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Thread: About to be on take 3 of trying to level my yard :(

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    Angry About to be on take 3 of trying to level my yard :(

    So here is my deal. I got a EasySet Intex pool, but knew full well my yard was unlevel and would need to be dealt with. No biggie. 3 different people I know have this type of pool, and an unlevel yard. They all threw down some bagged sand from Wal-Mart and everything was perfect. Easy peasy. My first try on this probably could have been better thought out and when it was severely unlevel the first time, I just assumed I didn't put down/ pack enough sand. So I drained the pool and did some actual research on what to do. Consensus was that it's better to dig the high side to be low. Durr. Okay, makes sense. Here's the problem with that. Oklahoma has clay dirt and it is very VERY difficult to work with. But since the yard was still pretty wet from the drain, I went to work to try and level it. But even being flooded, it was just too hard to dig. After 4 hours of doing almost nothing to it, I said screw it and was considering just selling the pool.

    I mentioned the ordeal to my dad, and he goes "No, no, you have to put down a bunch of dirt first to make it level, and the sand is basically just so its soft on the bottom. And if the dirt below the sand is level, it will hold up." So we decided to move the location to somewhere slightly less uneven to begin with, and went to work. We put down about 1,500 pounds of dirt, leveled it, tamped it really good with 2 x 4s etc. Then we put down 2,500 pounds of really nice masonry sand, tamped it, etc. Looked AWESOME. So I start filling it up, and the first 4-8 inches it's fine. So I go run errands and take a nap. 4 hours later, it's pretty crooked, and WAY more noticeable than it was the first time!!

    I highly doubt the hard-packed dirt we put down first could have sunk/ shifted that much. What am I doing wrong??

    So my next idea was this. I can't install a regular deck, concrete pad, or anything like that due to living in a rent house, nor do I want to spend 3k+ to have a nice metal-walled permanent (ish) ones installed. Again, rent house. So here's my next (and probably last) idea.

    I was thinking of putting bricks deep into the sand we have down on the low end for support, then making a huge platform out of OSB sheathing to put down on top so it's level and supported. Then putting a little bit more sand on THAT just to make sure it's soft and won't get ripped, THEN put down the liner, THEN the pool. Essentially making a non-permanent deck...sorta. I know it'd be about $75 to do this, but would it work, or am I crazy?

    Also I do not have pics right now (I'm at work) but could take/ upload some at about 8 am when I get off if that would help? Any other ideas/ adjustments would really be appreciated.
    18' x 4' 5,400 gallon Intex Easy Set AG with the cartridge filter. Unsure of the specs on the pump, but it's just the standard one it originally came with.

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    Re: About to be on take 3 of trying to level my yard :(

    The best thing to is dig to level. Consider renting a sod cutter, it will make things a lot easier.

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    Re: About to be on take 3 of trying to level my yard :(

    You need to dig the high side down to level it. short of using a plate compactor to compact 2" layers at a time you will never get it to stop settling. Go to a place that rents roto-tillers and get one for the afternoon some sat. It will take some time but be worth it in the end. anything else you try will result in you getting to take 4,5,6,7,8,etc.

    Aside from that, I am surprised your landlord will allow you to rip up his yard and put up a pool. As a landlord, I can tell you that my insurance guy would have a coronary if he saw something like that on my rentals, not to mention I would never allow my tenants to tear up the yard as I surly would be the one fixing it after they left.
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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    Re: About to be on take 3 of trying to level my yard :(

    I think roto-tilling a huge 20 x 20 foot piece of yard is DEFINITELY out of the question. When I was going to do it by hand it would have just been a small enough section he probably would have never noticed. So my point being he ISN'T letting me tear up the yard, hence why I need other suggestions.

    I still don't understand why the dirt then sand way we didn't work though. I know SO many other people that did it and it worked fine without roto-tilling or pulling up sod or doing anything besides sand.
    18' x 4' 5,400 gallon Intex Easy Set AG with the cartridge filter. Unsure of the specs on the pump, but it's just the standard one it originally came with.

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    Re: About to be on take 3 of trying to level my yard :(

    Take 2 did not work because you did not and possibly still do not understand that each gallon of water weighs approximately 8 lbs. 8lbs x 5,000 gallons of h2o = 40,000 lbs of pressure on the fill dirt you added. Now, does it make you wonder why it didn't hold? Do you think it's going to hold with round 3? You need to dig down to solid ground.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

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    Re: About to be on take 3 of trying to level my yard :(

    Build a small retaining wall for the dirt and sand. So it will not shift.
    Check here: Poo site retaining wall
    You do not want to do this:
    post-pool.jpg
    30'x54" Quest Above Ground Round Pool , About 21,000 Gallons , Hayward Perflex EC50 D.E. Filter System 1.5HP Power-Flo Pump , TF-100 Test Kit , Two Hayward Main Drains on the Bottom , Hayward CL200 In-Line Above-Ground Chlorinator.
    77"x77"x21.5" Hot Tub

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    Re: About to be on take 3 of trying to level my yard :(

    I understand mathematically why the weight of the water would squish the sand down. I can only assume the grade of my yard is steeper than the other people I know who had done this.

    Retaining wall, why did I not think of that before >_< I will look into this and hope I won't go broke over a pool that only costs $100. Thank you!

    I suppose I could have tried harder/ longer to level it out with just a hand shovel, but I felt like I gave it the good old college try and it just wasn't working.
    18' x 4' 5,400 gallon Intex Easy Set AG with the cartridge filter. Unsure of the specs on the pump, but it's just the standard one it originally came with.

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    Re: About to be on take 3 of trying to level my yard :(

    Quote Originally Posted by Pysiek View Post
    Build a small retaining wall for the dirt and sand. So it will not shift.
    Check here: Poo site retaining wall
    You do not want to do this:
    post-pool.jpg
    Mine probably wouldn't have looked THAT bad, but it's good to know it has been thought of/ done and it doesn't really work.

    I looked at the link and that looks like exactly what I need, except that is quite a bit of digging into the lawn, and a LOT of lumber. I was thinking something closer to this?
    http://www.instructables.com/id/How-...Wall/?ALLSTEPS or http://www.wikihow.com/Build-a-Railr...Retaining-Wall

    But I would be making it a U shape so it would be 20 ft across parallel with the house, then maybe just 4 or 6 feet long on the sides and that way I wouldn't have to dig into the hill very much. It'd honestly be easier on the side to cut the wood at an angle so it would be basically flush with the slope that's there.
    18' x 4' 5,400 gallon Intex Easy Set AG with the cartridge filter. Unsure of the specs on the pump, but it's just the standard one it originally came with.

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    Re: About to be on take 3 of trying to level my yard :(

    Although most people here will recommend against doing this, here's how I accomplished what you are trying to do.

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...tra-frame-pool
    25000 gallon free-form gunite
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    Re: About to be on take 3 of trying to level my yard :(

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffchap View Post
    Although most people here will recommend against doing this, here's how I accomplished what you are trying to do.

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...tra-frame-pool
    Yes, this is almost exactly what I had in mind. I see now that doing it all the way around(not just the low side) looks way better with using minimally more wood. I saw that you used 4 x 4s, would about 14 of these work? http://www.homedepot.com/p/Biewer-Lu...8?N=5yc1vZc55w

    Also, do you have a tutorial you went off of, or did you just sort of wing it as far as how to keep the together/ in the ground, etc.
    18' x 4' 5,400 gallon Intex Easy Set AG with the cartridge filter. Unsure of the specs on the pump, but it's just the standard one it originally came with.

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    Re: About to be on take 3 of trying to level my yard :(

    Quote Originally Posted by Mueshichan View Post
    Yes, this is almost exactly what I had in mind. I see now that doing it all the way around(not just the low side) looks way better with using minimally more wood. I saw that you used 4 x 4s, would about 14 of these work? http://www.homedepot.com/p/Biewer-Lu...8?N=5yc1vZc55w
    They are not pressure treated. Won't last long. I used Landscaping Timber . But they were on sale by my house for $0.99 each. They look pretty nice.
    30'x54" Quest Above Ground Round Pool , About 21,000 Gallons , Hayward Perflex EC50 D.E. Filter System 1.5HP Power-Flo Pump , TF-100 Test Kit , Two Hayward Main Drains on the Bottom , Hayward CL200 In-Line Above-Ground Chlorinator.
    77"x77"x21.5" Hot Tub

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    Re: About to be on take 3 of trying to level my yard :(

    Quote Originally Posted by Pysiek View Post
    They are not pressure treated. Won't last long. I used Landscaping Timber . But they were on sale by my house for $0.99 each. They look pretty nice.
    Awesome! The non-pretty pressure treated 2 x 4s are the same price so I might as well get the nice ones. Or maybe they will have some stuff on sale at the particular store I'm going to. Did you get the base layers anchored into the ground with the augar bit and rebar method, or just really big nails of some sort? I couldnt quite tell in the picture.
    18' x 4' 5,400 gallon Intex Easy Set AG with the cartridge filter. Unsure of the specs on the pump, but it's just the standard one it originally came with.

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    Re: About to be on take 3 of trying to level my yard :(

    It wasn't me who did it. I just send you a link to someone else thread. But I did use the landscaping timber on my daughters playground. Check the photo below. This is the only picture I have right now.

    I stack 3 pieces together and anchored to the ground using rebar that was cut to length to use with this timber Landscaping Timber rebar. Make sure you drill a hole in the timber that is slightly smaller or exactly same diameter as the rebar. It need to be tight
    Attached Images Attached Images
    30'x54" Quest Above Ground Round Pool , About 21,000 Gallons , Hayward Perflex EC50 D.E. Filter System 1.5HP Power-Flo Pump , TF-100 Test Kit , Two Hayward Main Drains on the Bottom , Hayward CL200 In-Line Above-Ground Chlorinator.
    77"x77"x21.5" Hot Tub

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    Re: About to be on take 3 of trying to level my yard :(

    We had to take down 13 trees to make a spot of our pool. Once the trees were down I rented a Toro Dingo with a scoop bucket. Spent a day working the soil- digging down the high side to match the low end. Then we let the soil (Georgia- heavy red clay)sit for a week or so and we went back and re-leveled by hand shovel and used a water level. It was tough work but you want to be persistent on this part of the build, even if this is a "temporary" setup for you. It's about safety for the swimmers. Best of luck and send us all pics as you progress!
    18 x 33 resin AGP, 17K gal, Saltwater, 250lb sand filter, 1.5hp, main drains, PVC plumbing, custom fountain, wedding cake stairs. TF-100. Pool School.
    Best advice: Go through Pool School and follow BBB method. It will never let you down. Oh, and take a little time to clean your pool & test weekly...a little preventative maintenance goes a LONG way!

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    Re: About to be on take 3 of trying to level my yard :(

    Quote Originally Posted by Mueshichan View Post
    Yes, this is almost exactly what I had in mind. I see now that doing it all the way around(not just the low side) looks way better with using minimally more wood. I saw that you used 4 x 4s, would about 14 of these work? http://www.homedepot.com/p/Biewer-Lu...8?N=5yc1vZc55w

    Also, do you have a tutorial you went off of, or did you just sort of wing it as far as how to keep the together/ in the ground, etc.

    How many it will take depends upon how much of a slope you have to compensate for. Mine was an 8" drop across 16'. I probably used a total of 10 4x4's.

    No ttutorial, I just winged it.
    25000 gallon free-form gunite
    Jandy Stealth pump/CL340 cartridge filter
    Pentair IC40 SWG
    Pentair MasterTemp 250HD heater
    Jandy AquaLink RS automation

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    Re: About to be on take 3 of trying to level my yard :(

    Quote Originally Posted by Pysiek View Post
    It wasn't me who did it. I just send you a link to someone else thread.
    Oops, I see that now. >_< I got rebar and a bit that are both 1/2 inch so it should be a pretty tight fit.

    So I just bought 13 2x4s that are 8 foot long, to make a 20' x 20' square, but the low side will have 2 layers so it will then be level. So a total of 100 feet. It was about 3-4" lower than the rest. And I got 20 1/2" rebar segments that are 2' long, so over a foot will be in the ground. I thought since I wouldn't be digging a trench to put part of the 2x4 below ground level I would need a pretty good hold.

    About to start my drilling, and I will get some pics of my construction as I go along. ^_^
    18' x 4' 5,400 gallon Intex Easy Set AG with the cartridge filter. Unsure of the specs on the pump, but it's just the standard one it originally came with.

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    Re: About to be on take 3 of trying to level my yard :(

    How many rebars you plan to use per section(wall)? Also where you going to use 2 2x4's make sure you join them together with screws.
    30'x54" Quest Above Ground Round Pool , About 21,000 Gallons , Hayward Perflex EC50 D.E. Filter System 1.5HP Power-Flo Pump , TF-100 Test Kit , Two Hayward Main Drains on the Bottom , Hayward CL200 In-Line Above-Ground Chlorinator.
    77"x77"x21.5" Hot Tub

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    Re: About to be on take 3 of trying to level my yard :(

    I was going to do 5 bars/ wall. My dad said I probably only need 3 per wall, but I'd much rather over do it and be SURE it will hold. But he also thinks the whole retaining wall thing is over-doing it. He says that if we drain it, re-level it just like last time, but have 4 or 5 people pretty much constantly pushing the bottom and sides out while standing on the inside, as it is filling, it will be fine. And I know that doing this would make the bottom less wrinkly and is probably better for the liner, I really do not feel like it will help the unlevel problem. He really wants to just have us do the same thing as try 2 except with more people and be more vigilant (I will admit, I was going out there as it filled every 30 min for the first 3 hours, but then since it looked good, I let it fill unattended for 4 hours, I really don't think me not constantly going out there to adjust the liner made it crooked though).

    Anyway, he said he would help me with the wall if I needed it, but still basically thinks it's a waste of time and money. But I just feel like after 2 tries, I would just much rather have a sure thing that I KNOW will work.
    18' x 4' 5,400 gallon Intex Easy Set AG with the cartridge filter. Unsure of the specs on the pump, but it's just the standard one it originally came with.

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    Re: About to be on take 3 of trying to level my yard :(

    Re-leveling might work but you will need to make the bottom base larger then the pool diameter. Can you post w picture of the yard where the pool be located?
    30'x54" Quest Above Ground Round Pool , About 21,000 Gallons , Hayward Perflex EC50 D.E. Filter System 1.5HP Power-Flo Pump , TF-100 Test Kit , Two Hayward Main Drains on the Bottom , Hayward CL200 In-Line Above-Ground Chlorinator.
    77"x77"x21.5" Hot Tub

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