How To Prepare The Ground For An Above Ground Pool

The ground where we install the pool must be FIRM AND RESISTANT (do not install on balconies/terraces, soft or filled ground) LEVEL AND SMOOTH (without holes, or grass, roots or stones that could pierce the liner). The installation should be carried out between two or three adults, on a day without wind and when the heat is not excessive (first thing in the morning or mid-afternoon). The length of the installation will depend on the size of the pool (see your pool label or instructions).

An uneven surface can weaken or damage an elevated pool , so it is essential to level the ground before installation. You should remove the grass and then check the grade to identify slopes and high spots. You should always excavate the higher areas rather than fill in the lower ones. Once you’ve leveled the terrain, you need to rake out the debris and compress the ground. Then spread and compress a layer of sand.

Equipment you will need

Spirit Level
Wooden Plank
Tape measure
Lawn stakes
Lawn mower (optional)
Lawn roller
Herbicide and Fungicide

How To Find The Perfect Spot For An Above Ground Pool

Check your local building codes. You should choose the flattest place possible, but be sure to comply with local regulations. Check to see if the pool should be within a minimum distance from other property lines, septic tanks, and highways. Contact your local registrar or assessor’s office if you need to determine the boundaries of your property. You should carry out a search on the Internet or look for the corresponding codes on the website of the government of your city, state or province.

If you belong to a homeowners association, it is also recommended that you verify their bylaws.
You should ensure that the pool is not located near a section where workers may need to access power or other utility lines. You should check to see if the pool could be in a conservation area if your property borders a forest.

Avoid underground utility lines and overhead power lines. If you are not sure where the gas lines and other underground cables are located, you should contact your utility company. Also, make sure the pool pad is not under the power cables.

Stay away from trees and stumps. If you are going to locate the pool under a tree, more leaves and insects will fall into it. In addition to being unsightly, debris can affect pool chemicals and make it difficult to maintain. In addition, tree root systems could hamper ground leveling. Even if the tree is a stump, it will be difficult to remove.

You should install the pool as far as possible from the farthest branches of the tree, since this is considered a sufficient distance. For younger trees, you can calculate the size of the root system to install the pool on a safe side. Younger trees have thirstier roots, which could extend up to 38 times the diameter of the trunk. If the trunk of a young tree is 6 inches (15 cm) wide, its roots could extend over 19 feet (6 m).
Most of the older tree root systems only extend to the perimeter of their canopy.

Take into account the drainage of the land. It is important to make sure the area where you want to place the pool has good drainage, as you could end up with a swamp in the backyard. You should check how well the water drains after a heavy rain. If possible, you should avoid areas that remain flooded for long periods, as you could divert the water before placing it in the pool.

How To Clear The Area Where The Pool Is Going To Be

You will mark the area in which the pool is to be installed. If the pool is round, you should mark out the area 1 meter more than the diameter of your pool. If the pool is oval, mark the area out 1 meter longer and 2 meters wider than the pool. If the pool is square, mark the ground 1 meter bigger all round.

Lay plastic sheeting over the area 2 weeks in advance to remove the grass. You should cover the ground with plastic sheeting or tarps for a couple of weeks to make it easier to remove the grass. Spread the plastic sheeting over the area where you are going to install the pool and place heavy objects (such as stones, bricks or cinder blocks) to keep them glued to the ground.

Pull the grass after a heavy rain or full watering. If the area is still not clear, you should remove the grass before leveling the ground. The day after a heavy rain is a good time to mow the lawn. If the weather forecast indicates that there will be no rain soon, you should water your work area well a few days in advance, as dry grass is more difficult to remove. Although the goal is not to mow dry grass, you should avoid using an electric mower if the ground is soggy or wet.

Rent a lawn mower to make the job easier. Although you can remove the grass by hand, a mower is the best option for larger areas. Before using a lawn mower, you should make sure the area is free of irrigation, hoses, toys, and other potential hazards. Irrigation wires, lighting cables, and tubing can also be found just below the ground, so check these too. You should read the owner’s manual and consult the store’s equipment manager for operating instructions for a specific machine.

Use a scaffold if you don’t want to rent equipment. If you don’t want to deal with electrical equipment, you just need to try a little harder. Start by marking the grass with a shovel to divide it into sections, and then use a scraper to excavate each section. You should remove at least 2 1/2 inches (6 cm) from the surface of the work area. You can ask some friends or family for help to get the job done faster. If necessary, you can offer them a dip in the pool.

Roll up and discard the grass. An electric mower cuts grass into sections that you can roll up and place in a wheelbarrow or bag. It is more difficult to remove the grass by hand, since you will also need to place it in a container. Once you’re done, you can leave the grass bags on the curb to dispose of or add the grass (or a portion of it) to a compost pile.

If you used an electric mower and your grass rolls are in good shape, you could place them on an uncovered section in another part of the yard. You should water the uncovered section well, fertilize it, and add compost if the soil needs conditioning. Then deposit the grass and water it daily for 1 to 2 weeks.

How To Level The Ground For The Pool

Check leveling to identify high spots. The easiest way to check grade without the use of special equipment is to find the high points. You should carry out a visual inspection to see if there are points higher or lower than the rest of the terrain. After reviewing these areas, you should place a plank across the work area. Place a 6 ft. Carpenter’s level on top of the plank. Then move the plank across the work area to check various points.

Lay the plank and level from the center of the work area to the edge, like a clock hand. Check for levelness, then turn the plank 2-3 feet (60 to 90 cm), like a clock hand moving from 2 to 4 o’clock. Continue moving the plank and checking for level every 2 to 3 feet (60 to 90 cm).

Mark high areas with stakes. You will likely find that a large section of the work area is roughly level, but one edge slopes significantly. You should place stakes or poles in areas that have slopes or slopes and excavate these areas to create a level base for the pool.

Dig into the dirt instead of filling in the lower sections. You should always excavate slopes and high points to level with lower areas, even if this procedure requires more work. If you fill a section with dirt or sand, the weight of the pool and the water will compress it and cause problems in the future.

Use a shovel to dig up the high ground. Once you have identified the high points, you should start digging the dirt. Dump the soil into a wheelbarrow and then dispose of it, compost it, or use it for landscaping projects (for example, to plant potted plants or adjust the ground level elsewhere in the garden).

Rent a skid-steer loader for tougher jobs. You can level a 5 or 10 degree slope and remove 4 to 5 inches (10 to 13 cm) of dirt with your hands. However, if you have to remove 1 foot (30 cm) or more of dirt over a wide area, you may need to rent heavy equipment. Generally, some training is required to operate a skid steer loader, so check with your rental equipment manager for operating requirements.

If you are unsure about operating a skid steer loader, consider hiring a professional to level up the area. You can search for a skilled landscape architect or contractor online.

Check the leveling frequently to assess its progress. From time to time, you should place the plank and level on your work surface. Keep digging and evaluating progress until you’ve leveled the entire work area.

Rake over the area to remove rocks, branches, and other debris. The entire area should be raked once you’ve finished leveling it, as sharp debris could pierce the pool liner.

Compact the ground. The floor must be firm to support the pool. After raking it, you need to water the soil with a garden hose. Then run a roller compactor across the entire work area to compact the soil.

To do this most effectively, you should use a garden hose or low-pressure sprinkler for about an hour before compacting the area. You can rent a lawn roller from your local home improvement store. You can usually fill the cylinder with water to control its weight. You need to fill it in and then push it on the level ground to compact it.

Spread and compact a layer of sand over the area. Many pool manufacturers suggest applying a layer of sand, but you should consult your owner’s manual to keep it safe. You should spread a 1 to 2 inch (25 to 5 cm) layer of sand across the work area and then roll it over.

If there are areas that need to be leveled, you can use crushed limestone instead of sand. You can find masonry sand from a home improvement store or swimming pool retailer to ensure the grains are uniform in size and contain no debris. The amount you will need will depend on the size of the pool. If your pool is 10 feet (3m) in diameter, you will need about a ton of sand. You should check the sand for rocks, large grains, and other debris as you spread it.

Apply fungicide and herbicide on the area. Because the area around the pool will continually get wet, you should apply a fungicide before installing it. Additionally, applying a herbicide will ensure that no plants sprout or damage the pool liner.

Application rates can vary by chemical, so you should check how much area a product can cover by volume. The amount you need will also depend on the area of ​​the pool, but you will likely need 1 gallon (4 liters) of fungicide and herbicide at most. Make sure to use petroleum-free products. Ready-to-use products that do not require dilution are easier to use than concentrates that must be mixed with water.

You must wait up to 2 weeks after applying the fungicide or other chemicals before installing the pool.
You can also place a tarp over the area to help protect the chemicals from moisture and the sun while you work.

For the assembly of your pool, you will need, apart from those already mentioned. The following tools are usually necessary: Gloves, Phillips screwdriver, tape measure, utility knife, wrench set.