DIY Oval Pool

by Amy
(Ohio)

First of all, many thanks for this valuable website. My husband and I are experienced DIYers. We have built barns, porches and garages.

I had originally planned on installing a 15x30 AGP pool next spring. After reading your posts regarding the nightmares with oval installs, I am rethinking this venture. The oval size fits best into our yards design but we could also fit in a round.

We have a very experienced person to complete excavation (he works professionally on college and professional sports fields) but would you recommend we tackle the oval pool install ourselves.



Hi Amy. If the oval pool fits your yard the best that is what I would go with. They are harder to install but nothing a good DIYer could not handle.

brace system for Doughboy Pool
The hardest of the ovals are those manufactured by Doughboy. That does not make them a bad pool, far from it, it's just that their brace system is a little tricky. There are many easier models for a do-it-yourselfer to install.

Any oval pool with side to side connecting straps will be easier to install than ones without. If you are planning a deep end then you need a buttress system without straps, but if the pool is to be flat bottom then go with straps.

Without straps each side brace becomes sort of a separate unit from the rest of the pool. They have to be measured very carefully, and blocked very carefully. They are just a different kind of thing all together.

When you have straps connecting the braces, side to side, your blocking consists of only a patio block under the back side of the buttress assembly. You set one side up against a string line and the other side spaces itself automatically. The whole process is just so much simpler.

I show several oval pools being installed on other pages of this site. I also have a coaching service where I work with you one-on-one through the whole set up process; this has helped a lot of do-it-yourselfers with there pool installations.

My favorite was a lady who would email me pictures a couple times a day for about a week straight. Her helpers were her husband, the muscle, her brother in law, the thinker and planner, her father, mostly just in the way but he tried hard. She said, thanks to me, she was the real brains of the operation. After each stage she would send pictures and ask questions. I would tell her exactly what needed done next. She would tell her brother in law who would then plan the best way to accomplish it. I got the biggest kick out of her being the brains of the operation, but it was very true, because she was so well connected.

Anyway, round pools are easier to install but don't be afraid of the ovals, they just take more time, patience and possibly some outside help. But whatever you do, rent a laser level. That's one of the keys to a successful install.

Comments for DIY Oval Pool

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Jan 09, 2012
oval vs. round
by: Amy

After several months of debating, thinking and researching I decided to buy a round pool. Ordered it online today. I have seen no fewer than 3 oval pools in our county with buckled or bowed walls. Plus, husbands co-worker used to install pools and offered to help...if it was not an oval.lol.

Jun 05, 2012
Oval vs Round inground
by: Debbie

We are about to install an above ground all the in ground in Florida and I thought about a Doughboy 16x28 oval. The cost is more for this pool, over $7,000 and includes a 2 speed cartridge filter, a 2hp pump, and a 20m liner I believe. The Installation is over $6,000! I'm not sure if the grading is going to be more, I'm waiting on a call. We are on a strict budget and I am now concerned about the oval vs the round. We live in an area where everyone has the standard concrete pool and we would like to blend in for resale in the future. My budget is fixed but I am already up to $16,000....pool package, installation, $2000 for fence, electric and pavers, I would be very unhappy If the walls started looking funny in just a few years! The contractor we hired said it would be ok to buy a cheaper pool and spray a bed liner on it. It voids the warranty but with the prorated deal the warranty is not worth a lot anyway right? I have to make a decision this week and I am really concerned about which way to go. I can put in a round if it is the best thing to do. Is there somewhere on the Internet to buy the doughboy pool package? Or a one that could go inground with a bed liner? I believe the contractor would put it in. Thank you so very much for the help. I really appreciate the info!!



Hi Debbie I don't think you can buy Doughboy pools online. Properly installed an oval pool is just as good as a round one. I would go with the size that would work best in your yard.

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