I am getting ready to install an 18' AGP. I know it is awful late in the season, but the wife wants it done. Happy wife, happy life.
So far I am working on leveling the ground. I am having 6 tons of stone dust delivered and am going to rent a plate compactor to get a rock solid and perfectly smooth base. I have 2x12x12 blocks to place under the uprights. I plan on using 2" extruded polystyrene foam board as the pool base. This leads to my first question:
All of the threads I have read here suggest cutting the foam board to be level with the blocks. This would suggest that the pool bottom rails would then sit on the foam board. It would also suggest the pool would be 2" deeper than it would otherwise be if built to the directions, which call for 2" of sand in the bottom of the pool, above the blocks. I do not intend to use sand over the foam, so should I install the blocks flush to the ground, and cut the foam board to be above the blocks, inside the pool wall? This would bring the pool depth to what it would be with 2" of sand in the bottom as per the instructions. The liner I have is a unibead or "J" bead type. My main concern is that by placing the foam under the rails flush with the blocks, the 2" of additional water depth will stress and break the liner. Also there would be an unsightly foam edge visible from outside the pool that would have to be dressed with some sort of landscaping.
Second question, the foam coving has a notch that would imply it fits over the pool frame. With the 2" foam bottom, the notch would not fit over the frame, which would be covered by the foam base, and would be empty air space. Will this "air space" be a problem?
My plan is, from bottom up:
Stone dust base, compacted with a plate compactor
pavers cut into and level with the stone dust
foam (taped joints) cut to fit inside pool walls
pad that came with the pool
peel and stick coving
Install liner, fill pool
First install, words of wisdom appreciated.