I literally just worked all night by myself


New member
Jul 16, 2020
North Mississippi
So, I got my son a pool for his birthday due to not being able to have a party. His birthday was in May! We live in an apartment in the city limits but my boyfriend of 4.5 years lives in the rural area outside town. He is also handicapped and not able to help me put it up. So I kept pushing back finding someone to help me put it up and before I knew it, it was July 4th weekend! Agh! He goes back to school. So, it’s been my mission to get this upright for the last of summer. Plus it’s north Mississippi, we can swim every weekend til Christmas almost. Possibly Christmas Eve if the weather is like some of our previous years!
Anyway, I have been obsessively researching this and now consider myself pretty knowledgeable in the proper above ground pool installation process but I have zero experience plus I’ve participated in very few outdoor/construction activities. More of an inside gal, especially in a Ms summer.
So, a friend of ours put up a pool last month and his buddy pretty much did it. Said he loved to do them and he could have it up for us in no time, that he would bring him by. Now, I am an only child and I like to have my stuff done a certain way, my way. You know, the correct way. 😎Lol😉. To make a long story a bit shorter, they showed up unexpectedly this (now yesterday) morning when I went to pick up my son at home. By the time I got back, he had spread my sand out all over the “site”. Very little sod was removed as some was sticking up in the sand, built up with the sand instead of digging out a base, and had gathered some random concrete blocks he broke (not close to even and one was rocking with nothing on it). It took all I could do not to rant and rave. I began to ask questions about the sand moving, proper blocks, etc until I think I should have just ranted and raved bc he’s offended either way. He said he had put up a million. Nothing to it. Well, here I am with zero experience and unable to do it myself so I hush. I make some comment about I bet it was the more expensive ones with real walls and not just rails that I was reading about. Then I let him continue. Sick to my stomach. Thinking things couldn’t get worse, it was about this time that they have to leave suddenly (no not bc I offended him, the other friend had ran to the store but pulled back up and had to get home). Leaving all my pool pieces half unpacked and strewn everywhere. Livid isn’t the word. And heartbroken. My baby wanted to swim that day. He kept asking if we was still putting up the pool. I was determined to keep at it. I sent shane (the bf) to rent the yard roller tamp thing and to pick up another friend of ours. He was my last resort back up but here we were. He has a tendency to mess everything up but he works hard. I decided to take the chance. I didn’t see how I could move all the sand And start completely over. I decided to roll it all down and then try to do damage control and make sure the legs were level. It was not safe the way he had it set up. I do not know how our friends pool has not collapsed if it was done this way. Literally, when I walked around the pools circumference, one side had no footprints left behind while the other caved in leaving a 5 inch deep foot print, of my 6 year old son! It would just give out if you walked on that side. I can only imagine what a pool full of water would have done.
Anyway, he gets back with the yard roller and our back up and basically he starts reworking the sand right away. At first it looks promising but really it only ends up making a mess. He didn’t listen to me about putting a stake in the middle and then making a circle go mark off the pool. So I tried to put together the top ring like I had seen on here as a way to have him properly line things up. He just came behind me put the pins in and then it got dark and he left.
I’m sitting there looking at this messy pit of uneven sand with white pipe somehow shaped like an oval sitting where my pool should be and i was in tears. I had worked all day in the blazing hot heat and had zero to show for it. My son had fallen asleep watching cartoons on the couch, disappointed he didn’t get to swim and now I have no idea if he will be able to tomorrow or even this week! As I start trying to put away stuff so it won’t get lost, I say **** no! I will just do this my Dang self. Nobody will listen so I will do it alone so nobody has to.
Determined, I disassembled the oval, grabbed a shovel, and began hacking sod off the other side of my spot until I now can move it enough and be pretty even down below . I put a stake 7.5’ from the new edge and tied a string I had pre-cut earlier to that same length ( my pool is a 15” intex prism). I staked off four points about 90 deg apart. Then I grabbed my hammer that looks like barrel (no clue the name) and drug it at the end of my pre-cut string between two of these points. I took my shovel and removed the excess sand from behind this line. I did this all the way around and then marked off the entire area with random 2x8’s and 2x10’s sat on their sides, creating an enclosed area. I’m mid process of re-leveling the pool bottom. My plan is to redistribute the sand with my rake evenly over my new base, roll it with the rented yard roller, use my laser light level on a 2x4 to make sure it is actually level. Then sink my pavers/wood (still haven’t decided) and make sure that they are level. Then I should be ready to put my pool up? Right? Oh I sure hope so. I’ll try to post a final outcome if all goes well And I don’t fall out from exhaustion. Please let me know if you have any helpful tips or suggestions for my situation. My baby will swim this week or I will die trying! A single mom has to do what a single mom has to do! Thank you so much for reading all of this if you actually made it this far in this terribly long introduction.
Last edited:


TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
Welcome, and thanks for sharing your story with us.

Good job on getting so much done so far.



Bronze Supporter
Feb 18, 2018
Northwest GA
I have the same pool, also a single mom, also did it by myself....you've got this!! I had the advantage of having put up a smaller 12 foot intex 2 years ago. It's tons of work, but looks like you are on the right path. Good for you, and you're little boy will be swimming in no time!!
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Well-known member
Jun 1, 2020
Long Island
Are you planning on putting anything under the pool besides the included Intex tarp?

I Personally think it is better to set your pavers/wood after the pool is assembled with the liner and you have an inch or two of water in it. Enough to push out wrinkles in the floor and ensure it’s hanging evenly and get your legs all level vertically. You can still lift the legs by hand with just a few inches in the pool. Place a piece of wood or another type of support against the tee fitting at each leg to hold it up, then dig your paver in under the suspended leg using the laser level to set the height, then drop the leg and repeat for each one. This ensures you set the paver square under each leg, that the paver isn’t going to rub the bottom of the liner, etc.
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