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    Planning for an Aboveground Pool Installation

    January 17, 2014


    Planning to install an aboveground swimming pool? Make installation day a breeze by planning out a few steps in advance. This planning and preparation should be done before you buy an above ground pool.

    Location, Location, Location!

    I’m sure you have all heard the phrase before. The area devoted to your new above ground pool ought to be well thought out to avoid future problems and optimize the environmental benefits around it. Understanding where your utilities are beneath the ground is a must to avoid any complications in the future. Likewise, avoid locating your pool under any electric lines, for obvious reasons! After these boundaries are determined, you can search out the spot that optimizes your chance of 1, basking in as much sun as possible, and 2, avoiding as much wind as possible, and 3, keeping as many leaves from falling in the pool as possible. Lastly, the distance and view from the pool to the house is important, the same with your water and electrical supply for the pool.

    Shipping and Receiving

    magnifying-glassOnce you buy an aboveground pool, it is time to sit back and wait for it to show up at your door. You should receive a call from the trucking company 24 hours beforehand to work out a delivery time. Above ground pools arrive secured to a pallet and it is your job to inspect it for any damage before signing the paperwork. With a purchase this size it is a good idea to check that everything is included, and nothing has been bumped around in transit. Only if you are satisfied after evaluating everything should you sign for the pool, otherwise it is the responsibility of the trucking company to return it. Take a razor knife out with you, to cut open the plastic wrap a bit. In 99% of cases, everything will be in order.

    The Bells and Whistles

    As we are a one stop shop for aboveground pools, you will not be disappointed in our selection of products to support and embellish your above ground pool installation experience. The most important part of the pool can be said to be the vinyl liner because without it water just spits out the cracks. Our liners come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and patterns and can provide 10 to 15 years of quality use.

    wall foamaboveground-pool-coveTo protect the vinyl liner, consider using pool cove, wall foam, and floor pad during installation. Pool cove snaps into your pool’s wall track and keep the liner from over stretching at the seam that runs the perimeter of the pool. Pool cove is a smart investment that protects the liner and makes the pool more comfortable. Floor pads protect the liner from any objects that may move up through the ground during the winter, and helps prevent heel divots or footprints.

    Other accessories that are valuable after building your aboveground pool include pool floats, solar blankets, steps & ladders, pool lights and fountains. Solar blankets are super investments to keep your pool water warm through the cooler nights so those morning dips do not have to be so eye-opening! We have many different pool ladder options appropriate for everyone, and pool lights and pool fountains are fun for all ages. And finally, when it's all done, you'll want to relax in your pool with a nice pool float.

    Do I Need a Pool Permit?

    First things first! Contact your town officials responsible for building codes to be sure you do everything legally. This is something that is the taken care of at a local level and is different for all of us. Ask about aboveground pool fencing regulations as well, most towns have some sort of pool fencing ordinance.

    Flat Bottomed Pools!

    level-pool-floor!It goes without saying but - the ground you build on needs to be as flat and level as possible.  That means that even if you can’t get the ground dug out perfectly level, the closer the better. Okay, let’s start the prep work!  aboveground pool layout - image purchased thru Presentermedia

    Mark the circumference of the pool by pounding a stake at the center of the chosen area, then string out to the radius of the pool plus one foot. For an oval pool you will need to locate two center points the proper distance apart. Mark the radius of each center point and then connect them with tangent lines. Once the perimeter is marked remove the turf and locate the low point. Level out the area down to the low point using picks and shovels, and check level with a 2x4 and carpenters level.

    Tools needed: flat shovel, rake, wheelbarrow, marking material (chalk or spray paint), stake, string, hammer, level, tape measure, and some 2x4 boards.

    In addition - you will need a few more tools to complete the project once the pool arrives. A quick rundown includes: screwdriver, box cutter, tamper, properly sized wrench, drill, extension cord. For supplies, round up some duct tape,  6x12" patio blocks (one for each upright), enough sand to cover 1-2"-  and a good helper with some elbow grease!

    Aboveground Pool Installation Day

    Placing all the pieces out in an orderly manner is a great way to start your project. Make sure you have everything you need, including the installation manual! The perimeter has been marked. The area has been stripped and leveled to your satisfaction. Now distribute the bottom wall rails in a wide circle and place the bottom plates at each intersection and connect the two all the way around.surveyor - free clipart from job-images

    Place the patio blocks under each plate, then install them by sinking them flush with the ground. The integrity of the pool relies on the bottom wall rail resting completely on the ground so keep checking to make sure everything remains level and flat as you continue through the installation. You can use the center stake and string, making sure each paver is the same measurement below the string, or you could use a laser level, or even use a transit - to be certain that all pavers are the same height.

    awesomeWith the framework laid, it is a good time to bring in a yard of masonry sand for the floor. Just disconnect one piece of the bottom frame to get in. Spread the sand evenly, tamping it firmly in place. Here's a guy that has quite a method for checking level and smoothing out sand, in Clackamas, Oregon. He's using a large center stake, connected to two joined 2x4's, with a carpenter's level on top.

    The pool wall goes up next. Your pool wall will come as one continuous roll. Using landscape stakes or something similar helps to keep the wall from folding, bending or otherwise causing trouble before you get to bolt it together. The skimmer cut-out is in the first 5-10 feet of the roll, so decide where you want to have your skimmer located. With a second person helping to unroll the wall, place the base of the wall into the track, continuing all the way around until you finish back at the beginning. Strengthen this form by installing the uprights at each bottom plate, and tightening up all bolts.

    The liner is ready to be installed now and it is not a bad idea to check out a few install videos first to get a better idea the intricacies. Once the liner is spread out attach the top rails and plates to secure the liner in place. Start adding the water. Wait until you have the water an inch or two high and then smooth out any wrinkles the liner may have. Once the water is three feet deep the skimmer and return cutouts can be completed, otherwise there is a risk of ripping the liner. Last bit, the filter and pump can be hooked up now and you are pretty much ready to go!

    I’ve Built my own Pool! Now What?

    Now that the fun is over it's time to get down to business! Keeping your pool experience as close to perfection as possible requires good filtration and the proper level of chemicals combined with a strong start to each swim season.

    Chlorine-tablets and sticksCleanliness may be next to Godliness, but Sanitation is Sanity - so you will need chlorine. Chlorine tablets or a salt chlorinator keeps you, your family, your friends, everybody – safe while in the pool. It will be the most important chemical you will work with over the years but it is not the only one. At the beginning of each season you will need to check and adjust your alkalinity, calcium hardness, and stabilizer levels. These will keep your water feeling softer and less irritating, as well as protect the chlorine from the sun. Often these chemicals will only need to be adjusted once a year, in the spring.

    On a weekly basis however, you need to check your pH and chlorine levels, and adjust as needed to maintain certain levels, not too low - not too high. With so many variables it is n’t always easy to balance your water, so do not be shy about giving us a call to help you choose pool chemicals and explain their proper uses!

    Aboveground Pool Safety

    poolguard-door-alarmOne more thing to think about is safety. Fences, ladders with lockable gates, door alarms, and responsible supervision are all important considerations when building an above ground pool. We offer many types of pool safety products, fencing, numerous ladder options that provide childproofing, and alarms that can install to a gate or house door. Responsible Supervision, we can't help you there, except to suggest that you make some Pool Policy; pool safety rules.  

    Thanks for tuning in today! I hope that I have helped clear up some of the questions you may have had about planning for an above ground pool installation. it is not rocket science, but constructing something for the first time can be a lot easier with some help, so give us a ring at your convenience and we will be happy to answer any questions you have.



    Zach Livingstone
    SPP Pool Expert

    Blog Author
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