How To Level Ground For Pool

If you are installing your own above-ground pool for the summer months, the ground needs to be level or you can risk damage and the wrath of the young ones who were looking forward to a fun cool down.

To find out how to make sure the area is safe, and make sure you know what you are doing, read our guide on how to level ground for your pool.

Why Should I Level Ground For Pool?

If the pool is not flat, it adds pressure to one side which can cause the whole structure to fold and collapse. For children especially, but also adults, the consequences can be perilous.

On top of this, if one side is deeper than the other, it can be dangerous for young ones. If they can reach the bottom on one end, but not the other, they will get overconfident without you realizing there is a danger. If the shallow side of the pool happens to be where your skimmer is, it can cause problems for your equipment and compromise the cleanliness of the water.

As if all this wasn’t bad enough, it will also look off. This might annoy you every time you look at it but once the water is in, it can be a big job getting it out securely and refilling so you want to be sure to get it right the first time.

To avoid such events, and to make sure your above-ground pool will last the season, find out how to level ground for your pool safely.

Finding The Right Place For Your Pool

This is vital when it comes to the upkeep and safety of your pool. It will also help you to make sure the surface is level as any area with bigger inclines should be avoided. This should be done before you start filling it as it is a very difficult job to move a pool after.

Consider the foliage that might fall from trees nearby and keep the pool at a reasonable distance if possible to save yourself time on scooping out leaves all summer. One of the most important things you should do is stay away from above and below ground power lines and try not to block part of your pathway. Once you have done this, you can start to think about leveling the ground for your pool.

Another thing to keep in mind is the codes specific to your area. this will dictate how far you must keep your pool from the property line or the road. Contact your local authority if you are concerned about this at any point, it’s better than having to move it later.

How To Check If The Ground Is Level

The first thing to do is to find out how bad the incline is. To so so, use a flat surface such as a few 2×4’s that you have attached, as long as it is longer than the space you are looking to out your pool then it should be sufficient. Next, place a level on the flat surface and lift the low side until it is level before measuring how far it is from the ground.

This will tell you how significant the incline is. If it is over 2 inches, then you need to need to work to make the surface level. Mark any raised areas with stakes or whatever you have to hand to make it easier to get the smooth surface you need.

Alternatively, you can get your hands on a laser level. This will be more expensive but will make this process a lot faster and easier to get right when on your own. Also, you should be checking the level at different stages so it might be a useful tool that you use again and again.

Clear The Area

When you’ve found the ideal place to set up your above-ground pool, the next step is to clear the area. Sharp objects and the likes of sticks all need to be cleared, even smooth looking rocks will need to be moved. This will protect the pool liner and ensure you don’t get any leaks that could otherwise be easily avoided.

It is important to be accurate when clearing sharp objects so if certain areas of your yard have more of the smaller, harder to remove sharp objects such as glass fragments, it might be a better idea to move to another area.

How To Level Ground For Pool


There are different methods, but once you know which end is to blame for any raised sections, the best way of leveling it is to dig. This makes it more stable than filling other parts although it can be a viable technique.

Any bumps should be dug out and be sure to check the level using the technique above to make sure you’ve got it right.


The next step is to create a base using sand. The size of the pool will determine how much sand you need so if it is particularly large, you might need a little help getting it home. Sand provides a protective layer between the base and the ground which will make sure any sharp objects left behind are not an issue. Sand also helps to keep the pool in place when you are installing it and you will need a thickness of at least a couple of inches so keep this in mind when buying the sand.

When it has been spread out, use a rake to flatten the surface and water it thoroughly before leaving it to dry. If it is a sunny day, you should be able to continue with installing the pool later that day but if not, leave it overnight to be sure it is dry.

Flatten The Sand

When it is dry, you’ll want to press it to make it compact before the pool goes on. There are a few tools that will be useful here, a compactor, for instance, is often used for bigger jobs but if you don’t already have one, it is probably more sensible to use a garden roller to flatten the surface. These can be hired from your local garden center or DIY store.

Check Again

There’s nothing wrong with using the level to check on your progress every step of the way and if there are any inconsistencies at this stage, smooth the problem areas using a spade.

Install The Base Layer

There are specialist foam layers that can be used at this point and these are great for keeping the heat in the water and adding a proper layer under the base. However, there is nothing wrong with laying down some tarp to protect the pools. This will give you another layer to prevent sharp objects from becoming a problem and is the last step before installing your pool.

The Final Stage

The last part, of course, is to install your above-ground pool. Although every size and shape and brand differs slightly, the instructions should be straight forward. Because you have added a secure and level base, the next stage should seem simple, and your family will be enjoying a cooling swim in no time.


Although each step is relatively simple, leveling the ground for your pool is not something that takes a few minutes. The bigger the pool, the more important it is to get this stage right as it will be harder to make any amendments or repairs later.

By preparing the right way, and installing a quality base layer, you will give yourself the best chance of enjoying a hassle-free above-ground pool that lasts the warmer months.

If possible, call a friend to see if they can help along the way. This will make certain parts such as judging the level easier and of course, half the amount of labor when it comes to digging.