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With summer temps climbing to record levels in some parts of the country and little relief in sight, this may be the perfect time to get a pool.
But you don’t need a big budget or a big backyard to swim laps or lounge in cool water. Take a pass on an in-ground pool, which can cost more than $65,000 and take months to install, and go for a more affordable option that can be available almost immediately.
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Interest in all kinds of pools “really boomed [in the] last two years as more people were spending more time at home and wanting to improve their living space indoor and outdoor,” says Sabeena Hickman, CEO of the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance.
As the average cost of installing an in-ground pool has risen, there’s been increased curiosity about alternative options ranging from the most basic splash pad to do-it-yourself projects like pools made from livestock tanks or wooden pallets, says Jen Stark, a home improvement expert and founder of the website Happy DIY Home.
Here are nine cost-effective pool options:
1. Kiddie pool
A plastic kiddie pool is a cheap and easy answer to the summer heat. Simply fill it using a garden hose and then cool off, maybe even sharing the space with your grandchildren. You can find one for less than $20 at Home Depot, Target and Walmart. DIYers can make a sitting pool with PVC pipe, a tarp and pipe connectors by following this 30-minute Instructables tutorial.
2. Pallet pool
To start, you’ll need a lot of wood pallets and a waterproof tarp or roofing membrane and a pool pump. The website Easy Pallet Ideas has a tutorial with a complete list of materials and step-by-step instructions. The pool costs around $100 but requires quite a bit of work to construct and secure, Stark says.