New Intex 32x16x52 build with deck (lots of pictures)

Brett S

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2019
457
Orlando
I started with an intex 15x48 that I got on clearance for $150. Little did I know that my impulse purchase would turn into this major project a year and a half later. I recently went to check on my little 15’ pool after the winter (such as it is, here in florida) and discovered that the rust I was starting to see on it last summer had gone way too far:
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This pool was no longer safe, so I sadly drained it and removed it.

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And such was the beginning of this epic project.
 

Brett S

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2019
457
Orlando
I knew that I wanted to go bigger (and maybe even much bigger) so after considering several options and with great help from the forum I decided on an Intex 32x16x52. I am also planning to install a new patio and deck as part of this project as well.

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I created this rough drawing of what I’m looking to build and then marked out the back yard to show where everything will go

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Brett S

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2019
457
Orlando
The new pool was just delivered (and the freight driver was kind enough to put the 564 pound box in my garage for me)

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After a brief attempt at removing the sod by hand, where I got about 12 square feet done in about 30 minutes I decided to hire someone to come and prepare the ground for the pool and the patio, given that I have nearly 900 square feet to prepare. They are scheduled to do the work on Monday.
 

Brett S

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2019
457
Orlando
In the mean time, while I wait for the ground prep I’m trying to decide on a few things:

What I want to put under the pool. I’m leaning toward XPS foam and it looks like I can get 1/2 inch foam at both Home Depot and Lowes in this area, but I’ve also seen people using anti fatigue mats, which would be about the same cost from Harbor Freight.

Whether I want to go with a through the wall skimmer or just the intex in the pool skimmer. I used the intex one on my 15’ pool and it worked reasonably well, but it also got in the way occasionally. I feel like with the bigger pool it might not be as much of a problem, but the through the wall skimmers are a much cleaner install. I’m not too worried about cutting the liner, but I am concerned about the water level. I want the water to be as deep as it can be and I’m concerned that the through the wall skimmer may cause me to lose a few inches of depth. If you have any suggestions here I’d be happy to hear them.

Which steps to get. I want a large set of steps that will attach to the deck, rather than a ladder for this pool, but I’m not sure how that will work with the liner that curves in at the bottom of the pool. Obviously I want the steps reasonably close to the edge of the pool, but I don’t want it to press against the liner at the bottom. Right now I’m looking at the Confer Curve steps or possibly the Lumi-O Royal Entrance 2. The confer steps seem to be well rated, but again, I’m concerned that they may not be able to fit back against the edge of the pool. The Lumi-O steps are much more expensive than the Confer ones, but definitely wouldn’t have a problem with the liner. However I’m also concerned about an automatic vacuum getting stuck under the Lumi-O steps. Again, any suggestions about steps would be welcome:)
 

Brett S

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2019
457
Orlando
Well, the excavator came to remove the sod and flatten the ground

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Now my work starts. I need to plant the pavers and then add the foam under the pool. Hopefully that will get done over the next couple of days.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
44,919
Tallahassee, FL
I forgot to address the steps/stairs. I LOVE our wedding cake steps as they give us a hand rail to help getting up and down. They also provide a good place to sit in the water. Mine do not sit right on the side of the pool as we wanted the water to be able to flow all the way around the steps.

SWEET on the scrapping and flattening! Your back and shoulders thank you for paying to have it done I bet!

Kim:kim:
 

Brett S

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2019
457
Orlando
I was able to start placing some of the leg supports down today.

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Hopefully I’ll be able to get the rest of them down over the next day or two
 

Flying Tivo

Well-known member
Jan 24, 2017
1,432
Monterrey, NL, Mexico
Im in favor of through the wall skimmer and hard piping the whole setup. You can even add more returns for better circulation. You dont have to do the installation on initial setup, you can wait and see what are the predominant winds and how it behaves so you can place it the best spot.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
44,919
Tallahassee, FL
Good job getting started on that HUGE part of the build! Starting that now will really help you be able to take your time and do it right!

What are you using for leg supports?

Kim:kim:
 

Brett S

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2019
457
Orlando
What are you using for leg supports?
I wound up going with ground contact rated pressure treated wood. I’m using two 15” pieces of 2x8. I went back and forth for a while between that and concrete blocks. Intex specifies 15x15 for the leg supports and unfortunately 16x16x4 concrete block isn’t available at Lowes or Home Depot around here (and even if it was, each block weighs 65 pounds and bringing home and placing and leveling 24 65 pound blocks did not sound appealing at all)

I could get 16x8x4 concrete block locally, but that still weighs 35 pounds per block and I was very concerned about being able to get the legs centered on the 8 inch side. There’s not really much room for error there.

Even if I have to drain the pool in three years and replace the wood I think I’m still better off using that.
 

Brett S

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2019
457
Orlando
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I’ve spent some time this morning digging to get things level and I’ve gotten nearly 1/3 done. Also, the corner where I started is the highest spot, so it should get a bit easier from here.
Originally I was thinking that I would just put the foam right on the dirt, but now I’m thinking that it might be beneficial to add a layer of sand or pea gravel between the ground and the foam. I think sand or pea gravel is going to be easier to get perfectly level than the ground will be
 

Brett S

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2019
457
Orlando
I realized that despite my best efforts with the shovel and trying to check my work often that I still tended to drift a bit as I worked and things weren’t as level as they needed to be. So I went ahead and attached a level to a long pole and I’ve been using that as I dig to help keep things as close to perfectly level as possible.

At this point I‘m slightly over halfway as far as the surface area goes, and well over halfway as far as the amount of dirt needed to be removed, since I have already taken care of the high spot.

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I‘ve ordered 2 tons of sand to be delivered tomorrow and I’ll have my 13 year old son to help this weekend, so I’m hoping that we can make a significant amount of progress. Maybe even to the point of getting the pool set up on Sunday.
 

Brett S

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2019
457
Orlando
My back hurts just thinking about all of the work you have done and will be doing!!
It has definitely not been my back’s most favorite job ever. But I feel like the end is in sight.

At least for the pool. After that I still need to do the patio and the deck. But I’m not thinking about those now.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
44,919
Tallahassee, FL
One step/thing at a time! It will all get done in the end! The pool is the most important part as it will be there waiting while you do the other work so you can jump in and cool off.

Kim:kim:
 

Brett S

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2019
457
Orlando
Progress... there has been a lot of progress today:)

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My son was working with me today and we got the whole pool area leveled, all the leg supports placed and we started loading in the sand.

For a short time I thought we might even be able to get the pool up today, but the leg supports took way longer than I was hoping to get all leveled and even and everything. But I think we have a very good chance of getting it up tomorrow:)
 
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Pv2

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 14, 2013
740
south east Arizona
in the wall skimmer is fine for water levels, you can put the top of it at the seam , Intex prefers you keep the water one or two "tiles" down anyway. I have the confer stairs that are not the curve, but they all cut under a bit at the bottom and fit intex bottoms just fine. regular above ground pools have a cove at the bottom that corresponds with the curve of the Intex bag o' water effect.