COVID-19 is driving a boom in demand for alternative swimming pools as people reinvest in their homes

COVID-19 has sparked a boom in demand for swimming pools, and for some the quirkier the construction the better.

For decades pool styles have been fairly standardised, but now everything from shipping containers to stock tanks are being converted to use for a backyard swim.

The pool industry has experienced unprecedented growth over the past two years due to COVID-19.

“People are reinvesting in their homes; they’re making an oasis in their backyards,” Spiros Dassakis, Swimming Pool and Spa Association of Australia’s chief executive, said.

Concrete plunge pool in backyard out west surrounded by rusted steel fence and wooden deck and stairs.
The concrete plunge pool is a popular micro-pool option. (Supplied: Plunge Pools Direct)

Mr Dassakis says the small, quirky pool trend has taken off in recent years.

“We’ve got specialist companies now that are building products for smaller backyards, or larger backyards that only want a small part of it taken up by a pool,” he said.

“We are seeing people reintroduced to swimming pools that may have otherwise not been able to purchase a large pool by accessing this range of attractive options.”

Shipping container pools on the rise

Mr Dassakis said the shipping container pool trend came about roughly five years ago in Australia.

“Since about 2016, they [shipping container pools] have progressed to the point where they are highly sophisticated,” he said.

A 12- metre long shipping container filled with bright blue water in backyard.
Shipping container pools cost anywhere from $30,000 to $50,000. (Supplied: Shipping Container Pools)

Jonavan Roux owns a shipping container pool business in Queensland which he unintentionally started when helping out a friend.

“I’ve got an architectural background. I studied it here in Australia and my dad has worked in the pool industry for more than 30-plus years back in South Africa,” he said.

“I was helping a friend design an extension to their house using shipping containers … We had a pool written in the plans and I said, ‘why don’t we stick with the theme and make a shipping container pool’.

A green shipping container pool with glass fencing extends off deck looking over a valley.
Weighing just over 2 tonnes without water, lightweight shipping containers can be hoisted onto structures to work with high living spaces. (Supplied: Shipping Container Pools)

Mr Roux posted the shipping container pool on social media which attracted huge interest from consumers. 

He decided to expand the project into a business and has seen demand grow exponentially since the pandemic began.

“I can truly say that the business has benefited from this [COVID-19],” he said.

Stock tank pool sales boom

David Mortimer creates pools from stock tanks that are usually used for livestock. 

He says COVID-19 has provided a welcome boost to his Sydney-based business.

“The level of enquiries we’ve received has been sensational … It’s a good problem to have, but now we have to build twice as many pools,” he said.

A wooden deck surrounds a steel tank filled with clear, blue water.
The pools are designed to stay above ground and are ideally suited for building a timber deck around for access and presentation.(Supplied: Designer Tanks)

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