Everything you need to know about finding and building a shipping container swimming pool
Commercial retailers of shipping containers include Container Co. which claims to offer the best quality in the country, Gateway Containers and Price and Speed Containers Australia with sizes starting at 6ft.
Modified shipping containers are generally about 2.4 metres in height and width, and up to 12 metres in length which make ideal dimensions for a DIY swimming pool.
According to industry experts, building your own homemade oasis involves the following five stages:
- Planning permission
Speak to your local council about the details of your proposed pool, including depth and any additional features you might want to add further down the line like a diving platform.
- Hire an engineer
Before you go excavating blindly, you’ll most likely need to enlist the help of a structural expert who can help you be sure your pool is going to withstand weather and water pressure.
- Choose a height
As mentioned, the generic height of most shipping containers is 2.4 metres which is likely too deep for a standard swimming pool. Decide your preferred depth, ideally with standing room for the average user, and cut the container to the desired size.
- Make sure you are watertight
While shipping containers are designed to be waterproof from the outside in, they usually aren’t built to insulate water the other way round.
Waterproofing your container can be achieved by welding a layer of watertight steel around the frame and rust treating the interior and exterior of the structure.
- Add plumbing
Once you have the necessary plumbing hooked up, including pipes and drainage, talk to your local pool company about hooking the container up to a power and water supply for pumping - once this is done you are ready to slip into your bathers and dive into summer!
Shipping Container Pool ideas
1. The Modern Contemporary pool
In recent years, transforming industrial spaces and structures into fashionable DIY projects has become a popular trend among the sartorial set around the world.
The Tommy Hilfiger Container Popup at Berlin’s defunct Tempelhof Airport is a perfect example of a free-standing reconstruction, dressed up with clear glass and wood panelling for a special fashion show - look it up on YouTube!
This option is relatively cost-effective and a good choice for stylish swimmers Australia-wide, although it takes up considerably more space than an in ground design.
2. The Basic Backyard pool
Architects across the United States are known for their preference for building wooden framed shipping container pools in backyards.
Gateway Containers Australia report that American designer Steve Beese layers his containers with anti-corrosive paint and lines the foundation hole dug for the structure with limestone to prevent the heavy duty container leaching the surrounding soil.
The design of this semi in-ground container would fit seamlessly into gardens from Perth to Melbourne, and wouldn’t break the bank (particularly if you enlist the help of some tradie friends to lend a hand!).
Add some tiered steps around the edge of the pool for sunbathing spots and extra seating.
3. The In-Ground Streamlined pool
If you have the expertise (and accompanying bank balance) to excavate a proper foundation for your shipping container pool, why not sink it into the ground for a real luxury feel?
With a standard depth of 2.4 metres, you’ll definitely need more than a hammer and chisel to dig a hole deep enough but the end result would be well worth the time and investment.
Just remember that all pools in Australia must be fenced in according to state council regulations!
4. The Exotic Touch pool
An in-ground shipping container will still come in significantly cheaper than a traditional pool installation, so shop around for deals and add in your own recessed decking if you still have budget at the end of the project.
Try adding some paradise like touches to the area around your pool for a truly lavish finish, like a hammock, bamboo swing or large, overhanging succulents.
5. The Covered pool
Getting creative with your container doesn’t need to stop there - you can also add a homemade pool cover to your little slice of heaven to protect it from unwanted insects and wind borne bacteria.
Paint it in minimalist shades like white or grey for a timeless and chic look that acts as a garden feature when you’re not using it for swimming.