Buried Above Ground Pools
If you like the looks of the pool above then you’re in luck Florida! The buried above ground pool has gained tremendous popularity in recent years. About ten years ago we were building 250 above ground pools a year in Central Florida and about 10% of them were being buried inground partially. Nowadays we install the same pools but get this request about 40% of the time. That’s a huge jump inground buried pools so what’s going on?
Partially InGround Pools, What Are They?
The pool in the image above is simply an above ground pool that has been installed partially inground. Some of you readers have seen this before but many had no idea that this could be done. It’s not a big deal but does take more work to dig the hole and assemble the pool, so be prepared to spend an extra few hundred dollars on your installation. But before I get into that part of it I want to explain the reasons why people bury above ground pools and what the benefits are.
As you all know the economy has been tough and it’s hard for many people to justify the crazy prices inground pools now cost to build. For this reason many homeowners who were considering doing so have taken a second look at above ground pools as an affordable option for them. And if they can sink it down like the inground pools then they find it more appealing. High quality pools with stylish good looks, resin construction that are saltwater compatible certainly helps draw in a broader audience than models of years past.
It’s no doubt much easier to keep an eye on the kids swimming when you can see the water and not staring at the side of the pool wall. The only way to do this effectively before was to build a deck up high and watch from there.
Another reason for sinking the pool is that it’s much easier to enter and exit the water. Anyone with physical limitations find not having to climb up a ladder a blessing. If that’s not enough reason to sink your next pool here’s another. Everyone I spoke with finds it much easier to clean their pool when the water’s surface is lower.
How To Partially Bury Your Above Ground Pool
Not all above ground pools are meant to be buried, so I recommend starting with a steel wall American brand pool if you’re considering doing this. Imported pools from overseas are very thin and flimsy, they do not do well when buried in the ground. The same holds true for sheet aluminum pools, their nature makes them unstable when sunk into the earth. Both of these type pools are very sketchy to replace liners in or drain for service work. The thin or weak pool walls are the main problem.
Once you have a quality pool to bury you can move onto what’s possible. The good news is Central Florida soil is soft so the dig is fairly easy but how deep you can go depends on the pool and where you live. Because the water table in Florida is high, sinking a pool more than 30″ may not be always possible without hitting water. I’ve dug many pools between Orlando and Palm Bay where I could only dig about 12″ before the ground turned wet and soft. I had to stop at that depth in order to complete the job, if not we were coming back after the rainy season to do it. You can typically dig deeper in the winter months when it’s not raining everyday as the water table is lower.
If sinking a pool deeper than 30″ or if the pool pump is located higher than the surface of the pool water, an inground pool pump is required. I”m not a fan of burying a pool further than 30″ anyway so I won’t do it.
Time To Get Dirty
To bury an above ground pool you only need to dig a hole big enough to construct the pool inside of it. This does mean the hole will need to be a few feet larger all the way around so the pool will fit and you can access all the hardware that’s required for assembly. You will also need to ensure the bottom of your hole is flat and the dirt is manageable, if not sand may be required or at least a pool floor pad.
Once you have a proper hole dug building the pool is much the same as building one on top of the ground. And after you complete the construction of the pool you can fill it up and test your equipment for leaks. If all checks out you are ready to back-fill the open space around the pool with dirt. Make sure to do this slowly and don’t pack it in, let nature and the rains help settle the earth. Once back-filled you can landscape around it, build a deck etc. and make it a great addition to your backyard.