How To Install An Oval Above Ground Pool – Step By Step Installation Guide

An above ground swimming pool is only fun once it has been installed and filled with water. The first thing to do in order to start the installation process is to invite friends or neighbors to help, since putting up an above ground pool is a job that requires more than one or two people. This will make the process not only faster but fun.

In order to be efficient when installing an above ground pool, you need to be prepared beforehand.

Tools and materials needed:

  • Duct tape
  • Sand
  • Shovel
  • Patio blocks
  • Phillip’s head screwdriver
  • Tape measure
  • Carpenters leveler
  • Filter
  • Box cutter/ razor blade
  • Tamp
  • Wrench
  • Carpenter’s Level/ transit
  • Nails
  • string

After preparing the tools, the first step is to find a location for your above ground pool.

Step one: choose the location for your above ground pool

It is important to build your above ground pool on an area that is clear of sod, rocks and roots. Don’t underestimate the persistence of grass, as Nutgrass, Bamboo grass and Bermuda grass can grow right through your above ground pool liner. Choose an area with a firm base. Make sure your chosen location is free from underground lines, other electrical lines, and sudden slopes within 6 feet of your chosen above ground pool location.

Be sure to comply with all local building codes and restrictions.

Step two: prepare your above ground pool site

Once the above ground pool location is chosen, the next step is to prepare the site.

Step 1: The first step is to determine the area on which your above ground pool is going to be built. Depending on the size of your above ground pool, mark out the area for the pool. Measure out 3 feet on each side of the width of the above ground pool for the struts.

Step 2: The next step is to make sure that the ground that you are building your above the ground pool on is level. After removing the sod and debris, it is likely that your ground will not be level. To level, the ground, use a carpenter’s level or a transit. Whether or not the ground is level cannot be determined just by looking at it! If the ground is not level, there is a chance of the above ground pool sinking into the earth, causing damage to the above ground pool and more importantly, it may cause injury to its users.

Choose the lowest ground on your chosen location. It is recommended not to fill up the lower ground to match the higher ground, but rather dig up the higher ground to match the lowest point. This will make the above the ground pool safe, secure and more enjoyable.


Step three: pre-assembly and plate assembly for above ground pool

The most important thing to do in this step is to familiarize yourself with the parts required to build the above ground pool.

Most above ground oval pools require buttresses. Some models however, don’t have a buttress and have extra structural support to help keep the shape of the above ground pool. However, if your model does have a buttress, now is a good time to bring them on site.

The following sub-assemblies should be done in this step:

  1. Attach the hold-down plate to the oval upright using screws.
  2. Attach u-bracket clip to the bottom of the oval uprights. The bolts should be put in the two holes that are farthest away from the open end of the uprights.
  3. Attach struts.
  4. Attach the strut connectors to the side of the strap end channel that is outside the pool.

After unwinding the straps, bolt the strap end channels to the end of each strap. Place the straps at a distance of 29 inches on the ground. Once the straps are in their desired position, attach the oval uprights and struts to the strap end channels by inserting the oval uprights and strut over the strut connector and u-bracket. You may now connect the oval upright to the u-bracket and the strut to the strut connector using screws.


The next step is to assemble the hold-down plate for your above ground pool. Along the straight side of the above ground pool, install a slotted hold-down plate, which will intersect at the bottom plate, at the beginning of the curved area of the above ground pool. Using a non-slotted plate, attach it to the hold-down plate. Using the holes in the corners, attach the hold-down plates to hold down plate clips on both straight sides of the above ground pool.

Step four: Straight side leveling of above ground pool

Place a patio block under each end of a strut and under the oval upright. The patio blocks must be approximately 1 inch below the surface since the entire strap must be flat on the ground. This step may require you to clean out some dirt to make the strap flat for you above ground pool.

The oval uprights have to be perfectly level as well as vertical. Complete one side and then move onto the other. DO NOT HAVE TWO PEOPLE WORK ON OPPOSITE SIDES AT THE SAME TIME!! This will make the above ground pool lose its square shape in the middle of the oval.

Step five: lay the foundation for your above ground pool

In this step, you assemble the bottom rails for the two curved sides of the oval above ground pool. Divide the bottom rails and bottom plates in half, placing a half circle on either end of the above ground pool. Join the bottom plates to the bottom rails up to the marks shown on the plate.

Once the frame for your above ground pool is built, place patio blocks under each of the bottom plates, at ground level. (Remember, the patio blocks on the straight side at an inch below the ground!). Slide the curved section into the cutouts in the slotted hold down plates.

Whilst doing this, make sure that the slotted hold-down plates are in line with the squared straight side of the above ground pool. Check that the crown is placed evenly between the two curved sides, once the curved ends are attached. Once the crown is centered and in place, stake with screwdrivers at every other bottom rail to hold the foundation of your above ground pool in place.

More knowledge: Pool skimmer basket review

Step six: wall installation

Unravel the wall a little bit at a time, inserting it into the bottom rails. Don’t unravel the whole wall at once, since this will make it difficult to work with! Remember, there are no bottom rails along the straight side of your above ground pool wall, and the wall will rest on the bottom plates until it reaches the other curved side.

At the other end, it is re-inserted into the bottom rail. You may use stakes to help hole your above ground pool walls upright until the whole wall is put into place all around the pool. Once the wall for the above ground pool is unraveled you may notice that the wall is too long or too short. To fix this, make the bottom larger or smaller.

Make sure that the ground for your chosen location for your above ground pool is level at all times. If it is not, correct the problem right away, else it will damage your pool when the water is being filled... When assembling the wall for your above ground pool, make sure that the pre-attached aluminum strips don’t touch each other.

One bar goes on the inside of the above ground pool, the other on the outside. Insert the bolts with the bolt heads inside the above ground pool and the nuts on the outside. Once all the screws have been put into place, tighten the screws; Install uprights to the bottom plates.

Step seven: create your cove

Once the wall is built, you need to create a cove for your above ground pool so that the liner does not slip under the pool wall. It also provides a protective layer between the liner and the metal frame of the above ground pool. THIS STEP IS NOT OPTIONAL! DO NOT SKIP IT! refer to our article ‘what good is an above ground swimming pool cove.’

Using sand, build a pool cover of 6 to 8 inches inside the metal wall along with the parameter of the pool. Start along the straight sides working your way towards the curved sides. Since the earth has chemicals that can cause corrosion to the above ground pool, it is suggested to use a polyethylene sheet between the wall and the soil. Once the cove is in place, tamp and rake the pool area for an even and strong base, making sure that no sand remains on the wall above the cove.

At this point, if you have not already installed your uprights on the curved ends, do so. The top plates can remain unsecure for now, but pin them temporarily over the wall to prevent the above ground pool to lose its wall shape. Make sure that your pool is a true oval.

Read more: Best Manual Pool Vacuum Cleaner – Handheld Reviews

Step eight: the liner

Some may say that now comes the fun part of building the above ground pool –the liner! Place the liner at the center of the above ground pool with the flap from the seam facing down. Spread the liner so that the bottom of the seam rests comfortably around the circumference of the above ground pool. The seam should not be upon the wall of the pool nor shifted to one side, and it should be spread around evenly.


*If this is not done correctly, the liner will stretch when the above ground pool is being filled.

Once the liner seams have been put into place, start hanging the liner over the wall of the above ground pool making sure the seam is vertical and perpendicular to the floor of the pool. You can now secure the liner over the above ground pool wall securing it with plastic coping strips that may be provided in the box.

Once the liner is secured by coping, temporarily put wrinkles in the floor towards the side walls of the above ground pool, leaving the wrinkles at the cove. When the liner is correctly positioned, there must be no space left between the liner, the floor and the side walls of the above ground pool. Get rid of the wrinkles by putting material over the wall of the pool. DO NOT PULL TOO TIGHT!

*when a liner is properly installed there is no downward pressure on it.

Step nine: adjust inner stabilizer rails, top plate installation, and side top rail installation

When the liner is adjusted, it is time to secure the top rail of your above ground pool. Then, install the square oval top plates. Place each plate over a different oval upright and the stabilizer rail. Match the holes on the top cap to the oval upright and screw them together. Once the straight side caps are installed, start on your round ones. It is very important to make sure that all the uprights are completely straight and vertical, otherwise, the top rails will not fit into each other properly.

Step ten: fill your above ground pool

It is recommended that you slowly fill the water in your above ground pool, as this will help smooth out the wrinkles in you pool liner.


It is now time to enjoy your above ground pool! But before doing so, make sure you are aware of all the safety instructions and warnings.

  • Updated June 25, 2020
Flora Smith

Home and Garden Enthusiast. I have been a blogger for the last 10 years from different brands and media as well. I have loved pool technology my whole life and decided to start OpenRoom to share my life experiences on pool and it's different aspects.

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