How to Convert a Shipping Container into a Swimming Pool?

In the realm of innovative backyard projects, few endeavours offer the unique charm and practicality of transforming a shipping container into a swimming pool. This creative approach to pool construction combines affordability, customization, and sustainability, making it an increasingly popular choice for those seeking a refreshing aquatic escape right in their own outdoor oasis. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the steps to convert a shipping container into a functional and stylish swimming pool. From container selection to waterproofing, and from plumbing to finishing touches, we’ve got you covered.

Shipping container to swimming pool

Why to Build Your Own Shipping Container Pool?

Building your own shipping container pool offers a range of compelling advantages that make it an appealing choice for individuals and families looking to enjoy a pool on their property. Here are the key reasons why you might consider constructing your container pool:

  • Cost Savings: DIY container pool projects are often more cost-effective than hiring professionals for traditional pool construction. You can save on labor costs and have more control over your budget by selecting materials and features that fit within your financial constraints.
  • Customization: Building your container pool allows for creative freedom and customization. You can design the pool to match your specific preferences and requirements. Choose the size, depth, shape, and finishing touches that align with your vision for the perfect pool.
  • Sense of Accomplishment: Completing a DIY project like a container pool can be incredibly satisfying. It provides a sense of accomplishment and pride in creating a unique and functional addition to your property.
  • Learning Experience: Building a container pool can be a valuable learning experience. You’ll gain practical skills in construction, plumbing, and pool maintenance, which can be applied to future projects.
  • Control over Quality: When you build your container pool, you have direct control over the quality of materials and workmanship. You can ensure that every aspect of the pool, from the container selection to the finishing touches, meets your high standards.
  • Tailored to Your Space: Container pools can be tailored to fit your available space. Whether you have a small backyard or a more extensive area, you can choose the container size and design that maximizes your use of the space.
  • Unique Aesthetics: DIY container pools often have a distinctive and modern aesthetic. You can personalize the pool’s appearance with paint, decking materials, and landscaping to match your style and enhance your outdoor living space.

What to Do Before Building Your Container Pool

Before diving into your container pool project, it’s essential to take several preparatory steps to ensure a successful and safe outcome. Here’s what you need to do before beginning the construction process:

Consult with a Structural Engineer:

  • Engaging a structural engineer is a critical step to assess the feasibility of your project. They can evaluate the container’s suitability, the need for additional supports, and compliance with local building codes.

Determine the Size You Want:

  • Define the size and dimensions of your container pool based on available space, budget, and how you plan to use the pool.

How to Build the Foundation:

  • Properly prepare the ground for your container pool’s foundation. Depending on soil conditions, you may need to level, compact, or even install a concrete pad to ensure a stable base.

How to Line a Shipping Container Pool:

  • Explore your options for lining the container pool, including choosing the appropriate liner material, insulation, and waterproofing methods.

Finishing Touches:

  • Consider the finishing touches that will enhance your pool area, such as decking, landscaping, lighting, and safety features.

What are shipping container pools lined with?

The lining of a shipping container pool is a critical component that ensures the water remains contained and the pool maintains its structural integrity. There are several options for lining a shipping container pool, each with its own advantages and considerations:

PVC Pool Liners:

  • Material: PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) liners are a popular choice for shipping container pools.
  • Advantages: They are durable, resistant to UV rays and chemicals, and come in a variety of colours and patterns.
  • Considerations: Proper installation is crucial to prevent wrinkles and leaks. PVC liners can be vulnerable to sharp objects, so caution is necessary to avoid punctures.

EPDM Rubber Liners:

  • Material: EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) rubber liners are known for their durability and flexibility.
  • Advantages: They are highly resistant to UV radiation, weathering, and extreme temperatures. EPDM liners often come with long warranties.
  • Considerations: EPDM liners can be more expensive than PVC, but their extended lifespan can offset the initial cost.

Polyurea Coatings:

  • Material: Polyurea is a type of protective coating used to create a waterproof barrier.
  • Advantages: It provides a seamless and highly durable lining. Polyurea coatings are resistant to abrasion, chemicals, and UV exposure.
  • Considerations: Professional installation is typically required for Polyurea coatings, and they may be more expensive than other options.

Tiled Finish:

  • Material: Some container pool enthusiasts opt for a tiled finish, which involves covering the container’s interior with tiles.
  • Advantages: Tiles offer a visually appealing and customizable look. They are also resistant to wear and tear.
  • Considerations: Tile installation can be labour-intensive and may require additional waterproofing materials behind the tiles. Regular grout maintenance is essential to prevent water infiltration.

Fiberglass Reinforcement:

  • Material: In some cases, fiberglass may be used to reinforce the interior of the container, creating a seamless and watertight surface.
  • Advantages: Fiberglass provides structural strength and durability.
  • Considerations: This method often requires professional expertise in fiberglass application.

Advantages of Shipping Container Pools

Converting a shipping container into a swimming pool offers a range of advantages that have contributed to the growing popularity of this innovative trend. Let’s explore the key benefits:

  • Cost-Effective: One of the most compelling advantages of shipping container pools is their cost-effectiveness. Purchasing and converting a shipping container is often more affordable than traditional in-ground pool construction. You can find used containers at reasonable prices, and the conversion process can be budget-friendly, especially if you opt for a DIY approach.
  • Durability: Shipping containers are designed to withstand the harshest of conditions, including ocean transport. Their sturdy steel construction makes them exceptionally durable. They resist rust, corrosion, and the wear and tear associated with outdoor use. When properly maintained, a shipping container pool can last for many years.
  • Quick Installation: Compared to traditional pool construction, which can take weeks or even months, container pools can be set up relatively quickly. Once you have the container and necessary modifications are made, it can be placed in your desired location and filled with water within a matter of days, getting you in the water faster.
  • Portability: Shipping container pools are portable to some extent. If you decide to move to a new location, you can potentially take your pool with you, provided you have the means to transport it. This portability offers a level of flexibility that traditional pools do not.
  • Customization: Container pools offer creative freedom when it comes to customization. You can choose from various sizes, depths, and finishes. Additionally, you can add features like integrated steps, seating areas, or even swim jets to suit your preferences and needs.
  • Eco-Friendly: Repurposing a shipping container into a pool is an eco-friendly choice. It reduces waste by giving a retired container a second life. Additionally, the steel used in containers is recyclable, further contributing to sustainability.
  • Unique Aesthetics: Container pools have a distinct and modern aesthetic that sets them apart from traditional pools. Their industrial look can be a design statement in your backyard, and you have the option to customize the exterior with paint or other finishes to match your style.

Factors Affecting the Durability of Shipping Container Pools

While shipping container pools offer numerous advantages, the longevity and durability of your pool depend on several key factors. Understanding and addressing these factors will help ensure that your container pool remains a reliable and enjoyable asset for years to come:

Container Quality:

  • Structural Integrity: The condition of the shipping container you choose is paramount. Start with a container in good structural condition, free from major rust, corrosion, or structural damage. Containers with dents or structural issues may not be suitable for pool conversion.
  • Type of Container: Consider the type of container you’re using. High-cube containers (taller than standard containers) may provide more depth for your pool but can require additional reinforcement.

Structural Reinforcements:

  • Proper Framing: Reinforcing the container’s structure is essential to distribute the weight of the water evenly. Inadequate framing can lead to deformation or stress on the container’s walls and floor.
  • Additional Supports: Depending on the size and depth of your pool, you may need additional supports or bracing to ensure structural stability.

Corrosion Resistance:

  • Protective Coatings: Shipping containers are typically constructed from steel, which is susceptible to corrosion. Apply anti-corrosion coatings and paints to the interior and exterior to protect against rust and extend the container’s lifespan.
  • Regular Maintenance: Routine inspections and maintenance, including repainting as needed, are crucial for preventing corrosion over time.


  • Sealing Joints and Seams: Properly sealing all joints, seams, and potential weak points is essential to prevent leaks. Any openings or gaps in the container can compromise its watertight integrity.
  • Waterproof Membranes: Consider using waterproof membranes or coatings to ensure the container remains completely watertight.

Plumbing and Filtration:

  • Proper Installation: The plumbing and filtration systems must be designed and installed correctly to prevent leaks and ensure efficient water circulation.
  • High-Quality Components: Invest in high-quality pumps, filters, and pipes that can withstand continuous use and exposure to pool chemicals.

Lining and Insulation:

  • Liner Durability: The choice of pool liner material affects both aesthetics and durability. High-quality liners resist tears and punctures, ensuring the pool remains watertight.
  • Insulation: Proper insulation helps regulate water temperature and prevents condensation, which can lead to corrosion. Ensure the insulation material is durable and suitable for pool environments.

Decking and Surroundings:

  • Proper Drainage: Adequate drainage around the pool area is essential to prevent water from accumulating and causing damage to the container or its surroundings.
  • Decking Materials: Choose decking materials that are durable and resistant to water damage to ensure the pool area remains safe and attractive.

Maintenance and Care:

  • Regular Cleaning: Establish a routine for cleaning the pool, including removing debris and maintaining water quality.
  • Preventive Measures: Address any issues promptly to prevent minor problems from escalating into major structural or maintenance issues.

How Much Does a Shipping Container Cost?

Size of the Container:

  • The size of the container is a significant factor in determining its cost. Standard shipping containers come in two primary sizes:
    • 20-Foot Container: This is the most common size and is often more affordable compared to larger containers.
    • 40-Foot Container: Larger containers naturally cost more due to their size and capacity.

Container Condition:

  • The condition of the container plays a crucial role in pricing. Containers are typically classified into three main categories:
    • New Containers: These are brand-new containers with no prior use. They are generally the most expensive option.
    • One-Trip Containers: One-trip containers have been used for a single shipment and are in excellent condition. They are a cost-effective choice if you want a nearly new container at a lower price.
    • Used Containers: Used containers are available in various conditions, from “like new” to those showing signs of wear and corrosion. The price decreases as the container’s condition deteriorates.

Container Type:

  • Different types of containers may have varying price points. Standard dry containers are the most common and tend to be more affordable. Specialized containers, such as refrigerated (reefer) containers or high-cube containers, may have higher price tags due to their unique features.

Location and Availability:

  • The location where you purchase the container can impact the price. Containers located near major ports or transportation hubs may be more competitively priced due to higher availability. In remote areas, containers might be costlier due to transportation expenses.

Steps to Convert a Shipping Container into a Swimming Pool

Converting a shipping container into a swimming pool is a rewarding project that allows you to create a unique aquatic space. To guide you through the process, here’s a detailed step-by-step guide:

Container Selection:

  • Assess Your Needs: Determine the size, depth, and style of pool you want. Consider the available space and budget constraints.
  • Choose a Container: Select a shipping container that fits your requirements. Check its condition, ensuring it’s free from significant rust, corrosion, and structural damage. Used containers in good condition or one-trip containers are often suitable choices.
  • Inspect for Hazards: Before acquisition, inspect the container for any hazardous materials or residues that may require professional cleaning or disposal.

Cutting and Framing:

  • Plan Cut-outs: Decide where you want the pool’s entry points, such as steps or ladder openings. Mark these locations on the container’s walls.
  • Cut Openings: Hire a professional welder or use specialized cutting equipment to create openings in the container. These openings will serve as entry and exit points.
  • Add Structural Framing: Reinforce the container’s structure by welding or bolting additional supports and framing around the openings. This step ensures the container can withstand the water’s weight and use.


  • Seal Joints and Seams: Apply sealant to all joints, seams, and openings to prevent water from leaking. Pay meticulous attention to detail during this stage to ensure complete waterproofing.
  • Consider Waterproof Membranes: For added protection, you can apply waterproof membranes or coatings to the interior of the container. These provide an extra layer of security against leaks.

Plumbing and Filtration:

  • Install Plumbing: Set up the plumbing system, including inlet and outlet pipes. Ensure these pipes are securely attached to the container’s walls.
  • Filtration System: Install a filtration system to maintain water circulation and quality. This includes a pump, filter, and any necessary sanitation equipment.
  • Plan for Drainage: Create a drainage system to manage excess water and prevent flooding around the pool area.

Lining and Insulation:

  • Choose a Pool Liner: Select a high-quality pool liner that fits the container’s dimensions. Pool liners come in various materials, such as PVC or EPDM rubber.
  • Apply Insulation: To control water temperature and prevent condensation, add insulation to the walls and floor of the container. Proper insulation helps maintain a comfortable pool environment.

Decking and Finishing:

  • Decking Material: Choose suitable decking materials for the area surrounding the pool. Common choices include wood, composite, or concrete.
  • Safety Measures: Install safety features such as handrails, non-slip surfaces, and pool covers as needed.
  • Landscaping: Enhance the pool area with landscaping elements, such as plants, lighting, and seating.
  • Filling the Pool: Fill the container pool with water, and monitor for any potential leaks during this initial filling phase. Know about swimming pool water level here.

So How Long Do Container Pools Last?

The lifespan of a container pool can vary depending on factors like container quality, maintenance, and environmental conditions, but with proper care, you can expect it to last for many years. New or one-trip containers often have a longer lifespan due to minimal wear, while older containers may require more maintenance. Anti-corrosion coatings and regular inspections are vital to protect the container from rust. Proper waterproofing and attention to water chemistry also contribute to durability. Environmental factors and usage intensity play a role, so pools in harsh climates or heavy-use scenarios may require more upkeep. Prompt repairs and professional assistance when needed help maximize the container pool’s lifespan, with well-maintained pools often lasting a decade or more, and sometimes even beyond 15 years.


As you embark on your container pool project, remember that the longevity of your pool depends on factors like container quality and maintenance. By adhering to best practices and taking the necessary precautions, your container pool can provide you and your family with aquatic delight for years to come. At Intec America, we understand the importance of water quality and treatment. In addition to adapting the COPPER IONIZATION system for swimming pools, we offer a wide range of advanced water treatment technologies, including filtration, water softening, tannin removal, reverse osmosis, ozonation, and U/V light systems. Whether it’s for your pool or other water treatment needs, we are here to provide innovative solutions for cleaner, safer water. Take the next step toward enhancing your water treatment capabilities by exploring our offerings and contacting us today to discuss your specific needs. Your journey to better water quality begins here.

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