NewsPool IdeasLittle Pools as alternative to shipping container pools

The trend for shipping container pools in Australia is sweeping the nation. These above-ground swimming pools made from upcycled shipping containers are quite popular, due to their convenience and relatively affordable price tags.

But is a container pool the right choice for you? And are there any alternatives which might better suit your needs? Here’s everything you need to know about Aussie container pools, to help you make an informed decision about the best backyard swimming pool for you.

The shipping container pools concept

Shipping containers have a range of uses

Shipping containers can be put to a wide range of different uses once they are no longer being used for transporting goods by sea. Due to their long, narrow, rectangular shape, they make ideal swimming pool solutions for those who want a convenient pool which can easily be installed in their backyard.

The steel shipping containers can be turned into swimming pools in a variety of ways. Once they have been cleaned up and rust-treated, they are lined with either a second layer of steel, a vinyl-liner insert, or a fibreglass pool shell. Once lined, the container can simply be filled and used as a swimming pool.

The world first saw shipping container pools in Sydney, where the climate is ideal for swimming but land is at a premium. Property owners needed compact swimming pools which could fit easily into small backyards. Once the concept was successful in Sydney, it then spread across Australia, where we now see large numbers of shipping container pools in Brisbane, Melbourne and other major cities. Their compact size and easy installation make them ideal for highly populated areas where property does not always come with a lot of land. However, they are also gaining popularity in more rural areas, thanks to their newfound fashionable status.

The advantages of the container pool

One of the most attractive elements of shipping container pools is the relatively low cost. The average container pool price is between $20,000 and $30,000, so they are well within reach for many homeowners. You can purchase a container pool for as little as $6,000, but be warned – the build quality may not be up to the standard you need for a large investment like a swimming pool, which has to last for many years.

The other main advantage of the container pool is that it can be installed and used almost instantly. As shipping container pools are above-ground pools, no excavation work is required on your property. The pool simply needs a level surface to sit on, so you do not have to suffer the disruption to your lifestyle that goes with having an in-ground pool installed.

Additionally, a container pool comes as a complete kit, complete with filtration system and even lighting, so it simply needs to be connected to an electricity supply and then it can be filled and used straight away. This is a huge advantage, particularly in the summer months, when you want to make the most of the warm weather and start swimming straight away. Pool builders tend to get booked up quickly over the summer, so if you want an in-ground pool built, you may have to wait months before the work can even begin. As a container pool does not require any building work, it is the ideal, speedy solution for this time of year.

Finally, shipping container pools can easily be transported by truck, so if you ever decide to move home, you can take your pool with you and continue to enjoy it at your new property.

Container pool disadvantages

With so many advantages, a container pool might look like the ideal solution for you. However, they do have a number of disadvantages which need to be pointed out.

Firstly, shipping container pools do not offer a lot of choice, as their shape is restricted to that of a shipping container. They are usually available in a choice of two lengths, either six metres or 12 metres, but the width is the same on every model. This means they might not be suitable for all shapes and sizes of backyard.

The shape of the container pool can also be restrictive in other ways. It might be perfect for swimming laps, but it is not necessarily the best solution for families, who need more space if they want to play games in the water with the kids.

The appearance is also an issue here. Shipping container pools are difficult to customise as, ultimately, they all look like shipping containers – long rectangular boxes made of corrugated steel. The only customisation options available involve cutting windows into the sides, or painting the container in a different colour, neither of which is particularly satisfactory when you are trying to create a stylish look for your property. For a shipping container pool to look good, it tends to need some really clever landscaping around it to disguise the more unsightly elements of its appearance.

What are the alternatives to shipping container pools?

Little Pool in a backyard on a concrete slab

If you like the concept but think that the pool itself won’t really suit all your needs, there are a number of alternatives to shipping container pools in Australia.

Little Pools are a particularly good alternative. These swimming pools have taken the container pool concept to the next level, and made it more suitable for the swimming and relaxation needs of most Australian pool owners. These small above-ground pools are similar to container pools in that they come as complete kits and require little installation work, so they can be enjoyed straight away. However, they have been developed in conjunction with a leading Australian manufacturer of fibreglass pools, so they are designed and built using all the latest technology and engineering expertise. This means they are strong and durable enough to last a lifetime.

Where Little Pools really have an advantage, however, is in their appearance. Firstly, they come in two different shapes, to suit your needs and the design of your backyard. They are also extremely easy to customise, with a choice of pool colours and exterior cladding, so they look much more attractive than standard shipping container pools, and can be integrated more easily into your landscaping design. Prices of Little Pools start at $25,750; around the same as the average container pool price.

However, if you are looking for a more permanent solution with the highest build quality possible, you might want to consider a small pool from one of Australia’s leading pool manufacturers. At Compass Pools, we offer a range of fibreglass swimming pool designs in small sizes, which can easily be installed above ground as well as in-ground. Our extensive range enables you to choose a size and shape of pool which perfectly suits both your usage needs and the style of your property, with plenty of customisation options available for personalising your pool.

A small pool from Compass Pools does come with a higher price tag than a container pool. However, you can benefit from the extreme strength and durability of a top-quality fibreglass pool with a ceramic core, which will withstand even extreme climate conditions and last a lifetime. You can also be assured that your Compass pool will maintain its appearance, as our gelcoat surface is designed to protect your pool from damage caused by UV rays from the sun, or the chemicals which are needed to keep your pool clean and hygienic.

This means that you can view your pool as a worthwhile investment, which will continue to bring you enjoyment and keep your property looking stunning for many years into the future.

Click the button below to find out more about Little Pools and the models available.


Find out more about small pools from Compass Pools Australia

If you feel that a Compass pool will be more appropriate for your needs than a shipping container pool or any of the other alternatives available, please contact us. Our expert team will be happy to discuss your requirements and give you all the help and advice you need in choosing the perfect swimming pool.