Affordable & Appealing Backyard Pool Design Ideas

It’s hot, muggy and all you can think about is how nice it would be to have a glistening swimming pool in the backyard to cool off in. If only you could build your dream pool! Well, before you dismiss the idea entirely, there are many ways you can have a stunning pool without the hefty price tag. We’ve put together some of our most affordable and appealing backyard pool design tips to get you started.c


Affordable Pool Designs

Swimming pools come in a huge selection of designs and prices points. Here are some of the more affordable choices to choose from:

Swim Spa

Swim Spas are perfect for those wanting a sanctuary to relax and entertain in. They offer all the benefits of a spa, although they are much bigger and have a designated swimming area. Swim spas are generally around 2.5 metres wide by about 5 metres long, so they are ideal for those with limited space. The groundwork is less than a regular pool and so are the ongoing running costs which makes them an economical choice.

Lap Pool

Lap pools offer a sleek and contemporary look. They have an unimpeded stretch of water that is designed for swimming laps. They are a good option for people who want to work on their fitness or who don’t have a great deal of space to put a pool in. Lap pools are long and narrow and can fit in virtually all backyards. Due to their modest size, they offer the same cost-saving benefits as a swim spa

Plunge Pool

Plunge pools were created with the modern-day Australian backyard in mind. They are compact and provide the best of both worlds. With generous bench seating running around one end and a dedicated swimming area, plunge pools are made for both swimming and relaxing. They heat efficiently and the excavation and maintenance costs are less than their larger counterparts.

Swim Spa


Lap Pool


Plunge Pool


Other Ways You Can Still Have A Designer Looking Pool For Less

The Installation Method

Most automatically think of their swimming pool being installed in the ground, however, other installation methods can be just as beautiful for the fraction of the cost. If you’re looking at ways to reduce the price of installing a pool, a partially above ground or above ground installation is a clever way to do that. The amount of groundwork needed to prepare the site to install the pool is far less which can keep costs down. Reputable pool builders have extensive experience building pools on virtually all terrains and can share some ideas and clever ways to tie the pool installation in with your backyard to create a stand out designer feature. Some more difficult blocks such as sloping sites may not be suitable for an entire inground pool installation and building it either above or partially above ground can produce a better result. It’s best to discuss your options with a pool builder before deciding which is the best choice for your home both from an aesthetic and functional point of view.

Budget-Friendly Design Choices For Your Pool

The number of accessories you can have for your pool today is endless. Here are some low-cost yet effective ways to increase the appeal of your pool:


Pool lighting is an affordable way to enhance your pool, it looks great and it can boost safety at nighttime. The type of lighting that is best for your pool depends on your budget. At the cheaper end, you can pick up floating solar lights or suction lighting for under $50. If you’re looking for something more permanent and your budget allows, flush-mounted LED lighting is a good choice. They are built into the walls and steps of your pool and are long-lasting and energy-efficient. Lighting can create ambience in your pool area and you can even pair some types with smart technology which allows you to control your lighting from the convenience of your smart device.


Water Feature

A water feature that has been done well can make a stunning statement and there are options to suit almost every budget. Here are some inexpensive water feature ideas:

Deck Jets

Deck jets shoot a continuous stream of water in an arch shape into the pool. They come in a variety of options, you can purchase portable versions which attach to your return jets or you can have them built onto the edge of your pool for something more permanent.

Water Wall

Water walls are on-trend right now and you can customise them to tie-in with your pool area perfectly. Some economical finishes include concrete or tiles.

Pre-Made Water Feature

There is an array of pre-made water features you can purchase inexpensively online such as solar-powered features or floating fountains.

They are easy to set up and remove if necessary.
Pro tip: If you are going to install a water feature in your pool area, make sure it doesn’t encroach on any of your fencing boundary lines, otherwise your pool won’t be compliant or safe and you may receive a fine as a result.


For many, a pool only takes up a portion of their backyard, which leaves space for other elements. These other components require just as much consideration if you want to enjoy your backyard to its fullest. After all, you will spend more time looking at your pool than actually in it. Greenery is needed to break up the space and prevent your pool area from looking bland, whether you have a lot of it or some complementary plants in pot plants, something is better than nothing. You don’t have to break the bank either, consider purchasing younger plants rather than well-established mature plants, this can save you a considerable amount of money. Make sure you choose varieties that are hardy enough to survive around the pool.

Pro Tip – If you’re planting directly in the ground near your pool area, avoid plants with extensive root systems as they can cause damage to your paving and pool overtime.


Get The Pool Right

If you are under strict budget constraints, it’s important you get the pool right, everything else you can update or add later. Changing your pool once it’s in the ground is impractical and very expensive. Rather than getting all the additional inclusions that you don’t necessarily need from the get-go, it’s better to choose a style of pool that is going to serve your family best over the years. There are many cost-friendly pool extras that you can add to make it look great until you are in a position to upgrade them with better quality versions. Many of our compact pools are identical to our larger pools, they are just smaller.

Being Cost-Conscious Doesn't Have To Mean Cheap

With some careful planning, you can have a spectacular pool without it costing an arm and a leg. Our team here at Barrier Reef Pools believe that a swimming pool should be attainable for all homeowners and we have a huge collection of affordable pool choices on offer as well as payment plan options. If you’d like more information or have any questions, contact our friendly team today for a chat.