cheap ways to upgrade a pool pool improvements swimming pool renovation ideas

15 Cheap Ways To Upgrade Your Pool

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Looking for a few cheap ways to upgrade your pool and improve its functionality?

Keep reading


You know whats better than owning a pool? Upgrading it.

Adding all the neat bells and whistles, luxury features, and elegant decor you can dream of.

Of course, maybe the pool of your dreams is a bit out of the budget right now. But what if you still want to upgrade your current pool?

Not a problem. You have options, and that’s what this post is all about.

So keep reading to discover 15 cheap ways to upgrade your pool and take it to the next level.


15 Cheap Ways To Upgrade Your Pool


cheap ways to upgrade your pool pool upgrade underwater pool seats
Liquidseats underwater pool seats

Pool seats

Ever wish that you could sit down and have a drink without getting out of the pool? Well, with pool seats, that’s possible.

In case you were wondering, these aren’t just regular chairs that you toss in the pool.

These are chairs made out of a special plastic that’s resistant to the wear of swimming pool chemicals. They’re easy to place, easy to move, and built especially for your swimming pool.

IF you set two of them up in the shallow end, you basically have a swim up pool table. Liquidseat’s pool seats are a pretty good choice.

Cost: $150 – $400


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One of the easiest and most impactful ways to upgrade your pool is with LEDs. From a faint ambient glow to a bright display of teal and blue, LED pool lights let you instantly set a mood for your swimming pool.

Install a few and have them flash red, white, and blue on the 4th of July. Or set them to a spooky orange glow during Haloween.

On the low end, pool LEDs can be purchased for around $100, with more professional installations closer to the $400 – $700 range.

Cost: $100 – $700


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Outdoor furniture

If you already spend a lot of time in the pool, it only makes sense to have a good hangout spot for when you’re not in the water.

Adding two chairs and an end table is a simple way to start. And this light addition not only gives you a place to sunbathe and feast, but it also adds some aesthetic appeal to your pool deck area.

You might want to choose furniture that complements the color of the deck. Or you might just want to go for the brightest shade of pool-water blue that you can find. The choice is yours.

As far as pricing goes, you can purchase a single patio/deck chair for $100 – $300. But for full furniture sets, expect to total costs to be closer to the $2,000 mark.

Cost: $200 – $2,500


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Automatic pool cleaner

Everyone knows that pool ownership comes bundled with the responsibility of pool maintenance. Skimming the water, vacuuming the floors, and scrubbing the walls — the list of chores go on and on.

Although, it’s usually much easier when you have a pool care schedule. But that’s a separate discussion.

For now, we’re focusing on automatic pool cleaners — the ultimate solution to everyday pool maintenance. The best automatic cleaners have wheels that allow them to scrub and vacuum your pool around the clock. And not just the floors — these things climb walls.

As you can imagine, these robotic pool helpers cut a huge chunk out of your overall pool maintenance time. And the only thing better than saving money is saving time.

[Want to learn more? Check out: Automatic Pool Cleaners 101]

Cost: $600 – $1,000


swimming pool cover solar cover cheap ways to upgrade a pool

Solar cover

Not only is a solar cover one of the most cost effective ways to upgrade your pool, it’s also one of the easiest ways to improve your pool’s heat retention.

For reference, a pool that uses a solar cover experiences about 75% less evaporation and heat loss than an uncovered pool. And if you run a pool heater regularly, a solar cover acts as a lid that helps retain the generated heat more effectively. At the same time, this also helps improve your heater’s efficiency.

The cost of a solar cover depends largely on the size of your pool but usually sits in the mid $100 range.

[Learn how to use a solar cover]

Cost: $75 – $250


salt water chlorine generator

Salt water chlorine generator

Regular chlorine, although effective, is a bit played out at this point. Why?

Well, it’s not necessarily a safe chemical (hence all the warning labels), and when it’s out of a balance, it causes skin and eye irritation. Not to mention that you constantly have to replace it.

Why not consider a salt water pool instead? Specifically, a salt water chlorine generator. It doesn’t produce and harsh chemicals and balances your chlorine levels automatically with a gentler, higher quality salt based chlorine.

Plus, water treated by a salt water chlorine system is noticeably softer and smoother to the touch than regular pool water.

[Learn more: How Salt Water Chlorination Systems Work]

Cost: $1,500 – $3,000


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Pool monitoring system

On top of regularly cleaning your pool, it’s important to test and balance the water just as often.

And most of the time, balancing the water only takes a few minutes. That is, as long as you remember to keep up with it.

Every now and then you might miss a day. And soon, that day turns into a week. Then two weeks. And suddenly, your pool looks like a swamp.

In comes the perfect solution for staying on top of pool chemistry: a pool monitoring system

With a monitor system, you can easily keep track of your pool’s chemical levels and temperature right from the comfort of your phone or laptop. That way you never miss a day, and your pool water stays crystal clear year round.

Cost: $200 – $400


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Powder coated handrails

You open the sliding door and step outside to your backyard. After draping your towel over a nearby chair and kicking off your flips flops, you make your way to the shallow end of the pool.

As you make your first step, you feel the immediate, cooling relief of the water as it touches your skin. So far so good.

You take another step and grab the handrail. OUCH! It’s as hot as an iron.

*cue infomercial voice*

Don’t you wish there was an easier and less hazardous way to get in the pool? One that didn’t end in sore, red palms?

If so, powder coated handrails are the solution you seek. They’re just like regular handrails, except they’re made from a special plastic that reflects and fends off heat. So no matter how hot it gets, they’re still cool to the touch.

Cost: $200-$700


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Automatic leveler

You know what’s incredibly important but often overlooked?

Maintaining proper water level. It’s essential to the success of nearly every process within your pool, from heating to filtration. Keeping your pool water level at mid skimmers ensures the good circulation that your pool system needs.

It’s essential to the success of nearly every process within your pool, from heating to filtration. Keeping your pool water level at mid skimmers ensures the good circulation that your pool system needs.

An automatic leveler is a simple device that hooks up to a hose and hangs off the edge of your pool. It saves you time by automatically checking and maintaining your water level. By using a small sensor, the leveler detects when your water line drops below a certain point. And when that happens, the leveler adds the water needed to get back to proper water level.

Cost: $60 – $200


fire pit for pool cheap ways to upgrade your pool
Image via Tampa Bay Pools

Fire pit

Whether you have a pool or not, a firepit is always a good idea. It’s one of the few pieces of decor that allows you to actively contain a natural element within the confines of your backyard.

Simple backyard fire pits can be purchased for a few hundred and easily set up around your pool.

Of course, there are also more permanent options that run on gas. These usually call for a professional pool remodeler.

Cost: $200 – $4,000


variable speed filter pump

Variable speed pool pump

If there’s one thing that’ll make a noticeable difference in lowering your monthly swimming pool bill, it’s switching from a single speed to a variable-speed pool pump.

We wrote an entire post on this subject, but to be brief: variable speed pumps let you control how fast or slow water gets pumped through your pool system.

With variable speed pumps, pool owners can easily maintain healthy water circulation without the worry of a pump that’s pulling on power 24/7.

Slow, medium, and fast speed settings offer the range of performance needed to handle everything from light overnight circulation to heavy duty algae cleanups.

Cost: $500 – $900


oasis platinum heat pump pool heater pool heat pumps swimming pool heaters

Pool heat pump

You may already have a heater, but if it’s not a pool heat pump, then you’re missing out on major savings.

Pool heat pumps offer some of the most energy efficient pool heating available. So efficient that most heat pump owners won’t spend any more than $50 – $100 per month to heat their pool. If you have a gas or electric heater, then we don’t have to tell you how much cheaper a pool heat pump is.

On top of that, heat pump pool heaters are eco-friendly and source their heat naturally from the air. Yes, that’s right. Pool heat pumps harvest the same natural heat that we feel when we step outside, and they use it to warm up your pool.

Now that’s one environmentally friendly upgrade.

[Learn more about pool heat pumps: Pool Heat Pumps 101]

Cost: $2,000 – $5,000



cheap ways to upgrade a pool pool waterfall inground pool renovation ideas


Pool waterfalls are a straightforward, useful, and eye-catching addition to nearly any pool. They help circulate your water, they’re nice to look at, and they instantly make your pool look twice as fancy.

Imagine, you come home after a long, productive day at work. You open up the shades to the backyard, and the sight of a light blue glowing pool, accented by a stone waterfall poised in the center catches you eye. That would make anyone want to melt their troubles away in the warm soothing embrace of their pool.

Simple “plug and play” waterfalls can be purchased for a few hundred dollars and added to your pool in a few minutes. But the more elegant and permanent waterfalls start at around $3,000.

Cost: $100 – $400 || $3,000 – $10,000


cheap pool upgrade pool water fountain improve your swimming pool


If you’re not quite ready to install a waterfall, a fountain can be the perfect alternative water fixture.

They come with the same benefits as waterfalls, but they’re much cheaper and faster to install. Some models include built in color-changing lights that display a captivating light show across your pool floor.

But fountains are also good for the time of year when you’re not necessarily swimming, but still want to keep the pool open. They add that special touch of life and movement to your water during less swimmable times of the year.

Cost: $50 – $400


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Waterline tiles

This is one of the more expensive ways to upgrade your pool. But, much like LEDs or water fixtures, the difference it makes is immediately noticeable.

Waterline tiles add a bold splash of color to your swimming pool that immediately catches eyes.

These days, pool modelers have a full range of tiles to choose from. From fluorescent teal glass tiles to aqua and sea blue marble tiles — redoing your water tiles is the perfect way to add a colorful accent to your pool and give it that “like new” look once again.

Cost: $2,000 – $5,000


Choosing your upgrades

Now although these are cheap ways to upgrade your pool in comparison to the cost of a pool, you probably won’t be able to purchase all of them at once. That’s why the easiest solution is deciding what aspect of your pool you want to improve first. Do you want it to look better, feel better, or work better? Once you can answer that question, deciding which ways to upgrade your pool is easy.

Do you want it to look better, feel better, or work better? Once you can answer that question, deciding which ways to upgrade your pool is easy.

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