Above-Ground Swimming Pools That Can Be Put Inground

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Converting an above ground pool to in-ground just requires some excavation and physical labor.
Converting an above ground pool to in-ground just requires some excavation and physical labor. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Sometimes, an above ground swimming pool owner will wonder if her pool can be turned into an in-ground version. Converting an above ground pool into an in-ground type can gain the looks of an in-ground pool but keep the cost advantages of its above ground cousins. Fortunately, many above-ground pools can be transformed at least partially into in-ground pools. Converting an above ground swimming pool to an in-ground type does involve some excavation and physical labor.

Likely Candidates

"Above ground in-ground pools" must have rigid walls and frames of metal or some strong composite. Likely candidates among above ground pools for in-ground conversion can include metal, aluminum and even fiberglass-walled pools if they're rigid enough. Never try to turn a flexible frame and liner or portable above ground pool into an in-ground pool. Flexible frame or portable above ground pools just aren't strong enough to be used in an in-ground fashion.

Excavation

Above ground in-ground pools are placed into excavated holes that have been leveled at their bottoms. Holes for above ground in-ground pools also need to be 2 to 3 feet wider on all sides than the actual pool. Above ground in-ground pool holes are also shallower than the pools themselves, meaning 6 to 12 inches of pool wall will remain above ground. Once an above ground in-ground pool's hole is properly excavated, the pool itself is then built as normal.

Backfilling

Above ground in-ground pool holes are always wide enough to properly backfill them with dirt. The backfill dirt surrounding the walls of an above ground in-ground pool is intended to support and buttress those walls. Backfill dirt for an above ground in-ground pool's hole isn't added until the pool is filled with water. Above ground in-ground pool exterior walls are coated with an anti-rust substance if the pool's going into ground high in moisture.

Considerations

According to the Shade Builder website, converting above ground pools into in-ground versions will void any existing pool warranty. Also, dirt backfill for an above ground in-ground pool is as tightly packed as possible to account for future settling. Tightly packing dirt backfill around an above ground in-ground pool prevents it from bulging outward. Above ground in-ground pool floors are also stripped of grass and covered in silica sand or artificial underlayment padding before the pool's vinyl liner is installed.

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