Today is an exciting day for our family! Pool setup day! It is finally here!
I will start with the work I have done up to this point. Sorry, I do not have pics of the first few steps, but they would be boring anyways...
1. MARK THE POOL LOCATION
I first tied a small loop onto a piece of rope. I then measured out the radius of the pool plus 1 foot from this loop and tied a knot. This made a 10 foot long rope for my pool.
I found where I wanted the center point of our pool to be and marked a dot with spray paint. I inserted a long screwdriver into the loop and the pushed it into the ground at my center dot. I then swung the rope around in a circle and sprayed spray paint where I tied the knot to mark the outline of the pool.
Note: On hindsight, I would have made this a little wider. Somehow the pool managed to exactly fit in the hole and not have an extra 1 foot on all sides.
2. DIG OUT THE GROUND
First I sprayed weed and grass killer down over the entire area. This was probably unnecessary because I ended up having to put down another coat later.
I then assembled a leveling stick. I used 2, 2"x4"x8" boards and placed them end to end. I then used a few extra scrap pieces to join them together. I raised these scrap pieces up about a half inch to create and indent to place my level in so it would stay put easier.
I then laid the leveling stick down on the area I just marked off. I placed my level on top and then lifted one end of the stick off the ground until it became level. I then knew that the end that was still on the ground needed to be lowered by this distance. For me this was about 4 inches.
I wanted a 2 inch layer of sand under the pool so I dug out the low side 2 inches deep. The high side I dug using my 4 inch measurement plus the 2 inches for the sand. This was dug 6 inches deep.
I used the leveling stick the same way I originally used it to gauge how well I was leveling. I would lay it on the ground and then dig out any high spots until the ends would both touch the ground. If I was not level I would lift an end to find out how far off I was and the dig the opposite end down. I probably spent way to much time doing this, but in the end it worked!
Note: Don't be cheap like me! I didn't have a wheelbarrow, so I used a dolly and a bunch of rubbermaid bins to haul dirt away. This was a horrible experience to haul away 3+ cubic yards of dirt using this! I bought a nice yard cart to bring in the sand in the end.
3. PLACE PAVER STONES
Next I put together the top rail so I could figure out where my paver stones would need to go.
I placed paver stones under each leg. The stones I used were 8"x8"x2". I made sure to use stones that matched the height that I wanted my sand to be. I had made the hole for the pool so small that I had to dig out a small notch to fit most of the pavers in.
I then used a 2"x4"x10' board to fine tune my leveling. I found the center point and placed a paver down. This paver must be at the correct height and must be perfectly level.
I then placed the board across the center paver and one of the outside pavers and checked to see if it was level. I also checked to make sure there were no high spots of dirt in between. After lowering the outer paver as necessary and digging out any additional dirt I would move on to the next paver until they were all level.
I also noticed that I already had some weeds sprouting in my newly dug hole. I sprayed some more weed killer down, this time using the stuff that claims it will keep killing for the next year.
4. ADD SAND
Now I had some sand trucked in. They could not bring it all the way to the pool site, so I had to move it myself. Thankfully I learned my lesson from moving the dirt out and bought a small 3cf yard cart. The wheelbarrows at this price point had horrible reviews and I can use the cart for other things as well. I used 18 heaping carts of sand, so just over 2 cubic yards.
I used a 5/8" masonary drill bit to drill a hole in the center of the center paver. I also drilled a 5/8" bit to drill a hole in my 10' leveling stick. I placed a 3/8"x24" metal rod into the ground inside the hole in the paver leaving about 8 inches sticking out. I placed the leveling stick on this rod as well.
Note: If I were to do this again, I would cut off any remaining wood on the leveling stick after the hole.
I raked the sand out and then leveled it off. I would use the pavers as leveling points. I placed the leveling stick on a paver, then slide it over until I reached the next paver. If there was a high spot, I would allow the board to scrape it off. If there was a low spot I would add a little sand. After each section was level I would rake away any extra sand the board pushed along before moving to the next section until the whole pool was completely level.
I then tamped it down with a hand tamper. Once it was firm I removed the center paver and rod and filled it in.
I used the backside of a rake to remove any imperfections.
Next post will be once the pool actually starts going up!