Are you thinking of how to level somewhere outdoors for your pool without digging? This may be the best option for you. Leveling the ground is very hard when you consider how easy it is to level sand.
Moreover, using sand is the cheapest way to level ground for your pool. Though it is not the easiest when you consider other methods like a concrete slab, solid foam, crushed stone, etc, it is cheaper.
With sand, you don’t need to stress yourself too much. All you need to do is to locate the best site for the pool, pour the sand, spread it evenly, and compact it very well. That’s all, and you will have a well-built, level ground for your pool.
However, in every method, there are merits and demerits. Since the sand has loose particles, critters can easily burrow underground and build their home there. As a result, the base of the pool material usually gets damaged.
The loose sand can also dislodge or wash away from the spot, making it unreliable for leveling ground for the pool. Even if you try to level it with concrete and then place the sand on top, it may still not be stable.
How to level the ground with sand
If you follow the steps below, you will realize that the process is straightforward.
- Step 1: Locate the right spot
This first step is crucial because you don’t want to move your pool for any reason after installing it. It’s not an easy process, and it will cost you a lot.
Inspect the yard very well and look for a flat spot. With a flat area, you don’t need much shoveling. More so, it makes the process easier.
Also, you don’t want to have large trees above. If you want a clean pool free of debris and leaves, you must avoid areas with trees. Forget about the shed; you can get a pool cover from the store or supplier.
Another thing to avoid are sewage lines, power lines, and underground cables. And, it should be within your property boundaries with at least a foot of butter in every direction around the pool.
- Step 2: Get the site cleared
Leaving rocks, grass, and debris under the pool can damage the pool liner. So, it’s very important to clear these things from the spot before you start.
Cut the grass with a sod cutter, roll it up, and take it to another place. If you can’t do it yourself, you can get a rototiller to help you out. Then remove roots and stones that could damage the pool liner.
Tip: You can peg a thick tarpaulin on the site to starve the grass from water and sunlight. After a few weeks, you can dig the grasses out easily.
- Step 3: Make your leveling device
Remember, if the pool’s level is off by a few inches, it may cause problems when filled with water. So, it is not good to think you can get it right by just using your eyes.
Though it’s possible, you are likely to encounter errors if you don’t use a leveling device. Use a straight board that is long enough and place it on the cleared spot to see how flat it is.
This will help to expose high or low points on the site.
You can also use string and stakes to get it leveled. From the center, hold it right and stretch it out. Then observe along the string with a level to confirm that it is flat.
- Step 4: Fix holes and bumps
After observing the high and low points with the above step, the next thing to do is to smooth the area. You need your shovel here to scoop up the soil and level the area.
Though it’s easier to level the base by adding dirt or sand, digging the site to remove the bumps helps you form a more stable ground for your pool.
Moreover, it is highly recommended that you dig at least 2 inches.
- Step 5: Use sand to smooth out the base
Now that you are done with the leveling, it’s time to create the base. Sand is very important because it helps to protect the liner and also prevents the growth of weeds and grass.
So, you need to get a truckload of sand delivered to the site. You can get it from the local garden center or from any landscaping supply company.
However, ensure that the sand is enough to build a thick layer of at least 2 inches. It can be over 2 inches, but don’t let it be less.
Once the sand arrives, spread it evenly with your rake and water the surface. Allow it to dry, possibly overnight.
- Step 6: Compact the sand
Get your lawn roller and compact the sand into a solid base. Make sure you touch all areas of the base and flatly pack it down.
If you don’t have a plan roller, you can hire one from a garden center.
Take your time to ensure that the whole surface is still level. Use your shovel to scrape and pack down with the roller.
- Step 7: Lay the base protector
The base protector doesn’t only protect the pool from puncture, but it also serves as an insulator to prevent heat loss from the base.
Layer out the base protector. You can get a specialized swimming pool pad from the store. At least get a sheet of tarpaulin and use it over the ground as the base layer.
This is important because fixing a punctured pool base is not easy. So, it is best you avoid the occurrence of it.
- Step 8: Set up the pool
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Though the instructions have the same basic steps, don’t assume that they are the same because there is usually a slight difference. Just do exactly what is written in the instructions.
Once you are done installing, you can then start enjoying the swim.
Other methods you can use to level the ground without sand or digging.
- Using concrete pad or slab
This is arguably the easiest way to level the ground for your pool. Getting a level surface with the concrete is very easy. Moreover, the rough texture helps the pool stay stationary, even when a large number of people are using it.
The rough surface that makes it stationary is also a disadvantage as it can puncture the base of your above-ground pool. That’s why a base protector is vital. It serves as a protective layer to protect the pool from the abrasive force that might cause puncture or pool leaks.
Using sand as the protective layer is not advisable. Get a good pad, like solid foam, that can last as many years as possible.
- Using solid foam
Though it’s usually used as a protective layer between the above-ground pool and the concrete slab, it can also be used to level the ground for pools without digging.
You can place it directly on the grass to level the ground. It is very easy to use as it comes in different sizes and thicknesses and can be cut into different shapes. However, it is very expensive.
- Using crushed stone
A better alternative to sand, as you can use it to level the ground for your pool. It is easier to use and also prevents critters from burrowing underground.
If you are using it, ensure you crush the stone (usually limestone) very well to avoid tears and high maintenance costs in the future.
- Using rolling tamper
With a rolling tamper, you won’t avoid digging completely. It only limits the amount of digging required to level the ground for your Intex or Coleman above ground pool.
However, you still need to do some digging when using other methods. At least, you will need to dig to remove the grass and sod in the area you are using.
- Using pavers
Generally, patio or pacers are used as leveling blocks. Though the process is difficult, especially for DIY, it is a good alternative to leveling the ground with sand without digging. Moreover, it is reliable if done well.