How to Level Ground for Pool: The Best Way to Do It

How to level ground for pool? Here’s everything you need to know about leveling ground for a pool to make sure you get it right. Learn how to measure the area, level the area, and learn the best tools to do the job.

In most cases, even for the most experienced pool installers, it is pretty challenging to correct uneven terrain after the pool has already been installed.

This usually means disassembling the pool and leveling the ground before the work can begin. 

New Above Ground Pool

Whether you’re deciding to build an in-ground or above-ground pool, it is important that you properly prepare the ground. Properly leveling the ground is key to preventing strain on your pool’s lining, as well as various other technical issues.

Before we dive into the several solutions to use on how to level ground for pool, let’s make sure you are familiar with the standard leveling procedure:

Procedure 1. Search for a good location where you would want to build the pool. Make sure there are no utility lines or roots of trees in the ground.

Procedure 2. After you’ve found your spot, use a leveling tool to know the higher slope and spots.

Procedure 3. Dig the pool in the low spot.

Procedure 4. Identify the spot and mark it with markers

Procedure 5. Dig out the higher slopes. Do not add soil or other materials from lower regions. Instead, excavating the higher area gives a better support above-ground pool.

Procedure 6. After you excavate the high areas. It’s time to bring in the dirt that you’ve dug. Use it to fill up the low areas of your pool.

Procedure 7. Pat down with a shovel gently to compact the dirt before adding anything else.

Procedure 8. Once you’re done filling, check with your leveler again to make sure you’re on track 

Procedure 9. Once your pool is level. It’s time for you to start installing additional features like stairs and ramps.

Different Alternatives on How to Level Ground for Pool


Sand foundation used for pool

If you’re wondering how to level land for a pool without digging, this may be the perfect option for you. It happens to be the most cost-effective method of balancing the ground for the pool. It is far easier to level the sand than it is to level the soil.

Using sand to level an above-ground pool construction site is simple; all you have to do is pour the sand onto the installation site, spread it uniformly throughout the surface, and then compact it. 

Sand, on the other hand, has some issues with pool leveling in above-ground pools. For starters, the sand’s loose particles provide an ideal environment for animals to dig beneath it and establish a home there.

This frequently results in harm to the pool’s foundation material. Because sand is loose, it can be washed away or dislodged from its original location, making it unreliable for leveling the pool.

It is not advised to use a layer of sand on top of concrete. Because sand travels around quickly on concrete surfaces, it has the potential to make your pool inherently unstable.

Concrete Slab or Pad

Concrete Slabs

When thinking about an alternative to leveling an above-ground pool, you might consider building a concrete slab or pad. Because concrete is highly durable and exceptionally stable, it is the perfect material for pool leveling purposes. 

To level your pool with this option, all you have to do is build the concrete slab or pad around the installation area and use it as a solid base for your pool.

Tip: Work slowly and diligently to create a level base; the integrity of the pool depends on a firm, level base.” - Thomas Ferraioli, writer at SFGate

The main downside of using concrete to level an above-ground pool is the cost involved in its construction; this project may be overkill for some people. While it can be done by undertaking this project yourself, hiring a professional to do it will also prove expensive. 

Solid Foam

Stacks of Solid Foams

Solid foam is an excellent alternative to leveling an above-ground pool. It is made from a mixture of polystyrene and a binding agent. The result is a superior product that’s both durable and relatively cheap to buy.

The durability of solid foam makes it perfect for use as a stable base material for above-ground pools. This product can be used in construction projects ranging from houses to yacht docks. The benefits of using this material as a base include its resistance to water damage and high thermal insulation, making it ideal for exterior insulation.

Crushed Stone

Crushed Stone

Crushed stone is a superior alternative to sand, which you can use to level the ground. Crushed stone is also a lot simpler material for pool installation. And this also minimizes the chance of animals digging under your pool.

The downside is some stones, especially limestones, have to be crushed well. Sharp objects could easily tear your swimming pool in the future. And keep in mind that fixing these tears and cracks increases your pool maintenance costs. 

Invest in a Rolling Tamper

A yellow roller tamping gravel

Rolling tamper may be an excellent choice for you if you are looking for a non-dig method of leveling ground for a swimming pool. However, bear in mind that the rolling tamper will only reduce the amount of digging required; it will not altogether remove it. You’ll still have to perform some excavating before installing the Intex above-ground pool.

With the rolling tamper, you will be able to level the ground for the pool. Here is how to do it:

Step 1. Mark the spot where you’ll place the pool.

Step 2. Remove all the grass by raking or cutting them.

Step 3. Begin rolling the tamper across the ground

Step 4. Put the sand evenly across the ground to about 1-2 inches.

Step 5. You can use the rolling tamper to layer the sand evenly.

Step 6. Build up your Intex swimming pool.

Using Pavers Under the Above Ground Pool

Using pavers under above ground pool

Today, pool installers add leveling blocks beneath the rail connectors. 

If you’re wondering how to level the ground for the Intex pool using the leveling blocks, there are two options:

Option 1. Lay the bottom rails of the pool on the ground to determine where the connections will end up, mark the locations, remove the rails, and insert the leveling blocks in the areas before properly installing the fences.

Option 2. Follow the exact procedure like before, but do not remove the rails once placed on the ground. Those will be needed for the installer to place leveling stones beneath the connections. Most installers, on the other hand, find this technique to be more challenging than others.

Pool owners commonly use pavers or patio bricks as leveling blocks in outdoor spaces. Although they are excellent because of their longevity, some pool builders frequently use makeshift blocks to construct their pools, such as pressure-treated wood or concrete blocks.

The blocks aid in the stability of the uprights. As a result, you should ensure that the leveling blocks you choose to use when installing your Intex pool or any other above-ground pool can provide adequate support. We do not suggest woods and concrete blocks because it’s too unreliable to carry a huge weight.

More Helpful Pool Articles To Read: Best Above Ground Pools, Pool Circulation, Best Automatic Pool Vacuum

Leveling an Installed Above Ground Pool

In most cases, even for the most experienced pool installers, it is pretty challenging to correct uneven terrain after the pool has already been installed. This usually means disassembling the pool and smoothing it out to level the ground before the work can begin. 

If the ground level is less than 3 inches, you can fix the issue without disassembling the pool completely. Here are several steps to show you how you can level above the ground pool, even if there’s some water.

Step 1. Drain the water from your above-ground pool until it is almost entirely empty. While the pool is filled with water, don’t try and attempt to level the ground. Not only does it become more complex, but it could also potentially cause accidents.

Step 2. Find the lower side of the pool

Step 3. Search the leveling blocks of the lower side of the pool and take them out first.

Step 4. To level the pool, look for the bottom connectors and pry to balance out the pool.

Step 5. Reinstall back the leveling blocks

Step 6. Repeat the process for all the sides of the pools that are not in balance

Step 7. Remove all the dirt that gathered underneath the pool walls.

Step 8. Once you’ve balanced out the lower sections to the pool’s higher sections, you can now refill the pool with water.

Bottom Line

A common mistake by pool owners leveling their above-ground pool is starting working at the higher sides of the pool. However, we recommend starting to work with the lower sides of the pool. It requires less effort to increase the height than to lower the higher parts.

And there you have it! If you follow all of these procedures, you will have a perfectly level swimming pool. This is the first step to getting your ideal pool into reality. So take all the time you need to properly level your pool to prevent any problems in the future.

Leave a Comment