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Does the idea of setting up a pool overwhelm you? What do you think about pools for your backyard? Are you scared at the idea of setting one up? I have been. I really haven’t felt like getting one, but it’s been a request of the kids and hubby for a few years.
We live at the beach. It’s not out our back door, but from 15 to 60 minutes I can be at one of many beaches in the area. That’s been the basis of my argument against getting a pool for the past few years.
I forget what the rest of my argument for not getting a pool was, although I’m certain there was more. Have you ever done that? LOL, I really can’t recall what they were, but I know I had more than one! I’m going to admit that it probably also had something to do with fear of the unknown. So this year, I decided to give in.
When I announced to the kids that we were getting a pool this year, they were sooo excited!!
We got it last week, and just set it up – and I have to say, it really wasn’t that bad. Stick around for the story and see how we did it – and how you can too, really (even if your hubby is away at work)!
We used to do a swim camp every summer which the kids LOVED, and I quite enjoyed it myself. It was at an in-ground very large public pool. If you know me, I like to do things as economically as possible. An in-ground pool was just not going to happen.
So, I decided to start with something temporary, just in case I hated the maintenance or cleaning it. Or maybe I’ll remember my original arguments against it. 😉 I got a super duper deal on this Intex 15’ soft-sided pool.
The kids and I got to work on one of the hottest days of the week, yay planning. And, so you can judge whether your kids can help or not, DS is 10 and DD is 12. Putting together the Intex pool really isn’t difficult, you just have to read the instructions and take it one step at a time.
I have done some research (I have mentioned I love research, right?), and even though you put this pool on top of a tarp, it is better to clear the area of weeds; which is all that the “grass” consists of in my yard. Some of these bad boys have roots as big as my ring finger, and can make the bottom of the pool bumpy and more susceptible to premature wear and tear, and holes.
Around 11am, I picked an area of the yard I thought would be the most level, and I pounded 2 stakes into the ground 100” apart. Checked for level, and found it was only about an inch slope, or 1% over 100″. This would result in only a 1.8″ slope over the whole pool. (15 feet = 180 inches, then 180 inches X 1% = 1.8″)
Check out this guys video of how to do this.
If you want to have a real-life geometry lesson, knock your socks off. It was too hot for me to think of this, and I just wanted to get it done. However, when we grade the ground in the fall, this will definitely come into play, as I think this is quite an interesting real-life application ;).
I called it good, and marked the ground with spray paint. To do this, I put a stake in the middle of my proposed area, then tied a string to it. I measured 8′ out on the string, and held that in my left hand close to the ground, and spray paint in my right hand. As I walked and sprayed, keeping the string taught, I marked a perfect 16′ circle.
My plan was: To use shovels to clear the weeds off the topsoil, and then trowel out any that were big. I did a 1 foot area and decided I needed to work smarter, not harder. So I got the weed whacker out and went to town.
It didn’t take me too long to have the weeds cut out. I went all the way to dirt. DD raked the whole area and we used a trowel and shovel to get some of the big weeds out. Then I sprayed the whole area with RoundUp, and went inside for a nap :), it was 12:20.
After 3, we laid out the tarp and started setting up the pool. It wasn’t too hard, but the heat sure didn’t help. The directions say to leave the liner in the sun to warm up and make it easier to work with. Well, we also left the Y joints and legs in the sun – man they were hot!!
So, leave yours in the shade/box until you use each one unless you’re super smart and do this on a cloudy day. We stopped frequently for water breaks, and by 5:20 we were ready to turn the hose on!
Just needs the little feet on all the legs…
The kids got in it right away – first to help get the wrinkles out of the bottom, then to play – we were sooo hot! Getting the wrinkles out only takes some hopping at the sides of the pool to pull the liner outwards. We also checked the water level once about 3″ of water was in the pool. It’s pretty easy with the squares on the liner – we just made sure that roughly the same amount of squares was being covered all the way around.
Once this was done, DS got his new snorkel out and snorkeled in about 3” of water!!
We left the hose on until 9:30, and turned it off to give the well pump a rest. The next day I turned the hose on around 9 and the pool was filled to the proper level around 1:30. The kids played in it while it was filling up on the second day. It was only about 75 degrees outside, and the water was so cold, that when I had them come out for lunch their lips were purple!!
In the above picture, you may be able to see that the pool is slightly slanted due to the level of the ground. On the left there are only 3 blue squares above the water, and on the right there are 4.
This is why it’s so very important to measure the slope of the ground on the spot you plan on putting the pool, and adjusting it if needed. I would hate to get it all the way filled and find out that it was any worse! This would put too much pressure on one side of the pool, and could result in it busting.
When I take it down for the winter, I’ll strip the soil a little on the right side, and keep it covered with a tarp to keep anything from growing there. Next year it’ll be even more level.
Anywho, we put the cover on it overnight and the next day it was still chilly, but at least the kids didn’t turn purple!!
We’re really diving head first into summer (pool pun!!). We’ve taken about two weeks off from everything except reading. It’s such a welcome change!!
I shared this on my facebook group page – but in case you missed it, there’s a summer reading program you may want to check out for your kids: Homeschool Buyers Co-Op
We’ve really enjoyed the pool so far, I look forward to spending time in there. It really is nice to have it right in the back yard – and to swim without sand getting in your bathing suit!
This coming week we’re off to help with VBS, and then it’s 4th of July already and the next week we’ll be using our Six Flags Reading Reward and riding tons of coasters!!