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 6 questions
  • 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!

  • James Bowes James Bowes on May 15, 2023

    Hi. GREAT JOB. Im sorry if I missed it but what holds the pallets up and around the pool,,, a.k.a. what keeps them sturdy and upright?

  • Donna Donna on Jul 20, 2023

    I see you back filled the dirt around the pool, but what method did you use to secure the pallets together around the pool?

Join the conversation
2 of 71 comments
  • 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!!

  • Simply Simply on Aug 20, 2023

    Maybe it's better to put these poops slightly under ground as you have done. I had an intex pool above ground in Florida and it only lasted 3 years! At which time most all the legs got rusty! Sadly it had to go it was no longer safe. Plus underground should help keep the water cooler too. Ours by mid summer was not "refreshing" it was just "wet" lol more like a hot bath. Another thing upgraded to a sand filter system too. Made keeping it clean much easier. Sure miss having a pool especially living in Florida! What a miserably hot summer it's been 2023!