Level Ground for Pool

by Jackie
(Ocala, FL)

What's the best way to level the ground for a large above ground pool? (32' x 16') My yard is mostly sand.

Who can I call to level it if I don't want to do it myself? Thanks, Jackie

Hi Jackie.

A handy man or an excavator should be able to level the ground for you. Just make sure they use a laser level. Laser levels are the most accurate way to level a yard. They are also the easiest leveling tool to use. A transit works well also but requires a second person to hold the level stick.

Sandy yards require special care to assure the pool has a firm foundation to sit on. One way to do this is to use patio blocks under the uprights and end rails. This creates a solid base for the pool frame and should not wash out easily. The side supports would also need extra blocking.

Another way of creating a solid foundation is to remove six inches or so of sand from a four foot wide area around the circumference of the pool. The sand can be replaced with something like a crusher run from the local sand and rock store. This will compact very well and leave the pool frame sitting on firm ground. It will also leave a couple of feet of firm ground beyond the pool to prevent any kind of washouts from rain.

I use my laser level to not only level the ground but to level the footplates at each end of the pool. I also use it to level the brace assemblies and the blocks they rest on.

It's not enough to just have someone come in and use a level one time on the ground. It needs to be used throughout the installation.

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Level Base

by Tammy
(Meridian, MS)

We put our above ground pool on cement and checked to see if it was level after a bit of water. It is not level, measuring 3 inches on one side, 2 inches in the center and 1 3/4 inches on the other side. The user manual says it is not level enough if 1-2 inches of water pools on one side before reaching the center.

So, is it not level enough since the difference between the center and the deepest side is one inch? If it is not level, what can we put under the deeper side to level it out since it is on concrete?


Hi Tammy.

It sounds to me like you will be just fine. The only important measurements are those around the outer edge. To really find out how level your pool is measure from the top rail down to the water level. Do this in at least five places around the pool. You will probably be close to within and inch of being level. This is just a guideline, not a strict rule. If the pool is on concrete, and if the slope is even, and the pool is round, you can stretch that one inch by a little.

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Unlevel Ground For Pool

by Sandy
(Falling Waters)

We just bought a 27' round pool. Our yard to the eye looks rather flat, however there is a lower spot in the middle, approximately 8 inches lower.

Can we fill in with dirt and rent a tamper or do we have to level the rest of the ground to the lowest point, like the instructions that came with the pool advise?

I want to do this right the first time so I need advice.


Hi Sandy.

An above ground pool just needs to sit on firm solid ground. So if you can fill the low area and pack it solid you will be just fine.

As far as the rest of the job goes, make your pool perfectly round and perfectly level. If you do this you will have a nice pool you can enjoy for years.

Be sure to read some of out installation pages for some good how to tips.

Above Ground Swimming Pool Installation

Above Ground Pool Liner Installation

Above Ground Swimming Pool Installation Tips

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Level Pool Bottom

by Jeremy Maslowsky
(Leonard, Michigan, USA)

I have a 27 foot round pool that I am putting up on very solid clay. I have excavated down as far as possible (without going 4 feet below grade) and I am spot on level around 3/4 of the pool bottom rail.

I have stacked patio blocks on virgin dirt to level the last 1/4. In order to get the bottom level, I have back filled it with about 4 inches of dirt that I removed from the site and will tune it in with sand.

Will this settle too much on the fill side and pull the liner down or will it be ok if the bottom rail and supports are spot on level?

Hi Jeremy.

You should be just fine. The outside frame is by far the most important. The inside area can settle a little without having any effect on the liner. I would water it with the garden hose and foot pack it for several days. If you can walk on the area without sinking you are fine to install a pool over it.

Be sure to also pack the area under the bottom rails, between the blocks. This does need to be firm and if you are at all in doubt extra blocks can be added between the footplates. Just the addition of a half a block in the center of the bottom rail can make a lot of difference.

Comments for Level Pool Bottom

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Jun 24, 2009
level pool bottom thanks
by: Jeremy Maslowsky

WOW! That was fast! I appreciate the information. I want this to be a one time deal. If the pool falls over in twenty years, it won't matter because my kids will be grown and gone. Thanks again.

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