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Build Yourself a Pallet Pool

So here we are in the 2020 summer pandemic and pools are sold out everywhere.  Here’s our homemade solution.  We only had to purchase a 19x29’ tarp for $60 and one 2” ratchet strap.  Our pool ended up 14.5’ x 8’ x 36” deep.  It did take us 2 prior attempts to figure out everything that needs to be reinforced and footing placements to support the 2,804 pounds of water.


Supplies – Pallets, tarp, 3”deck screws, 2” ratchet straps, pavers, mulch and some left over wood for bracing.

Pallets can be found all over the place.  Our design used 12, half found and saved at a friend’s work.  The second half we found behind some strip mall places and behind Harbor Freight.  We did spend a day prepping pallets.  Remove all the protruding nails and populate any missing boards.  The topsides, which will be the inside walls cannot have spacing that exceeds 3 inches.


Our design was 2 pallets on the sides and 4 pallets on the long walls. We screwed the pallets together with three 3” deck screws at each connection. 

 Followed by ratchet strapping the middle to secure the shape. 


The flatter the ground the better.  We had no choice and had to work with the slope of our yard.  We add footings under each pallet joint on the low side and filled in with mulch.  If there is any noticeable slope the pool will walk downhill.  We ended up having to brace our pool to a nearby parking pad.  The low board to stop the walking and a mid brace to help with the leaning.  There’s also a 2x6 we put down the middle of the long wall to help the deck screws.  

Moral of the story.  You can’t put enough bracing around a pool.  We also put another smaller ratchet strap along the bottom to help with the walking issue.


Filling does take about 8 hours with a hose.  Luckily, we have unmetered water and cool neighbors.  So with 2 hoses we’re at 36” in 4 hours. We mulched the inside border to ensure the tarp wouldn’t slip underneath.  We screwed the tarp grommets on our long (and higher side) to the outside midpoint of the pallets.  You want to carefully monitor the first few inches and ensure there no large pallet spaces that allows the tarp to have a hernia.

If you monitor it well enough you can see this happening and pull the tarp tighter.  After about the halfway mark the tarp is well set and you can add a second strap around the top to hold and slightly clean up the tarp and it’s folds.


We classed up the pool a little (maybe very little) with a 4’ reed skirt from Menards.  Every drain and refill we make it a little better.  The next one we’ll add some PVC fitting to create ports for filtration.   Then put on a 2x6 top frame and build some small stairs and deck.    Fun project.





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Derek Sigler
on Wednesday, June 24th, 2020
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