Can you afford a swimming pool? 7 designs to make your dream a reality

Your dream of owning a pool may not be as unattainable as you think. We round up the pros, cons and costs of various pool types to get you on the road to summer bliss

1. In-ground pool

In-ground pools are one of the most common pool types and are available in a multitude of shapes and sizes. They can be made to blend seamlessly into the landscape and will bring a resort feel to your backyard. In-ground pools can be made of fibreglass, concrete or vinyl liner, with vinyl liner tending to be the most affordable option.

– Many options for size, shape, depth and design
– Can be customised for your section
– Will blend seamlessly into the landscape
– Has a professional, finished appearance
– Will add value to your house

– Usually more costly than other pool types
– Can take longer to install

Time frame
Depends on building consent, pool design and availability of builders. Can be a number of months



2. Container pool

These ingenious pools made from shipping containers are compact, durable and stylish. They are available in 6- and 12-metre options and a range of colours. They’re also fully customisable, so you can incorporate a deck and spa, or add swim jets for an easy exercise option.

– Small size is ideal for smaller sections
– Quick and easy to install; it can be delivered, plugged in and filled within a day
– Relocatable if you move house
– Easy to maintain
– Earthquake-resistant
– Life expectancy of 50 years with proper care and maintenance
– Minimal earthworks required for installation
– In most cases there is no need for building consent or a fence (due to height of container)

– Doesn’t always blend seamlessly into the landscape
– Choice of shape and size is quite limited

Time frame
Approximately 8-12 weeks from ordering to installation

From $33,000


3. Kitset pool

If you’re confident with tools, or have handy friends or family who can help, you could consider a kitset pool. They’re one of the most affordable choices, and still look great. Finishrite’s vinyl liner pools come in a range of sizes and colours. You can also opt to have kitset pools installed for you, which still makes for an affordable option.

– Very affordable
– No need to deal with tradesmen if you are confident you can install it yourself
– Can be installed above or below ground
– Can be installed on any site; if below ground, may require less excavation than conventional in-ground pool
– Still an affordable option even if you pay for installation

– Not as many choices of size and shape
– May not look as professional
– Not the best option if you are not a good builder
– Vinyl liners need replacing after a number of years

Time frame
Approximately 2 months (1 month for consent, 1 week for delivery, and 2-3 weeks for installation)

From $7000 DIY or $15,000 installed


4. Endless pool

The ultimate training pool and a great option for anyone with limited space. Endless pools function as swimming machines, with currents enabling you to swim on the spot. There are a number of customisable options and pools can be installed indoors or out.

– Compact size
– Great for exercise or training
– In most cases it doesn’t need consent or fencing
– Fits virtually anywhere
– Easy to install, simple to maintain and economical to run
– Uses less water and energy than traditional pools

– Not as suitable for entertaining
– Less seamless in look than an in-built pool

Time frame
From 1 day to 8 weeks depending on stock availability

From $29,980 to $82,830 including standard delivery


5. Above-ground pool 

Above-ground pools are often a more affordable and easier proposition than in-ground pools as they require less planning and less earthworks. However, the pay-off is that the final result may not look as sleek as an in-ground model.

– An affordable option
– Less excavation required
– A temporary solution if you are renting
– Easy to assemble – can even do it yourself
– Can disassemble and reassemble if you move
– Easy to winterise
– Decks can be built around pool to give the appearance of an in-ground model

– May not blend seamlessly into landscape
– May have a shorter lifespan
– Sizes are usually smaller than in-ground options
– If pool has a vinyl liner, this will eventually need replacing

Time frame
A pool can be on your property in as little as 1 week, but consents can take 1-2 months

From $7000 DIY or $15,000 installed


6. Plunge pool

Plunge pools are affordable options which are suitable for small spaces. They can also be used in conjunction with a spa or sauna for therapeutic benefits.

– Cheaper than larger pools
– Will fit in most backyards
– Can help athletes with recovery
– Less time and money spent on maintenance plus lower water and energy costs

– Not as suitable for entertaining or exercising
– For the price, you may want to consider a bigger pool

Time frame
Approximately 2 months including building consent

From $18,950


7. Cheap but cheerful 

If you’re just looking for a chance to cool off and appearances aren’t a priority, you don’t have to make such a considerable investment. You could pop a secondhand bath in the backyard, buy a plastic or inflatable pool, or use a spa or hot tub as a ‘cool tub’ (Hot Spring Spas have a CoolZone cooling system which quickly cools water for this purpose).

Words by: Fiona Ralph.

Home experts are just a click away