How to sink AGP and build deck in 30 days

GJones

Well-known member
Jun 15, 2016
68
Lemoore, Ca
The back story:
In May 2016 we bought a Bestway 16'x42" above ground pool. We live in the central valley of California and our soil is called Sandylome. It just means we have a lot of sand in the soil. This can be a good thing and bad. But I digress. We put the pool up after leveling the ground. We had a slope of 1 foot to dig out. Using a line level staked down on the high side we measured the low side and that gave us how deep we were going to have to dig the high side down. Luckily it was only 1 foot at the deepest end. We set the pavers using the 2x4, stake, and level method. Our pool was level to 1/4 of an inch. I got all the information from this awesome site on how to do this by the way.
Now fast forward to June and the pool was up and we were swimming. The only regret I had was not digging the sod back 2 feet around the pool because our bionic Nut and Bermuda grass grew sideways and under the pool then up through the gorilla pad, tarp, trap and then the liner. I was patching grass holes in the liner the next summer. Not a big deal just more work removing the grass 2ft back after the pool was already up. The next hurdle came the second season. There are pocket gophers in this area and for some reason they love my yard. The first year they never dig by the pool well that changed in year 2. They dug under the pool. You could feel thier runs on the pool floor. The weight of the pool did collapse the tunnels but they dug under 2 of the legs which caused the pool to start leaning. Then they decided to move to the side that had less pressure due to the leaning pool and went to town on the liner seam. You can probably guess what happened next...yep they split the seam and now the pool was toast. Seems like a book for only 2 seasons of swimming but you loyal readers deserve the whole story.
This brings us to the current situation today. Wife wants something like the picture below. So I have embarked an this insane trek to give it to her lol. Wish me luck as I will continue to post my journey.
 

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Jimrahbe

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Jul 7, 2014
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Bedford, TX
G,

Good luck with your project... I think the one in the pic looks great..

Thanks for posting,

Jim R.
 

GJones

Well-known member
Jun 15, 2016
68
Lemoore, Ca
So after much research if this could be done with a soft sided pool I started to get my plan together. Since I am a frugal person and a big DIY guy I set our budget at $2000 with a $1000 "Oh Crud" cushion because any type of construction project will have "Oh Craps" no matter how good the plans are lol.
1st we had to decide on the pool. Of course my wife chooses the Intex Ultra XTR 18'x52" round pool. Pretty much the most expensive soft sided pool out there. She like that it's dark grey and it will match our house color. Sometimes I wonder if that is how she makes her decisions on things Haha. Anyway, now we have the pool we are going to use so now it's time to start on the ground prep.
After careful measuring and making sure I was within the letter of the law with my city I commenced to start digging. What a wild ride that was.
 

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Jimrahbe

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G,

I'd be afraid of using that machine.. I'd be having so much fun, I'd forget what I was doing... :mrgreen:

Jim R.
 

GJones

Well-known member
Jun 15, 2016
68
Lemoore, Ca
Everything has been dug out except for the area the pumps are going to go. Since the pumps have to be below the waterline I am going to have to sink them roughly 1 foot in the ground. Anyway, using a line level, 4x4 with a 2x4 attachment and a level we have leveled the 19ft circle for the pool. A lot of wall shaving by hand had to be done as the excavator was bigger than I needed but it was what I could get.
Oh yeah, remember the pocket gophers I spoke about in the first post? Well I killed 6 of them in that 19ft hole while I was digging it. That's a lot of gophers in a small area.
These are the pictures of where we are currently at in the project. You will see my son shaving some of the walls. We are not using sand because there is already so much sand in our soil. We will be wetting and packing the ground over the next week while we wait for the pool to come in.
 

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GJones

Well-known member
Jun 15, 2016
68
Lemoore, Ca
G,

I'd be afraid of using that machine.. I'd be having so much fun, I'd forget what I was doing... :mrgreen:

Jim R.
Jim after a few hours I had to keep telling myself not to dig to China hahaha. It was fun but the mountain of dirt I am going to have to remove is a constant reminder of having to much fun 🤣
 

GJones

Well-known member
Jun 15, 2016
68
Lemoore, Ca
The start of the 2ft retaining wall. The wall is only 2ft because if the pool fails for some reason I will only have to deal with a small amount of dirt that may fall in. Going up 3 feet will cause an issue with water runoff whenever we get rain (which is few and far between 😉)
 

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cfherrman

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May 10, 2017
2,207
Hays, Kansas
I was thinking if you should drive some rebar stakes into and below the ground 1-2' outside your pool to hopefully discourage gophers
 

kimkats

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Jul 10, 2012
38,332
Tallahassee, FL
Your wife is a lucky lady! Will you do the wood work also?

Please tell me BOTH of the kids got to drive that big toy!!! What fun!!! I also hope they get to help load some of that dirt into wheel barrows for it to be taken away.

Kim:kim:
 

GJones

Well-known member
Jun 15, 2016
68
Lemoore, Ca
Your wife is a lucky lady! Will you do the wood work also?

Please tell me BOTH of the kids got to drive that big toy!!! What fun!!! I also hope they get to help load some of that dirt into wheel barrows for it to be taken away.

Kim:kim:
Hahaha YES she is lol. Yes I will be doing the wood work also when the budget allows it. And no the kids did not drive the big toy. I would be rebuilding my house not putting in a pool. Wheel barrow yes they are putting in some work 🤣
 

GJones

Well-known member
Jun 15, 2016
68
Lemoore, Ca
Well I wasn't planning on doing any work today to let my muscles recover but since I was hurting more than I should be I decided to lossen up by doing a little back filling on the retaining wall. The soil is drying out and getting hard as concrete so back filled half way and soaked the dirt. Then did it again lol. I must love my wife and daughter cause this is an insane amount of work. 😫
 

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Divin Dave

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Oct 2, 2013
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Longview, Texas
No matter what anyone tells ya, building a pool is back breaking work. When I built mine, I got some helpers for some of the work, but the bulk of it I did by myself. It took me 5 months to finish it all. Knowing what I know now, I would not do that again.


Well I wasn't planning on doing any work today to let my muscles recover but since I was hurting more than I should be I decided to lossen up by doing a little back filling on the retaining wall. The soil is drying out and getting hard as concrete so back filled half way and soaked the dirt. Then did it again lol. I must love my wife and daughter cause this is an insane amount of work. 😫
 
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GJones

Well-known member
Jun 15, 2016
68
Lemoore, Ca
Not a long day of work but productive. Had my daughter out there helping me this morning. She was my level holder for 2hrs as we made the pump house. It will house 2 pumps and a saltwater generator. The pumps inlet will sit right at 2ft 5in high which should be 2 to 3 inches below the supply outlets on the pool. The hardest part was backfilling 1/2 a yard of dirt lol. Slow but steady progress.
 

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kimkats

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Jul 10, 2012
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Tallahassee, FL
A job well done and needed to be done! Love the kids are putting in some sweat for the pool! That is good parenting right there!!! :hug:

Kim:kim:
 
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