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How to Create Flat Surfaces for Above-Ground Pools

By Colleen Meheen
Leveling the ground for an above-ground pool must be done accurately.

An above-ground pool is an affordable and easy way to enjoy warm temperatures and activity with friends. This pool can be put together and enjoyed in a relatively short amount of time. Creating a flat and safe surface for this pool must be a priority before the installation. Any variance of slope can create a potential for tearing the pool liner or a host of other destructive effects. Basic planning, then clearing and leveling can create a perfect spot for your future above-ground pool.

Clear all rocks and debris from the entire area and perimeter of the intended pool location. Rake the soil and break up clumps with a shovel to get an even texture across the length of the area. Move the soil around to get an even layer of surface throughout the space.

Rest a long 2-by-4 inch board, roughly 6 to 8 feet in length, across the area. One end of the board should rest in the center of the intended above-ground pool area.

Add a level to the board as it rests on the ground, and verify that the board is level. If adjustments need to be made, make them and then reapply the level until the land is consistently flat.

Run a water-filled roller across the space to move soil evenly through mounds and valleys, creating a very smooth, consistent surface.

Add a 1- to 1 1/2-inch layer of sand across the area. Smooth the sand with a rake to start, then roll the water-filled roller once again across the landscape to move the sand evenly through the space. Run the roller across the area as many times as necessary to make a flat surface.

Push a stake with a long length of string attached to it into the ground a quarter inch above the sand. Pull the string across the area to verify that the deviance in the surface is no more than a quarter of an inch. Measure around the perimeter of the pool area to verify that the entire surface area is flat.

Apply the pool ground cover provided with the pool to the flat surface. Set up the above-ground pool per the instructions. Avoid getting sand and grit above the cover or in the pool.


Things You Will Need

  • Rake
  • Shovel
  • Weighted roller
  • 2-by-4 board
  • Level
  • Stake
  • String
  • Sand
  • Measuring tape

About the Author


Colleen Meheen is a certified personal trainer through the ISSA, and has years of experience in the fields of holistic nutrition. Her passion for preventative wellness creates her active lifestyle up in the Rockies of Colorado. She has been the fashion editor for Lifestyle Media Group and an inspirational writer for Reign Media Group L.L.C.