laser level to install above ground pool

by Greg
(sykesville, md)

I will be doing my install this weekend. I live in Maryland.

A friend lent me their Dewalt laser level with tripod and shaft before going out of town. They aren't available to answer my question, so I hope someone else can help me.

Here is how I "think" I am supposed to use it:

1) Use a sod-cutter to remove the organics layer from the site.

2) Set up the level tripod in the center of my site to verify the low point of the pool area.

3) Set my first paving stone at the low point.

4) Set the laser detector on the staff at a fixed height so that it reads level using the laser

5) Set each additional paver such that the fixed point on the staff continues to read level

Does this make any sense? Am I missing something?



Hi Greg. This is how I would do it.

laser level
After removing the sod I setup the laser about twenty feet outside of the pool area. It will actually be more accurate leveling an area directly in front of it that in a 360 degree circle. Be sure to level the bubbles in the unit very carefully, unless it is auto level. An auto level unit has a special set up procedure you would need to follow.

At this point I take the leveling rod and sensor around the pool area and try to get the whole site within an inch of being level. It is only after the site is as close to level as I can get it, and well packed down and smoothed off, do I start working with the bottom rails or blocks.

With the ground level I go back to the center stake I have left in the ground from when I started making a circle with the sod cutter. I insert the end of my tape measure into a screw driver and push the screw driver into the center of the pool. With the tape measure in hand I connect all of the bottom rails and foot connectors. When finished your bottom rails should make a perfect circle.


do this before I set the blocks because it gives me the exact location where each block should go. The foot plates can be held up with a shovel while the holes are dug and the blocks inserted.

When the bottom rails are all connected I take the laser rod around and set on a handful of foot plates to get an idea of the average level. I try to choose an in between number where some may need to be lowered and some raised. Once I decide on a number the top of each block is set at that number.

This may help anyone not familiar with reading a leveling rod and sensor. The sensor is attached to the rod that looks like a big tape measure. The sensor can move up and down the rod and get tightened into place at any spot. The sensor will tell you, either with a beep or with a straight line, when it is in a direct line of the laser. When the sensor is reading level an arrow will point to a number on the rod. The idea is to get all of the blocks to read that same number when the sensor is in the direct line of the beam. As you move from block to block you will need to loosen the sensor and raise or lower the rod to get the level indicating line. This tells you whether the block needs to come up or down. Make adjustments until the sensor is reading level and pointing to your target number on the rod at the same time. It takes a little getting used to but it is the best way to level ground.

Here is one more thing that is very important. Once the blocks are level go back and make sure all of the bottom rails are resting level on firm solid ground. Do not use sand to level under the rails, use a firm soil that will pack into place and stay put. Rails that are high between blocks will cause the wall to buckle so spent some time and get them all flat between blocks.

Hope the pool install goes well.

This process is explained more on the installation page.

Above Ground Swimming Pool Installation

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