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Using a Shipping Container as a Pool: Pros and Cons

Over the last few years, modified shipping containers have become quite popular in modern architecture, including the design of swimming pools. Featuring massage jets, LED lighting, and a generally elegant appearance, a modular swimming pool can become the focal point of your backyard without the immense resources needed for an inground pool. Converting a shipping container into a pool for your backyard is a quick and cost-efficient way to install a swimming pool in your garden at a fraction of the cost of getting a conventional one.

Using a Shipping Container as a Pool: Pros and Cons

Here are the pros and cons of modifying your shipping container sale into pool:

Pros of Converting a Shipping Container into a Swimming Pool

Suitable for Small Backyards

Most rectangular pools are designed with one of the sides about twice as long as the shorter side, with an average depth of around 5.5 feet. A typical lap pool measures 40 to 75 feet in length and 8 to 10 feet wide. From a dimensional perspective, transforming a shipping container into a lap pool is a great option for homeowners with smaller backyards.

Good for all Landscapes

Modifying a shipping container to become a pool is a much easier option than getting a concrete or prefabricated fibreglass pool. Unlike conventional pools, container pools can be installed inground or above ground in your backyard to create a unique, eye-catching oasis. The shipping container becomes your pool’s shell, so you can choose to either sink the container into the ground or place it above ground in your landscape. From simple-looking pools to more luxurious ones, modified containers can be transformed into unique, stylish, and feature-packed swimming pools that can be moved to any location of your choice. Once in place, you only need to fill it up and plug it in to start swimming.


Shipping container pools have fewer parts to deal with, so they typically don’t have any hidden costs, giving you a fully functional, cost-effective pool. Excluding additional costs associated with deck construction and water features, you can get a 96-160 square feet pool with a span of 8 feet at the widest point as one of the smaller units. The modification process generally involves sealing and waterproofing the container and welding the corners and seams to strengthen the structure to hold water without any leaks. Once the container pool is completed, it can last many lifetimes with little maintenance required.

Easy to Install and Remove

With a container pool, you have a range of installation options, including placing it on mounts, so it’s raised above the ground to the desired level, provided there’s proper support. You could also dig a hole into your property, place the container inside to create the base of your pool structure, and install various construction and safety features like you would for an inground pool. Either way, the pool will be ready to use almost immediately. If you choose to remove your swimming pool at some point in the future, you can easily sell and move it to a willing buyer. On the other hand, removing a traditional pool involves a lot of costly work, skill, and time to ensure that it’s done correctly.

Cons of Converting a Shipping Container into a Swimming Pool

Limitations on Size and Depth

A typical residential pool has a shallow and deep end, making it suitable for the whole family to enjoy. However, a modified shipping container pool will only have a single depth. Generally, you can use the entire height of a container for the depth of your pool, or adjust the bottom to create a new depth according to your preferences, but it still won’t have a shallow end. As such, the pool may not necessarily be considered “kid-friendly” or be particularly satisfying for adults. Yet, the standard size of a container can be sufficient for most homeowners looking for a trendy pool without altering their backyard too much.

Installation and Maintenance can be Tasking

Considering the limited size and design options for container pools, they can be quite expensive to install compared to a regular inground pool. Even the first step of installing the container into the ground requires you to hire a crane to gently lower it in, which is expensive. In addition, you will be required to install extra layers of steel for reinforcement, as well as watertight lining, before filling it with water, which increases the weight of the container considerably. Moreover, the pool needs waterproof paint and a custom vinyl covering or a fibreglass shell. Once you start using it, you will need to routinely and thoroughly inspect your container for rust to take prompt action when problems arise. That said, constructing a container pool still involves much less work compared to a typical pool. You could also purchase a complete unit and have it installed on your property for immediate use.

Difficult to Customize

When your container pool lining is complete, the next step involves adding the filtration and other necessary features. However, your customization options will be limited depending on the size of your container. Most containers measure either 20 or 40 feet in length unless you request a custom cutting for a specific size. In addition, the container pool may only be filled to a uniform depth of 4.5 feet, which could be too deep for children or insufficient for taller adults who want more resistance. That said, container pools are usually supplied as a complete unit with a lighting and filtration system so that you can choose the most suitable unit for your needs.


Shipping container pools are a versatile option for homeowners with small or sloped backyards, allowing them to be creative with their landscaping. Their small size makes them suitable as lap pools, and you may not need to install a security fence to restrict entry if the container is placed above ground. However, they should not be connected to saltwater systems because they can corrode the steel structure, which may increase your cost of maintenance. To get a custom container pool, you only need to purchase a shipping container and engage the services of an experienced structural engineer to reconfigure and redesign the unit to your specifications and ensure safety.

For more information about modifying shipping containers, please contact Secure Container Solutions to learn more and get a free no-obligation estimate on our shipping container sales.

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