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Compact Fun: How To Fit A Mini Pool In Your Small Backyard

Do you want to turn your backyard into the oasis of your dreams but feel like it’s impossible due to its small size? We’ve got good news! A small backyard mini pool is an option that can turn your limited space into a place to relax and enjoy for years to come.

Read on to learn more about mini pools in a small backyard, including the different types, how to choose the best one for your space, and tips and tricks for optimal enjoyment!

mini pool

Assess Your Backyard

Before you break any ground, taking a really close look at your space is important. Putting a mini pool in a small backyard could present a few more challenges than one would have with a larger yard. Still, you can bypass many of them with a little extra forethought.

What Space Do You Have?

Sometimes, there’s more space available in a smaller backyard than meets the eye. Take the time to fully measure the perimeter of your yard to get an accurate measurement of the square footage you have available.

Think Long-Term

Once you know the area you’re working with, it’s important to think long-term. A mini pool in a small backyard may look strange if it’s out there all by itself. Make sure to leave plenty of space for a patio, a deck, a seating area, landscaping, and any other outdoor assets you may want to add on and enjoy later down the road.

Keep it Accessible

Accessibility is another factor to take into consideration. Your mini pool needs to be in a place that will be easy to access. You’ll want to be physically able to get into the pool, and you also want it near a water source for easier filling. It’s also important to leave plenty of space for sufficient walkways around the entire pool in case of emergencies.

But Not Too Accessible

Keep privacy in mind when looking at your backyard, too. Is there a corner of your yard with a wide-open view of your neighbor’s kitchen windows? If so, putting the mini pool somewhere else is probably wise! The goal is to have fun without an audience, so make sure your location ensures you and your guests are kept out of view from uninvited eyes.

Anything In the Way?

Once you know where to put a mini pool in a small backyard, it’s time to look under the surface.


Make sure you’ve located all of your underground utilities in the backyard. These are things like gas lines, electrical cables, or water pipes. It would put quite a damper on your excitement if the first day of digging landed you with a busted water pipe!

If you’re unsure where they are, you can ask your utility providers to come out and mark them in your yard.

Tree Roots

Even if they’re not visible from the surface, mature trees can have root systems that span much wider than you may think. If there is somewhere you’d like to put the pool, but there are tree roots in the way, then you’ve got to decide whether to cut through them or choose a new location for your pool.

Cutting through the root system could potentially harm the tree by removing its ability to receive as much nutrition as it needs, making it less stable and more inclined to fall in a storm.

If there are a ton of roots in the only location you could put a mini pool, don’t give up hope! You can call an arborist for their opinion.

Choose the Right Mini Pool

View to a small swimming pool in summer

All mini pools aren’t created equally! Here’s more information on different types and what to consider when deciding which is right for your home.

Types of Pools

Plunge Pool

Plunge pools are small, deep pools that focus more on their ability to cool you off on a warm day than swimming.

They’re typically between four and seven feet deep and can be cool, so they’re refreshing, or warm, so they’re more like a therapy pool.


A spool gets its name by combining “spa” and “pool,” just like it does its features. They’re the size of a small pool with powerful jets from a spa.

Somebody can use these jets for relaxation or place them to create a strong current you can jog or swim against for some exercise.

Lap Pool

Lap pools are excellent for someone looking for a low-impact workout. These pools are typically rectangular, have a consistent depth, and are perfect for taking laps in your backyard.

Above-Ground Pool

An above-ground pool could make a great mini pool in a backyard full of root systems or underground utilities that make it difficult to find a place to put one in the ground.

They can easily be wrapped with stones or wood, making them visually appealing and part of your overall landscaping aesthetic.

Inflatable Pool

Before you wrinkle your nose at an inflatable pool, consider the flexibility it could offer you in your small backyard.

In the summertime, surround the inflatable pool with beautiful flowers to create a place for your family to cool down and play.

Then, once the weather cools down and you put the pool away, add a fire pit and chairs to the same area and enjoy the space in an entirely new way.

Stock Tank Pool

Stock tank pools have taken over social media over the past few summers. A stock tank from a home improvement or farm store, a pool pump and filter, and a few simple tools will leave you with a place to cool off and relax all season long.

Keep in mind the edges of the metal pools can be sharp. If kids are playing in it, it’s a good idea to get some pool noodles, cut one side of them in half, and cover the edges with them.

Things to Think About

Size and Shape

What space do you have available? If you’ve only got a rectangular piece of land prime for a pool, certain types of circular mini pools may not work.

The same is true for round spaces. You’ve got to pick a pool that will fit well in your available space.


Are you hoping to save money and DIY a pool, or will you need professionals to install the pool?

If you want to DIY, how comfortable and confident are you with the entire process? Make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into before diving in. You will likely need to do some research to make sure you understand the installation process and what exactly such a project entails. You also need to be realistic about your skill set and your abilities. If installing a pool is out of your comfort zone or far beyond what you can feasibly achieve, there is no shame in hiring a professional for the job.

Just be sure to properly vet any professionals before hiring them to complete any work.


Different types of mini pools in a small backyard will require unique maintenance levels.

Non-permanent pools, such as stock or inflatable pools, require less year-round maintenance but must be set up and torn down yearly.

You will need to cover up permanent pools in the winter and work to freshen them up before swimming in the spring or summer.


Think about how you will be using the pool the most. What safety measures are necessary, and what pools will make it safest for your family and friends?

Families with young children may find a plunge pool nerve-wracking due to its depth, while single people may be frustrated by the shallowness of a stock tank pool.

Consider what safety measures you may need for your mini pool and choose the option that best suits your family’s needs but also allows for you to incorporate the proper measures to ensure everyone’s safety.


A mini pool in a backyard doesn’t have to be a budget-buster. Depending on the type of pool and what you do with the surrounding area, you could add a small pool to your space for anywhere from under $1,000 to $15,000+.

Design and Plan

small round home outdoor swimming pool on the plot and overlooking the forest, blue pool, forest view

After choosing what pool works best for your space and your budget, it’s time to create a plan to make this dream a reality.

Define the Purpose

Knowing your backyard mini pool goal will help ensure it meets your expectations.

Do you want to create a place of relaxation or somewhere for excitement and play? Will it be mainly adults, children, or a mix of both using it?

There are different features and accessories you can add to your pool to make it accomplish the purpose you have for it.

Decide on Location & Design

Finalize the location you’ll put the mini pool in your backyard. You can use a free garden planner to help you figure out details like paths, surrounding landscaping, and where to put other additions you’re considering adding to your yard.

Once you decide, stake out the area in your yard and live with it for a week. Watch how the sun hits it, how passers-by may view it, and make sure you love it. Once you’re satisfied with the location and design, you can move forward with your plan.

Keep it Balanced

Ensuring your mini pool, landscaping, and any other backyard features you add are balanced will help your small backyard feel manageable and enjoyable.

The worst thing you could do is add a ton of large-scale furniture, massive plants, and too many focal points to your yard. It will feel busy, cramped, and possibly even stressful.

“Compact” doesn’t have to mean uncomfortable. Compact and streamlined furniture in a small backyard will make the space feel larger.

Keep It Safe and Secure

It may not sound fun, but safety and security are top priorities when adding a small backyard mini pool.

Know the Local Codes and Regulations

Spending time ensuring you follow your community’s rules will pay off in the long run. Most towns and cities have their codes and regulations available to find online. Before you do anything in your backyard, you need to make sure that you are properly following the regulations established by the city.

If you live in a neighborhood with a homeowner’s association, you’ll also need to check with them regarding any rules about pools in the neighborhood. You don’t want to be halfway through your project and get a letter from them saying something needs to be changed or, at worst, removed.

Obtain Necessary Permits

Permits are not always necessary to add a small backyard mini pool, but it’s important to have everything you need if they are.

If you’ve got an HOA, they should be able to help you with what you need. If not, most answers are a google-search away.

Add Safety Measures

Adding a few safety measures to your backyard mini pool will make it more fun for everyone by giving you peace of mind. Here are a few things to consider:

  • A pool alarm will detect any disturbance to the water’s surface and alert you of someone potentially falling in.
  • Non-slip surfaces around an in-ground pool help prevent unwanted and dangerous falls into the pool.
  • Consider fencing or a gate around the pool if you’ve got young children or small pets that can’t swim.
  • Marking the depth of the pool (if it changes throughout) will help people stay in a comfortable spot for them.
  • Have a pole nearby to help people who are stuck and unable to get to an edge.

Don’t assume accidents can’t happen in a mini pool. It’s better to be prepared and safe than sorry.

Installing and Maintaining a Mini Pool in Your Small Backyard

We’re almost at the fun part! First, you’ve got to know how to install your small backyard mini pool and what it takes to maintain it.

Hire It Out or DIY?

Neither of these is necessarily better than the other. You’ve just got to decide which is best for you.

Hiring Pros & Cons

Some pros of hiring professionals to install your backyard mini pool are their expertise, the speed at which they complete the project, the quality of their work, and possible warranties and extended support.

Cons to hiring the job out include the higher cost, reliance on their availability, and limited options to customize things. Clear and open communication could also be an issue for some contractors.

DIY Pros & Cons

There are many pros to DIYing the installation of your small backyard mini pool. They include a potentially lower cost, learning new and transferable skills, and the sense of accomplishment of doing something yourself.

On the flip side, some cons to consider are the gap between what you know how to do and what needs to be done, unexpected costs that come with the learning curve, and possible safety concerns.

Maintenance Tips

Mini pools aren’t a set-it-and-forget-it situation. They require maintenance to keep them usable.

Keep it Clean

Keeping your pool clean of dirt and debris won’t just make it prettier but will also help it last longer!

Organic matter building up will make it hard for your filtration system to keep up. It could also damage the liner of your pool over time.

Keeping a simple set of tools handy for quick daily cleans will make upkeep more manageable.

Filtration is Key

A filtration system will help clear your water and catch small debris you may miss. It will also help keep your water moving so it doesn’t attract all the neighborhood mosquitoes.

Most in-ground pools will have a permanent one installed, but simple ones are also available to add to above-ground pools.

Chemistry Still Matters

While the levels of the chemicals needed will change with a small pool, keeping them where they need to be is still important.

Water test kits are available online to determine your pool’s pH, bromine, and chlorine levels. Once you know where the levels are, you can use a pool chemical kit to get them where they need to be.

If you aren’t having any luck, don’t hesitate to bring in a professional’s help. The quicker your pool is ready for swimming, the longer you’ll be able to enjoy it that season!

Cover It Up

Covering up your pool will keep it clean in the off-season and remove a potential danger to small kids or pets who can’t swim.

Use It and Enjoy!

Top view of a yellow inflatable mattress in an above ground private backyard swimming pool

We’ve finally gotten to the fun part! It’s time to live it up in your backyard mini pool!

Accessories and Toys

Classic toys like pool noodlesfloats, and loungers are always good to have around. Remember that they’ll probably take up a good chunk of space, so don’t invest in too many.

You could also get a pack of these solar-powered pool lights to add a bit of nighttime whimsy to the space.

If you choose an above-ground pool, add one of these organizers to the side to hold drinks, unworn goggles, extra toys, and more!

Storage Solutions

Storage solutions for all your pool toys and accessories can be as moveable or permanent as you’d like them.

Whatever you choose, make sure it can let your stuff fully dry. That will help prevent the growth of mildew and extend their lives.

Wrapping Up How to Fit a Mini Pool In Your Small Backyard

A backyard oasis is possible, no matter the space size. A small backyard mini pool will help you maximize your space for optimal fun and enjoyment! Carefully choosing the right spot, considering safety and installation, and having the right accessories will have you floating through life in a private paradise.

For more backyard inspiration, check out our page all about backyard living!