Need Advice from Experienced Hardscapers

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by mowerman87, Jun 27, 2008.

  1. mowerman87

    mowerman87 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 75

    Ok heres the deal: I'm finishing up college and grew up in an age where boys didnt have to learn what their fathers did so sometimes I dont know how to do things I should. I'm great with landscaping and lawncare, even retaing walls but I have some confusion on this one issue: I bought this above ground pool from wallyworld for me and my buddy to drink beer in (95 or above everyday) and it works by having an inflatable top ring lift the sides as you fill with water. By the way this is no kiddie pool- 18ft across by 4ft deep, comes with filter, vacuum, cover, everything. Anyway, sounds good on paper but DOES NOT WORK. Think about it- water flows with any angle of slope at all, thus, unless the pool bottom, which is just like canvas, is on perfectly level ground, the mofo will lean to one direction- the lowest point. The sides are also a rubbery-canvas material. It has no structure whatsoever. So what you end up with is a 1.5ft deep, flimsy-ass, taco-shell shape. But I'm perseverant, so I drained it, put down a mixture of mulch and top soil to level off the ground(several hours of work) and began filling again for round 2. Same goddang result with round 2 as the first time. Also, I used the longest 2x4 and level I had to get a rough check on the area- it seemed perfect. Any ideas how to level off ground PERFECTLY without a boxblade or setting down pavers?
  2. senatorcongressman

    senatorcongressman LawnSite Member
    from WDC
    Messages: 40

    After filling the pool, it still goes taco because the weight of the pool compacts the fill you just put down. My father-in-law has this same pool and his yard slopes slightly. He used a bunch of sand to level it off perfectly. Same result, since the weight of the water pushed the sand away. Your best bet would be to level it with a base material, compact it and then some sand to protect the bottom of the pool, just like if you were laying pavers, but without the pavers. The lowest side (needing the most fill) will need to be built up out past the pool area and slope away to grade about 3:1. Of course this will kill off any lawn that might be there and will look like crap when you remove the $149 pool after it starts to leak for the 10th time.
  3. mowerman87

    mowerman87 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 75

    The BS part is that the box said "pick a level spot, no ground prep needed!" Yeah right, when this is all said and done, I will have used about 7000 gallons of water, 8 bags of mulch, 6 bags of topsoil, and thoroughly messed up a huge area of my yard (about 20x20ft). But I learned a valuable lesson about hydrodynamics.
  4. gilster

    gilster LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Get a tarp and put it in the back of yer pickup truck. Fill it with water, presto! Mobile pool!
  5. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    did one last year. Real easy if you have a laser level or transit.

    You prob don't so just go get a bunch of scrap furing strips from home cheapo. Make a bunch of stakes out of them, say twelve. Also purchase a roll of string line and a little line level. Maybe 20 bucks worth of tools/material. Run string lines in a criss cross pattern accross the diameter of the pool...overlapping where the 'end' of the pool would be. Fill that area in with a few inches of masons sand. Compact it if you'd like..but there is no need if you are placing 2-3 inches of sand down. If you really want to go nuts to prevent punctures place a heavy duty filter fabric between the existing ground and the sand. If the place is really unlevel excavate some soil from the uphill side.

    good luck, I hate those cheap pools.
  6. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,622

    or you can use a string line with a line level. Thats how we level our patios - with a string line!
  7. crab

    crab LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 633

    5 year guarantee to!:laugh:
  8. Isobel

    Isobel LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 548

    i just had a woman call me up for this exact problem. Her pool leans to one side as well, and wanted soil brought in to level the area. I told her it was a little more than just laying down soil, it needed to be compacted in layers. Suffice it to say she didn't want to spend that amount of money, and will probably end up doing something simple and still have a unlevel pool.
  9. Bull

    Bull LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Messages: 308

    Hey I had the same pool you are talking about and my yard also had a slight grade to it as well. I used three treated 2x8's and built a three sided enclosure making sure it was level from front to back and side to side. The high side did not require a 2x8. I then filled and packed in the cheap bagged soil / sand from lowe's and leveled it to the top of the boards. This made the area perfectly level. During the winter when the pool was in storage we used the area to build camp fires. I hated messing with that thing each spring but my wife wanted it. Luckily for me during the second season our chocolate lab chewed off the air valve for the top ring so it was ruined. Man I love that dog.
  10. mowerman87

    mowerman87 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 75

    Update: the pool has been returned to wallyworld and I got my money back without issue. I think I'll use the area, now just packed earth, for a vegetable/herb garden. forget that pool, I can just sneak into an apartment complex.

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