Pool Cabana

After discovering a pool house would cost $80,000 to build with a builder/landscaper, Justin Van Loon looked closer to home to create a bespoke space for his family with all the trimmings - and for much less money.

Living on two and a half acres in Leopold, 12km outside Geelong, Victoria, Justin Van Loon and his family literally have acres to build their “forever home”. With a large house and pool already planned, only one thing was missing - a pool house as an all-encompassing outdoor entertainment area.

After approaching a number of landscaper builders to discuss his plans, quotes of up to $80,000 to build a 10mx5m pool house had the dream fading - until he thought outside the box.

A father of three and Royal Wolf Geelong’s Branch Manager, Justin spends his days working on innovative shipping container modifications projects, such as creating event kiosks and container homes. So he thought, why not a pool house?

“The quote to do it using two shipping containers was significantly cheaper and we actually ended up with a larger pool house than we initially planned,” Justin says.

“All up it cost about $30,000-$32,000, which included buying two containers, all modifications done by Royal Wolf and then completing other works ourselves like electrical and flooring.”


Following a discussion with wife Jo, who is a building surveyor, Justin approached Royal Wolf’s in-house engineers with his plans. Within weeks, engineering and workshop plans compliant with building regulations were drawn up, including a design for concrete footings.

“The Royal Wolf engineers took into account our home address, wind ratings and all the different aspects that impact building structures and designed the pool house accordingly,” Justin says.

“They also advised us on what materials we needed in order to strengthen the building and the window openings.”


When plans were final, Royal Wolf’s in-house modifications team, and Sunshine workshop supervisor Mike Powney, completed work on the pool house, including all structural works to create a 12mx4.8m pool house.

“The team modified the containers based on the drawings that were supplied by the engineers,” Justin says.

“They removed two side walls of one container and one side wall of the other container, which was then strengthened and stiffened up with wide window openings, doors welded closed and the exterior painted.”

Once complete, the pool house was delivered and placed by Royal Wolf at the Van Loon home.

“From the time we first submitted a sketch to the time it was in position was about 8-10 weeks,” Justin says.

“The best part was we had very little disruption or inconvenience at our home - we had the concreters dig and put the foundations in and then Royal Wolf delivered the pool house and installed it on the footings the next day. All up it only took about a week of work at our place.”


Justin and his family are so happy with the new pool house, it’s now their go-to for entertaining all-year round.

“It’s a great point of difference. You can make containers into anything - it’s just like our motto ‘You can do anything in a Royal Wolf’ and in this instance it’s true because we designed it to suit our needs and how we wanted it to look,” Justin says.

“The opportunities are endless for people looking to create spaces in their homes, whether it’s a pool house like us, a man cave, kids’ retreat, workshop or office space.

“Initially my wife was a little sceptical but she loves it because it’s a comfortable and relaxing space, it’s everything we were looking for. My 50th is coming up soon so we’ll have some people over using it and my daughter has already asked to use it for her 18th birthday party.”

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