DIY Above Ground Pool: Build Above Ground Pool From Scratch


Anyone who has seen the cost breakdown for an above ground pool will immediately understand why so many people decide to take matters into their own hands and make a DIY above ground pool. If you identify with the group, here’s a guide on how to build an above ground pool from scratch. Not only will you be able to save money on this project, but you might also actually have a fun time doing it.

10 Steps on How to Make an Above Ground Pool using Wooden Pallets

If you’re looking for an easy DIY above ground pool, this will be one of your better options. It’s small enough to fit in most backyards, requires little in terms of technical skills, and is made from very affordable materials you can get in junkyards or recycling centers.

1. Get Some Wooden Pallets

You can buy wooden pallets from recycling centers, warehouses, and even small grocery stores. These pallets typically measure about 4’x4’ so get as many as you need for your desired pool size. Also, choose newer wooden pallets or those that haven’t seen too much abuse. The newer the pallet, the more sound the structural integrity of your DIY above ground pool would be.

2. Prepare the Ground

An important aspect of how to build an above ground pool from scratch is ground preparation. This DIY above ground pool may not be as expensive and glamorous as most above ground pools, but you still need to prepare the ground before installation. You’ll want the ground to smooth and level, otherwise, your above ground pool will be tilting towards one side. Also, you can opt to put pads under your above ground pool if it’s sitting on the grass.

3. Build the Base

If you’re satisfied with how the ground on the installation site is prepared, put the wooden pallets alongside each other and screw or nail them together. Again, the typical pallet size is around 4’x4’ so you’re going to need to put together 4 wooden pallets set up in a square to make an 8’x8’ pool. You can also make a bigger one like a 12’x8’ pool if you want to and have enough space in your backyard to accommodate it.

4. Put Up the Walls

Once the base is secured, you can start installing the pool walls. Again, you’ll be using the wooden pallets for these parts of the pool.

Here, you’ll need to put the wooden pallets on their sides and fix them onto the base using screws or nails. Secure each wall by fixing them with each other as well. It would help if you nail a long wooden board across and along the middle sections of the pool walls. This will make the walls much more secured compared to when they’re left to stand alone.

Make sure that the wooden pallets are securely fixed and that they don’t wobble. Remember, water can be quite heavy, and it can push against the walls and force them to fall apart. Needless to say, you don’t want that to happen because if it does then you’re going to end up with a flooded backyard.

5. Choosing a Pool Liner

It would be better if you can find a second-hand pool liner, but if you can’t then don’t worry because there are other alternatives you can use.

Vinyl tarps are one alternative to an above ground pool liner. These types of tarps are pretty tough and have high resistance against tears and rips. Besides, vinyl tarps have certain features that make them a great option for a pool liner like high degrees of waterproofing, anti-mildew, protection against damage from the ultraviolet of the sun, and others. And the best part is that they are much more affordable than actual above ground pool liners.

Another option is a billboard tarp. More often than not, new billboard tarps are made from old and recycled billboard materials. Like vinyl tarps, billboard tarps are pretty strong and durable and has several features like the ones mentioned above.

Besides, make sure that the tarp is the right size for your DIY above ground pool. Factor in the pool floor and walls in your measurement, and allow for excess material that will drape over and outside the pool walls.

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6. Cover the Interiors of the Pool Wall

You can cover the pool wall’s interiors by nailing wooden boards or plywood over the pallets. You can also paint it over to provide some form of protection against moisture. If you don’t have plywood or boards, you can just drape some old blankets over the pool walls. Fix the blankets onto the pool walls by nailing or stapling them in place.

7. Installing the Pool Liner

Although you don’t have to strictly follow the steps and protocols on how to install an above ground pool liner, you still want to make sure that you install the tarps properly and as carefully as possible.

First, fold or roll the tarp and bring it into the middle of the pool. Once there, start unrolling or unfolding the tarp towards the pool walls. As do to, flatten the tarp against the pool floor and walls. Try to get as many wrinkles out as possible.

Then, when you reach the walls bring the tarp up and over them. Let the excess tarp fall and drape over the pool walls. Use clothespins or small clamps to temporarily hold the tarp in place.

8. Fill the Pool with a Little Water

Fill the pool with about three inches of water. The objective here is to see how the levelness of the pool interior. If you see the water accumulating on only one side, lift the tarp and fix the padding of the pool floor and adjust the liner. As you do, smoothen out any wrinkles you see. Continue this step until you’re satisfied with the level of the water.

9. Fix the Liner in Place

To fix the pool liner in place, staple the tarp against the wood pallets. The staples should be thick enough to penetrate the tarp. If you can’t find staples large enough for this task, you can nail the tarp onto the wood using small tacks or 1/2”-inch nails.

Once you’re done, you can nail wooden boards on top of the walls to further hold the tarp in place.

10. Fill the Pool with Water and Enjoy

And that’s how to build an above ground pool from scratch. You can now fill the pool water, bring out your pool noodles and other pool toys, and have a blast cooling yourselves down.



Q: Can I build my own above ground pool?


Yes, you can buy one of those above ground pool kits and assemble it yourself like an Intex above ground pool which you can set up in one hour. You can also learn how to build an above ground pool from scratch and build your own above ground pool using scrap materials like shipping containers, wooden pallets, and others.

Q: How easy is it to build a swimming pool at home?


That depends on the type of pool that you want to build. If you are planning on getting an inflatable Intex above ground pool, you can set it up and have it ready in an hour or two provided the ground doesn’t need lots of preparation. For other types of pools, allot at least 24-72 hours for building and installation.

Q: How do you build a small pool step by step?


To build a small pool, follow the steps below.

  1. Decide on the measurement of your small pool.
  2. Choose an installation site that can accommodate the pool.
  3. Search for an above ground swimming pool that meets your requirements. Many Intex and Bestway above ground pools are small enough to fit in a backyard with limited space.
  4. Prepare the ground for the swimming pool. Make sure that it’s even and flat, and remove any rock, tree roots, or other things that can puncture the pool and its liner.
  5. Install the pool according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If it’s small enough, you should be able to complete the assembly and installation on your own.

Q: Can you build a pool out of wood?


Yes, you can build an above ground pool using wood for the frame. However, you’ll want to minimize contact with water and use treated wood to prevent wood rot. You also want to make sure that your pool liner is installed properly to keep water and moisture from getting into the wooden frame.

Q: How do you build a budget pool?


To build a budget pool, you’re going to have to settle for the smallest possible pool size available and one that utilizes affordable materials. For the most part, a budget pool would be something like an inflatable above ground swimming pool. Also, you’re going to have to cut out the extra accessories like pool ladders, pool slides, and others.

Globo Surf Overview

And that’s how to build an above ground pool from scratch! As you can see, it’s not overly difficult as long as you have some construction skills and the right tools and materials. Keep in mind though that you can expect this DIY above-ground pool to last very long. It may keep you happy throughout this summer but you can expect it to still be there by next year. Luckily, you won’t have too much trouble when taking down and removing an above ground pool like this. So if you’re looking for a temporary above ground pool that can give you loads of fun this summer, then this is one project you should consider taking on.

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