steamroller ground leveling question.


New member
Jun 12, 2010
My future pool: 21x41 oval buttress free above ground will be here next week. with gorilla pad and cove and the whole bit.

So i found the guy who is going to install my pool and a guy who is gonna do the excavation.

The pool guy has been installing pools for 20 years every summer as a part time job.

The excavator has been excavating for 40 years and this is a very small job for him, he does office complexes and huge home developments etc.

My ground on my property is sloped my whole back yard is great for sledding. the new pool site will need to be dug out of a 3 foot slope across the length of the pool.

Pool guy says: cut out all the ground till it is level and do not back fill at all.

Excavator says: cut out half the dirt and use it to back fill the rest and he will bring over his steam roller and compact the new ground making it solid.

Pool guys say: you may have problems with that, ground might settle.

Excavator says: Nah, and chuckles it will be fine. pool will hold 160,000lbs of water over about 750sq. feet. which will be 213 lbs of pressure per square foot and that isn't much.

Pool guy says: you may have problems with that, ground might settle.

what to do? what to do?

thoughts, opinions advice appreciated.


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 4, 2009
Listen to the pool guy, unless you want to wait a year for the leveled (backfilled) ground to go through a freeze thaw cycle. The steam roller may help things, but I've seen backfilled unilock patios look like junk after a yr or two, let alone a pool. That's just my opinion and I agree with the pool guy from what our builder explained to us. Hope this helps and hopefully you will get a few more opinons.

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
SouthWest Alabama
If the backfill is done properly and graded and compacted to 95+% of the proctor density in no more than 6" lifts, then it will be fine. If ony one of those things aren't done correctly you will have problems.

What assurances will you excavating guy give you? Will he warranty it for the life of the pool?


LifeTime Supporter
Apr 19, 2010
Altoona, AL
We faced the same question when our pool was installed. We took the advice to cut the dirt down and not backfill. I didn't like that idea at the time, but I'm glad we did it that way now. My hubby built an awesome deck around the pool and I absolutely love it.
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