I hope someone can help me with the below dilema:
Last year we were given an Intex 15' round (metal posts) as a gift. I did a quick rough leveling job by slicing out the grass manually(while in a bit of a rush). The pool stood well all summer, yet it was about 3" lower on one end due to my bad leveling job. For padding, I laid a gorilla pad over the dirt, then tarp, then boards of rigid wall insulation taped together with duct tape (1" Extruded Polystyrene from Lowes). Pretty ghetto, I know, but the insulation actually provided a nice cushion - but it really needed to be disposed of at the end of the year, so not a cost efficient item to replace each year!
We took the pool down and use that area of the yard to chill in fall/winter with a firepit so it is a good use of the space.
This year, I obviously need to level the ground better and I've been considering a vermiculite or vermiculite/portland mix. Part of the reason being that this would hopefully give us a nice surface to walk on when the pool is down (rather than getting shoes filthy with dirt). I am thinking a 2-3" base, which i'd likely level with a laser level.
The plan is to eventually get a good all-year AGP in a few years when I have extra cash, so maybe the vermiculite base could last through to that install also.
I've been searching online lately for some alternatives which would be good for the pool and also the winters, but not much luck yet. I was thinking that the pourable rubber compounds (used in playgrounds) would be perfect, but I think they may be quite expensive as you need to have it professionally installed.
If anyone can provide some relatively affordable options, or even good places to buy vermuculite (it seems pretty tough to find), that would be greatly appreciated.
Attached is a pic of the yard.
Thanks in advance,
Long Island, NY