2-foot wooden stakes
- Compared to above-ground pools, inground pools offer a lower profile in your yard and greater heat retention. Of course, they are also significantly more expensive than above-ground pools. One way to save money is by converting an above-ground pool into an inground pool that sits mostly below the grade level of the surrounding yard. Besides piling up soil around an existing pool to raise the level of the ground, you can also install an above-ground pool in a depression, giving it some of the benefits of an inground pool.
Determine the size of the above-ground pool you plan to buy, including the height of the walls, the water depth, and the length and width of the deck that rims the pool walls.
Add the extension length of buttresses, which extend from pool walls diagonally and support the walls from the outside, to the length and width of the total pool surface size. The extension length is the distance from the pool wall that the buttresses extend at their bases.
Lay out and mark an area in your yard that is 4 feet longer and wider than the total area of your pool with the buttress extension lengths added in. Make your measurements with a tape measure and hammer 2-foot wooden stakes into the ground with a rubber mallet to mark the corners of the pool site.
Wrap twine around the stakes that outline your pool's site, pulling it taut and adding additional stakes as needed. Spray paint the entire pool site outline on the dirt or grass using the straight lines created by the twine as a guide. Remove the stakes and twine.
Hire a backhoe and operator to excavate your pool site. Ask that the hole be dug to a depth that is 1 foot less than the depth of the water in the pool.
Assemble your pool within the hole, following the manufacturer's instructions. In most cases this will involve erecting the walls, spreading sand for the pool base and installing a liner. Attach the pump, plumbing and electrical connections. Fill the pool with water to the recommended depth.
Fill in dirt around the pool using a garden spade once it's filled with water. Bury the buttresses and fill in the 2-foot-wide trench around the pool that comes from the feet you added when you marked the installation site.
Connect the pool to the pump and filter system, which can be set up anywhere in your yard. Clean the pool as needed using a pool vacuum or skimmer net, but don't drain the pool for cleaning or during the winter.
Tips & Warnings
- Once your pool is installed you'll be ready to add landscaping, a wood or concrete deck, and lighting to make the area usable at night.
- Never allow the pool's water level falls below the level of the ground around the pool walls. The pressure from the soil around the pool needs to be equalized by the pressure of the water pushing outward to keep the walls upright.
- Check your local building codes to determine fencing requirements for an inground pool, which may require you to build a gated fence for security.
- Installing a pool designed for above-ground use in an inground location will likely void the warranty. This means that you'll be responsible for paying for repairs whether they're due to poor installation or manufacturing defects. Keep this in mind before deciding to perform an inground conversion.