How to Prepare Your Backyard for Pool Installation

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Endless Pools blog welcomes guest blogger Bill Edwards, a landscaper and freelance writer. This article on backyard preparation for a new pool is his first contribution.

So, you’re ready to submerge yourself in an aquatic lifestyle and put a pool in your yard. Some of your best childhood memories come from splashing around with your buddies. Now, you want your children to create their own aquatic memories and get some healthy exercise by adding a pool to your backyard landscape. Before you dive in, make sure you're ready for your very own private oasis.

Backyard Pool Placement

Deciding where to put your pool is the first step. Determine the type of ground. Is it sandy? Rocky? Are trees and plants too close to the area you're considering? Slope and drainage elements also play a role. Be sure to check zoning regulations in your city.

Also take into account power lines, water lines, septic systems, and other utilities that may be buried in the yard. Check on this with your local utility companies before you start.

Another thing to consider is fencing. Some municipalities require a perimeter wall or fence around a pool. City or county code enforcement can tell you if yours is one of them.

In smaller yards, the pool is often located near the house. It’s an extension of your home’s architecture and should reflect that in color and design.

If you have a larger space, you have more flexibility on location because the pool, and surrounding area, is its own destination. However, you should still work to complement the natural surroundings. Endless Pools gives you choices in size and design. There are many customization and finishing options to ensure that the pool you pick fits in perfectly with your backyard scheme.

partially in-ground Original Endless Pool in a Mobile, Alabama, backyard
These homeowners followed Bill Edwards' rules: installing their Original Endless Pool close to the house, they skirted it in brick that perfectly matched the exterior wall! They then constructed a pool enclosure to highlight the installation and to give them all-weather access. 

Choosing the Type of Pool Installation

Once you know where it’s going, the space will dictate what kind of pool to get. Installation of an Endless Pool requires a solid, level surface that is two feet wider and three feet longer than the pool’s interior dimensions.

There are three types of pool installations — aboveground, in-ground, and partially in-ground. How do you know which works best for you and your family? It depends on the terrain and what you’re looking for.

Aboveground pools eliminate the need to excavate. Put a raised platform around your aboveground pool, and it functions the same as an in-ground pool.

Partially in-ground pools are the most easily accessible to people with physical limitations. These pools require less excavation, of course, than a fully in-ground pool.

In-ground is the way to go if you want to go deep. If you do decide to excavate, first determine the height of the site’s water table.

Performance Endless Pool installed partially in-ground with raised decking
The raised decking gives this partially in-ground Endless Pool a fully in-ground feel on three sides. The owners smartly created plenty of room for relaxing and entertaining on the deck, with a perfectly manicured surround. 

Prepare the Area

Once you’ve chosen the spot and the pool installation type, it’s time to remove everything that makes it tough to secure a proper foundation. Sharp stones and rocks, sticks, sod, roots, and other vegetation need to go.

The concrete slab needs to be at least six inches thick. The ground underneath the concrete must be well-drained and compact, and the foundation must be level and even. Once the slab is ready, installation can begin!

fully aboveground Original Endless Pool with a gazebo
The tiered skirting and playful fish motif give this aboveground Endless Pool tons of character. The owners went all out, surrounding it with lush garden beds and a stunning gazebo featuring natural tree-trunk posts.

Yard Decor

Once you have a beautiful pool in place, the rest of the yard should sparkle as well. You can spend a lot of money on landscaping, but many DIY projects can also add to your yard, without costing much.

Painting or staining the deck will make it look new. Add some brightly colored flowers. Maybe pave the way to the pool with bricks or stones. Invest in patio furniture. Build a fire pit. Toss any old, rusting toys or sports equipment that are no longer in use. Keep the lawn and shrubs neat and tidy. And string lights around the perimeter of the yard or wrap them around the trees.

For a little more money, and maybe some outside help from a contractor, you can make big changes to accentuate your pool: a glass enclosure, a waterfall, a deck built up around the pool, or a pergola create a backyard jewel that’s the talk of the neighborhood.

Bill Edwards is a landscaper and freelance writer who enjoys doing handyman project around the house. He and his children recently built a neighborhood gazebo next to the pool.

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