Planning to purchase & install an above ground swimming pool? Make installation day a breeze by planning out a few steps in advance. This planning & preparation should be done before you buy an above ground pool.

Choosing an Above Ground Pool

Find the Best Location for Your New Pool

The area you devote to your new above ground pool should be well thought out to avoid future problems & optimize the environmental benefits around it. You must understand the layout of your utilities in order to avoid any future complications. Also, you need to avoid locating your pool under any electric lines. After determining these boundaries, you can plan out the spot that optimizes your chance of 1) getting as much sun as possible, 2) avoiding as much wind as possible & 3) keeping leaves from falling in the pool as much as possible. Lastly, the view & distance from the house to the pool is important, so keep that in mind.

Choosing an Above Ground Pool

Receiving Your Pool Kit

Once you buy an above ground pool kit, you just need to sit back & wait for it to show up at your house. Above ground pools tend to arrive secured to a pallet, so it is your job to inspect it for any damage before signing the bill of lading. With such a costly investment, it is a good idea to check that everything is included & nothing has been damaged in transit. Only sign if you are satisfied after evaluating everything included.

Choosing an Above Ground Pool

Pool Extras

While shopping for above ground pools, you will notice a selection of products to support & embellish your above ground pool. The most important part of the pool is the vinyl liner because without it water will spill out of the cracks. Liners come in all sorts of patterns & can provide 10 to 15 years of quality use.

To protect the vinyl liner, you should probably consider using a pool cove, wall foam, & floor pad (some pool kits come with these, others don’t). Pool cove snaps into your pool’s wall track & keeps the liner from overstretching at the seam of the pool. Wall foam protects the liner & makes the pool more comfortable. Floor pads protect the liner from any objects that may come up through the ground & helps prevent footprints or heel divots in the floor of the pool.

Other accessories that are valuable after building your aboveground pool include steps & ladders, pool lights & fountains. Solar blankets keep your pool water warm through cooler nights & a winter cover is the best way to keep your pool winterized to prevent complications caused by cold weather conditions while the pool is not in use.

Above Ground Pools

Get Your Pool Permit First

Contact the local officials responsible for building codes to be sure you do everything legally. Ask about above ground pool fencing requirements as well.

Above Ground Pools

Ensure Your Pool has a Flat Bottom

The ground you build on needs to be as flat & level as possible. Mark the circumference of the pool by pounding a stake at the center of the chosen area, then string out to the radius of the pool plus one foot. For an oval pool, you will need to locate two center points the proper distance apart. Mark the radius of each center point & then connect them with tangent lines. Once the perimeter is marked to remove the turf & locate the low point. Level out the area down to the low point using picks & shovels & check the level with a 2x4 & level.

Above Ground Pools

Get Prepared for Your Pool Installation

You will some tools to complete the project once the pool arrives:

  • Screwdriver
  • Box cutter
  • Tamper
  • Wrench
  • Drill
  • Extension cord
  • Duct tape
  • 6x12" patio blocks (one for each upright)
  • Sand to cover 1-2”
  • A friend for a helping hand

Above Ground Pools

Above Ground Pool Installation

Place all the pieces out in an orderly manner. Make sure you have everything you need, including the installation manual that comes with the pool. You’ve already marked off the perimeter & the area has been leveled to your satisfaction, so now you want to distribute the bottom wall rails in a wide circle &place the bottom plates at each intersection. Then, connect the two all the way around.

Place the patio blocks under each plate, then install them by sinking them flush with the ground. The pool integrity relies on the wall rails resting completely on the ground. So, you need to make sure everything remains level & flat as throughout the installation. Use a laser level to check that all pavers are at the same height. Next, bring in a yard of masonry sand for the floor. Disconnect one piece of the bottom frame to get in & spread the sand evenly, tamping it firmly in place.

The pool walls come next. Use landscape stakes to keep the wall from folding, bending or otherwise causing trouble before you bolt it together. First, decide where you want your skimmer located & place that section. With a second person helping, place the base of the wall into the track, continuing all the way around until you finish back at the beginning. Strengthen this form by installing the uprights to each bottom plate & tightening the bolts.

Now you install the liner. Spread the liner out & attach to the top rails & plates to secure the liner in place. Start adding the water. Wait until you have an inch or two of water in the pool, then smooth out any wrinkles. Once the water is about 3’ deep, the skimmer & returns can be installed. The last thing is to hook up the filter & pump.

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