Building & Renovating

Family Transforms 'Sampayan' Into a Bali-Inspired Oasis With a DIY Pool

'[Our roof deck] has been useless for around 10 to 15 years.'


With many of us being stuck at home for almost a year now, moms and dads were suddenly inspired to freshen up or make over their spaces. Neglected balconies and unused rooms suddenly transformed into cozy, hangout spots, while others attempted even bigger projects: For example, turning a ‘sampayan’ into a rooftop pool!

“We’re finally able to transform our roofdeck into an oasis after 30 loooong days! I really love Bali, if I can go there now, I would, but I can’t, so we just recreated our own mini version,” writes Raj Bay, 30, a digital marketer for an events production company, in the Facebook group Home Buddies.

Speaking with, Raj shares that like other families, he and his parents chose to limit their outside travels, especially because his mom and dad were part of the high-risk population. After months and months of being cooped up, however, they also felt the need for the outdoors.


The roof deck, which was around 40-square meters, had become a sampayan during the pandemic.

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That’s when they realized their roof deck had so much potential. “[It] has been useless for around 10 to 15 years and was turned into a sampayan since the pandemic,” Raj shares.


“Since my birthday is coming up, followed by my mom’s birthday in April, plus with the summer season approaching, we thought of just creating a space where we could feel that we’re away from home,” he adds.

How to make a rooftop pool


Because they love the beach, but obviously could not go because of the pandemic, the Bay family thought of replicating those outdoor vibes in their rooftop. “We wanted the roof deck to resemble [a place] we’d go to on a normal season. The peg really was a Bali villa with gazebos, floor pillows, and a private pool,” Raj says.

Building a rooftop pool is expensive, so they found a more budget-friendly workaround — they used a non-inflatable, rectangular pool. Yes, those kiddie pools you can buy online!

“The pool is a Bestway non-inflatable, then nagpagawa kami ng wood decking around,” Raj explains in his post. He tells Smart Parenting that they saw a palochina supplier in Facebook Marketplace, had it treated and then fixed for the decking. They also repurposed old metal frames as deck frames.

The pool had ready holes for a small filter. Before installing it, Raj and his dad thought of an efficient water flow for the pool:


“We set up a PVC pipe from the water tank to the pool. Then, may on and off switch. The other hole is for the drain, which goes to the filter. The third hole is from the filter (cleaned water back to the pool),” he explains.


For the lounge area, Raj found an old garden tent which they got five years ago but which ended up in storage. He also got most of the accessories, like the round cushions, from Facebook Marketplace or online stores.

The white curtains wrapped around the tent are waterproof, so Raj can close off the space if it rains. "I found a Divisoria supplier for tafeta fabric, which is waterproof and I had it made into curtains," he shares.

Check out how their rooftop pool looks like!

Raj’s family cut old foam for the cushions, bought nice, printed table cloth from Lazada, and had their neighbor, who is a mananahi, make the cover.


Raj bought the round cushions from Facebook Marketplace.

He even set up a breakfast nook in the lounge area! Most of the items here were purchased online.


Raj's mom is a "plantita," so most of the plants came from their garden. He also asked some from their neighbors!

Raj puts the total cost for the renovations — including the pool, furniture, accessories, and labor — at around Php50,000. "We did have 2 workers. Sila yung nag-co-construct for our event productions pero since pandemic and no events, we got them na lang to do this para may income sila," he shares.


Raj’s tip if you want to do a renovation: “Check out your bodega for whatever you can repurpose before purchasing anything.” He adds that finding the old garden tent saved them around Php30,000 in labor and materials.

Now their family can take a dip in the pool and enjoy the outdoors without having to go far from home. Sulit

Want to share your #budgetperofancy home makeover and get featured? Email at [email protected] and tell them about your project. For more home improvement and renovation ideas, click here.

This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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