DIY Oval Pool
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.
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.