How to Build a Shipping Container Swimming Pool

If you’re looking for a unique way to create an outdoor pool on your property, have you considered modifying a shipping container? With a height of 2.6 metres, a width of 2.4 metres, and 3 to 12 metres in length (depending on the size of the container), converted shipping containers make great swimming pools.

There are many benefits to shipping container pools. For example, a family-sized container pool is ideal for keeping the kids cool in the summer. Or, if you don’t have kids, you can install a smaller plunge pool or a lap pool to save money on gym fees.

Take a look at some more benefits of shipping container pools below and what you need to consider when installing one.

While we are shipping container experts, the team at Gateway Containers don’t carry out shipping container pool constructions. However, we can help you through the process of buying the correct container for your project and put you in touch with the right people to create your perfect pool.

Why choose a shipping container pool?

When choosing the perfect pool, there are a wide range of styles to pick from. Traditional pools can include an inflatable pool, above-ground pool, inground pool, concrete swimming pools, fibreglass swimming pools… the options can seem endless.

But traditional swimming pool designs are tired and often have the same standard shape and colours designated by the pool manufacturers. Shipping container pools offer a range of benefits that traditional pools can’t compete with. They also cost a lot less!

If you have limited backyard space, a difficult location, unusual topography or want to buy a nearly ready to go product, a shipping container pool could be the answer.

While some might imagine shipping containers as an odd choice for a swimming pool, the custom features and modern elements, help solidify their place as one of the best types of swimming pools.

3 Main benefits of shipping container swimming pools

  • They’re strong and versatile. A structural steel frame ensures that your build will be solid. If you have a small backyard, shipping container pools offer a great solution. They are versatile and can be designed to fit your specific requirements.
  • They’re cost-effective. While Gateway Containers can assist you with cost savings when purchasing your container, you need to also think about add-on options and your overall budget. Additional costs might seem like too much for now; however, the cost might be worth it if you use the pool a lot.
  • They can fit where other pools can’t. Aussie container pools are ready-made and can easily be craned into position without the need for ground access to their final destination.

How much does a shipping container swimming pool cost?

Shipping container pools are extremely affordable, often costing as little as $20,000 to have one built and installed. This means your dream pool could be more attainable than you think. Additionally, this makes it a viable option for those looking to have a custom pool on their property but looking to save money in the process.

They also have the benefit of being entirely portable and removable if necessary. The team at Gateway Container Sales can set you up with the perfect shipping container to start your project!

How to build a shipping container pool

The most challenging aspect of a container pool is the installation. Depending on the type of pool you are installing, and how large your property is, this process may take quite a bit of time. Obviously, you can speed things up with a little help from the professionals. However, this will impact the ultimate cost.

There are eight steps in your average container pool installation process. Let’s talk all things planning through to custom features.

1. Get planning permission

Planning permission from your local council will be necessary, so you need to investigate any regulations regarding depth, fencing, and other things that might get in the way of constructing your shipping container swimming pool.

It’s far better to get these sorted before you start your container pool installation than to be stuck with a 40-foot modified shipping container that isn’t full of people having fun in the water!

2. Get advice from a structural engineer

You will need  someone with a structural engineering background on hand to help out with planning, as well. Water can be, well… quite heavy, and without the correct reinforcement, your container pool could be a fail! So you’ll want to ensure that the container is strengthened to hold all that extra weight pushing out from the inside. Containers are typically designed to hold their weight on the base and corners of the structure.

A professional will give you the advice you require to ensure that your new pool is strong and built to last.

3. Decide on recessed (inground) or above ground

This impacts how you will prepare the ground. You’ll need a concrete pad capable of taking several tonnes of weight should it be above ground. You’ll also need some decking surrounding it (also supported) as well as some access.

4. Decide on the depth and width of your container pool

You will need to decide on the height of your modified shipping container swimming pool. For many people, 2.6 metres in depth will probably be too much. Work out the depth that you require and cut to size.

You’ll want to have a lip around the edge that covers any sharp edges, as well as reinforcing the structure of the container. Use your imagination! You can even shorten it to be a plunge pool.

5. Choose a plumbing and filtration system

Circulation and filling, and adding chemicals are important, so you maintain the hygiene of the water. The last thing you want is friends getting stomach problems after a pool party! Next, add plumbing systems and filtration systems such as pumps, filters and intake pipes, and you’re almost ready for your container pool installation.

Talk to your local pool company about the best way to do this in your area, considering the power supply (for the pumps), drainage and water supply. Here you can also consider heating systems that you might require.

6. Think about child safety

Consider any child safety features your state might require you to have. For example, alarm systems can help warn you if there is a risk to any child’s safety. Sun exposure can also be a big concern. Make an informed decision about the location of the pool as well as shade options. Before you let your kids swim, make sure they’re safe.


7. Test for water tightness

Once your pool is installed, then it’s important to test just how watertight things are! An additional layer of steel is added to the inside of the container before rust treating and painting inside and outside the container.

8. Final touches can make it your own

What final touches can you add to your pool? Look at the features of traditional pools to get ideas, such as swim jets, electric heating, a pool cover, and electrical systems for automating pool covers. Once everything looks good, you are ready to jump in and swim!


Can the corrugated steel rust?

Shipping container pools will not rust. The process of waterproofing the containers involves spraying inside and out with special epoxy paint. Once this is dry, water can’t get through the paint to the metal underneath.

How deep can it be?

A 20-foot container pool will generally be over eight feet deep. However, not everyone will like this depth. Therefore, swimming pools are often available in a range of depths, due to their versatility and ability to be modified.

Can you bury a shipping container?

As long as you can get it into the ground, yes! All shipping container pools require reinforcement for the weight of water they will hold. No matter, you will need to reinforce your corrugated steel walls before you start to swim.

How long will a shipping container pool last?

As long as you maintain it, a shipping container pool can last for many years! They are strong and durable, so they are often kept on properties for years.

Do you need lining or painting?

Experts recommend that you weld a lining inside the pool to contain the water and add internal strength. A durable vinyl liner could be the perfect solution. However, select an option within your price range as these can always be updated at a later stage.

In addition, painting the interior and exterior of the container can help increase the lifespan of your pool and give it a custom touch.

Contemplating your own shipping container pool?

Gateway Container Sales & Hire can only provide shipping containers for pools. And, while we have a wide range of shipping containers to choose from, we do not offer pre-made swimming pools for sale.

To build your own, you’ll need to acquire a container, planning permission, and engineering certification to ensure that it is constructed safely and legally.

Contact our friendly team of shipping container experts at Gateway Containers to discuss your container needs. You’ll be splashing about and swimming laps in no time!

Ready to start your container journey?
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About Mark Finnegan

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