I have watched a youtube video from a company on how to properly install an above ground pool. They showed one option which I will use to level the ground, using a board and level to scrape the dirt away.
Now, my question is, once the ground is level at this point, is there an easy way to make the middle deeper with proper consistency all the way around?
I'm not sure about an easy way, but here is what I do. I start with a center point of the pool. At this spot I have my tape measure held in place with a screw driver. I begin by marking the outer edge of the hole.
It is very important to leave plenty of ledge for unrolling the sidewall on and for holding the coving. I always start with a two foot ledge and when the final shaping is done I still have a foot and a half. So for a 24' pool I would be marking a 10' circle. When I begin to shape the sides this line will move out by about six inches.
I always leave the center untouched until much later in the process. This holds my tape in place and keeps my exact center unchanged. When most of the dirt has been removed I will lay out the pool bottom rails, and using my tape, connect them in a perfect circle. This perfect circle now matches the hole that's been dug. At this time I perfect the leveling of the pool by leveling each individual footplate. I use a laser level but if you are using a 2 x 4 and carpenters level that's fine also. You still have your center point and every post needs to be set at exactly the same level.
When the rail is set I knock out the center hump and slope the sides. Getting this part right is pretty much a visual thing. I use my feet to measure in from the bottom rail. Two of my feet and slope. I know the rail is round and level. This makes creating the perfect ledge easy, it needs to be the same size and the same level in from the bottom rails.
The pool slope can vary from very shallow to quite steep, it depends on the depth of the hole and the size of the pool. It just needs to be uniform all the way around. It also needs to be slope, not a drop off.
Round pools can also have deep ends that are not centered. These are more difficult to dig and much more difficult to set the liner into place without any wrinkles.
Some recommended reading concerning above ground pools and deep ends can be found on these pages.
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