Can't Commit to an Inground Pool so We Improvised

Misty Gaines-Johnson
by Misty Gaines-Johnson
1 Material
We moved into our new house and the backyard was a shambles. We live in Arizona and have always had a built in pool but we just did not want to commit to another one.
So I started thinking about an above ground pool but I hated the way they look. These are before pictures
Before picture. While shopping one day we ran across a 22x54 above ground intex pool. Now it does say do not put these pools inground, but we thought what the heck, it was $250(because the box was damaged) we took a chance....
We hired a neighbor to dig the hole for us. We dug it about 24 feet around and about 36inches deep.
We had to go around with a pick and shovel and smooth it all out, make sure there were no rocks protruding out of the sides or at the bottom.
We then had to compact the bottom. We did this with a heavy cinder block connected to a rock rake with duct tape. My arms were so sore for days!!!
All ready to put the pool in.
We filled the pool up with water and then back filled. And leveled the rest of the yard.
I had a stack of pallets so we cut and used them to give it a rustic look and cover the part of the pool we left out.
We then added 2x6 to the top.
We planted grass and put in some bricks.
After. It has been up for a year and no problems. Neighbors and family just love it and so do we. We can always take it out and fill up the hole. Total cost was about $700. That being said I should really clarify that the pool was on clearance( sometimes you can find them for free.) I got my bricks free by agreeing to remove them out of someone else's yard. The 2X6 were scrap pieces but I did have to buy a couple. And last but not least my son used the tractor to do the work, we rented the tractor which was not expensive at all because we only needed it the day. And the water it took to fill up the pool was not even $10 as we have a private well and filled up over several days so it didn't run dry and electric rates are WAY cheaper than water rates, at least where I live. So you can achieve this on a budget if you really work hard and be creative and look for FREE THINGS
Suggested materials:
  • 2x6, pallets, intex pool
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 4 questions
  • Dianne Z Dianne Z on Dec 17, 2016
    Where did you put the pump?

  • Sue McKamely Sue McKamely on Sep 17, 2017
    Maybe I missed do you enter the pool? I don't see a gate. The pool looks awesome! Great job!

  • Anda Anda on May 05, 2021

    Did you put something between the walls of the hole and pool walls? I want to do something similar, but I know that the ground should not touch the pool. Thank you!

Join the conversation
3 of 70 comments
  • Jennifer Jennifer on May 13, 2020

    I live in Arizona also and have been thinking about doing this a lot lately since I don’t like how everyone can see you over the fence getting in/out of the pool. Couple questions...the inlets and outlets are they above ground? How has it stood up over the years?

  • Lois Buchanan Lois Buchanan on Dec 27, 2021

    I live in North Carolina and want to put an oval pool in for myself. My land slopes though and you just gave me a solution! Thanks so much!!