A Canadian company that makes swimming pools from old shipping containers is suddenly in the world spotlight. The Vancouver-based Modpool creates pools that can be dropped into your backyard and ready for swimming the same day. After only about a year in business and YouTube videos on the pool’s unique features, orders are now coming in from around the world.
The Vancouver Sun published an article recently saying there’s been “a tidal wave of viral videos” on these pools since the company’s debut last year at the British Columbia Home & Garden Show. Modpool was founded by husband and wife team, Paul and Denise Rathnam, who got the idea after a trip to Palm Springs. They liked the desert-area pools with attached hot tubs and created a modern-industrial version of that concept from shipping containers.
It also helped that Paul had 12 years of experience modifying shipping containers for industrial use. His newly formed company spent another two years researching and developing the product. The biggest challenge was the development of a watertight liner.
He told the Sun, “It’s not as easy as just painting it and putting a plastic sheet in because of the corrugation.” He says, “We had to go to a chemist and have a lining chemically formulated.” The Sun says it is similar to a heavy-duty liner for oil tanks that’s resistant to chemicals and ultraviolet light. (1)
“Pools of the Future”
The company describes their pools as “pools of the future.” They are a combination of swimming pool and spa. You just have to flip a switch to turn your pool into a giant hot tub. There are hot tub seats at one end of the pool with 8 jets that can be controlled with your smartphone. If you don’t want to heat the whole pool, you can insert a divider to create a smaller hot tub that will save energy.
The standard size is 20-feet long by 8-feet wide and 5-feet deep. They can also be created from two shipping containers placed end to end for a 40-foot-long pool. There’s also an option for a 10 foot Modspa and a pump that will allow you to swim in place. (2)
One of the most popular features is the optional window on the side of pool so you can see what’s happening underwater. Disney capitalized on the window by using one of the pools to promote a cable TV series called “Siren.” Fans could watch the mermaids swimming underwater through the window in the pool.
Easy Modpool Installation
And they are super easy to install. There’s not a lot of on-site construction. The pools are ready for installation when they arrive and are lifted by crane onto an 8-inch bed of gravel or a concrete slab. They can even be lifted over your home to place them in the backyard.
In-ground installations are also possible, but above-ground pools allow the use of the window option. Decking on one side of an above-ground pool can also give you that in-ground feel with an unobstructed view of the window on the opposite side. The pool is also self-contained with all the equipment hiding under the hot tub seat at one end, and accessed through outside shipping container doors.
Most of them are going to California, but the latest update from the Vancouver Sun says the company is receiving orders from places like Switzerland, Spain, and the United Kingdom. And they appear to function well in colder climates as pools that heat up quickly for a winter splash with a snowy backdrop.
Just One Year in Business
In just the first year, Modpool has manufactured and sold more than a hundred pools worth $4.5 million dollars. They attribute some of their success to social media. The Sun reports that a video on their Facebook page has logged about 12-million views. (3)
They also claim that their pools are more affordable than having one built from scratch. Prices start at $15,000 for the basic 10-foot Modspa, $30,000 for the 20-footer, and $40,000 for the 40-foot pool. The window is optional, along with equipment to create an endless swim spa. There are also pool covers that are snapped onto the top or controlled electronically as a childproof retractable cover that can be walked on.