Shipping Container Pools [ Pros, Cons, and Costs ]

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Shipping containers can make some of the most luxurious and stylish pools. Unlike many other pools shipping container pools are easier to make and shipping containers as a swimming pool is the fastest growing trend in the home pool market.

The shipping container pool industry has grown from a few companies offering shipping containers for swimming pools into an entire market with hundreds of products to choose from.

Shipping container pools have become extremely popular due to their low cost, durability, and shipping container pools are a great way to exercise your creative side. 

Shipping container pools come with their own unique set of benefits and downsides depending on your needs shipping containers can be used for swimming pools, hot tubs, saunas, or even as an ice bath.

Depending on the size of shipping containers can also be divided into smaller compartments by companies like Modpools.

Why Choose a Container Pool?

There are many reasons to choose a container pool versus a concrete or fiberglass pool. Shipping containers as a swimming pool can be built and installed at a much lower price than most other types of pools.

In addition, shipping container pools are highly sustainable because shipping containers are easy to find and shipping container pools have the added benefit of being extremely mobile if you ever had to relocate.

Shipping container pools also come in many different variations including options for a shipping container hot tub, ice bath shipping containers, and shipping container sauna.

All of these options are easily accessible through the shipping container pool market.

Explaining a Shipping Container Pool Video

Benefits to Shipping Containers

There are shipping container pool pros and shipping container pool cons that come with purchasing a shipping container pool. 

Shipping containers are an extremely durable building material but shipping containers can crack if they freeze so there are many things that need to be understood before purchase.

Cheaper Than Other Types of Pools

Many are available for less than $17,000 (not including any additional charges like water features or deck construction), meaning a small shipping container pool can be installed for a very low base cost.

These pools provide enough space for about 96 square feet and average around 8-feet wide. This is about the size of a standard parking spot.

When you are trying to manage costs shipping containers can be a great choice as shipping container pools are an extremely affordable option.

Unique, Sleek, & Modern Style

Shipping containers can make some of the most luxurious and stylish pools available as well as an incredibly modern look when cleaned up due to the space and size to work from.

Shipping container pools go hand in hand with the new trend of shipping container homes, and a lot of people request these types of pools specifically for their aesthetics.

May Not Require a Large Fence

An above-ground container pool does not need a big fence, which can reduce one of the expenses that come with constructing an in-ground swimming pool.

Instead of using fences around the whole pool, some pools only have gates blocking off the entry place to the pool. This is able to be done as they are typically above ground which keeps anyone from incidental exposure.

Due to this setup, it does not require a big fence or gate around the whole pool.

Excellent For a Lap Pool

The very distinguished rectangular shape along with the extreme length of shipping container swimming pools make them excellent for exercise-based swimming like a standard lap pool.

Circular pools are good for swimming laps, but you might need a longer pool if you want to train well. Shipping containers can provide the length needed to work on realistic laps.

Grants Ability to Move Pool if Needed

Unless you make it an inground shipping container pool, the big benefit to a shipping container is the ability to move it with you should you choose to move to a new home.

The pool is free to move, obviously, the costs may increase to get the machinery and shipping but this cost pales in comparison to getting a pool built in a new home.

Inground pools have limits to mobility. This is something that you can’t get with an above-ground pool.

Incredibly Fast to Install

The time required for the installation of a container pool is comparable to that of a fiberglass pool. Much of the time taken can be attributed to the necessary excavation and prep.

Concrete and vinyl-liner pools take a long time to build, while fiberglass may take less than a week. So when trying to have a pool installed fast, shipping container pools are the way to go.

Drawbacks to Shipping Containers

While there are many benefits to shipping container pools there are many downsides to shipping container pools.

One of the biggest complaints is that shipping containers can be quite expensive once the total cost of ownership is added up.

Not Always the Least Expensive

Larger container pools can cost more than $40,000 to buy, assemble, and install depending on how fancy you go with all the customizations available and the spot.

These pools are vastly spacious with roughly 320 square feet, but the space excels only in length. Remember though that this base cost does not include labor, water features, a deck, or fencing.

The “Shipping Container” Look

Personally, I am not a fan of the shipping container fad that spans even further than pools, I wouldn’t choose to have one in my own backyard.

Many pool owners will prefer to have a wider or more creative design focused on a large and open water space for friends and family to enjoy.

Large container pools can be comparable in price to vinyl, concrete, or fiberglass swimming pools. Ultimately this choice will depend on your personal taste.

Structurely Limited Options for Entry and Exit

While the container pools can save you a large amount of money by stripping away the fencing and a need for a deck, it also becomes limited for overall access by having typically a single point of entry and exit.

Maintenance can be a big issue with this type of design. Raking up leaves and vacuuming your pool won’t be easy if you can’t have complete access to walk around and access all the pool area.

No Difference In Shapes Vs Other Container Pools

Container pools are not very original. They are narrow and rectangular, which is good for swimming laps but not so good for playing or lounging in the same way.

Pool games just aren’t the same in this type of space, they are more to fulfill specific needs. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as much as it needs to be understood what your needs are prior to purchase.

Higher Than Normal Chance to Rust

Since you are choosing to purchase a solid metal shipping container to convert into a pool you need to understand that over time metal will always rust, you will need to manage this to get a long pool life.

This means spending more time focused on maintenance activities and the costs associated with the upkeep to ensure the metal doesn’t rust out and the container stays in excellent shape.

Don’t Work Very Well With Saltwater Pool Systems

Saltwater and metal don’t mix, in real life with boat hulls and similar which break down much faster when they interact with each other.

While the container is going to be lined to actually be able to hold the water the space between the shell and the metal will be vulnerable to corrosion at all times.

Saltwater system problems will happen in the future.

Expensive to Heat and Cool

For most container pools heating and cooling are going to cost a large amount of money, especially when they are to be placed above ground, which is the most common installation.

It is difficult and expensive to keep the perfect temperature for a pool without the surrounding ground, many don’t realize how much of the insulation is provided by being buried in the ground.

Are Shipping Container Pools Popular?

When looking into pool options for your home there is a wide variety available, this may lead you to wonder about shipping container pools and if they are very popular.

Shipping container swimming pools are becoming more and more popular, especially in the United States. There has been a continual fascination with reusing existing containers to help lower costs along with being more green and reusing instead of increasing a carbon footprint.

Since they can be added to nearly all properties with ease and without high costs they are becoming a big part of home pools.

What is the Average Cost of a Shipping Container Pool?

The costs for a shipping container pool are relatively low, compared to traditional pool construction or a custom pool design this is why having a pool from containers is so popular now and continuing to grow.

In the past shipping container pools have been built for as little as $17000, which would include labor expenses and shipping costs. However one must consider that shipping containers can sometimes be difficult to source in some regions so prices will differ by region and shipping costs can vary based on shipping company.

CompanyLow End CostsUpper End Costs
Modpools$12000+$48900+
Ecopool$25500+$56500+
Trek Pools$32000+$44000+

The larger the shipping container pool the greater the cost will be versus the smaller shipping container pools, due to shipping costs increasing with cube measurements rather than surface area. A larger shipping container pool may cost in excess of $24,000 based on shipping costs alone.

The shipping container pool will prove to be more expensive than building a traditional concrete or above ground type swimming pool due to shipping containers being extremely heavy and therefore shipping costs can be significant.

One must also consider that shipping containers are not easily available in all parts of the world and shipping containers are not always in the best condition, so shipping container pool costs will vary by region.

A shipping container pool can become more expensive than a standard above ground swimming pool once you include shipping, the laborious task of cutting out the sidewall panels, and then welding them together, which can be almost as expensive as shipping the shipping container pool to your location.

This is not always the case, but it has happened in some shipping container pool installations.

Is It Hard To Install a Shipping Container Pool?

Overall shipping container pools are a planning difficulty, you have to manage power lines, water pipes, shipping companies etc. The base work to have a functioning pool are going to be work based difficulties with an installation.

The actual installation of the shipping container pool is also quite a time consuming process so they are best done by a professional installer that has experience with shipping container pools.

There are a number of shipping container pool builders and they should manage this as part of your overall purchase and setup.

Important Things to Know or Think About Prior to Installation:

  • Where are you planning to put it? Do you hae a chosen location?
  • What are the dimensions?
  • What does the sun and shade do during the day to the spot.
  • Are there privacy concerns or issues that could arise?
  • What is the distance from existing utility access?
  • Is the shipping container pool attaching to a deck or freestanding?
  • How will the container get into your yard?
  • Do you have enough access through existing alleys, garages, gardens, and trees?
  • Do you want a new shipping container or a used one?

Can a Shipping Container Pool Be Buried?

You may wonder if most shipping container pools are placed above ground is it possible to bury a shipping container pool to look more like a standard inground pool?

You can definitely bury a shipping container style pool, but this can lead to issues where you won’t see any issues with damage or corrosion to the outer side of the container which could lead to a failure without the chance to perform proper maintenance.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bury it though as aesthetics are important and shipping container pools are a great way of maximising space, but it is something to consider when designing the shipping container pool.

Can Shipping Container Pools Be Moved?

One reason that these style of pools have become more interesting for people to purchase is that they are actually able to be moved, for example if you were to sell your house and move you could bring the pool with you.

This makes shipping container swimming pools a lot more viable for people to install in their backyard instead of an above ground or traditional style swimming pool.

Though should you choose to sell your home you must be ABSOLUTELY clear in the discussions that the pool with not be part of the sale.

What Features Can Be Added to a Shipping Container Pool?

There are many features that can be added onto a shipping container pool. Some of the features will include a chiller, lighting, windows, and an automatic system to spray the water.

Lets discuss some of the more popular shipping container pool features:

Chiller – A chiller will help to cool down the shipping container pool. A shipping container can hold heat from the sun and heat up the shipping container pool if there is no chiller.

Lighting – Adding lighting is a big change most buyers will add to get the shipping container pool ready for use. Some will get embedded lighting done within the walls of the shipping container to allow for a night time swim.

Heater – If you are in a cooler area than adding a heater will be a good idea so that you will not have to freeze to use the pool when weather isn’t as nice. Typically you want to be well insulated to keep the water heated in shipping container pools.

Windows – Windows are a loved feature as they give a unique sideways view out from the shipping container, making it an unexpected sight for friends and family.

Water Systems (Like Waterfalls) – The automatic water systems like waterfalls are a great shipping container pool feature. These shipping containers for pools are usually installed into the shipping container with water already in them. This allows for the shipping container pool to have a constant flow and motion, along with helping to dispurse some heat from the water.

Can Shipping Container Pools Leak?

As with anything made from metal and welded the chance for a leak or for shipping container pools to leak, is there. If the pool is fiberglass lined the fiberglass could crack or fracture allowing water inside to the container space and metal allowing corrosion.

A shipping container pool can certainly leak if it is not well built or if shipping containers are used as shipping container swimming pools in a way that they were never designed to be used like shipping container pools that have massive holes cut into them…that’s just asking for trouble!

As long as shipping containers are used as swimming pools following structural guidelines and welding construction standards shipping containers will last many years and provide a very durable waterproof option for any outdoor living space.

Always make sure you use a competent builder who uses quality parts before considering shipping containers anything because while the initial cost of shipping containers may be cheaper than other building materials the cost of fixing mistakes could end up being pretty expensive.

Can You Finance A Shipping Container Pool?

There are many ways to finance shipping container pools. Most companies which sell the container based pool systems will have an option to provide financing for the pool.

For shipping container pool buyers that qualify for financing through their bank or local financial institution, shipping containers can be financed with a competitive term loan at an interest rate as low as 4% depending on your credit rating.

I would typically recommend financing as pools aren’t a small investment and many people will not have $20k available when they are ready to buy shipping container pools.

Do Shipping Container Pools Require A Permit?

This will depend very much on your city and local laws. Always check with your local council first before you buy shipping container pools to confirm what permits are required for shipping containers swimming pool construction in your area.

Since a shipping container pool weighs a tremendous amount once filled you will need a concrete slab which may need additional engineering. You would also need to build suitable steps or ladders for access and exit with shipping container pools pool wall attached.

There are shipping container swimming pool designs that do not require permits if you use mobile shipping containers, but usually shipping container pools like this will still need a concrete base (a slab) before the shipping container pool is installed.

Are Shipping Container Pools Durable?

Due to being made from metal shipping containers shipping container pools are incredibly durable and long lasting. If properly maintained shipping container pools should last for years without a problem.

There can be issues though if leaks and cracks happen so proper maintenance and inspection is important. If shipping container pools are well maintained they can be a great addition to homes due to their durability.

How Long Do Shipping Containers Last?

You should expect a high quality shipping container pool to last years if they are maintained well and in a low humidity environment like indoors or low humidity areas.

If the pool is being left outside and exposed to the elements (as they would be in a shipping container pool) then you should expect shipping containers to wear out sooner unless a strict maintenance and clean up process is setup.

If you are in very humid areas, like for example, Louisianna, you may need to make sute it is fully sealed as any moisture seeping into the container will begin the process of breaking down the metal.

Frequently Asked Questions about Container Swimming Pools

If you have questions about cargo container pools, this is the right place. Read the answers to your questions people ask about container swimming pools below.

How do you Manage the Delivery of a Container Pool?

This will require needing multiple teams to help manage a crane, perform necessary inspections, and placement. It’s recommended to use a shipping container pool company or some advice to help manage shipping containers as shipping container pools can be very heavy.

I have seen shipping containers sink before when they land on soft soil and you don’t want this happening with shipping containers swimming pools.

If the crane operator is not properly trained then shipping containers can come down in awkward positions which could damage your new shipping container pool. Containers are also tough to balance so make sure you get them level if you want it assembled straight!

Do I need to Build a Foundation?

You will definitely need a foundation as shipping containers are very heavy and can turn over if they are not placed on a sturdy foundation.

You could lay shipping containers pool wall directly onto the ground, but this would be dagerous and could yield a damaged pool. Check with your local councils first before you decide to build shipping container pools without any sort of foundation or base.