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How to Install a Shipping Container Pool

House One editor and DIY expert Jenn Largesse takes her backyard project to new heights with a container pool installation.

There’s a new kid on the block when it comes to backyard pools. Container pools, or pools made from recycled shipping containers, are becoming more popular, and there are a lot of good reasons why. These pools are long-lasting, mostly self-contained, and relatively affordable compared to their in-ground counterparts. Here are the steps on how to install a shipping container pool.

How to Install a Shipping Container Pool

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  1. First, choose an area of the yard for the shipping container. Most shipping container pools measure 8 feet wide but come in lengths of 20, 30, 40, or 45 feet long.
  2. Reach out to a container pool manufacturer and order the pool. In most cases, they’ll have to fabricate the pool in their facility, so there will be a lead time to plan for.
  3. Prepare the pool area while the company fabricates the pool. It’s important to dig down to ensure the ground is perfectly level, but also to add drainage and a compact layer of stone. In some cases, it may be necessary to consult an engineer and build a retaining wall.
  4. All pools are heavy when full of water, but empty shipping container pools are twice the weight of empty inground pools from the start. For that reason, it’s important to dig at the corners of the pool and pour concrete piers to distribute the weight. These piers should include steel rebar, which will then tie the pier in with a larger footing poured over top, connecting the piers on each side.
  5. Since these pools are so heavy, it’s often necessary to use a crane to install them. The pool company may have their own, or they’ll arrange for a crane contractor to arrive on-site during delivery day. The crew will then lift, lower, and adjust the pool so it sits perfectly on the footings.
  6. With the pool in place, use an excavator to dig a trench for the electric line coming from the house or other building. If the pool will feature a gas-powered water heater, it may be necessary to dig a separate trench, depending on local codes and utility locations.
  7. With the pool hooked up to the utilities, call a local water supply company and schedule a delivery. Be sure you know the capacity of the shipping container in order to get an accurate quote from the supplier. Any built-in steps or other features will affect the volume, so don’t just assume the size of the container is accurate enough.


Jenn tours the manufacturing facility of Trek Pools in Anderson, Indiana to see how their shipping container pools are made. Once home, Jenn is joined by Joel from Trek Pools to install a 8’x’20’ shipping container pool with pre-installed Hayward equipment and an Automatic Pool Cover. Working with the teams from All Crane and Shippers Highway Inc. the pool is lifted over the house and placed onto the concrete foundation poured by Kurtz Concrete and supported at each corner by helical piers.