Nervous and excited about my first AGP install

MrBfromNC

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May 23, 2018
386
Fuquay-Varina, NC
I've been gearing up for my very first AGP to be installed next week. After lurking here for a few weeks and thanks to the kind folks who have responded to some of my questions, I believe I'm well enough informed to manage my pool installers (who are scheduled for this coming Tuesday), my electrician (whom I just hired yesterday) as well as being ready to tackle the water chemistry once it begins to fill that afternoon. My wife, Christine, is just about to burst at the seams in anticipation.

So far, I’ve picked up the pool itself with all the brushes and poles, etc; bought the Confer curve base steps, acquired the foam pool cove, received my new Taylor K-2006c test kit, researched deck plans, picked up several gallons of Wally World chlorine and a bottle of CYA, bought a pool bonding kit and am just finishing the county permitting process for my septic system inspection and land use application. I’ve got a buddy that works at Home Depot so I think I’ll be able to get a decent discount on all the PT lumber I’ll be using in the next couple of weeks.

The items I hope to add to my wife’s little oasis are the following:

  • A twenty-four foot, 52 inch deep, round, above-ground pool
  • New outdoor outlet to provide power for sand pump
  • Replace existing deck boards
  • Extend our existing octagon shaped deck to at least 1/3 to 1/2 of the pool sides.
  • Hand rails and gate to protect aforementioned pool from wandering toddler grandchildren
  • Add some type of simple solar LED lights to both pool and new deck
  • 2-3 feet of white river rock surrounding pool side that faces grass
  • Storage box or area under deck to store large pool toys and floats
  • New chairs, table and cantilever umbrella for lounging by pool side

I’ve seen where lots of people on this forum absolutely LOVE pictures so I thought I might start with a couple of my back yard before the pool and deck are put into place. You can see a few of the orange flags where I would like the pool to be installed but I may push it out further to the left so the deck can be slightly larger. I will also need to remove some of the existing hand railing on the far right side of this picture so I can install new steps. So as far as I can tell, I think I’m ready to dive into this endeavor!! **Pun intended**

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Tvarnell

Well-known member
Jun 21, 2016
83
Central Oklahoma
Oh, your going to have a wonderful set up..

I cant wait to see what it will look like when complete. Enjoy your journey of owning a pool. Your off to the right start..
 

CJadamec

TFP Expert
Apr 29, 2016
2,410
Quaker Hill, CT
Sounds like you are off to a good start and you have a great space to work with.

Do yourself a favor and actually mark out the diameter of the pool dig out area. Typically you would like 2-3 feet beyond the diameter of the pool. So put a stake in the ground at what you want to be the center of your pool and use a string to mark a 26-27 foot circle on your lawn with either marking paint or stakes every couple of feet. You may be surprised at just how much space it is going to take up.

Consider things like walkways between the pool and the fence and any other areas.
Do you need space to get a lawn mower past an area.
Will you always need to walk around the pool to get to something.
Are you blocking access to your basement or crawlspace.
Consider your equipment location where it is both very easy and convenient to get to and service, but also far enough away to detract from the atmosphere around the pool.
Same goes for the skimmer location you want that to be easy to get to and clean.
Will you have enough room for the size deck you want. Its amazing how quickly deck space fills up around a pool making even a good sized deck seem small.
Will your deck go over/under the top rail or be level with it.


Actually laying out the true size of the pool now can make it a lot easier to visualize all these things because once it's in place you aren't going to be able to move it. Its going to happen fast as well. An above ground pool like this in a yard like yours can be set and filled in a day by a good organized crew. Have your plan ready before they come to set the pool.
 

MrBfromNC

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Bronze Supporter
May 23, 2018
386
Fuquay-Varina, NC
Thanks Chuck. I've thought about most of what you'd mentioned. I was going to use spray paint to mark off a 27' diameter circle this weekend. I know I've got space to get my riding mower through and the distance to my crawl space is probably 20-30 feet. I actually used the deck designer on Lowes.com to size out my new deck because it allows a user to place lounge chairs as well as a table and chair set. I'm shooting for 500-550 sq ft for my deck, approximately 22' x 25'.

I'm also going with deck boards that will go under the top rail of the pool. I saw an idea here on TFP where someone built a small overhanging step to enter/exit the pool so I think that's what I'm going to attempt to build. But the one thing you'd mentioned that I hadn't thought of was the location of the skimmer. Besides being to reach it easily while standing on the ground, are there other considerations I should take into account?
 

CJadamec

TFP Expert
Apr 29, 2016
2,410
Quaker Hill, CT
Just that you have easy access to it. Normally an installer will by default install it as close to the pump as possible to limit the amount of plumbing needed. If you plan on a deck over your equipment that may not be a good thing. The skimmer will also be at roughly chest height and stick out about a foot past the top rail if it's going to end up in a walkway area.

Either have on hand or have your builder install a shut off valve on the skimmer and on the return before the pool gets full of water.

I guess my main point for all that is doing an actual scale layout with paint in the yard first can save a lot of headaches later. Sometimes the significant other will see something that you are ok with but they will hate and it's much easier to talk about it and move some paint. Rather than after the support legs for the deck are dug in and cemented and why you sit there sweating admiring your work they say "why is that there that cant be there because my cat goes there."
 

MrBfromNC

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Bronze Supporter
May 23, 2018
386
Fuquay-Varina, NC
If you plan on a deck over your equipment that may not be a good thing.

I've read in several threads here that building part of your deck over the pump, filter, etc is not usually a very convenient thing. I'm going to put it about 3 feet away from my deck and try to hide it with some type of short, white resin fencing.
 

CJadamec

TFP Expert
Apr 29, 2016
2,410
Quaker Hill, CT
It all really depends on how much head room you have under your deck. If you can stand up under the deck it would be ok to have equipment there. Most of the time a deck on an above ground pool won't have that much room.

I was using that as an example of keeping an eye on where they place the skimmer, not that I was thinking you were going to do it.

Being an engineer I have been know to both over and under think things thru from time to time.
 

Jamison04

Well-known member
Jun 21, 2011
686
Tecumseh, OK
Yea definitely do not put your equipment under the deck. You'll regret it the first time you have to replace a gauge or deep clean the sand filter.

And if you can try to position the skimmer on the opposite side of the prevailing winds during the summer. It just helps push floating debris in the direction of the skimmer. In a round pool it's not much of an issue since the water just goes around in a circle anyway but why not give it a little help if your layout allows that. Like I made sure to position my skimmer on the northern side of the pool since we have mainly southerly winds in summer.
 

MrBfromNC

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May 23, 2018
386
Fuquay-Varina, NC
It all really depends on how much head room you have under your deck. If you can stand up under the deck it would be ok to have equipment there. Most of the time a deck on an above ground pool won't have that much room.

Gotcha. No, my deck will only be 3 feet high and because I'm now 50, it's just not good for my back. Thanks again, Chuck.

Oh, one more thing. I don't have a timer yet. Since I'm gonna have my electrician just put an outlet on a 4x4 post near the pump, can I get away with something simple and cheap like an Intermatic P1121?
 

MrBfromNC

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May 23, 2018
386
Fuquay-Varina, NC
This is fairly close to what I've envisioned for my final deck plan. The area just below the word "Gate" is where my original octagon deck is currently placed.


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CJadamec

TFP Expert
Apr 29, 2016
2,410
Quaker Hill, CT
The intermatic timer is a pretty standard thing for controlling a pool pump. They have been around forever.

You may want to consider making those narrow sections that go down the sides of the pool wider or cut them short when the deck drops down to less than 2 feet wide. The really narrow section ends up being a lot of extra framing and precise cuts that don't really get you any usable deck space.
 

s_vidden

Well-known member
Jun 29, 2017
70
Mankato/MN
The intermatic timer is a pretty standard thing for controlling a pool pump. They have been around forever.

You may want to consider making those narrow sections that go down the sides of the pool wider or cut them short when the deck drops down to less than 2 feet wide. The really narrow section ends up being a lot of extra framing and precise cuts that don't really get you any usable deck space.

I agree. Take your rail back to the last footing before the narrow end. That space really isnt useable and will add unnecessary costs. A couple of bushes...one on each end would look great in the new available space.
 

MrBfromNC

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May 23, 2018
386
Fuquay-Varina, NC
I agree. Take your rail back to the last footing before the narrow end. That space really isnt useable and will add unnecessary costs. A couple of bushes...one on each end would look great in the new available space.

The intermatic timer is a pretty standard thing for controlling a pool pump. They have been around forever.

You may want to consider making those narrow sections that go down the sides of the pool wider or cut them short when the deck drops down to less than 2 feet wide. The really narrow section ends up being a lot of extra framing and precise cuts that don't really get you any usable deck space.

Both of y'all bring up a good point. I've seen tons and tons of above ground pool decks with this little 2-3 ft walkway around the entire circumference of the pool. Is it really that advantageous to have a space to walk around it when you can just GET IN THE WATER and clean it? Maybe I'm missing something about the benefits of walking around the whole pool??
 

CJadamec

TFP Expert
Apr 29, 2016
2,410
Quaker Hill, CT
The benefit to more places to walk around the pool is more places to do cannon balls onto your kids. :D

Also in the colder times of year sometimes it's nice to be able to walk around the pool rather than in the pool.

Oh and the more deck you have the more chances you will have to find a spot of sun to lay down in.

My point tho was if you are going to go thru the trouble of digging a footer for the deck that area of the deck better be wide enough to get some use out of it. Anything under 3 feet wide just isn't useful.
 

MrBfromNC

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May 23, 2018
386
Fuquay-Varina, NC
Looking forward to see your build, please post photos as you go ...

Will do. Just talked to my son-in-law yesterday and we drew up a rough sketch of my new deck along with creating a shopping list for 4x4 posts, 2x8 joists and bags of concrete mix. He said he would not be available to help me until the last weekend of June so the deck construction may be delayed slightly. But, I can begin by installing my safety fencing on the pool walls and maybe digging the holes and placing posts before we begin the framing.

And I just confirmed with my installers that they will begin work sometime around 7:30 or 8:00am so I'll try to take a few pictures while they are digging, placing tracks, walls, liner, etc. But it's a whole lot of money we've invested in these 8 boxes sitting in my garage today so I hope they are careful and keep everything as level as possible. The contract they gave me two weeks ago said the dirt would be "within an inch" so I'm going to be sitting my butt on a camping chair the whole morning watching their progress. (and yes, before you ask.... I am definitely aware that they should be digging down to "virgin dirt" and not building up the low side) Even if I have to pay a couple hundred $$ more, I'm gonna ask them to do it anyway.

Stay tuned to this channel for developing details... ::epds::
 

HeidiP

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2017
111
Ottawa/ON, Canada
The benefit of walking around your pool is that when you open it and it's 50 degrees you may not want to be in there.
Congrats on your design - I LOVE IT!
 

CJadamec

TFP Expert
Apr 29, 2016
2,410
Quaker Hill, CT
If they get the soil to within 1" by the time they put in the concrete blocks for the uprights and the sand for under the liner it should be spot on. They will mostly likely have a laser level which makes setting everything easy, accurate, and fast. If they actually show up at 730 and get started you should have a pool by dinner time.

One thought on the deck is 6x6 posts make for a much stronger deck because you can use a notch the post to carry your support beam. This also saves you from having to buy a lot of expensive metal brackets to mount the beam on top of the post.
 

MrBfromNC

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May 23, 2018
386
Fuquay-Varina, NC
Whoa, that install was fast. So, the four guys showed up promptly at 7:30, I showed them the site (which I had marked off with white spray paint). The immediately brought in the transit and began calculating the difference in elevation. Turns out I had about 16 inches to dig down after my sod was removed. They had mentioned earlier that they fill in soil on the low side and dig from the high side, so I asked him how much it would be for me to get virgin soil all the way around. After the crew chief did his figures, he told me $180. So I told him that was well worth the extra money and go right ahead and dig away. After four and a half hours, my garden hose was put into action filling it and they loaded the bob-cat up and drove away $1300 richer.


So here are some of the pictures from today's install.

The boxes I started with...
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The little bob-cat doing it's thing. Using the transit, the guys showed me it was within 1/2 inch all the way around.

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The dug down about 2 inches for each concrete block and ensured they were level as well.


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Brought in 2 cubic yards of mortar sand and leveled it as well.

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Even though I purchased a foam cove, they talked me into NOT using it. Apparently the sand can be built up MUCH higher so it's less stress on the liner.

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Tamping of the sand was pretty quick and painless for them.

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Then two of the guys worked on the installing the verticals while one guy expanded the liner from inside the walls.

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Uni-bead liner was put on top of all the walls, rails were placed on top of that and the caps were screwed down on all verticals.

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Good gravy, that's a boat-load of dirt I'm gonna have to get rid of..... SOMEHOW!!

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One very nice surprise was that after the top rails were placed, I checked to see how high my existing deck was compared to
the pool. It was between two and three inches below the pool level, which will be just perfect for me. Couldn't have planned
that any better if I had tried. LOL

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