Astounding Dumpster to Pool Conversion

An innovative project for the budget-conscious homeowner transforms a lowly Dumpster into a gorgeous swimming pool.

Photo By: Image courtesy of Stefan Beese, www.beesign-la.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of Stefan Beese, www.beesign-la.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of Stefan Beese, www.beesign-la.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of Stefan Beese, www.beesign-la.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of Stefan Beese, www.beesign-la.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of Stefan Beese, www.beesign-la.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of Stefan Beese, www.beesign-la.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of Stefan Beese, www.beesign-la.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of Stefan Beese, www.beesign-la.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of Stefan Beese, www.beesign-la.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of Stefan Beese, www.beesign-la.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of Stefan Beese, www.beesign-la.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of Stefan Beese, www.beesign-la.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of Stefan Beese, www.beesign-la.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of Stefan Beese, www.beesign-la.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of Stefan Beese, www.beesign-la.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of Stefan Beese, www.beesign-la.com

Former Dumpster Gets the Glamour Treatment

You'd love to have a backyard swimming pool but are deterred by the costs. Is there an affordable option? If you happen to be New Orleans based architect/designer Stefan Beese, there is a solution. Witness his step by step transformation of a Dumpster into a stylish aquatic feature the whole family can enjoy.

Coming Soon, a Swimming Pool

One advantage of a Dumpster pool is that it only needs approximately a 8 x 24 feet space which is perfect for shotgun houses with narrow lots. This lot had a 2-3 foot decline so Beese had to excavate 24 inches to level the location for the installation.

A Bed of Limestone Gravel

Once the pool area has been dug out and leveled off, a thick layer of limestone gravel is put down to support and protect the Dumpster base.

The Dumpster Cometh

The Dumpster is transported to the site and placed in the designed plot. A used Dumpster that is twenty two feet long and seven feet wide can run you anywhere from $1,000-$2,500. Beese was lucky to find one in excellent condition with no rust or dent damage.

Tar Treatment

For the next step, Beese and his crew treated the exterior of the container with a tar primer that acts as a sealant similar to what is used in roofing and concrete construction jobs. The metal container was then treated with an anti-corrosion paint.

Liner Notes

At this stage, the dumpster is lined with a half-inch of high-density foam for insulation and padding for the feet. This is followed by the installation of a custom-fit, flexible pool liner which is found in most above-ground pools. It is important to massage out the wrinkles while the pool fills with water.

Framing Device

A frame support is created for both the dumpster pool as well as a deck area (using pressure-treated pine boards) which can accommodate bench seating and an outdoor shower area. This framing is attached directly to the dumpster's vertical reinforcement studs on the outside.

Bench and Shower

In the background a workman installs benches for seating with hatches for storage. The square in the center of the wooden platform designates the location of the outdoor shower.

The Pump House

The wooden frame around the pool needs to be modular and include an interior cabinet which will be hidden by a removable panel. This is where you will house the pump hoses, connectors and hardware for the pool's salt water system.

The Hidden Hookup

All of the under construction around the pool is spray painted black. Most Dumpsters have an indentation with a steel hookup at one end. This is where a truck would attach a connection to lift or move it to a new location. You can't see that here because it is hidden behind the wooden frame that will become poolside bench seating.

Goodbye Dumpster, Hello Pool

The pool framework is almost completed and you have a better view of the hidden compartment which houses the salt water pump system. (The one pictured is only a temporary filtration system for the construction phase).

The Fine Detail

The beauty of this pool frame is that you don't notice any nuts or bolts in the construction. The wooden screws and dowels are barely visible to the eye because they blend in with the surface.

Modular in Design

Here is the removable panel door prior to final installation for the pump house which effectively hides the hardware, hoses and tanks.

Japanese Inspiration

The deck area for seating and the outdoor shower—inspired by Japanese bath designs—is now complete. Notice the high panel wall on the left which provides some privacy for the interior deck and pool.

Stained Beauty

The final step in the Dumpster-to-pool transformation is the staining of all of the exterior wood.

Kid Zone

The finished pool features a launch area for the kids and a custom bench build over the inside transport hook.

Ready for Dumpster Diving

And there you have it: a lap pool and aquatic exercise area that is approximately five feet deep and one that can easily be moved to a new location thanks to the hidden transport hookup and the modular framework that is removable. For more information, check out Stefan Beese's website.