I just wanted to throw a quick pic up of the pool this season so far. Here's where I was last year just after install. This is the grade I had to deal with.
[center:2pow04n7]This is where we are now.
We managed to get things to work out ok. I decided to have the deck built to the same level as the top rails. It works better for us because it allows you to sit comfortably at the pool edge and hang your feet in. We had some board shrinking as expected over the winter, but I'm not going to worry about it. If it starts to bother me too much, I'll just replace the boards that shrunk more than the others. I have a stock pile of decking boards out in the wood shop. As you can also see, we live out in the middle of the woods so I think I'm going to have to take more trees out. We only get direct sunlight on the pool from about 12:00PM to 3:00PM and as a result, our water is still at 75 degrees. I need it to be about 5 degrees warmer. I think once we get into June and July we should get there.
I wanted to thank those of you for your input, suggestions and knowledge along the way. This is a first pool for me, and we've been enjoying it so far. I'll be putting up some other pictures of the complete setup soon.