ARTICLE Erin Reilly IMAGES Container Pools NZ

Container pools are the new black when it comes to modern backyard leisure and entertainment. Where inground pools have traditionally monopolised the at-home pool market, container pools are shaking it up with their innovative installations and lesser impact on your outdoor space.

A container pool with timber deck

What is a container pool?

Put simply, a container pool is a brand-new container that has been transformed into a swimming pool that sits on top of the ground. The interior is lined with a fibre glass shell, the exterior is painted in your choice of colour, and other than the fact that it’s made from a container, it functions in the same way as any other swimming pool.

How much room do I need?

“As populations increase and cities expand, sections are becoming smaller and smaller,” says Mike Painter from Container Pools NZ. “Many people just don’t have room to dig a hole in the ground. The beauty of a container pool is that it sits on top of the ground, so you can have it hard-up against the house, integrate it with a deck, and there’s still room for the kids to play on the grass around it.”

You don’t need a massive pool to make a massive impact. Container Pools NZ’s most popular pool is The Plunge, which, at 6.1 by 2.5 metres, doesn’t take up much room at all.

What prep work do I need to carry out first?

“A container pool requires minimal earthworks compared with installing a concrete pool,” says Zones Landscaping designer Debbie Gills. About 200 millimetres of topsoil needs to be removed from the pool’s final resting spot, and driveway stones need to be laid to create a solid foundation.

Adequate drainage is essential too. “You want to make sure you remove moisture from around the cladding,” says Painter, “because bad drainage will impact the structural integrity of the container.”

Don’t forget about integration with the rest of your house. “You want the area to easily flow to where changing areas are within the house, plus make sure the pool is easy to access, so smart design is important,” says Gill. “Zones takes these considerations into play when looking at the usability and aesthetics of the area, and creates a design that ticks all the boxes accordingly.”

A container pool full of water installed into a timber deck

Can I customise my pool?

Container pools are fully customisable, which means you can choose what colour you’d like the pool lining and exterior to be, if and where you’d like stair access, or if you want to incorporate decking around it. “We do all of that for you, including installing jets, covers, filters, even heating and lighting systems if they’re required,” Painter says, “Every pool we create is different; we don’t create cookie cutter solutions.”

How do pool safety regulations work?

“In New Zealand, pool fencing is legally required to stand at 1.2 metres,” says Painter. “When a container pool is placed on the ground, it stands at 1.5 metres, therefore it doesn’t require any additional fencing. If you decide to add stairwell access, we also include a self-locking childproof gate for added security.”

“Safety and protection are paramount when it comes to any pool, and accessibility is first on the list of things looked at,” Gill adds. “Zones is up-to-date with all the latest council requirements for pool installation.”

If it’s a container, does that mean I can move it?

Yes! Container pools are totally mobile, which means you can move to a new house and take your pool with you! “We don’t just sell container pools; we create long-term relationships with customers, so that means if you decide to move house but can’t bear the thought of leaving your pool behind, we can help you take it with you.”

But aren’t containers … ugly?

“When a lot of people think ‘container pool’, they imagine a standard container which is 2.5 metres high, or a high cube which is 3 metres high,” says Painter. “We’re only half the height, so it’s not overbearing – it fits into the surrounding landscape nicely. We also have six colours to choose from, so you can customise your pool to fit in with the rest of your home and garden. Black is the most popular colour because it’s so easy to decorate and integrate with landscaping.”

You might be interested in reading: How to create a bee-friendly garden.

This article by Erin Reilly featured on page 48 in Issue 025 of Renovate Magazine. New Zealand's first and only magazine solely dedicated to home renovations.


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*All information is believed to be true at time of publishing and is subject to change.