Featured Leveling Area for Above Ground Pool on Astroturf

acbolton123

Member
May 18, 2020
6
Houston, TX
I have a bit of a unique project ahead of me. About a year ago the wife and I had artificial grass, or turf, installed in the backyard. When they cleared yard, prior to laying the turf, they sloped the yard for drainage purposes (away from the house). We are interested in putting an above ground pool on top of the turf, but have that slope to deal with. I'm trying to figure out what material to use (on top of the turf) to level it for the pool. Since it is on artificial grass, I want to avoid using sand, crushed granite etc. The wife suggested using a dozen or so folded and meticulously placed tarps, but I'm curious if there's a different way.

The slope in the desired area is about 5-6 inches across the diameter of the pool.

Should I create a level surface for the entire pool, or can I just level out the areas needed for the feet of each leg, The liner is somewhat flexible, but I want to avoid structural damage if there will be too much pressure on the frame if I only level surfaces for the feet.
[images included are of the pool &of the area needing leveled, sloped toward the fence]
 

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Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Welcome to TFP! :wave: Are you still pondering that level issue? In most scenarios, we advise owners to cut-out or dig down the high side to make the pool level since "adding" to the low side generally isn't as stable. Obviously you can't cut through the high side. But 5-6 inches is a good bit of elevation to compensate for. Once you add all the water weight, whatever is added to the low side needs to be strong enough to support the water under the line and the supporting posts. Here at TFP, we recommend AGPs be leveled to within one inch to avoid uneven pressure to the walls and potential collapse. But post back with your progress, questions, or thoughts about how to achieve your goal. Hopefully others will reply as well. Good luck!
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
44,697
Tallahassee, FL
Now this is a new one..............I like your wives idea of the tarps under the pool liner and your idea of something under the legs. Here is my thought............GOOD ply wood to make several squares. I would get 1/2" and 3/4" plywood. Cut them into equal sized squares big enough to give the lets some wiggle room as the legs may sift some. THEN layer the squares under the legs so they all end up level. Some might have 3 pieces, some 2, and others 1. THEN you should use STRONG adhesive to hold the squares together.

now for under the liner................do you have any of the turf left? If not then maybe buy some more of the cheaper stuff (guessing what you had put down was costly as it looks so good) and use that instead of tarps as I worry the plastic of the tarp might cause it to slid around more.

Now these are just ideas that many not work. I tend to throw out ideas to see what sticks. They might not be good ideas so.........use great care!
 
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sammckin

Bronze Supporter
May 9, 2019
287
WV
I think i would build a deck-like platform with accommodations for a fire pit in the off season when you take the pool down. If you're handy it would be a fun project.
 

Brett S

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2019
443
Orlando
The big problem here is the fact that pools are freaking heavy. You don’t say what size that pool is, but just for example’s sake a 15’x48” will hold about 5000 gallons of water. And when filled that pool will weigh more than 40,000 pounds. This is the problem with trying to raise the low side... almost anything you try to raise it with will get crushed by the weight of the pool. I can’t imagine that you will have any success at all trying to use folded tarps to get 6 inches of height, they will just compress down as soon as you start filling the pool. I’m afraid that adding 5-6 inches of non permanent material on top of artificial turf is going to be impossible or very close to impossible to do safely and reliably
 

Brett S

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2019
443
Orlando
I think i would build a deck-like platform with accommodations for a fire pit in the off season when you take the pool down. If you're handy it would be a fun project.
Building a deck to support a pool might be possible, but it would be a whole lot more involved than trying to just build a deck. As I mentioned above, pools are really really really heavy. I saw a news article recently where someone tried to put a pool on their deck and it collapsed the deck and also took out their gas lines which connected to the house under the deck. Luckily no one was hurt, but it could have been a real tragedy
 

sammckin

Bronze Supporter
May 9, 2019
287
WV
Building a deck to support a pool might be possible, but it would be a whole lot more involved than trying to just build a deck. As I mentioned above, pools are really really really heavy. I saw a news article recently where someone tried to put a pool on their deck and it collapsed the deck and also took out their gas lines which connected to the house under the deck. Luckily no one was hurt, but it could have been a real tragedy
Yeah I agree, that why ysaid deck-like. I was thinking more of a sled type base. The pool looks pretty small, some tapered 4x4s laid down with decking material or some kind on top. I'm just spit balling here. Shirkers idea of cutting the turf is good, you could roll the turf back out when the pool comes down. Lots of potential for cool ideas, i like this type of project.
 

sammckin

Bronze Supporter
May 9, 2019
287
WV
1.) Cut a circle out of the turf.
2.) level by cutting down the high end.
3.) Lay down pavers to create a nice sitting area during the off-season.
4.) top the pavers with foam board and setup the pool during the summer.
I like this idea, add some drainage for the flat area and put in a little patio to place the pool on in summer and have a fire pit in the off seasons!
 
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Flying Beagle

Member
Mar 22, 2018
20
Richmond
I disagree with several of the posts above. You could easily build a wooden platform that the pool can sit on. At 6" you are not dealing with enough height to allow a structure to buckle and collapse Use treated 2x8 and space them 8" on center running long ways up the slope. Rip them from 2" to 7" or what ever height you need so the top of the boards are level. Enclose the high end with a band board installed perpendicular to your "joists" and add some boards vertically between the joists as braces every few feet. Then cap this with composite decking or plywood. At 6" high there is no way this pool could cause this to collapse. Build it in panels so that it is easier to take up and move in the fall.
 
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acbolton123

Member
May 18, 2020
6
Houston, TX
Wow, thank you everyone for your advice! So many good ideas. However, in all honesty, I'm not nearly as handy as I ought to be. I agree that either constructing a deck-like platform or excavating and leveling from there would be the best idea, but I really want to leave as minimal a "footprint" as possible. The pool is 15' x 48" (good guess Bret S.) so I think I'm planning to lay 19'x19' tarp, and then use crushed granite on top of that and rake to level. Finally I'll lay the 16'x16' tarp that came with the pool on top of the granite and fold the excess edges of the bottom tarp over. And then put the pool on top of that.

Let me know what you guys think.
 

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
12,159
Houston, Texas
You could build a box about 6" high around the pool to hold the crushed rock in place. There needs to be some sort of support to prevent the crushed rock from eroding away. It doesn't have to be anything elaborate, you can build a simple box out of pressure treated wood, put the tarp down, add the crushed rock, level and compact it with a plate compactor, then use pavers under the legs and put up the pool. The tarp can be large enough to come up the sides of the box and you can trim off the excess.
 

acbolton123

Member
May 18, 2020
6
Houston, TX
You could build a box about 6" high around the pool to hold the crushed rock in place. There needs to be some sort of support to prevent the crushed rock from eroding away. It doesn't have to be anything elaborate, you can build a simple box out of pressure treated wood, put the tarp down, add the crushed rock, level and compact it with a plate compactor, then use pavers under the legs and put up the pool. The tarp can be large enough to come up the sides of the box and you can trim off the excess.
I think this may be the route we’ll go! I had been pondering something similar to this using bricks or garden border stones as the barrier to keep the gravel contained, however, constructing a simple box would probably be a more effective way.
I’m curious though about what you’re suggesting for the legs... considering they are no more than an inch away from the liner, they would be included in the confined, leveled space. Therefore, couldn’t they just rest on the gravel surface already leveled for the pool?
 

RMcGirr83

Gold Supporter
Nov 19, 2018
625
Tuscola, TX
Legs exert a tremendous amount of pressure per square inch. The pavers are used to spread that pressure over more area. You could also use pressure treated wood. If not using pavers, the pressure would very likely dig into the granite surface.