Dishing out bottom of AG?


Active member
Mar 23, 2008
Sudbury, ON
I did a search for this but didn't find the answer I was looking for.

I'm installing an 18' AG with a standard overlap liner and was wondering:
1. Is it advisable to dig the center of the pool out to make it a bit deeper in the middle?

2. If so how deep would I be able to get away with?

3. How far from the wall should the sloping/dishing start?

Thanks for any recommendations.


Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 14, 2007
Detroit Burbs
Yes you can dig out the center of an 18' agp.
Keep in mind you should have an expandable overlap liner which provides additional liner material just for this. You won't need an expandable liner if your only going down 6" or so, but over a foot and you should upgrade to be safe.
I like to keep a couple foot flat area next to the walls all the way around, then slope the hole evenly from that point to the center being the deepest point.
Use a long piece of re-rod, use a tape measure and a string to mark the ground all the way around for the location of the actual walls (9'), and the start of the slope for deep center (maybe 6.5 - 7') Then ask the wife if she agrees with having that small of a shallow area around the pool for the young ones, and adjust to her thoughts.
I like to dig out the center to the depth desired (no more than 1.5' for 18' pool IMO - keep in mind the deeper you go, the more possibility you will have wrinkles in the liner, go a foot down and you will have a better laying liner) and use it as a goal to shape the bowl with a good flat shovel. You can use a spade for chunking out shovel fulls, but use a flat for shaping. Getting everything to be level and balanced is a little tedious, but take your time, use the center stake to verify and make a small 1' flat circle as the deep spot. Then imagine yourself standing in the deep spot with the pool complete, life is good.
Hope that helped in the plan, now you need some help actually digging the darn thing. Your going to be amazed at how dirt expands once you introduce air.

Oh, and welcome my northern friend. Stanley has been making the rounds here lately - Go Wings.


Well-known member
Jun 16, 2008
S.E. Wisconsin
I dug ours down. It's about a 8" deeper in the middle of our 18' pool. I left 3' between the edge of the pool and the beginning of the slope. I'd say the slope goes down at a 45* angle. So I ended up with a 10' circular "deep end". :p Then again, this IS in an Intex Easyset pool and the liner has a lot of wrinkles in the bottom. We don't reall care about the wrinkles because even the first year when we had no deep end, we could never get all the wrinkles out. Every year I make the hole wider and deeper, next year it will be maybe 1' 6" deep making that area 5' deep. :goodjob:

Good luck digging your hole. Mine was a pain because we have clay dirt and about 8" down there is a lot of gravel(from train tracks that were removed 60 years ago) That's why I stopped, gravel. One tip, if you have a roto-tiller, till the area first. It will make the dirt softer and much easier to remove.