DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Pools and Spas > Leveling ground problems


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Old 06-19-2015, 06:22 PM  
Skae
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Default Leveling ground problems

Hey guys, im Skae. Said verbally as Sky, spelled slightly different

My family and I have for years tried to set up a pool in our backyard. Those massive 5-7 people ones. Circular and heavy lol. Only problem is, we have a lopsided backyard. We have tried to dig out a rectangle, and level it down..but it didn't work. My family has gotten busy, but it would be a amazing project to finally finish. I'll show pictures of the backyard from a few months ago, bear with me as it is a little...untidy heh. If I was to hire someone to help, preferably probably not professional because of cost, (no offense to profs ) what could it cost? If i was to do this myself, how would i do it? I was suggested to use sand...but it didn't work either. Thoughts ?



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Old 06-19-2015, 06:52 PM  
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Welcome to the site.
I would think you lay out where you want the pool and find the lowest spot, remove the grass and dig down the high area and level it then cover the dirt with the sand. The outside perimeter has to be level the center can be a little lower


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Old 06-19-2015, 07:09 PM  
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We had tried that and somehow it didn't change the landscaping of it. The sand didn't add any kind of force or..grounding
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Old 06-19-2015, 07:14 PM  
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Dis you dig down to level or try to fill the low area with sand.. You have to dig out the high area and make the dirt level first.
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Old 06-20-2015, 07:37 AM  
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Assuming your pool is 24 foot across (most are) how many inches of drop do you have between the high point and the low point. The way to measure that is to buy what is called a string level and pull a string or cord across level and measure the drop. two wodden stakes to tie the string to will help.

Once we know that we will have a better idea how to help per Neal's recomendation. Sand will support a lot of weight but it needs a solid backing to keep it from squirting out the side. Also when you dig away you dont want to dig deeper and back fill than you need. where you fill in needs to be compacted.
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Old 06-20-2015, 01:50 PM  
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We've had two different pools in our backyard over the years, as we had one for about 20 years while our son was little, then took it out when he grew up as no one ever seemed to use it and it was to the point that it needed repairs due to wall rust. After a few years without a pool the wife decided she missed having one so I had to put in another one. I thought it was silly but most of you probably understand that some battles just aren't worth fighting.

So that's the back story, on to the part that pertains to the question at hand. We are cheap and don't mind getting our hands dirty so we intended to do everything ourselves. Our entire yard is on a slope, more so the farther away from the house you go. The first time we picked a location that didn't look too far off level to the eye and I started taking some measurements. I was quite surprised to find the ground where the higher side of the pool would be was almost 2 ft higher. It certainly didn't look like that much. I actually started digging out the high side with pick, shovel and wheelbarrows one day. It didn't take long at all till I realized the job was more than I could handle that way.

I had to bite the bullet and hire a guy to excavate the area for me. Till he was done he took 40 tons of dirt out of there. I would have never guessed it would be that much, so you can't go just by what it looks like, you need to measure and find out for sure just how far off level it is. What he did was dig out the high side while keeping the low side where it was once the sod was stripped. He also tapered the high side beyond where the pool would go so the pool wall on that side wouldn't be against the dirt and rust away. He did a great job and I had only minor leveling to do once he was done. My point here is that you may have to hire someone with heavy equipment to do the excavation unless you want to make that your life's work. I don't think I could have done it by hand if I worked on it every day for the entire summer.

When we put in the second pool, because of the way we wanted the deck we had to move the pool 4 ft farther down the yard from where the old one was. The main area was flat from the first pool, but that last four ft sloped down to about 4 inches lower at the edge. Since it was only that area that was low we built a small concrete block retaining wall and filled the void with rock dust. the pool has been up for 3 years now and there haven't been any problems with the way we did it. The entire pool is level within 1/2 inch anywhere you measure it. Our specs said the pool had to be level within 2 inches so we are well under that.

I'll see if I can find some pics to better illustrate what I'm describing.
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Old 06-20-2015, 02:29 PM  
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Here's a picture of the old pool where you can see how the yard slopes. It doesn't look like much where the pool is, but remember 40 tons of dirt was removed to level the pool area.





Here's one of the framework going up on the new pool. You can see the block retaining wall keeping the rock dust we used to build up the low area in place. We didn't know anything about rock dust when we built the first pool but made good use of it under the new one. Easy to smooth out level and packs like concrete when dampened.





This is a picture of the new pool finished. You can see from the way this side of the deck sits on undisturbed ground how off level the ground was to start. Under the deck the ground is tapered so the pool walls are not in ground contact.





I don't know if I've been of any help to you, but I hope I have!

On a sort of unrelated matter, notice that the first deck was treated lumber and the new one is composite. If you are planning on a pool deck I strongly recommend the composite. We hated the wood deck, the composite is well worth the higher price! It sucks getting a splinter in your foot at the pool.
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Old 06-20-2015, 02:57 PM  
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Great how to write up mmb617.

The only thing I might add is something I have done quite a few times and that is rent equipment. For a couple hundred bucks for the day you can rent a skid steer or a mini back hoe with a loader. Both have a little learning curve and you might need a truck to tow them home or find someone to tow it for you or pay a little to have it dropped off.

I rented one and put in a mound septic myself in one day with proper planning.
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Old 06-21-2015, 01:32 AM  
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Wow amazing advice guys. I really appreciate it! I'll get those high/lows in the morning as its nearly 2am here
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Old 06-21-2015, 06:10 AM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bud16415 View Post

The only thing I might add is something I have done quite a few times and that is rent equipment. For a couple hundred bucks for the day you can rent a skid steer or a mini back hoe with a loader. Both have a little learning curve and you might need a truck to tow them home or find someone to tow it for you or pay a little to have it dropped off.
For sure renting equipment is often a good deal. When I needed to level a spot for my garage I rented a bobcat for the weekend for $285. For that price I had use of it from Friday afternoon till Monday morning with a total of something like 12 hours of run time, and they both dropped it off and picked it up. I considered that a bargain.

The main reason I didn't rent equipment for the pool project is that I wanted to also get rid of the 40 tons of dirt that was removed. The guy who did the leveling also hauled away and disposed of the dirt. The garage project didn't involve nearly as much dirt so I just redistributed it on my property.


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