Gunite Pool on slight slope - needs piers?


Active member
Jun 19, 2020
My backyard has a slight grade to it. The back of the lot is about 27-28” below my existing patio (24 feet back). I’m planning on building a Gunite pool and decking such that the existing patio level will be the deck and coping level, so the top of the back of the pool will be about 28-30” above the existing grade.

I’ve had two builders say that I should get piers installed, but a third (coincidentally the one I plan on going with) say I don’t need it since the majority of the pool will be under grade level.

Should I push the third builder on getting piers? I’m out of my league here and my only data point is that there’s an inconsistency between PBs.

For what it’s worth, the third builder builds about 2x the volume as the first two combined.

Also I think the existing yard is mostly original dirt (not fill dirt) as there are several original trees.


Apr 30, 2020
Southeastern PA
Not a pool builder, so take this with a grain of salt. Also, I'm in PA and there may be different soil / geological concerns in Texas. Our backyard has a similar amount of slope. We ended up digging out the high side a little and then building up soil to coping level on the low side, but regardless none of the 5 builders we got proposals from discussed piers at all.


TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
Aug 4, 2014
San Clemente, CA
Thank you for that context. Very helpful.

@bdavis466 I saw from lurking that you are a builder. Do you have any insight?

This shouldn't be a conversation with the builders but instead with the structural engineer that's familiar with the soil conditions in your area.

Piers massey not be necessary but a keyed footing probably wouldn't be a bad idea.