The best way to get started designing and choosing the placement of your new above ground swimming pool is with a trip to the local building department. Even people with large backyards, sometimes discover they’re limited with regard to pool size, or where they are allowed to put it. This is especially difficult if you have a septic tank and leeching field.

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Most towns in Massachusetts require the pool to be located directly behind the house. Anyone interested in installing a new above ground pool would do well to see about getting a copy of the local code requirements from their specific town offices.

Especially, if you are planning to place your new pool near a neighbors fence, near a septic system, or within ten feet from the back of your home. The local town building department will have all the necessary setback requirements and other regulations you need to know.

Some towns require your yard to be fenced in, or a perimeter fence installed on the top of the pool wall. Having to add a perimeter fence to the top of your pool can add a $1000.00 dollars to the cost of your project. In other towns here in the same state, they consider the pool wall over 48 inches to be enough of a barrier to entry, and no fence is required. It all comes down to how your town inspector interprets the code.

We have given up fighting with building inspectors and pulling permits. We install pools in so many cities now, with so many different requirements, it is no longer cost effective for us to spend the time needed at every building department pulling permits. Grab your permit while you are there if possible.

In most towns, pulling a permit is easy-breezy, and your in and out in a half hour. While some cities make it a fight from the permit application and approval to the final pool inspection, some make it easy with online applications. It is best, however, to begin sooner rather than later because you never know.

At least when you pull the permit, you know you’re going to have an independent inspection of all the work that gets done.

You will want to install the pool on as level an area possible to save money on the dig, and to prevent water from sloping toward the pool. If you are placing the pool near the house, and your roof is pitched toward the location of your new pool. You may have to install gutters or dig a drain to divert rushing water.

Layout For 24 Foot Round Above Ground Pool

To determine how much to dig for any size round above ground pool, or even if you want to mark it out so you can see and imagine where it is going. Take your pool size and divide it in half, then add on 1 foot for level ground or 2-3 feet for backyards with slopes /hills. This number is your radius.

The extra foot is to provide a one foot area all the way around the pool for drainage.

With your radius, drive a nail in the center of where you think the pool is going and walk around measuring from the marker and painting or marking the perimeter with flour.

For example, if your pool is a 24 foot round, and your yard is flat, your radius is 13 feet which give you a 26-foot diameter.

Layout For 15 x 30 Oval Above Ground Pool

For a 15 x 30 oval pool, drive two spikes into the ground 15 feet apart. Then walk a radius
of 7.5 feet around each spike, then connect the two circles by drawing straight lines on the outside edge of each circle, this will give you a 15 x 30 oval. With an eight foot radius you can mark the over-dig for drainage

Rough Drawing 15 x 30 Layout

15 x 30 pool layout

Rounds Vs. Oval

In my Above Ground Pool Buyers Guide, I compared a 15′ x 30′ pool to a 24′ Round. Even if you disagree with me about strength, round pools cost less to purchase, are much cheaper to install, and you have more area in the round pool to swim. So you will always get more value buying a round pool.

Do You Need A Deck?

Your above ground pool ideas better include a way to get in and out of your pool before you purchase a package. If you are building a deck right away, you can buy a package with a nice set of drop-in stairs. If you are going to wait on the deck, you will need an A-Frame ladder packaged with your kit. If you plan to build the pool now and a deck down the road, you can purchase an A-Frame ladder that will convert to for a deck for when it’s built.

Including A Patio In The Plan

If your not building a deck, you may like a nice patio. This will provide you a place to set up a lounge chair, or maybe a table with an umbrella and a few chairs. It is wise to plan a head, so you can have the area leveled during the same time the pool site is dug. No sense having heavy equipment brought out twice.

There are several inexpensive patio options that will enhance your enjoyment of your new pool. Without a clean deck or patio, people will be bringing much more dirt and grass into the pool. If your plan is to wait on a deck and a patio, having a foot rinse tub near the ladder will suffice.

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Published by poolservicema

30 year veteran in the pool industry. Having had many career path changes over the years. I began in the pool industry, and looks like I will finish my working life in the pool industry.

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