Backyard Pool Renovation Ideas on a Budget

May 16th, 2023 by

Budgeting for backyard pool renovations takes a little planning and saving, but the end result is worth it! If you’re planning to liven up your outdoor oasis, you’ll want to do your homework and plan for various factors that may impact your budget. These factors can include (but are not limited to) where you live, the size and material of pool you’re planning to remodel and any features you want to add.

Your geographic region will play a significant role in the specific pool and building codes you’ll need to adhere to, as well as the cost and local availability of certain materials. Additionally, the type of dirt or soil in your backyard can also play a role in your pool and backyard renovation budget. If you have expansive soil that may absorb water and expand, it can apply pressure to the shell of your pool and potentially cause damage.

With a little planning, it’s entirely possible to pull together a backyard makeover on a budget that will take your space from “blah” to “beautiful” without breaking the bank. Working with a licensed professional pool builder who is knowledgeable about local building codes and who can also assess your soil and its drainage can help you better plan your renovation project and be sure your newly-remodeled pool and backyard give you years of enjoyment. The cost of your pool makeover is highly dependent on your local dealer, who will consider your vision, as well as the cost of labor and materials to bring it to life. Get in touch with a local builder today to get a quote and start planning the pool remodel of your dreams!

1. Plan and Prioritize Your Space

First, determine your total budget and the “must-have” items for your yard. For example, if your pool will serve as a key focal point, decide how much you’re willing to spend on one and what you will be putting around it. This will be your primary piece and your primary source of inspiration. For a vast, relatively empty yard, consider sectionalizing it based on anticipated activities such as lounging, kids’ play, cooking, and entertaining.

If you’re unsure what the “must have” items are, think about which features you definitely want or need to upgrade, what decking you want for your pool, which safety features to consider, and how you want your pool to work into your backyard layout as a whole. Then, you can evaluate how much budget you have left for everything else, like upgrading landscaping, adding extra features like fire pots or slides, or anything else you can dream of.

If you have a smaller backyard, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have a pool! You just need to get more strategic about your space and how it’s used. Look for compact pool shapes, made with smaller yards in mind.

Linear models, like a cocktail pool, and freeform shapes can help you make the most of your space while still offering plenty of room to splash and play. Fiberglass pools can give you the most options for pre-made sizes and shapes. Work with a local dealer to see what type of pool would work best for your small yard.

Planning a backyard makeover? Check out these helpful resources to help you explore your options. While many of these resources speak to building a brand new pool, they can be helpful to those planning a pool remodeling project.

Round Fiberglass Pool with Patio Furniture and Landscaping
Fiberglass Pool

2. Think About Decking Early

A deck is to a pool what a frame is to a photograph. It can make all the difference in the world to not only offset the beauty of your pool, but provide added stability. When planning your pool, you’ll want to think about the type of decking you want to surround your pool. When planning, consider not only the cost of materials to build your deck, but their longevity, as well as the level of effort required to maintain your deck. Certain materials – such as aluminum or composite decking – may be more expensive up-front, but require less upkeep over time.

Ultimately, function should win out over fashion when it comes to budgeting for your deck. Prioritize the safety of having a basic deck made from quality materials vs. more expensive materials that tack on more to the price tag. Regardless of your budget there are plenty of decking options and ideas to suit your style, needs and spending limit.

Latham Fiberglass Valencia | Whisper White inground pool
Fiberglass Valencia in Whisper White | Photo courtesy of The Pool Guyz, Virginia

3. Save What You Can

A backyard makeover on a budget doesn’t mean that you have to get rid of all of your old decor. If you have deck chairs or lawn furniture that’s still in good shape, keep it! You can always spruce it up with inexpensive pillows or potted plants to give it a fresh feel!

Similarly, if larger items – such as fencing or a patio – are still in good condition and compliant with local building codes, there’s no reason why you should have to tear them down. If anything, spring for a professional power wash or sealing to help give existing fixtures even more longevity.

A backyard makeover can be truly awe-inspiring as long as you approach it with a clear vision and adequate budget. Don’t feel as if it needs to be done in one weekend either. Adding new elements to your yard over time will ensure you stay on course financially and avoid feeling overwhelmed. Enlist the help of a crafty friend who will enjoy the end result as much as you will. With a beautiful pool and plenty of extra space, there’s no reason your outdoor oasis shouldn’t be as remarkable as the inside of your home.

4. Consider a Vinyl Liner Pool

If adding a new pool is part of your backyard makeover, a vinyl liner pool can be a welcome addition that remains budget-friendly. Vinyl liner pools come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Simple, clean designs can start at around $35,000 and still offer plenty of room for customization in terms of liner colors and add-ons like tanning ledges.

Vinyl liners themselves will need to be replaced every 10 years, giving you the option to refresh the look of your pool from time to time. Although vinyl liner pools are relatively low maintenance, a fiberglass pool may cost slightly more up-front, but be a more cost-effective option in the long run in terms of upkeep.

As always, weigh your options and talk to a local builder who can help you make a more informed decision once you’ve done some homework first!

Latham Vinyl Liner Pools Under Track | Navy inground pool
Rectangular Vinyl Liner Pool with Under Track in Navy | Photo courtesy of Oceanwave Pools LTD., Canada

5. Get Crafty

Even if you plan to enlist the aid of a licensed professional to give your pool a makeover, you can still take a DIY approach to decor. Not only can this save you money, but it will give your deck and pool area a bespoke, one-of-a-kind touch. Here are just a few ideas to spark your imagination and get crafty:

  • Paint old terracotta pots bright colors to liven up a lounge area. Spray paint thrift store lanterns for a shabby chic look or sand down an old coffee table and stain it white.
  • Rather than pay for expensive outdoor tile work, use large square concrete slabs to create your own pathway or designated grilling area.
  • Ask around local stores for leftover wooden pallets and create your own mini bar. Drape lights through the holes at night for a twinkling cocktail party.
  • Rather than toil over dead grass and dirt patches with sod installation, lay decomposed granite (DG) or artificial turf.
  • Similarly, plant a few flower beds or an herb garden rather than lining the entire perimeter with costly plants that require weekly upkeep.
  • Carve out a walkway lined with smooth rocks for a polished look that’s as pretty as it is functional.
  • Search the classifieds for an antique trellis and give it new life in the garden. Paint it or plant vines on either side to serve as your poolside focal point.

6. Know Where to Shop When Upgrading Your Decor

Thrift stores can be hit-or-miss, but once you start making the rounds, you’ll understand what shops have the best selections and when they rotate stock. Online buy-and-sell websites like Craigslist and Oodle are great places to score a vintage table or used chair worthy of a refinish. Even if you don’t have a pickup truck for hauling, consider renting one from a moving company (better yet—borrow one). You’re still likely to pay far less than retail prices even with additional rental costs.

Backyard Pool Renovation Questions

Does a backyard renovation increase property value?

Beyond breathing new life into your outdoor space, renovating your backyard and adding a pool can increase the value of your home by between 5% and 8%. In addition to increasing your home’s resale value, a new pool can give you and your family years of enjoyment.

How can I quickly transform my backyard?

If you’re planning to add a pool to your backyard, you can make a dramatic transformation in a relatively short period of time. Depending on the type of pool you choose, the time of year, and the viability of your ground, it’s possible to transform your backyard in a few short weeks. Getting in touch with a local licensed pool builder can help you develop a clearer picture of the timeline and what you can expect during your renovation period.

Can I finance my backyard pool renovation?

Yes! With our pool financing options, available through our partnerships with trusted banks, we can help you finance the pool renovation project you’re dreaming of. Our partners offer loan amounts from $5,000 to $100,000 to qualifying applicants. Contact us to learn more about our financing options.

7. Contact a Latham Builder To Discuss Your Renovation Options

A backyard makeover can be truly awe-inspiring as long as you approach it with a clear vision and adequate budget. Don’t feel as if it needs to be done in one weekend either. Adding new elements to your yard over time will ensure you stay on course financially and avoid feeling overwhelmed. Enlist the help of a crafty friend who will enjoy the end result as much as you will. With a beautiful pool and plenty of extra space, there’s no reason your outdoor oasis shouldn’t be as remarkable as the inside of your home.

If your backyard renovation plans include adding a new pool, speak to a licensed independent builder to get an estimate – and begin breaking ground on new memories!

Meet Our Expert

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Jeremy is the Director of Digital Marketing for Latham. He loves working within a company that has a strong culture built on camaraderie and revolutionizing the industry.

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