How To Level Ground For A Pool Like A Pro?

Every summer, when you’d look outside your window, you crave a swimming pool sitting in the heart of your yard where you can have a warm bath and enjoy the hot afternoon with your family.

You’ve tried everything. But it looks like there’s never going to be a possibility of a pool there because of the uneven terrain.

No! No! No! There’s a solution. In this article, I’m going to walk you through the whole process of how to level ground for a pool. And trust what you’re going to read because after reading this article, you’ll heed the call to invest in an above ground pool.

You and your kids will enjoy this summer like never before.  But first, understanding how to level the ground for a pool and why you should level ground for your pool is a crucial one on this journey.

It’s one of the requirements for your pool, so it’s important that you know why such a step is vital.

What’s Leveling A Ground Pool?

how to level ground for a pool

Unfortunately, the ground that would house your pool is also home to loose soils and mud that are scattered all about. And this is bad for your pool. So here’s what’s to do.

With the right instruments, you are to get rid of any obstacles such as rocks and sand materials away from your proposed pool ground and make sure the ground is even before filling it up with water. See why you should not skip this part.

How To Level Ground For Pool?

Strictly speaking, how to build a level platform for a pool is like a cakewalk if you know what and what things to do. Think I’m exaggerating? Walk these steps given below and see things for yourself.

  • Step 1: Choose The Flattest Area

Sure, you would still make use of shovels and all to level the area, but your job would be easier if you do not jump this step.

Because the flatter the site, the less shoveling is required. Get it? Also, don’t forget the sky. As much as possible, avoid areas with large trees because they would litter your pool with their leaves.

Once you’ve taken care of all these, including underground cables and sewage lines, hop to the next step.

  • Step 2: Get Rid Of Obstacles

Proceed straightaway to clear the area from rocks, grasses, and debris. They have no good down there but would only come in your way.

You can move the grasses to another location using a sod cutter while you dispose of other rudiments.

Here’s another alternative. Peg out a thick Tharp on the mapped area and the grasses within would wither off due to lack of water and sunlight. This way, it’s easier for them to be dug and removed.

  • Step 3: Get Your Leveling Aid

You will miss it if you decide to size the pool and detect its levelness with your eyes. Why? A few inches added to its level have a significant role to play. So, go for a leveling device.

A straight long wooden board nearly the size of your pool can be used as your leveling device. Stakes and strings would fill in the gap in the absence of a board.

For the plank board, lay it flat across your proposed pool and take note of its levelness. If you’re using stakes from the center of your proposed pool, stretch them out and mark both the leveled and the uneven points.

  • Step 4: Fix It

By now, you’ll have marked the leveling of the area is needed, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. This is the part where the real work lies.

For setting up a pool on uneven ground, it’s best you dig into the raised levels and remove soil than adding to the lowered levels. It’s a more comfortable and faster route.

Keep shoveling the ground one dig at a time until you come by a flat base.

  • Step 5: Clear The Leveled Area

After leveling ground for a rectangular pool, grab your rake and clear the leveled area of sharp debris that could damage your pool lining.

The trick is this. This activity will be done in no time if you have attained a flat surface after shoveling.

  • Step 6: Compress The Soil

A loose soil would not hold water and that won’t do well for a pool project. So here’s what you should do.

First off, use a garden hose to evenly water the soil for about an hour at low pressure. Then, run a rolling tamper on the surface for the compressing action. In the absence of a rolling tamper, a lawn mower would do fine.

  • Step 7: Smooth With A Layer Of Sand

Here’s the kicker. Spread out a fine layer of sand within 1-2 inches, and that is free of rocks and debris on the leveled surface.

You can order soil from a reliable pool retail store or a home improvement soil. There’s no pressure there.

And if the need to re-level arises after the layout, incorporate crushed limestone to the settings. Just so you know, there plenty of other substitute for sand under pool as well and you can do the same.

  • Step 8: Treat The Pool Environment

Use friendly fungicides and herbicides to treat the pool areas to prevent breeding fungi and the emergence of plants, respectively.

But this should be done two weeks before you begin using your pool. And ensure the chemicals are free of petroleum and use appropriate measurements.

  • Step 9: Lay The Pool Bottom Protector

A pool bottom protector does many things, from preventing heat loss in the water to preventing your pool liners from being punctured.

It goes down to the bottom of your pool and does all these functions. So, after leveling the ground, lay this protector and enjoy your time out in the water.

What Instruments Do I Need For Leveling Ground For Pool?

installing a above ground pool

Leveling ground for an easy set pool couldn’t be easier without the right tools, so here are the tools needed for the project.

  • Sod cutter: Since you’ll have to clear the pool areas, this is where this tool comes in. And it’s the right machinery for removing grasses for such a project.
  • Plank board/ Stakes: Create your own leveling tool using a straight long plank board or, better still, some stakes.
  • Shovel/Spade: The point is you would need a tool to dig into the leveled areas and take away some soil for a leveled ground. At this point, a shovel or a spade has no rival because they’re the only effective tools for this kind of mission.
  • Wheelbarrow: This should immediately come to the picture when you’re at the leveling step. No worries. It’s out there to help you quickly dispose of the materials you pick up from your pool ground.
  • Rake: Before and after leveling, you would need to take the surface of the work area. And guess what. A wide rake is more appropriate.
  • Hose: This will surface to the worksite when it’s time to compress the soil and when it does, ensure its on a considerable volume to avoid it bursting.
  • Lawn mower/Rolling tamper: To compress the soil, you want to use a lawn mower. The good news is that you can rent this tool from the local store on a low budget.

What Materials Can I Use For Leveling Ground For Pool?

There are several materials out there that you can use for leveling the ground for your pool. Here, I have got a list of them that will work in most of the cases.

You can go with any one of them based on your location and the condition of your place where you want to install a pool.

  • Sand

First, let’s get this downside out of the way, sands have loose particles that are not a good condition for a pool ground. Crickets can borrow their way through the loose particles and make a home at the bottom of your pool. Additionally, sands can be easily displaced owing to their loose particles.

But after crossing out these flaws, leveling ground for a pool with sand can be effective. All you need to do is spread it evenly on the ground surface and tamp it to get a new ground level.

  • Concrete slab

This is the easiest way for how to level the ground for a pool done because, with concrete, you would get a flat level on time.

But on the face of it, the abrasions of concrete ground can cause damage to the pool. A luxury commercial pad would do the magic and serve as a protective layer between your pool and the concrete ground.

  • Crushed limestone

Although an expensive method of leveling, it’s a better option for leveling ground for the pool than sand and concrete slab. Learn more about it from here.

To cut down your expenses, you can make use of other less expensive stones used for leveling, but you must see that they’re well crushed before use. Otherwise, you will have to deal with future tears in your pool.

  • Solid foam

The lazy drones that do not want to dig but want to enjoy a bath in a leveled pool despite the uneven ground underneath, this is how to level a pool on uneven ground.

The solution is to lay the foam on the grass at the bottom of your pool. And boom. You have a flat ground to enjoy yourself all through summer.

  • Leveling block

This is your go-to leveling material for your pool if you want something more durable and solid. The good news is that pool installer now add this material to the bottom of a pool when installing an above ground pool, and if there’s a need for leveling, you can get help from these materials.

First, completely empty the pool and mark out the low areas. Once you’ve nailed it, proceed to remove the leveling blocks and raise the walls.

Return the leveling blocks and pack all the dirt found at the bottom of the raised walls. Done. Go ahead and refill your pool to have a warm bath.

  • Rolling tamper

This is a solution for those who want to avoid digging to level ground for their pool. While you can’t prevent the digging aspect altogether, you can reduce how much you have to dig.

You will need to go through the basic digging to remove all the sod and grass from the place you have selected to install the pool.

Here’s how you can use the rolling tamper to level the ground for your easy pool setup-

  • Get some stakes and create a mark on the spot when you want to install the above-ground pool.
  • Then dig out the sod and grass from that specific area with the particular shape and size of your pool.
  • Now, get the tamper rolling on the ground to level it properly.
  • After that, you will have to put a 2-inch layer of sand on the ground to ensure it’s leveled.
  • Then, use that rolling tamper to level the layer of sand that you just put on.
  • Finally, you will end up with a level ground to install your ground pool without any issues.

This is a very effective method you can try out for leveling ground pool. However, it may cost you a bit more than the other ones and involves a little bit of hassle as well.

  • Get Professional Suggestions Or Help

Getting help from professionals can be a great way if you don’t know what material to pick. Now, you may ask why you should even consider that?

The reason is, different locations will require different types of solutions. If you are unaware of what kind of material you need for your location, things can go very wrong.

You can also ask your friends for suggestions or people who have installed above-ground pools in your locality. If you don’t have anyone like that around you, then you can always seek professional help.

This will be a much more effective way to make sure you are setting up your above-ground pool perfectly.

Why Level Ground For Pool?

setting up a pool

  • Uneven water level

Because the ground is uneven, the pool water also would be uneven when the pool eventually gets filled up with water. That may not be a problem for you, but here’s the thing.

With one side of the pool shallow and the other side deep, your kids would be in a danger zone if they can’t touch the bottom of the pool.

And, yes, your swimming gears and cleaning equipment can get stuck in the shallow end of the pool.

  • Weak structure

Can the walls of an above ground pool bend and collapse. Oh yes, but that’s definitely not our plan.

But if the ground of your pool is not balanced, the chances are that pressure would be more on one end than the other.

The point is this. Because the pressure is not evenly distributed to all ends, your pool walls become weak and eventually buckle or break. At the end of the day, you are going to end up losing your beloved pool.

  • Terrific appearance

No one can oversight an uneven pool, with one end having more water than the other. What this means is everyone who gets to see your pool knows immediately that there’s a blunder somewhere. And, I bet that’s totally embarrassing.

  • Damaged Pool liners

Just like everything else on a rough surface, pool liners would get damaged on uneven ground. How’s that?

A rough terrain would cause a pool liner to fold up and wrinkle. And in the long run, it gets torn when caught on your pool equipment.

But the silver lining is that all of these wrongs can be avoided even on the toughest terrain and finding a leak in a pool liner is not that hard.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you level the ground for your pool without any digging?

No, there is no way to level the ground for your pool without any digging. You will have to do a bit of digging to make sure the grass and sods are off the installation area.
However, you can reduce the amount of digging with the use of a rolling tamper.

What’s the best material to put under the ground pool?

There is no best material out there to put under your above-ground pool. Different materials work better for other conditions.
So, you will have to choose the material based on your location and condition. If you have trouble, you can opt for professional help or ask the local people with above-ground pools.


A rough ground would not only deprive you of quality fun out there in the pool but can cause unseen damage to your beloved pool. So, it’s essential you get it sorted out once and for all. Because summer is near, and you know the little wonders a warm pool bath would do for you and your family.

From choosing the flattest area to laying down your pool liners, we’ve carefully shown you how to level ground for pool in the simplest way.

This is not just a monetary investment on your pool but also a time and effort investment on your end. Trust me. It’ll all be worth it. Now, watch the video to recap everything!

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