How to Prepare the Ground for an Above Ground Pool

When the hot days of summer arrive, you can be cool and relaxed in your new pool. Hours of fun for the whole family will be enjoyed swimming and relaxing in the latest addition to your home. Installing an above-ground pool is less expensive than an in-ground pool, and by doing it yourself you can save even more money. In a few hours you can be lounging in the pool, drink in hand, enjoying the fruits of your labor.

Fun in the Sun

Step 1

Dig up the sod. To prepare this area for placing the pool all the sod will have to be removed. The ground must be free of any debris such as tree roots. Depending upon codes in your area, there may be an additional clearance requirement of up to 6 feet around the pool.

Step 2

Level the site. The ground must be leveled and higher areas brought to the same level of the lowest spot. Digging from the highest side to take out excess dirt will allow you to level the area. This is one step that is extremely important because if not, part of your pool could sink. If you feel you must raise some areas, the only way to do so is by filling in and compacting the dirt with a roller.

Patio bricks are great for leveling.

Place the foundation blocks. Each of the pool-frame posts will have to be placed on a level surface such as a block. You can also use patio stones for this purpose. Place the blocks or stones in the ground, leaving only the surface visible. Leveling the blocks from side to side and front to back will allow the base and the frame to be placed solidly and evenly. A site leveling transit will allow you to set all blocks at the same level for optimum placement.

Step 4

Place the pool frame on the ground. After the blocks are set, place the frame and check each spot where it is resting on a block to make sure they are level. It is going to be necessary to keep checking the blocks after every step to make sure they are staying level.

Step 5

Set the walls into place. This is where a little help could come in very handy. Extra hands to help roll out the wall and set them in the tracks provided will make the job go much smoother. Once rolled all the way around the perimeter, the walls can be fastened together with the nuts and bolts that come with your pool. When you finish, cover the seams and the screws with duct tape.

Step 6

Lay your sand base. Using masonry sand, place this inside the wall area of your pool. A 2-inch layer will be sufficient to act as a base for the pool. Work your way from the outside area of the pool to the middle. When you have the sand down you will want to spread nut grass killer on top and wet the sand. After it is thoroughly wet, begin at the outer edge of the pool and start tamping the sand down. Working your way toward the middle area, continue tamping until it is firm and even.

Step 7

Level and round the walls of the pool. This is your halfway point. When you check the pool, make sure the walls look round or square if the pool is going to be oval shaped. This will make sure the sides of the pool will stand up straight. You do not want them to lean in or out.

Step 8

Put in the cove. Peel the backing from the pieces and attach them to the wall. Put the pieces together, and make sure there are no gaps. Once you get this in place, using a broom sweep sand on top of it. Hose it down, and pack the sand around the bottom of the pool. Either a peel-and-stick or a clip-and-stick variety is available.

Step 9

Install the liner. The liner should be as wrinkle free as you can possibly get it to lay. Do not pull it and stretch it though because this will ruin the liner. There will be a few wrinkles, but as long as you smooth the liner out as you add the water, it will not wrinkle excessively.

Step 10

Finish the final framework. Attach the posts and rails, leaving the screws loose until all the pieces are attached. Make certain the posts are square, and tighten all the screws and bolts. Tighten all screws and bolts attached to the rail. Add the finishing touches of cover caps and any decorative trim.