7 Ways to Make Your Stock Tank Feel Like a Grown-Up Pool
Stay cool without spending a fortune.
Published Jul 22, 2020 12:10 AM
We are forever indebted to the first person who thought to fill a shiny tub of galvanized steel (which is technically made for feeding livestock) with water to stay cool in the summer. Much more roomy than an inflatable kiddie pool, but a whole lot less costly than an in-ground option, stock tanks are the best bet for people who want to swim but can’t shell out a small fortune on construction. Purchasing a basin isn’t the issue (you can get one from tractor supply companies for around $280)—it’s a matter of making it look like a legitimate place to soak once it’s in your backyard that’s the tough part.
These shimmery metal tubs, which surprisingly don’t get burning hot in the sun, says SoCal-based designer Bri Moysa,are like blank canvases. A lick of paint, a miniature deck, and a proper pump will have them feeling like the real deal in no time—and you can accomplish it all on a tight budget. Moysa achieved her backyard oasis for $600, wood platform and all. Here are seven more ideas for helping your tank reach its full potential.
Build It Into the Ground
If you really want your tank to feel like it’s a part of the landscape, dig a hole so it’s nearly level with the grass. The DIYer behind this one simply put down a few bags of paver sand before dropping the tub in.
Treat It Like a Bathroom
Channel spa vibes by incorporating a proper tub filler. This one has two spigots so you can control the temperature, and the accent wall provides extra privacy.
Pave the Way
Ashley Petrone made her setup feel complete simply by lining her tank with stone pavers and carving out a walkway. The whole thing, pebbles included, cost $600. With three little ones jumping in and out, the hard surface helps soak up some of the water so the grass doesn’t get sloppy.
Add an Artful Stripe
With some basic blue painter’s tape and two contrasting colors, you can create a graphic design. Also, your stock tank doesn’t have to be a perfect circle. This oblong version is great for soaking solo.
Enclose It With a Bench
Constructed from pressure-treated 1-by-6s (the top of the bench) and 2-by-4s (the stands and bracing), this circular platform allows people who just want to stick their toes in to still be part of the fun.
Clad It in Wood
Wrap your tank in planks of wood (an aromatic cedar works great for this), bound together with metal strapping, for an authentic desert look.
Bring on the Plants
To keep your tank from feeling like it’s floating out in the middle of nowhere, pepper some tall plants and baskets around it. A cactus and some terracotta pots make this one’s simple white facade pop.
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