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Thread: Foundations for a 12ft Intex Pool. Any Advice Sought Please.

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    Foundations for a 12ft Intex Pool. Any Advice Sought Please.

    Hi All,

    I have known about this site since last summer when I ventured into the idea of an above ground pool for this kids. Now I am doing something about getting a pool up and running for the lousy UK summer and have just signed up to be a member of this great website.

    I have an 'eye' shaped area of my garden which I dug last year (around 10 inches deep) as previously it was a poorly laid concrete foundation by the previous owner for a trampoline. The area was so poor that it could only be dug up.

    This was dug up last year (sept to oct) and the area has been exposed to all UK weathers for at least 4 to 5 months now, but since, weeds and grass has started to seek through as expected.

    I now need to make this area a foundation for my 12ft intex pool.

    Here is a pic of the area at the moment: (The circle is where I want the pool to sit).



    What would be the best way to prepare the area because I haven't got a clue on how to make this dug out area into a suitable foundation for a round pool. My main concern is weeds coming through, and not sinking being a muddy area!

    I can also dig out more area if needed, not a problem! It actually works out that I can fit a 12ft pool in that space with a 1ft perimeter around it.

    I would like to have a round foundation for the pool to sit on and then weed barrier and gravel around the pool.

    What would be the best way to achieve a good foundation? Any ideas are HUGELY appreciated.

    Thank you all,

    Alex

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Foundations for a 12ft Intex Pool. Any Advice Sought Ple

    I'd level it well then treat it for nut sedge (if you have that over there) and use foam padding as a base. You can find threads here about using 2" (50mm) foam board as a base.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    cramar's Avatar
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    Re: Foundations for a 12ft Intex Pool. Any Advice Sought Ple

    priority #1: level the site, and you can't level a site solely by eye

    Lots of good info on this site about leveling, lots of good videos online as well.
    Don't be one of those dads that posts in July: "One side of my pool is 2 inches lower....should I be worried?"

    It's good that your using the off season to get prepared, see the link in my signature for how I levelled my site, it's one option.
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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Foundations for a 12ft Intex Pool. Any Advice Sought Ple

    How well compacted is the soil? You mentioned it was dug up - was it ever packed down or has it just settled in place due to weathering?
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
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    Re: Foundations for a 12ft Intex Pool. Any Advice Sought Ple

    Hi All, Thanks for the replies!

    The soil is not compacted, its very squishy, in fact my foot sinks in it. It has been weathering since I have dug it up.

    Just not too sure what to do next. What is the best way to compact the ground without having to hire a machine. Is there anything that you could do at home?

    Thank you very much!

    Alex

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Foundations for a 12ft Intex Pool. Any Advice Sought Ple

    Quote Originally Posted by AlexEssex
    Hi All, Thanks for the replies!

    The soil is not compacted, its very squishy, in fact my foot sinks in it. It has been weathering since I have dug it up.

    Just not too sure what to do next. What is the best way to compact the ground without having to hire a machine. Is there anything that you could do at home?
    How deep is the area that was disturbed? Typically the plate compactors rented for use are used every 4-8", sometimes as much as 12" but typically not more than 8" at a time.







    - Sent using Tapatalk
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Re: Foundations for a 12ft Intex Pool. Any Advice Sought Ple

    Hi there I dug out probably 8 to 10 inches deep. I think compacted it would go down 5 inches or so. It all needed digging out to the level it is to gain some sort of levelness and make it more of an even surface. It needed what has been done. I am thinking of filling the area in with soil and then compacting to make it nice and even.

    Alex

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Foundations for a 12ft Intex Pool. Any Advice Sought Ple

    If you can fill it with base material and compact it as you go that may work. You're going to need a good compact base for the pool to sit on.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Foundations for a 12ft Intex Pool. Any Advice Sought Ple

    Typically the recommendation is to lower the soil to level the site not to raise it. The reason for this is that the soil can't be compacted sufficiently. Maybe in this case the fact that it is equally disturbed will help but I wonder if you should just go with the type of pool that can be partially buried. Then you could just dig down to undisturbed soil and level there.


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    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
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    Re: Foundations for a 12ft Intex Pool. Any Advice Sought Ple

    Typical installations do require the site to be dug down to the the lowest undisturbed side but a site can be built up if it's done properly, there are a few people here that have nice AGP's on built up foundation walls.
    But the key thing to remember is it has to be done RIGHT, so you'll need to research compacting a site to get that info, if you search the forums you may be able to find a few owners that built up instead of down.

    If it's not compacted right it will settle and you'll risk pool failure and alot of weight in water being unleashed.

    Your site is relatively small, I think you can do it with enough research and proper techniques.
    20' X 54" Sharkline Matrix Resin AGP, 9400 Gallons, Sta-Rite 1 HP Dynamo Pump, 150 lb Pentair Sand Filter, Gorilla Pad,
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    Re: Foundations for a 12ft Intex Pool. Any Advice Sought Ple

    Quote Originally Posted by cramar
    Typical installations do require the site to be dug down to the the lowest undisturbed side but a site can be built up if it's done properly, there are a few people here that have nice AGP's on built up foundation walls.
    But the key thing to remember is it has to be done RIGHT, so you'll need to research compacting a site to get that info, if you search the forums you may be able to find a few owners that built up instead of down.
    Quote Originally Posted by AlexEssex
    The soil is not compacted, its very squishy, in fact my foot sinks in it. It has been weathering since I have dug it up.

    Just not too sure what to do next. What is the best way to compact the ground without having to hire a machine. Is there anything that you could do at home?
    Quote Originally Posted by cramar
    If it's not compacted right it will settle and you'll risk pool failure and alot of weight in water being unleashed.

    Your site is relatively small, I think you can do it with enough research and proper techniques.
    Initially I overstated the "don't build up" rule because I assumed Alex had ruled out use of machines - but upon rereading it I think that's a preference not a decision. There may even be some way to hand tamp the site but I'm pretty sure that's a massive undertaking and one that will require a lot smaller layers than a machine. In any case, good luck to Alex - please keep us informed and show us the final product I'm sure it will be very nice.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Foundations for a 12ft Intex Pool. Any Advice Sought Ple

    Some additional questions after looking at the picture again. Which direction is the sun in the morning and afternoon? What type of tree is that to the left of the picture - are you married to the idea of keeping it? What type of stumps(?) are those to the right and back in the picture? How long have the stumps been dead?
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
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    Re: Foundations for a 12ft Intex Pool. Any Advice Sought Ple

    First your going to have to get the mud out of the pool area. Why is this area wet? Does it not drain well? I would get the mud out and see how deep it is compared to the surrounding area. You can fill the area up with suitable material like 2a modified which is not expensive. It has to be put in in lifts and compacted properly. It will not settle if done right. I know people will say not the prefered method but it can be done this way. I have seen this route taken with no problems.




    Jeff
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    Re: Foundations for a 12ft Intex Pool. Any Advice Sought Ple

    Which direction is the sun in the morning and afternoon? What type of tree is that to the left of the picture - are you married to the idea of keeping it? What type of stumps(?) are those to the right and back in the picture? How long have the stumps been dead?
    Sun Direction = The picture taken as above is facing North. This particular area gets the best sun from around noon until 3pm then it shades.

    Tree to the left of a picture = Apple tree, was there when we moved in. It grew nice cooking apples. But its a very spiny and ugly tree which I can easily relocate. The roots are nothing.

    Types of stumps = Connifers http://blooms4all.com/topicimages/conifers_trees.jpg

    These stumps are well and truly dead, when I dug out the area I come into contact with all the roots from the stumps and they crumbled when I pulled them, I had great fun with the garden fork levering them out. It didn't take too much effort. The roots are gone now. I may get a tree surgeons advice on these. I was also thinking of levelling the stumps and making a garden seat from them with a large piece of rustic timber. Would accompany the pool quite well.

    My garden is on a natural slope (west to east) and this dug out area is the lowest and most level part of the garden.

    Please note. I moved into the house last year and the garden was massively overgrown, you could not see the grass, it had thorns, weeds, growth, you name it and it was there. The picture as taken is a HUGE improvement as the kids can actually run around on the grass. I spent last summer making the garden safe and also adding some nice landscaping touches however I still have a long way to go. My main priority is getting this pool area sorted as I really don't want my young one falling in it and hurting himself (or getting muddy).

    Why is it so wet = Its just the time of year, from September to about now, we have had our fair share of rain and snow. In England it always rains. We have just had snow. So I wont be able to get out there until it dries.

    By the way, most of the dug area is clay, which was hard work digging!

    So with all your advice taken. It looks very much like I will be digging further down and it looks like some sort of tiered system will be created as this is the only viable way of doing this.



    I must admit I do like the idea of creating an 'eye' in the garden.

    This is going to be one heck of an expensive paddling pool.

    Alex

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Foundations for a 12ft Intex Pool. Any Advice Sought Ple

    Good luck!

    Sent via Tapatalk...
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Re: Foundations for a 12ft Intex Pool. Any Advice Sought Ple

    I think I need it!

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    cramar's Avatar
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    Re: Foundations for a 12ft Intex Pool. Any Advice Sought Ple

    The site plan in that image will hold rain water, if you have clay then that water isn't going to have anywhere to go, the stereotype of your location is that it's get's alot of rain, if it does then that will fill up if it dosn't have some kind of out flow.

    If you can get a few yards of proper base material delivered then I don't think it's that big of a job, I removed 8 inches deep of clay in a 21 foot diameter, then I hauled 2.5 cubic yards of pool bottom into that same spot and hand tamped - all by myself. I think this job is less than that.

    If you have a couple of guys that can help you I think this site prep could be done in a weekend. I suspect all you would need to rent is a plate compacter and those are pretty common and not that large, their used on interlocking pavers.

    Personally, if it was me, I'd raise the site. Just my 2 cents.
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    Re: Foundations for a 12ft Intex Pool. Any Advice Sought Ple

    Base material is about £40 per ton so is not that expensive. I think I will need 3 tons of base material to fill the dug area. A compactor is around £60 per weekend to hire delivered. So perfectly do-able and within budget.

    In the UK we have a builders merchants called Wickes and I have had a look at their base material. I guess it is this stuff?

    http://www.wickes.co.uk/granular-sub-ba ... vt/224665/

    I just want the easiest way to do this with the minimum of fuss.

    Thank you for all your help so far. Much apreciated.

    Alex

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Foundations for a 12ft Intex Pool. Any Advice Sought Ple

    If your clay is like my North Carolina clay then the point made about the area holding water is quite valid. The last thing you want is standing water around the pool so I too would suggest you go with build up not down based on the facts as they stand. If there is/was an area lower than the depth you were talking about dropping the site to - you might be able to allow the water to drain off the spot to there - but if this would be the lowest area - then it is best to try to use the right tools and compact it correctly rather than risk the stagnant water pit.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Re: Foundations for a 12ft Intex Pool. Any Advice Sought Ple

    Hi There,

    Thanks for the replies. I really do think that going up is the best solution here, as I revealed more facts about the site area it is clear that going up is really the only viable solution based on your answers and that sub base is the way to go.

    At the moment it is very wet (just had snow) and I don't think that I will be able to start this project until April sometime when it starts to warm slightly and is a lot drier. But I am glad that I have asked my questions now, so that I can prepare for the work needed to be done.

    Can I ask one more question? Is a ground barrier / weed barrier sheet recommended to be put down first before pouring the sub base on and shovelling level or can it go straight on top of the mud and clay?

    Thanks. Alex

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