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How to Prepare Your Yard for Above Ground Pool Installation

Posted by Watson's on Apr 26, 2021 10:00:00 AM

Above ground pools at Watson's So you've purchased a pool. Now what? 

Congratulations! You and your family are about to have all the fun for many years to come. 

First, though, comes the tough part: installation of your above ground pool. 

Below is a handy checklist to help prepare your yard for pool installation, created by Watson's experts.

We've been in the pool business for more than 50 years.

We know that pool installation can be hard work and require patience, but we promise you it will be worth it when you're splashing with your friends or family on a hot summer day. 

Shop in-stock above ground pools now.

Already have your pool? Shop Watson's online or in-store for pool chemicals, equipment, toys or games — all at the guaranteed lowest price in the USA. 


STEP 1: Be flexible based on weather 

Bobcat during pool installationWeather is critical to the timeline for installation. 

Several days of warm, dry weather with calm winds is ideal. 

Rain or other adverse conditions (like high winds, a wet or frozen ground or even temperatures below 60 degrees) can cause delays to pool installations across your neighborhood or region.

That is out of the control of any pool installer or pool retailer. 

That’s due in part to the digging and the heavy equipment needed as part of the installation. If the ground is wet, it can cause serious damage to your property, leaving mud tracks and ruts in the yard. 


STEP 2: Secure any pool permits 

Pool permits are the responsibility of the homeowner, so make sure you have approved permits before you begin. 

Swimming pools may be regulated by your city, county and/or state. If you have a homeowners association (HOA), they may have restrictions as well. 

Your city's code enforcement department is a good place to start. 


STEP 3: Mark your pool location & equipment 

Screen Shot 2021-04-22 at 2.22.10 PMNeed help planning your pool site? See our guide here

Measure your desired pool location for the width of the pool. Then mark the center of the pool with spray paint or a stake.

Mark the spot for your equipment and filter setup, too.

It should be as close to the pool as possible for maximum filter efficiency. It will also need to be near a 110-volt plug-in for your pool pump.

(Please note that use of an extension cord will likely void your warranty.) 


STEP 4: Confirm access to electric outlet

You will need access to an outlet for your pool equipment. Your installers will also need access to an electrical outlet to run a vacuum during install.


STEP 5: Make sure your backyard is easily accessible

You need remove for heavy equipment to navigate through your yard and to the pool site. 

We recommend at least a 10' opening to bring in any necessary equipment or supplies, like the bobcat or sand.  

Remove a fence or gate if needed. 


STEP 6: Have mason sand delivered near the pool site

Pool swimming sandYou'll need swimming pool sand (aka mason sand) for the bottom of the pool, and it needs to be on site prior to installation. 

Deliver it at least 10 to 20 feet away from the installation site, and not inside the pool area. 

Once it's at your home, cover your sand with a tarp to hold it in place and protect it from wind or rain. Use a stake or put bricks on the tarp to hold it in place. 

Not sure how much sand you need? If you already purchased your pool from Watson's, refer to your contract to see the exact amount of sand. You can also contact us. 


STEP 7: Purchase filter pad

Equipment pads are relatively inexpensive. They go under your pool heater, filter, pump or any other type of pool equipment. 


STEP 8: Have water available to fill the pool 

After the installation is complete, now you need to fill your pool with water. 

Small to medium pools can use a spigot and hose, if it’s long enough to reach the pool. 

Many pool owners call their city water department ahead of time to ask for an estimate. Some cities may offer a discount once they know the reason for the high usage. 

If your pool is bigger than 27’ feet, you will likely need one load of water to be delivered by a water company.  (The average cost is usually anywhere from $70 to $100 for 2,000 gallons.)


STEP 9: Prepare to get dirty 

Screen Shot 2021-04-22 at 2.09.05 PMExpect excess dirt on your property after the ground is dug up.

Once the installation is complete, it is usually your responsibility as the pool owner to backfill the trench around the bottom of the pool and then remove any remaining dirt.




Questions about how to prepare for your pool installation? Or need help learning how to care and maintain your new pool?

The experts at Watson's are here to help. We even offer free water testing in store to help you identify what chemicals you need. Contact us now

Topics: Pool - Above Ground Pools

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