I've been reading this forum a lot the last few weeks since we purchased our 14' X 42" Ultra Series pool from Wallyworld. First I'd like to say that this site has been a great resource and I have learned a lot about the process of setting up one of these pools. My significant other set up a similar sized AGP in our yard a few years ago (before we met) and just plopped it down on the sand/grass mix we call a yard and filled it. Of course after reading this forum I said "no way, we've got to clear the site, level the ground, put the legs on pavers, and then fill it". Two weeks later and most of that is done and the water truck is coming Thursday to fill it up.
I'll add some pics later tonight after work but wanted to first introduce myself and say thank you to all the posters on here who put up their experiences so we can all learn a few things.
Finally got photobucket figured out..................
Rented a sod cutter from the rental shop.........Once I got the operation down, it made life very easy. Highly recommend it to anyone putting up one of these. The only issue I had was that our soil here is just sand, so once the sod was cut, it did not "roll" up like it should, it just fell apart. I just raked and shoveled it to clear the pool site. If you have normal grass/soil you probably won't have that problem
Got the pool site cleared and ready to start leveling it. Put a piece of rebar in the center and used a line to make an 8" radius circle, then marked it with spray paint. My assistant was there for moral support
Partially through the leveling process. I divided the site into quadrants, and then again into eighths to break up the task a little. I also used the paint to mark the low areas. I got as close to those as I could and then used tiny amounts of fill to smooth out any uneven areas. I know fill is not recommended but I figured a half shovel here or there wouldn't hurt too much. I just drilled a hole in the 2X4 and hammered it onto the rebar, then slowly moved around the circle pushing, leveling, and removing fill as I went. Slow going but worth it.
Now this I'm proud of. I usually do all my projects solo as the neighbors all run when they see my start pulling out tools on the weekend. Because of this I end up coming up with all kinds of contraptions to hold pieces or make things easier for myself. Since the sod cutter basically just chopped up some half dead grass and sand, I had a lot of fill material laying around the yard. Problem was it was full of grass and roots. I devised this system to reclaim some of that material. I used the top of an old fire pit we had laying around as a sifting screen and shook out 1-2 shovels of soil at a time over my wheelbarrow. It worked great! Just don't get impatient and try to do more than two shovel loads at once as I tried and bent the frame. Anyway in between leveling shifts I salvaged about 3 full wheelbarrow loads of soil which I used to fill holes around the yard. (Mostly dug by my previously shown assistant).
Pool is finally up, after two weekends. Crappy picture but it was taken when I got home last night and it was starting to rain. I checked the level all around and across and it is within 1" in all directions, so I think I did pretty good.
Pool filling company is coming in the morning to fill and I will be in the pool several beers deep by the time she gets home with the baby after work.
I will be using the BBB method and have ordered my TF-100 test kit. Anything else I should do? Landscaping and appearance will be the next step.