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How To Install An Above Ground Swimming Pool

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Above Ground Pools That Look Like Inground Swimming Pools Hardscaping Patios & Wooden Decks

How to Install an Oval Above Ground Swimming Pool

Making an above ground pool look like an inground is all about perspective.

  • Step 1. Sink your above-ground pool into the ground two-three feet.
  • Step 2. Backfill to the top of the pool and lay pavers or build a deck to the hight of the top of the swimming pool.

To wrap this pool, most of what they used was cinder block and sand. Then they covered the block with a beautiful patio block and bullnose coping. Finally, they used a stone veneer to dress the wall. Inexpensive and simple design that looks amazing and provides an excellent sitting area.

Thats all it takes! You dont need to wrap the whole pool or put in a waterfall as they did here. Most people place a small patio or deck on the side of the swimming pool where the ground is highest. The area commonly found between the house and the pool.

One More Reason A Main Drain Is Nice To Have In An Above Ground Pool

Let me first say that you should only drain an above ground swimming pool when it needs a new liner. When draining it for any other reason, the liner will begin to shrink while empty and may not start to pull off the wall or tear when trying to refill. Then youll need a new liner.

When you do have to drain an above ground, it can be a pain. Some will have success using a water hose and starting a siphon to drain the pool. Many times though, people have to rent or have a sump pump to drain it.

If you have a main drain though, emptying the pool is super easy. You just use it to drain the pool all the way down by using the pool pump and turning off the skimmer line and sending the water out into the yard.

Start The Above Ground Pool Installation Process

Now, this is where the real deal is. I know it is the step you have been waiting forthe actual construction.

For that matter, you need to be particular and meticulous in regards to various elements that you do in this phase.

Since at this stage most of the preparation aspects are already complete you only need to ensure that you get all the actions right.

And if possible, ensure that you work with your contractor hand in hand to make the entire process seamless.

But, wait a minute!

Even before you proceed with the process, I want you to pay attention to the following critical aspects:

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Build Stone Dust Base

Once you have a clean surface that is mostly level, you can start to bring in stone dust.

Lay down at least 2 inches of the stone around where the pool wall will sit. Be sure to read the specification of your pool make and model, since every manufacturer has slight differences.

Pro Tip: If you wanted to build up your pool, you can increase the thinkness of the stone dust in the lower areas. But don’t go over 8 inches.

The Circle should be at least 1 foot wide, with the exact circomference of the pool being in the center.

Your first round of leveling should be within 1/4 inch . We have this tool we use on the crew at Campbell Pools which allows us to set it down on the base and with the transit, we look at the measurements on the tool. You can do the same with a ruler, but it will be pretty low.

Using a rake, make sure your level everything around the base, ensuring that the area where the wall will sit is the most accurate.

When you are within 1/4 inch all around, bring in the compacter. Do use a garden hose to lightly spray the stone dust to prevent dust and to improve the effects of compacting.

But it doesn’t stop there, that was round one.

Now that everything is compacted, you need to measure again. Go around the pool and this time, bring everything within 1/8 inch . and you measure absolutely every area where the wall will sit. This will ensure your pool will be level and stable.

Installing A Pool With A Sand Base And Sand Cove

8 Simple Steps on How to Install Above Ground Pool All by ...

Step 1

Using fine sand , lay a 3 thick bed of sand across the entire inside of the pool this will form your base.

Step 2

Build a sand cove against the pool wall by creating a 4 angle of sand sand base giving you a total sand cove height of 7 inches where the base meets the metal pool wall.

Step 3

This is the completed above ground pool liner installation. The vinyl pool liner should be completely supported by the pool base to avoid any stress or damage to it or the metal pool wall.

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Round Doughboy With Landscaping & Deck

When above-ground swimming pools first hit the market in the 1950s and then became mainstream in the 1960s, the only models first available were typically round shapes. It remains the most popular shape today but has been updated with decking, fencing, stairs and a safety gate as seen in this photo. Doughboy, 0recently started manufacturing in-ground swimming pools which are technically above-ground pools that can be sunk up to 7 feet deep in the ground.

Fill With Water And Find Your Bravest Friend

You cannow go ahead and fill the pool. You will need to give it a chlorine shock as it most likely be very green. Make sure the pump is running so that it circulates the water.

But first, you need to find your bravest friend. That could be you or even maybe your kids. But that person can claim the title of being the bravest by jumping into the pool as the first ever! If you took your water from a quarry, that water will be freezing cold. So claim that title and let that be the first of many swims.

Note: Don’t worry, you will see the temperature climb fast in the summer. You can always add a heater.

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Measure The Installation Location

Now, we will mark the area where the pool will be built. To find the center point, measure off of an existing object and mark where you want that wall in relation to the pool. Now, measure 1/2 the width of the pool and stake the tape measure at that point.

It is a best practice to pull the tape measure to the radius measurement PLUS 1 extra foot. This will give you a little extra room for error. Now, place the marker on the center and walk all the way around in a circle, tracing the perimeter with spray chalk.

Tip #8 Make Sure The Bottom Track Is Round

How to Install a Round Above Ground Swimming Pool

What I mean here is that you want to make sure that the bottom track is shaped correctly. Many round above-ground pools wind up being more egg-shaped because they werent rounded well during this stage.

If alone, find the absolute center of the pool, use a screwdriver and a rolled-type tape measure. Fasten the tape measure to the screwdriver and stick it in the center. Now measure out to the bottom track and make sure it is even all the way around so its a true circle.

If there are two of you, measure across the pool opposite of each upright to make sure the circle is true.

NOTE:Dont spend too much time getting the track perfectly round. The track will move during the wall insertion, so just make sure that you are starting out nice and round.

NOTE:If the bottom track moved a lot during the wall installation, then you can re-round it with the pool wall up. Youll do this before you make or install the coving.

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Installations For Above Ground Pools

The installation costs of above ground pools usually run $1,000$3,000, depending on the size and type of pool. Keep in mind that oval pools normally cost more to install than round pools, and the kits are also more expensive.

In recent years, big-box stores like Walmart have also started selling above ground pools. The main manufacturer of these pools is Intex. Such set and fill pools are very inexpensive, usually costing $100$800, and in most cases they last 13 summers before they need to be replaced.

Finally, there are some rectangular above ground pools available on the market as well. The most well-known rectangular above ground pool company is Kayak Pools. Rectangular above ground pools are almost always surrounded by a wrap-around deck this is necessary for structural support. Because of this, they are usually over $10,000 installed.

Tip #20 Dont Bother With Wall Foam On A New Pool

I get it. You are getting a pool and want to get everything you can to make it as good as it can be.

I am the same way, but some things are just a waste of money. Purchasing and installing wall foam on a brand new pool is just that a waste of money.

Youll find my detailed opinion by reading my article on when to buy wall foam

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Legal Considerations / Building Restrictions

If you are going to pull a building permit, these are some things you should consider.

Check for easements and wall clearances. The building code in most states and towns, requires your pool wall to be 10-15 feet away from a neighbors property line, and 5 feet from away from septic tanks and leeching fields. Some counties will not allow you to place your pool anywhere except in the back yard, directly behind the house. You may also need to be a minimum of 10 feet from your own house.

If you have any concerns, bring a plot plan with you, and mark the location where you intend to place the pool. Along with any of the items mentioned above when applying for the permit.

Nowadays you can get applications and even apply for permits right online. Look for the building department on your cities website.

Get In The Water Faster With These Tips For Installing An Above Ground Pool Should You Diy It Or Call In The Pros

Tips for above ground pool installation  The Vanderveen House

If you were hoping to install an above ground pool in 2020, you may well have found it impossible.

Across the U.S., people stuck at home during the pandemic turned to swimming pools, as families put a lot of the money they didnt spend on vacations into their backyards. Whether that meant an inflatable kiddie pool, a more substantial above ground pool or the in-ground pool of their dreams, the result was the same a pool shortage. Manufacturers couldnt keep up with demand, and pool installers found themselves booked into 2021.

While inventories have improved for 2021, its still a good idea to plan ahead if you want to install an above ground pool this year. Lets take a look at the practical aspects of above ground pool installation, and whether its a realistic DIY project.

On This Page

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Installing A Pool With A Sand Base Foam Cove And Liner Floor Pad

Step 1

Using fine sand , lay a 3 thick bed of sand across the entire inside of the pool this will form your base.

Step 2

After installing the 3 sand base, lay the liner floor pad on top. Please note your liner floor pad is pre-cut to fit your pools exact dimensions.

Step 3

Attach the pool cove directly on top of the liner floor pad by removing the adhesive backing and sticking it to the metal pool wall .

Step 4

This is the completed above ground pool liner installation. The vinyl pool liner should be completely supported by the pool base to avoid any stress or damage to it or the metal pool wall.

Testing Your Sand Bottom

The weight of the water in the pool will help to compact the sand bottom underneath the liner. Generally it takes 5-10 days for the sand to be fully compacted and become hardened.

The first time you get in the pool to swim, gently feel the bottom of the pool to ensure the sand is sufficiently compacted. If the bottom is still soft, give it a few more days before walking around on the bottom.

***Country Leisure Pro Tip: Leaving footprints in the bottom of the pool will make it extremely difficult to vacuum your pool dont rush this step!

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Do Above Ground Swimming Pools Have Main Drains

Above ground pools do not come with main drains and are not required by code to have them. They can be installed though and its a good idea.


If you have, have had, or just know about above ground pools, then you know that they have a skimmer at the top of the pool, and then one single return jet at the top of the pool and right next to the skimmer. This is not ideal for circulation. In fact, this is quite poor for pool circulation.

With a smaller above ground pool, like say, a 15 round, having just a skimmer and one return at the top of the pool is probably ok as long as it has a well-sized pump and filter. But the bigger above grounds in the range of 24 to 33 round or 15×30 to 21×42, having only this can cause poor circulation.

It has always amazed me to see some of these bigger above grounds having just the skimmer and one return and looking so clear and healthy. With that being said, you can certainly have some great success without adding any circulation to your above ground pool. To honest though, if it were my pool and it was a 27 round or bigger, Id have a main drain set and plumbed in it.


A main drain is stationery so it cant provide the same level of circulation. It provides excellent circulation but cannot outperform a well-operating auto cleaner.

Install The Pool Liner

How to Install a Round Above Ground Pool

This step should be done carefully, or you cant use your swimming pool at all. Do this step when the sun shines perfectly to ease the job.

  • Carefully examine the liner first once you have opened the book.
  • Clear out any sharp objects around the liner.
  • Make sure once again if there are any sharp rocks or grass on the base of the swimming pool.
  • Spread the liner and find if there is any leak on it.
  • When you are sure that the liner is in good condition, you can start installing it.
  • Follow the manufacturers instructions to install the liner.
  • You may need to adjust the liner to the proper position by pushing it towards the wall.
  • Secure the liner with the stabilizer rail.

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Labor Cost To Install An Above Ground Pool

On average, youll pay from $1,000 to $3,000 in labor costs for this project. Installing a pool takes from one to three days in most cases. Its most expensive to install a pool in the summer, when the weather is hot and pool installations are popular. Its a good idea to plan this project for the off-season to save a bit of cash.

If your area requires a permit or if you need to make adjustments to your existing landscape, you should expect to pay more.

Why Buy An Above Ground Pool

Some key selling points are: ease of installation compared to constructing an inground pool, most above ground pools can also be dismantled when the swim season is over. Its this kind of portability that makes above ground pools a good choice for renters or anyone who prefers to take their swimming pool with them if they decide to move.

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Tip #18 Duct Tape The Wall Bolts Inside The Wall

When the wall is in place and bolted together, youll want to make sure the bolt heads inside the wall dont damage the liner later. Using duct tape over the bolts is the best way. Some will do stuff like tape a strip of cardboard or something unnecessary.

Just tape two layers of duct tape over the bolted area from top to bottom and youll be good.

How To Install A Base For Your Above Ground Pool Liner

Top tips to install an above ground pool  The Vanderveen ...

Many do-it-yourselfers installing an above ground swimming pool for the first time have questions regarding how to properly install a base underneath a pool liner.

This article will illustrate the correct way to do this in order to make the installation go smoother and protect the pool liner and pool wall from being damaged.

One of the biggest problems that we see is with the height of the base beneath the above ground pool liner. When the sand base is not high enough there is excess strain put on the pool liner and pool wall, and this tremendous weight of the water can easily cause the vinyl pool liner to blowout and/or the metal pool wall to be pulled down.

Pool liners are obviously not built to withstand water weight, they are simply made to line the inside of a pool to hold the water. Therefore, when installing a new swimming pool or a new above ground pool liner it is extremely important to make sure that the vinyl pool liner is supported by the proper height sand base. There should be NO AIR SPACE between the vinyl pool liner and the base that it should be resting on.

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