shipping container pools, as the steel walls are not well-insulated.

Can You DIY a Shipping Container Pool?

Well, yes and no. It is possible to DIY a shipping container pool, but only if you have the technical know-how and have successfully completed challenging home improvement projects before. Installing a shipping pool container pool doesn’t just mean filling water in a metal box. It is a complex project that requires a certain level of expertise and experience with construction, plumbing, and electrical work.

If you want to DIY, there are a couple of options:

  1. Use a DIY shipping container pool kit.
  2. Source a shipping pool container yourself.

Several companies offer DIY shipping container pool kits, which usually contain an already-modified shipping container, any necessary equipment or materials for installation, along with detailed instructions and technical installation support.

On the flip side, if you want to do everything yourself, you’ll need to source a shipping pool container. To do this, check your local container brokers, who have contacts with suppliers, or see if you can buy a used one directly from warehouses if you live in an area with a port.

Can You Put a Shipping Container Pool Inground?

Yes, a shipping container pool can be installed inground. Inground installation can provide a more permanent and aesthetically pleasing option for shipping container pools. However, installing a shipping container pool inground can be more complex than above ground installations and requires careful planning and excavation. Keep in mind that this would cost more and would also make them less portable.

How Much Do Shipping Container Pools Cost?

The cost of a shipping container pool can vary widely depending on several factors, such as the size of the container, the type and quality of materials used, the level of customization, and the installation method.

An above ground shipping container pool can cost anywhere between $8,000 and $20,000, depending on the size of the pool. An inground shipping container pool can be more expensive, with prices ranging anywhere from $35,000 to $55,000, depending on the scope of the project.

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.

Bottom Line: Is a Shipping Container Pool Right for You?

Shipping container pools are a fresh new take on swimming pools. But are they the right choice for you? Well, it all comes down to what you want. They’re a great option if you are looking for a durable, portable, and eco-friendly pool in your backyard. On the other hand, if you have a more generous budget and a particular shape and size pool in mind, a traditional pool might suit your needs better.

Ultimately, the decision to install a shipping container pool will depend on your personal preferences and budget. By weighing the pros and cons and considering your individual needs, you can decide whether a shipping container pool is right for you.

Questions about shipping container pools? Let me know! Always happy to help.

Scroll to Top