So you live in the Orlando area, have bought an above-ground swimming pool, and need it installed. What else do you need?
When you buy an above-ground pool, it has to be assembled and installed usually outside on the ground. This is not like buying a car or a watch. You’ll need a couple of things to go with it.
To install an above-ground pool in Orlando, you will minimally need yard room, an idea of where you want to put it, someone to install it, a water hose long enough to reach the pool site, and an idea of how you will be getting electricity to the pool’s pump.
LIST OF THINGS NEEDED IF HAVING A POOL INSTALLED IN ORLANDO BY A PROFESSIONAL
1 The pool package
For some, just having the pool won’t be easy as there are different types of pools, sizes, and two shapes to choose from.
Regardless of what you choose, you will need to have the pool already in your possession before the installer comes to your house.
During the busy summer season, installers try to schedule as many installs as they can. One of the things that I learned in 36 years of installing is that you don’t schedule a date until you know for a fact that the pool will be there at least one day beforehand.
Post-2020, I try to make sure the pool will be in the homeowner’s possession days before the scheduled installation date. Things don’t come as well as they used to.
2 An idea of where you want the pool
An experienced installer can help you decide where in the yard to put your new pool, but you should at least have an idea or two of where you want it beforehand.
You also want to make sure that the size pool you bought will fit in your yard too. I know this sounds obvious, but I’ve had on more than a few occasions come out to install a pool and the yard wasn’t big enough. That’s a major pain for everyone involved.
NOTE: Oval-type above ground pools need extra space on the long/straight sides due to them having buttresses
3 Access for install equipment
Some installers will only have a sod cutter to help them with removing the grass and leveling the site. If that’s the case, you will only need a standard gate as access for the installer.
I use a skid/steer machine to do the sod removal, earth leveling, and ground prep. My machine is only 48” wide, so in my case, I need access (a gate) to be at least 4.5ft wide to get my machine in.
If your fenced-in yard doesn’t have a wide enough gate, then a fence section may have to be temporarily taken down.
4 To be aware that you will have excess grass/sod, and where you will want it
An unfortunate byproduct of installing an above-ground pool in Orlando is that if you have good-quality grass, then there will be a pile of it to deal with.
The grass at the new pool site MUST be removed for a proper installation. Period. This can leave you with some grass to deal with and installers will not haul it away.
Installers with only a sod cutter will just get the grass out of their way by placing it next to the cleared area.
I have a machine to remove the sod, so I can offer to put it anywhere in the yard that the homeowner wants it. Knowing where you want me to put it beforehand is helpful to you and me.
5 If your pool came with a sand-type filter, then you will need to get filter sand for it.
Pool packages don’t ship with filter sand as it’s too heavy and costs too much to ship. Cartridge-type filters don’t need sand, so this is only for sand-type filters.
If you have a sand-type filter, then you’ll have to figure out how much sand you will need, have it purchased, and be at the home before the end of the job so the installer can assemble the filter.
6 Patio stones for the pump/filter (Optional)
Most above-ground pool equipment (pump/filter pack) can sit on level ground with no issues. It’s nice though for the pool equipment to sit on something instead of just the ground.
I hard pipe the pump and filter with every installation, so it’s a good idea to have patio stones for me to put down beforehand as it would be harder to put them under the pump and filter pack afterward.
Usually, having enough patio stones to cover a 2ftx3ft area is enough.
7 A water hose long enough to reach where the new pool is going
Most everyone in Orlando will fill their new pool up with their own water source. For this, make sure that the water hose you have will reach where the pool is going.
It’s not uncommon for people to have to go buy a new hose, so don’t just assume that your existing hose will reach your new pool location.
8 An idea of where your electrical source will come from
After the pool is assembled and filled (which usually takes about 24 hours), you will need to plug in and turn on your pool’s pump.
There are many ways to run electrical to your pool’s pump. Some have an electrician bury a line to the pump and some just use an extension cord. Most do something in between.
The pump will sit next to the pool somewhere, so plan out where you will be getting your power for that.
The installer won’t need you to have your electric source figured out while he is there, but 24 hours later, you will though.
When the job is done, the pool will be assembled with the pump/filter hooked up and there will be a few inches of water in the pool and filling with your hose.
It will be time to pay the installer. Most installers want cash. I accept only cash or a local check.
LIST OF THINGS NEEDED WHEN INSTALLING AN ABOVE-GROUND POOL IN ORLANDO YOURSELF
A The pool package
Go through your pool boxes and make sure you have everything before starting. It sucks to be in the job and realize the liner or skimmer is missing.
B Good help
This is not an easy DIY project, so set your expectations properly.
You will want a bunch of people helping you with this, but will absolutely need at least two people to roll out the wall of the pool.
3 Leveling blocks
Please do yourself a favor and get some patio stones so you can set them level under the bottom track of the pool. This will give you a fighting chance of the pool coming out level.
You will need a patio stone for every upright that the pool has.
Shovels and rakes are good for working the earth. Standard things like a cordless drill and measuring tape are needed for this job.
You will also need a level of some kind. Don’t think you can just “eyeball” level a swimming pool installation. Water doesn’t lie and you’ll know exactly how off the pool is when it fills with water.
I recommend renting a laser level.
5 Rent a sod cutter or skid/steer machine
Most won’t need a skid/steer (bobcat) machine, but almost everyone should rent a sod cutter.
If you think you don’t need one, that’s cool. Get started cutting out your grass with only your shovel.
In twenty minutes or so when you’ve cut out a couple of square feet of grass and are exhausted, you can revisit whether or not spending a hundred bucks for a machine to do this is worth it. Lol
6 Nutgrass killer
Nutgrass can be an issue in Orlando and surrounding areas. Getting good granular nutgrass killer and putting it down right before the liner guard/and or liner may prevent you from getting grass growing in your pool.
7 A water hose to reach the pool
You will need to fill the pool up when you’re done, but you’ll also need to wet the site down a couple of times to help level and pack it.
8 Bulk sand
Orlando and surrounding areas are mostly sand based, so usually added sand isn’t recommended or necessary.
If your earth is hard to work with or has a lot of debris, you may want to just put down a layer of clean sand to make the job easier.
As a professional installer with a machine, I very rarely use sand. DIYers may want to though.
NOTE: Bulk sand is harder to find in the Orlando area now. You can find it though at some Home Depot and Lowes though. You will need a truck to transport it and a wheel barrow to get it to the install site.
Above-ground pools aren’t Swiss watches. There is nothing precision about them, so don’t expect things to go together well or predictably.
Be patient. Keep in mind that working in the heat takes away your ability to think well. Take breaks and work in the cooler hours of the day.
And roll out the wall in the morning. You don’t want to worry about Orlando afternoon storms when dealing with the pool wall.