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How to Install an Above Ground Pool

See this article and video for a comprehensive overview on installing an above ground pool.

Jay Backer Having a pool in your own backyard can be one of the most rewarding decisions you make. Some people don't think they're up to the challenge of installing a pool themselves, but I'll show you that all it takes is a little homework in advance to ensure a smooth process from start to finish.

For those visual learners out there, we've prepared the following video to give a comprehensive overview of how to prepare your yard and set up your new pool.

Pick the right pool!

Of course, if you don't already have one, the first step is to pick the right pool! We've got plenty of styles, sizes and different models to choose from. Check out all our pools. If you're still undecided, see this article for handy tips on selecting the right pool.

Pick the right spot!

Before beginning the installation, select a level spot in your yard and make sure you have plenty of room for the pool. You'll want to choose a spot where there are no buried water lines or utility cables. Always be sure to check city and county ordinances and regulations to determine if your pool will require any permits or code approvals before installation.

Also, think about how you plan to use the pool. Do you expect to host large pool parties, or will the pool mainly be used for your immediate family? How you answer that question will determine how much area around the pool you need and possibly how close you want to build the pool to your home. If you plan to build decking around the pool, be sure to account for that when measuring and marking the location.

Pick the right friends!

There's that old saying about picking your friends and picking... err, never mind. Face it, though! You need help. This isn't a one man job, because once you've marked the perfect spot, you'll need to clear the area of sod, weeds, plants, rocks and debris. Never underestimate the damage these obstructions can do to a pool liner. So, this is a good time to enlist the help of a few friends or family members to speed the process along.

One of the most important steps in the set up and installation of your pool has nothing to do with screwing parts together. Rather, it involves leveling the ground. As you'll see in the video, leveling may take a little extra time, but it can help you avoid serious pitfalls down the road. Many people have tried to level their pool by "giving it the old eyeball", but this is a serious mistake that can lead to the collapse of the pool, injury to users and even flooding problems in your yard. Take the time now to level the ground properly. The right friends can make the job go a lot faster!

Prior to beginning the actual assembly, we recommend organizing your tools and the various parts of the pool to make the installation process more efficient and less frustrating. Separate all bolts and screws and be sure to review the tool checklist to avoid multiple trips to the hardware store.

Once these steps are completed, refer back to the video to better understand the construction process. As noted, paying attention to the details and having the proper materials on hand and ready to go before beginning the installation will make the process much easier. With that done, it's a simple matter of following the steps to build your above ground pool. Did I mention getting the right friends to help?

Pick out the wrinkles!

OK... I'll admit it. That one is a bit of a stretch! But seriously, the best part of this entire process is filling the pool with water! But be careful! You don't want to fill the pool too fast because you still need to be able to smooth out the liner as it fills. We've heard all kinds of stories about how people fill their pools, from running a half-dozen hoses from neighbors houses to enlisting the help of the fire department! Oh boy!

Just remember water weighs about 8 pounds per gallon. So it doesn't take much to weigh down the liner to the point that it can't be moved. Always fill the pool slowly at first so you can make adjustments to the liner and smooth out any wrinkles. You'll be glad you did. Once that's done, set up and connect the filter, pump and vacuum systems, and you're ready to swim!

Pick your float!

Obviously, putting together your pool is not a one hour job, but by carefully reading the assembly instructions provided by the pool's manufacturer and closely following the steps in the video, you can complete the set up rather quickly and be floating in your own pool in short time... and basking in the glory of a job well done!

Ideally, you want to look something like this!