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How To Level Yard For Above Ground Pool

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Above Ground Pool Leveling Kit

How to level the ground for a pool without digging – (A Helpful Step by Step Guide)

Different installers have different tools they favor for this task. More often than not, they will have the following in their arsenal:

  • Shovel and wheelbarrow for picking up earth and other debris
  • Metal rod or stake that will serve as the marker to indicate the center of the pool
  • Carpenters level
  • Duct tape
  • String or rope
  • Spray paint or any other item that can mark the entire perimeter of your pool
  • Crushed stones, such as limestone, that can be used as the pools sub-base if needed
  • Hand tamper and garden hose to level and make the earth compact

Its a matter of preference for installers when it comes to their chosen tools for the task. What matter is, leveling should never be skipped because the longevity of your above ground pool will highly depend on it.

Dont Believe The Hype You Absolutely Can Build Up The Ground For An Above Ground Pool

In your internet information travels for installing an above-ground swimming pool, youre most likely will find some people saying that you cant raise the ground any for a pool install. Yeah, thats not accurate!

During the 35 years and counting that I have worked on above-ground pools, I have installed more than six thousand of them. And with most of those, I elevated the ground at least a couple of inches on one side.

With some installs, I raised the low side by more than two full feet and never had any settling issues ever. Im not recommending that you build up your pool site that high as it takes a couple of extra steps, but you can certainly raise up your pool site by 6-8 inches with no long-term issues whatsoever.

Now, if you choose not to believe me and dont want to level your pool site by using the ground that is there, then by all means, start from the lowest part of the site and dig all the earth that is higher out of the site.

This will leave you with the site being level everywhere to the lowest original grade. Itll also leave you with a lot of extra dirt and a much sorer back.

Whats Leveling A Ground Pool

Unfortunately, the ground that would house your pool is also home to loose soils and mud that are scattered all about. And this is bad for your pool. So heres whats to do.

With the right instruments, you are to get rid of any obstacles such as rocks and sand materials away from your proposed pool ground and make sure the ground is even before filling it up with water. See why you should not skip this part.

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The Design Of Above Ground Pools

Above-ground pools are constructed polymer or steel structures that are installed above the ground using waterproofing PVC membrane that overlay the floor and walls. These are designed to hold the water in the pool. The pool is designed for many use cases, including but not limited to wading and swimming.

The difficulty experienced by many homeowners is in leveling the yard/ground ahead of the construction of the pool. You neednt bother much about that because the tips offered below would help you to construct your next above ground pool without hassles.

Uneven Water Weight Can Damage Pool Walls

Level Backyard For Above Ground Pool : 16 Stylish Outdoor Above the ...

The uneven pressure from the weight of the water will cause the walls to:

  • Buckle
  • Collapse
  • Twist

Inflatable pools are more susceptible to these issues, but even the strongest pools can experience them as well.

Pools that collapse can cause injury to people inside or around the pool, as well as potential property damage. This is why it is so important to make sure your pool is level and look for signs of buckling and twisting before the entire thing collapses.

To put into perspective how much the water weighs in your pool, here is a table of typical round above ground pool dimensions and their water weights. Average gallons of water came from Backyard City Pools.

Diameter in Ft Gallons of Water

*A gallon of water weighs 8.34 pounds.

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Leveling Out A Cleared Spot

  • 1Check for levelness to identify high spots. The easiest way to check for levelness without special equipment is to look for them. Do a visual inspection to check for any spots that are higher or lower than the rest. After taking care of these areas, lay a wood plank across your work area. Zip tie a 6 ft carpenters level on top of the plank, and move the plank throughout the work area to test multiple spots.XResearch source
  • Position the plank and level from the center of the work area to its edge, like a clock’s hand. Check for levelness, then rotate the plank 2 to 3 feet , like a clock hand moving from 2 o’clock to 4 o’clock. Proceed shifting the plank and checking levelness every 2 to 3 feet.
  • 2 You might find that a wide patch of the work area is more or less level, but one edge of it slopes significantly. Place stakes or sticks at areas that slope or are off-grade. Youll need to dig away these area in order to create level ground for the pool.Advertisement
  • 3Dig away soil instead of building up low patches. Always dig away slopes and high spots to make them level with lower areas, even if it takes more work. If you fill in a patch with dirt or sand, the weight of the pool and water will compress it and cause problems in the future.XResearch source
  • If youre not confident about operating a skid-steer loader, consider hiring a professional to regrade the area. Look online to find a landscape architect or licensed contractor with grading experience.
  • Placing Sand On Unlevel Ground

    The sand is meant to be a protective layer for your pool, not a leveling layer. It should be placed on ground that has already been leveled otherwise, you will see many leveling problems down the road as the sand settles.

    Also, there will not be an even amount of sand protecting the pool floor from the rocks and debris below. Some spots could have less than an inch, while others have more than two.

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    Smoothen The Holes And Bumps

    Using the extended length of the board or leveling device helps you to discover the high and low points in your site. With that in mind, you can then re-level the discovered bumps and holes until they all become flat.

    You may also want to dig into the ground because that helps to create a stable base while getting the field to be leveled. That is essential because if youre off by a couple of inches, then it becomes a problem when the pool has been filled with water.

    How Do You Level A Sloped Yard For An Above Ground Pool

    18 Ft. above ground pool installation, ground tilling & leveling.


    . Similarly, it is asked, how do you level a sloped yard for a pool?

    Place stakes or sticks at areas that slope or are off-grade. You’ll need to dig away these area in order to create level ground for the pool. Dig away soil instead of building up low patches. Always dig away slopes and high spots to make them level with lower areas, even if it takes more work.

    Secondly, how much does it cost to level a yard for a pool? David says the typical grading job takes a few days and costs around $2,500, including materials such as topsoil and sod, but cautions that this number can vary greatly depending on the specific job. Schott says his grading jobs start at $500 for minor work and can go up to several thousand dollars for major jobs.

    Beside above, how out of level can an above ground pool be?

    around three to four inches

    What is the easiest way to level ground?

    To level ground, start by using strings attached to stakes set at the height where you would like the ground to sit to see how much dirt you will need to put down. Then, remove any existing grass from the area, and use a shovel to add an even layer of ground cover.

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    First Reality Check Remove The Grass

    Heres a common scenario. Youve bought a pool for less from Walmart made by Intex or Coleman and it came in one big box.

    You dont have a lot of money to have it installed OR you cant find anyone to install it, so youre gonna put it up yourself.

    Since you didnt pay much for the pool and arent expecting much from an above-ground pool, your mentality is to put it up quickly and with minimal effort. You go out to the backyard and find a good somewhat level spot to put it up.

    Now heres your first and biggest mistake In looking at the spot, you determine that the pool can go right on top of the grass. Yeah, no.

    It doesnt matter if your yard looks perfectly level, you bought a walmart boxed pool or got a custom resin above ground pool, if you want the pool to stay up, youll want to remove the grass before leveling and assembling the pool. Period.

    Many soft-sided pools have to be re-leveled and re-installed because they didnt remove the grass

    Ready To Splurge On An Above Ground Pool

    Are you convinced that an above ground pool will make the perfect addition to your back yard? Check out our picks for the best above ground pools to buy right now. Then, after your above ground pool is installed, make sure to fit it with the best above ground pool lights to make swimming at night safe, and/or solar-powered pool heaters to make winter swims possible.

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    How To Level Ground For A Pool

    This article was co-authored by Rob Litman. Rob Litman is a Landscaper, General Contractor, and the CEO of Vitoli Inc., a landscaping, hardscaping, ecoscaping, and swimming pool design company in Los Angeles, California. With over 20 years of experience in construction, Rob specializes in energy-efficient and drought-tolerant landscaping. He holds General Building Contractor and Registered Pool/Spa Contractor Licenses. In 2007, Rob won House of the Year in Gardena, California.There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 146,681 times.

    An uneven surface can weaken or damage an above ground pool, so leveling the ground before installation is essential. Remove the sod, then check for levelness to identify slopes and high spots. Always dig out high patches instead of filling in lower areas. After youve leveled the ground, rake away debris, tamp the soil, then spread and tamp a layer of sand.

    Taking Dirt From High Areas To Low Ones

    How To Level Backyard For Above Ground Pool / When we priced summer ...

    Another common mistake is moving dirt from high areas to lower ones. It is better to dig out the areas so that they are level with the low ones. This is because added dirt will eventually settle and may settle unevenly.

    However, properly taking the time to pack down added dirt can avoid this problem, but it is best practice to instead simply dig out the dirt.

    Read Also: Fixing Concrete Around Pool

    Helpful Tips To Know About Installing Above Ground Pool On A Slope

    Although some people see sloped ground as a disadvantage, there are many good reasons to use a slope for your pool.

    Choosing the sunny side of the slope will give you natural light, and you can use the protection of the slope to help cut down on cross breezes that push debris into your pool.

    Here are some other helpful tips to know about installing an above ground pool on a slope.

    • Setting your above ground pool into a steep slope is a fantastic opportunity to build a deck around the top. Not only will you save on materials and labor costs because the supports are shorter, but you get a great place to relax and soak up the sun between dips in your pool.
    • When your pool is on a slope, it is easier to drain it. Taking advantage of the lands natural shape, you can easily cut in a drainage channel for future use.
    • If the area where you need to dig is covered in grass or weeds, theres a simple solution. Place cardboard or a layer of plastic over the space about two to three weeks before you plan to dig. Doing this will kill off all the vegetation, making it easier to remove soil.

    Create A Base Using Sand

    You would need truckloads of sand to enhance the leveling of the site. The sand is used to create a base that protects the liner of the pool while providing a buffer against weed and grass. You can use the wide rake to spread the sand evenly. After that, pour a sufficient amount of water over it, and leave it overnight to flatten out and dry.

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    What Tools Will You Need

    Of course, to move forward, youll have to ascertain the appropriate equipment. Without that, youll be at an impasse. Unfortunately, this will require a little more than your bare hands. Still, it is a relatively low complexity project.

    • Blocks:Usually, people tend to use cinder blocks. However, anything that can support the weight of the pool evenly should suffice. As long as you can raise the pool, these need to support the weight.
    • Level:Most likely, youve seen a few of these in your lifetime. They have a small bubble of air inside something similar to a ruler. With these, you can determine if something is flat. If not, youll have a visual guide to just how far off-balance things are.
    • Jack or Lift:Finally, unless you have help, youll need a jack. These let you lift the pool. Then, you can slide the brick underneath. That way, you dont have to put yourself in two places at the same time.

    Lay Down The Base Protector

    Intex swimming pool set up // How to, above ground pool, family DIY project, backyard project,

    Once you have a solid foundation of levelled out sand, you can start to lay down the base layer.

    We recommend a specialised pool pad this usually entails a large layer of foam or tarp that will sit under the swimming pool, adding another layer of protection.

    The addition of a base layer will lower the risks of puncturing the liner, help to insulate the pool and prevent heat loss. At an absolute minimum, its recommended to lay down a sheet of tarp.

    Read Also: Best Ways To Heat Above Ground Pool

    Use A Leveling Device

    To level out the ground, you will need a levelling device. Use two-by-four plank of wood and a long spirit level to measure the evenness of the surrounding area.

    A simple and easy method is to lay down the two-by-four on the ground, and then place the spirit level on top of the wood, attaching it with a cable tie if need be. The levelling device will help indicate which areas will need additional attention throughout the ground preparation process.

    Does The Pool Pump Need To Be On Level Ground Too

    Dont forget about the pool pump!

    It also needs to be on level ground. You will need to follow the same prep process as you did with the area that the pool is going.

    In the case of the pump, you can also put down a small concrete pad to easily house your pump.

    Its better to use concrete below it so moisture doesnt accumulate and eat away at the pump components over time.

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    Install Your Above Ground Swimming Pool

    Finally, you can start setting up your above ground pool following the manufacturers instructions. For example, a square Intex pool may have different instructions than an oval pool from another company.

    Things can also be different if you are installing an inflatable pool for your kids. And the manufacturer will list any specific instructions they have for the base.

    S To Install Above Ground Pool On A Slope

    Pool with low level decking

    Although you can get a pool thats custom-built for uneven terrain, it will still put more water pressure on one side. Regrettably, this can and will eventually lead to strain, stress, and damage on that end of your pool.

    Instead, opt for the more labor-intensive but ultimately more successful method of doing pretty much the same thing you should do to set an above ground pool anywhere: dig and level.

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    Best Way To Level Above Ground Pool

    Above ground pools are a much less expensive alternative to in-ground pools, and theyre also quite a bit easier to install. The manufacturers of above ground pools have come up with a lot of inventive ways to make them even easier to set up over the last few decades. That said, no matter how simple installation is, theres something every above ground pool needs that isnt quite as easy to achieve: level ground. What is the best way to level an above ground pool?

    Here we take a look at why this is so vital, and how to ensure your above ground pool is level so it functions properly and safely.

    The Pool Will Just Look Wrong

    Ive seen my share of uneven pools, and its immediately noticeable. Like a glass balancing off center, when the water is not close to being level in your pool its a real sorry sight.

    You can immediately see one side is lower than the other, and you can bet everyone else who comes to your yard and sees your pool will think the same way.

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