Pool Care Pool Lifestyle

8 Easiest Ways to Level the Ground for a Pool

When summer arrives, it is time we realize the need for a swimming pool. A cold bath will give you the chance to beat the summer heat.

Most people prefer installing an above-ground pool since it’s an affordable choice and requires less preparation work and reduced installation costs.

However, the unit has to be correctly installed for you to enjoy its benefits.

With above-ground requiring no major construction tasks, whether or not your swimming pool stands firm depends on the levelness of the ground it sits on.

Keeping the ground of your pool level assures you a safe swimming experience and lots of summer fun in the sun. This post is here to show you how to level the ground for the pool.

Read along!

Why is it necessary to install an above ground pool on level ground?

If you install your above-ground pool on uneven ground, you’re exposing it to troubles with the water level, pool walls, and pool liner. Here are the reasons why you must never install your swimming pool on uneven ground.

Pool Walls Problems

Uneven ground causes uneven pressure on one side of the pool surfaces, which can lead to collapse. The water presses the low-ground side with more force than the high side.

The uneven weight distribution can twist, buckle or even collapse your pool walls. That can result in damages or even injury if anyone in or around it during the action.

An above-ground pool with an inflatable ring might fold because of the unevenly distributed water pressure. However, even such a model with a solid side panel can also fail.

Uneven Water Level

One obvious thing that would happen if you installed your pool on uneven ground is the uneven water level.

The difference might be few inches at first, but the pool will continue to settle, over time and the difference will increase.

The deeper side becomes dangerous to kids unable to touch the pool bottom. It might also surprise experienced swimmers.

What’s more, if your swimming pool has a skimmer and the water level isn’t covering it halfway, it won’t function properly.

Liner Damage

If you erect your above-ground pool on uneven ground, the liner doesn’t lay flat, which causes folds and wrinkles. That can lead to pool equipment getting hooked up, which might tear or rip the pool liner.

Also, pool cleaners won’t be able to clean a wrinkled liner leaving you with an unclean swimming pool.

They might also ruin vinyl fabric if it runs over multiple times. If it were to rip, your pool wouldn’t be watertight again, and it’ll start to leak.

Do inground pools require a level ground?

I think I’ve talked too much about above ground pools and forgotten to say a word about inground pools. But the big question is, does an inground pool need a level ground?

As you well know, most inground pools have shallow and deep ends and with a slanting surface connecting the two. The two areas have flat ground.

To answer the question, yes, an inground pool needs level ground but not the same as an above ground pool.

Another thing, activities involved in inground pool ground preparation is a lot. You might not pull it with DIY tools. You might need machinery for the work depending on the size of your swimming pool.

So, that’s why I ruled out the need to discuss it here.

How do you level the ground for a pool?

With uneven ground linked to the various problems and risks I discussed above, you might want to make sure your above ground pool gets a perfect leveled ground. Where do you start, and how do you level the ground? Here are the steps to follow.

Step 1: Choosing the site

Start by inspecting your yard and pick the flattest available spot you can find. Those areas with a lot of bumps will require much work to level.

Remember to pick a foot or two more than your pool’s measurement in all directions. It will give you an ideal allowance.

Step 2: Preparing the site

Mark the area and start removing the weeds, grass, and rocks. You can use a shovel, rake, and a sod cutter for the job. You can also use a rototiller; it does a great job in removing grass.

If you have time to spare before you can install the pool, preferably months, you can lay dark polythene to cover the area. It helps in killing any grass that might grow during this period.

Step 3: Checking the level state of the area

You will need a long wood board for a rectangular pool where you will attach a level, lay it on the site, and see its closeness to the level.

For the round pools, take a stake and pound it in the site center. Tie a string to it and make it level. Use the string to make the ground level.

You can also apply the same with a piece of 3×2 wood. You will need to have a metal attached at one end and pounded at the site center. Make sure the wood is level. If not, slide it on the ground until it’s level.

Step 4: digging out the high spots

Take the shovel and dig out those high spots remaining. If it’s far from being level, the best move is to get rid of the dirt to make it level; don’t add it. That adds firmness to the soil under the pool.

Step 5: adding sand

Once you confirm it’s leveled, you can now add sand on to it. You can order it from any garden and landscaping Supplies Company; they will deliver with a truckload.

You need a layer of two to six inches. The sand helps keep the ground firm and solid.

With sand having loose particles, it does allow critters to burrow at the pool bottom. It can also get washed away or displaced, causing leveling problems. What other options are there?

Concrete slab: It offers a reliable solid surface for your pool that is also easy to level. However, it might have a rough surface that could cause abrasion to your pool bottom.

Crushed stones: unlike sand, these are more firm and solid. What’s more, they cannot be washed away. However, the crushing has to be done finely right. If not done perfectly, they might tear or break your pool bottom.

Solid foam: it offers an excellent protective layer. The best part is, you can use it to level the ground without digging. All you need is to place it directly over the grass to level the spot.

Step 6: spreading the sand

Since you might end up adding more sand to some areas, get a rake and use it to spread it evenly all over the site. Use the same tools you used to level the ground to make it level again.

Step 7: Compacting the sand

Use a lawn roller to compact the sand. You can rent it from your nearest home and garden shop or center. While doing so, keep checking to make sure the ground remains level. If it’s not, take a shovel and fill it with sand.

Step 8: Finalizing

Now that the ground is level and compact take a swimming pool protector or a tarp and place it over the surface. While at it, make sure it’s level.

You can also buy a specialized pool pad, which can be made of foam or something else. It’ll help protect your pool’s bottom.


And that’s how to level the ground for a pool. Understand that you might need to check with your local construction codes to know your compound’s best spot to install the swimming pool. If you need a semi-inground pool with a level bottom, you will carry out the same steps. However, this time you will have to dig a pit depending on how deep you want to go.

About the author

Sharif Miah

Hi! I'm Sharif, the founder of Globo Pool® and I have been working in the pool & hot tub industry for the last few years. I love to share my experiences with people & hope you are enjoying my information and lessons!

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