Small backyards are a common feature of most city and suburban homes. In Australia, the average backyard size is over 200m in perimeter. Most Australian backyards are around 50 square metres, though on larger properties and in less developed areas the average rises to over 100m2.

A small backyard is generally much smaller than that. Small backyards can be anything from 10m2-30m3. Read on for an outline of some small backyard pool ideas and ways to style pools in small backyards.


Often the title of ‘small backyard’ is actually relative. A backyard with 10 square metres of space is actually quite big for a house with just one or two people.However, it would be considered small for a family.

One of the most common pool ideas for small backyards to keep in mind is that generally you want to try and have at least 2 square metres of backyard space per person in the household.


A small pool is anything up to 7 metres long, or about 10 square metres. A little less than a metre (3 feet) is the recommended depth for soaking/floating, while anything deeper than 1.5m is the best depth for actual swimming. Pools can be just as fun when placed in a small backyard as they would be in a large one.

It is a little more difficult to install a pool in a small backyard, because there are a lot of considerations like safety, accessibility, and of course spatial concerns as you don’t want the pool to take up the entirety of your backyard. There are a few different tips and tricks for designing pools that will fit comfortably inside small backyards.


Pools in small backyards are usually designed for relaxation rather than exercise. Serious swimmers might find a typical small pool too restrictive if they are trying to build muscle or do multiple laps.

One way to account for this if you really want to be able to do laps at home might be to design a narrow stretch pool instead of a pool with a standard 2.1 width ratio. Long pools also create horizontal vector lines which can make the backyard feel bigger. Read on for a list of some of the best pool designs for small backyards and pictures of high quality small backyards with pools.


Pools for small backyards Australia: 6 pool design ideas for small backyards

6. Plunge Pools


Plunge pools are one of the types of small pools best suited for recreation and relaxation purposes. A plunge pool is typically very deep, to compensate for its small perimeter. They are usually installed in-ground and standard dimensions for plunge pools are: 2m-7m long x 2m-3m wide.


Plunge pools are just as common in circular, square, and rectangular layouts. The smallest plunge pools tend to cost around $25,000, though you can expect to pay anywhere from $30,000-$50,000 for a plunge pool of a decent size.


5. Freeform


Freeform pools are very common features in a small backyard with pool. This is because they have no fixed shape or average pool sizes, meaning that they can be styled exactly to the homeowner’s specifications and landscaping ideas.


Freeform pools will commonly have curves or irregular shapes and corners. This allows the designer of the pool to work in harmony with the shape of the backyard. A freeform pool can leave more space for a deck, garden, tables and chairs, or even just more room for the grass.


Freeform pools naturally have a lot of variation in price because their designs are specific to the homeowner and the backyard. They can be quite affordable, with a simple style likely to cost around $5,000. For something of better quality or with more complicated specifications, you can expect to pay anywhere from $15,000-$25,000.

4. Above Ground


Above ground pools have certainly fallen by the wayside in terms of modern pool design.

Most contemporary pools are installed inground, but that doesn’t mean that the design potential of above ground pools should be overlooked. Above ground pools are often a more affordable choice, as you save money on the excavation and the non-complicated installation.


You can even buy temporary inflatable above ground pools from places like Bunnings or Kmart for extremely low prices. However, this does not cheapen the value of a well-made, permanent above ground pool.


An above ground vinyl liner pool is one of the most affordable permanent pool styles, starting at around $10,000. An above ground modular pool can cost anywhere between $20,000-$40,000. The cost will fluctuate depending on the size of the pool that you want; pool sizes vary depending on the nominated style of pool design, but above ground pools can be as small as plunge pools.


3. Pond pools


Pond pools have recently skyrocketed in popularity as modern homeowners come to appreciate the beauty of natural swimming holes. A swimming pond is not maintained with chemicals like a pool and instead uses the natural cleaning capabilities of plants to keep the water healthy.


Natural pools can cost anywhere from $10,000-$70,000 to install. There are no set pond pool sizes, but you want to maintain a ratio of 1.1 for swimming and plant areas.


2. Spa pools


Spa pools are heated pools with the capacities of a spa but the swimming space of a pool. They are a great choice for people who appreciate relaxation but also want to get some exercise at home.


Spa pools are usually between 5-6 metres long with a 2-2.5 metre width. Quality spa pools cost between $30,000-$50,000 and they are a great way to ensure that you make full use of your pool even during the colder months.


1. Container pools


Shipping container pools are excellent pool ideas for small yards if you are operating on a budget. They are very affordable, with high quality models often available for less than $17,000. Container pools can also be installed within a day, making them the fastest and easiest pool to install.


Container pools in small backyards are also great for space and will allow you to do laps in the pool, which many of the models on this list are unlikely to be large enough for. A small container pool is usually roughly the size of a standard parking spot.