Are you thinking of installing your own above ground pool? We finished installing our pool a few weeks ago, and I must say that we learned a lot. (And many thanks to my in-laws for helping, we couldn’t have done it alone!) This is the third and final post on my series of how to install an above ground pool. To get caught up, first read these:
*I worked in collaboration on this project with Pool Supplies Canada,who provided me with a discount on pool parts. All opinions are my own*
Walls of an above ground pool
Last week I left you off with this picture…
After a long and hot afternoon putting up the walls, we braced the walls with wood and took a break before installing the liner. You can read more about how we put up the walls by reading this post.
If you want the quick version, skip right to the bottom to see my video of the entire pool installation process
Install the legs and add sand
To give the pool a bit more strength, we screwed the legs of the pool to the feet. Before we got to the liner though we dumped a few more loads of sand into the pool. You’ll want a base of about an inch or two between the crushed stone and the liner. We just shoveled the sand out flat and then tamped it lightly with a hand tamper. You also need to create a cove around the outside of the pool. The cove should be about 4 inches high and taper about 4 inches.
This is one thing we regret doing. We tend to be pretty cheap with our projects, and we decided not to buy the prefabricated coves and floor pads. By the end of the day we were just so tired that we didn’t perfectly pack the sand base, and it is full of footprints. So, learn from our mistake! If there’s one thing that we would have done differently, it would be using a floor pad and cove
Installing the pool liner
Once the base is ready it’s time for the liner. We bought a plain blue 27 foot round overlap liner. We first opened it up on the lawn to find the center. Then we carefully folded the outside edges into the center, and lifted the liner into the pool. Then we unfolded the liner and draped the edges over the sides of the pool. There’s a faint line around the bottom edges of the liner and those have to be matched up at the bottom of the pool.
Once we got the liner somewhat in place we went inside the pool (sans shoes) and tried to get as many wrinkles out as possible. We bought an overlap liner, which means it just folds over the top of the walls and is held in place with coping.
Again, we were tired, and didn’t get all the wrinkles out. The water truck showed up just at this point, so we really didn’t have time or energy to care about getting the rest of the wrinkles out. Just know, if you’re going to install your own pool, you will be tired and sore, and it probably won’t be perfect. But if you’re like us and your goal is to have a pool and save money, you’ll be okay with footprints and wrinkles.
Fill with water
At this stage it’s important to fill up the pool halfway with water. We got a water truck in to quickly fill it up. Once we got to that point the stress was removed, and we quit for the day. We filled up the rest of the pool over the next week using water from our well.
Top plate, top rails and caps
One of the last steps for installing an above ground pool is screwing the top plates on top of the legs. Then the curved plastic top rails give the pool even more strength. Finally, the last step on the top edge is to put on the caps to cover up the gaps between the top rail. And last, Tony got the pump and chlorinator working. We got a saltwater pool and so far the upkeep has been very minimal.
Final thoughts on installing our own above ground pool
So would we do it again? If you asked us that day we probably would have said never again. But I think it was the right decision for us. We did save money by getting a used pool and installing it ourselves, and we have a sparkling blue pool that is so nice to cool off in during these hot summer days. If you don’t want to get a used pool, you can get the entire pool kit from Pool Supplies Canada and make it easier on yourself.
Watch the video for the quick version on how to install your own above ground pool!