Leveling Ground and Ledge for Above Ground Pool

by Donna
(Alabama)

We have purchased a 16x32 above ground pool. Where we are going to put the pool is slightly un-level, the highest part is about, maybe a foot higher than the lowest part.

We have consulted several people (2 being engineers and 1 a landscaper) and they all say we need to just build up the area and make a nice, hard compact pad out of the red clay dirt we have here in Alabama.

My problem is this: everyone says to frame the area we are going to put the pool (we need about 20x36 space for the pool) and backfill it with the dirt, that way whatever we use to "frame" the area will be solid and not fall or allow drainage of water under the pool.

My husband, well, he wants to bring the dirt in, level it, pack it, put up the pool and fill it with water and THEN put up the walls, which I say is a mistake, because then the lumber or bricks (which ever we decide to use as walls) will not be strong enough to hold the dirt back and will just tumble over, not to mention if we get a bad storm with a lot of rain, it will just wash away the work we did.

The "frame/built up pad" at the highest built up part will be about 2 to 3 ft high and the other end will be only built up about 4 inches. Any advice you could give would be great! Our pool will be here in 2 days and I hope to have all work done and swimming by Sunday. Thank you so much!!



Hi Donna. As long as the built up area is large enough, a frame may not be needed, or could be done at a later time. A pool pad should be a minimum of three feet larger than the pool. With that much of a hard packed ledge it's not likely anything is going to happen to it. If you are working with a smaller ledge I would recommend the retaining wall before the pool gets installed.

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Jun 24, 2010
Leveling Ground and Ledge for Above Ground Pool
by: Donna

Thank you so much for your advice, I feel much better now :)

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