Building a backyard swimming pool is a big investment that requires lots of time, money, and effort. The best way to keep your pool safe is by creating a sturdy and beautiful retaining wall around it. So if you’re thinking of building a swimming pool, it’s important to know how to start a retaining wall for above ground pool. In this post, we will try to show you how to start a retaining wall for above ground pool with concrete.
So, before learning the process of how to start a retaining wall for above ground pool, we should know some terms like what is a retaining wall and why is it used on above ground pool. Let’s know about those first and then we will proceed for the main topic.
What Is A Pool Retaining Wall?
A retaining wall is simply a wall that is built around a pool in order to keep water and prevent erosion. The retaining wall structure prevents soil from eroding and helps last the pool longer. Generally, a retaining wall above ground pool is kept about 2 feet tall.
In another word, a retaining wall is a strong, sturdy structure that helps prevent soil from shifting or eroding away. It does not need to have large proportions and can be used as a single wall. Landscaping retaining walls are commonly used to build or rebuild level areas on sloped terrain and to prevent erosion. An above-ground pool needs a retaining wall to level the ground and keep the pool above ground.
However, in the case of an above ground pool, a retaining wall is used to stabilize the pool and prevent soil erosion around the perimeter of the pool. In this article, we will try to explore the importance of retaining walls for above ground pools and what you should know before installing one.
Why Do You Need a Retaining Wall for a Pool?
People with a perfectly graded, level yard will not need a retaining wall for their pool.
Even though a custom in-ground swimming pool is not necessary in order for your new pool to meet the local building codes, you still might want to get one anyway.
However, if your yard is on a slope, this type of wall is almost certainly required. Retaining walls help prevent materials such as dirt or debris from getting into a pool or onto the patio or deck.
To be truthful, the backyards of homes that are in particularly high-risk areas for erosion are more likely to get eroded away over time. In that case, a pool retaining wall keeps out water and materials that could cause erosion or serious damage to a pool.
In another word, a retaining wall is a good thing for any backyard, especially one that has a pool. It serves to protect your yard from soil and rock that can fall into the pool which could cause serious damage.
What Are Retaining Walls Made Of?
Retaining walls are an extremely versatile and effective way of building a retaining wall for an above ground pool. You can use them in a number of different ways, including timbers, slabs, blocks, stones, boulders, concrete, and so on. Let’s now know about it.
Boulders: One of the wonderful ways to build a retaining wall for above ground pool is by using boulders. So you can use natural boulders using sizes from 18 inches to 24 inches to build your desired retaining wall for your pool that is on the ground. Boulders are also great for semi in ground pool retaining walls if you want to. In this case, a skimmer net is essential to a landscape project. Simply use your boulders and large flat rocks to create a natural landscape with big foliage and perhaps a water feature.
Stone: A stone wall, built with concrete blocks and reinforced with steel and concrete, is finished with a facing of field stone. The capstones are on top of the wall. It’s certainly one of your most expensive options, but also one of the sturdiest retaining walls. Stone and brick patterns are very different, and you need to know the difference before you decide what materials to use in your project.
Blocks: Interlocking concrete blocks are an easy and affordable option for building retaining walls. This method is also known as Segmented Retaining Wall. Walls built from these panels are easy to build and engineered to create a very strong wall if it is properly installed.
Timbers: To build a retaining wall, timbers are very popular among the people. Using perpendicular supports which are usually known as ‘dead-man’ can be built stronger pool retaining walls on the surface of the ground. In the case of timber that is too heavy or too long, the nails or screws should be placed into the timber as far from the edge as possible. You need to focus with solid concentration while you are using timbers to make a pool wall.
What are essentially required before Building a Swimming Pool Retaining Wall?
If you want you cannot build a swimming pool unless fulfilling some criteria. As a homeowner, you should know about it. However, the first condition in order to build an above ground retaining wall around pool is the permits and the planning. Now let’s know more about it.
Permits: The first and foremost part of conducting the job is a big pool is permit. Are you allowed to modify your overall construction permit? Well, you can build any retaining wall you want, as long as you meet the code for your area. In most states, a small retaining wall especially under 24 inches tall does not require a pool retaining wall permit.
However, it is very important that you try to keep your walls at least 5 feet high. In this case, you require permission with an engineer’s stamped plan attached to the pool construction application. In my point of view, having two smaller retaining walls, terrace style, usually results in a better-looking, more usable swimming pool retaining wall than one taller wall.
Planning: The most important step before starting a pool retaining wall is planning. In this part, you need to decide the primary needs and standards including what kind of material you will use, how long and high the retaining wall would be, etc. Just make these plans perfectly by surveying the plat of your property.
Types of Retaining Walls for Above Ground Pools
There are several types of retaining walls that can be used for above ground pools. We have already discussed what retaining walls around pool are. However, the most common types include are:
Concrete Retaining Walls: Retaining walls made of Concrete is a popular choice because they are strong, durable, and long-lasting. They can also be customized to fit the specific needs of the pool and the surrounding landscape.
Interlocking Retaining Walls: Interlocking retaining walls are made from pre-cast concrete blocks that interlock with each other to create a stable structure. They are a cost-effective and easy-to-install option for retaining soil.
Stone Retaining Walls: Stone retaining walls are another popular choice because they provide a natural, rustic look. They are also durable and long-lasting but may require more maintenance than concrete walls. If you know how to build a stone wall around above ground pool, it would be great.
Timber Retaining Walls: Timber retaining walls are a popular choice for their natural look and low cost. However, they may not be as durable as concrete or stone walls and may require more maintenance over time.
Gabion Retaining Walls: Gabion retaining walls are made of wire cages filled with stones or other materials. They are a good choice for sloping or uneven terrain because they can be easily adapted to fit the contours of the landscape.
Building a Retaining Wall For Above Ground Pool
Building retaining wall blocks might seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and guidance, it can be a simple and enjoyable experience. At this stage, we will discuss the steps to build a retaining wall for an above ground pool.
Step 1: The Size of the Retaining Wall
The first step in building a retaining wall is to determine the size of the wall. This will depend on the size and shape of your above ground pool. Measure the circumference of your pool and add two feet to this measurement to determine the length of your retaining wall. The height of the wall will depend on the slope of your yard and the height of your pool.
Step 2: Choose the Materials
The next step is to choose the materials for your retaining wall. There are many different materials to choose from, including concrete, brick, stone, and wood. Concrete is a popular choice for retaining walls because it is durable and easy to work with. It is also available in a variety of colors and finishes.
Step 3: Prepare the Site
Before you begin building the retaining wall, you will need to prepare the site. Clear the area around the pool and mark the location where you want to build the wall. Excavate the area to a depth of at least 18 inches, or to the depth of the frost line in your area. This will ensure that the wall is stable and secure.
Step 4: Install the First Course of Blocks
The first course of blocks will serve as the foundation for the retaining wall. Begin by laying a layer of gravel or crushed stone in the excavated area. This will provide drainage for the wall. Place the first course of blocks on top of the gravel, making sure that they are level and aligned. Use a level to ensure that the blocks are level and a rubber mallet to tap them into place.
Step 5: Build the Wall
Once you have installed the first course of blocks, you can begin building the wall. Continue laying blocks, making sure that each block is level and aligned with the previous one. Use a brick hammer to cut blocks to size if necessary. Install a layer of geotextile fabric behind the blocks to prevent soil from seeping through the cracks.
Step 6: Backfill the Wall
Once you have built the wall to the desired height, you can begin backfilling it. Use a shovel to fill the area behind the wall with soil, making sure that you do not apply too much pressure to the wall. Add a layer of gravel or crushed stone on top of the soil to promote drainage.
Step 7: Install a Drainage System
To prevent water from accumulating behind the retaining wall, you will need to install a drainage system. This can be done by placing a perforated pipe at the base of the wall and covering it with a layer of gravel. The pipe should be connected to a drainage ditch or a stormwater system.
Step 8: Finish the Wall
Once the wall is complete, you can finish it with the material of your choice. You can use stucco, paint, or stone veneer to give the wall a finished look. Besides, if you want you can also add landscaping around the pool to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the area.
Choosing the Right Retaining Wall for Your above Ground Pool
When choosing a retaining wall for your above ground pool, it is important to consider several factors, including:
Budget: The cost of the retaining wall will depend on the type of material used, as well as the size and complexity of the project. Concrete walls tend to be more expensive than timber or stone walls, but may be more durable and require less maintenance over time.
Landscape: The landscape surrounding your pool will also play a role in determining the type of retaining wall you need. If you have sloping or uneven terrain, a gabion or concrete wall may be a better choice than a timber or stone wall.
Aesthetics: The aesthetic look of the retaining wall is also an important factor to consider. If you want a natural, rustic look, a stone or timber wall may be the best choice. If you prefer a more modern look, a concrete or gabion wall may be a better fit.
Maintenance: The maintenance required for the retaining wall is also an important consideration. You need to maintain them properly in order to keep them tidy and nice.
Most considerable factors to choose a Retaining Wall
There are some considerable factors to choosing the right retaining wall for your above ground pools. These are important to follow. The considerable factors are:
- Consider the type of wall material
- Determine the height of the wall
- Decide on the shape of the wall
- Consider drainage system
- Budget-friendly or not
Why Are Retaining Walls Important for Above Ground Pools?
When installing an above ground pool, it is important to ensure that the pool is level and stable. This is because an unlevel or unstable pool can lead to a host of problems such as uneven water distribution, structural damage, and even pool collapse.
A retaining wall can help to stabilize the pool by providing support and preventing soil erosion around the perimeter of the pool.
Retaining walls are especially important in areas with sloping or uneven terrain. When an above-ground pool is installed on a slope, there is a risk of the pool sliding down the hill. This can cause damage to the pool structure, as well as potential injury to anyone using the pool at the time of the slide.
A retaining wall can prevent this from happening by holding the soil in place and providing a stable base for the pool.
In addition to stabilizing the pool, retaining walls can also help to prevent soil erosion around the perimeter of the pool. This is important because soil erosion can cause the pool to become unlevel over time, leading to the same problems mentioned earlier. By preventing soil erosion, a retaining wall can help to maintain the pool’s stability and prevent the need for costly repairs in the future.
Benefits of Retaining Walls for Above Ground Pools
If a retaining wall of a pool is built, you will find some precise benefits. So, here are some benefits including:
- Firstly, a retaining wall around pool can prevent soil erosion that can occur when rainwater flows down a slope and washes away soil.
- Secondly, retaining wall blocks can create a level base for your above ground pool, ensuring that the pool is stable and safe.
- Thirdly, a wall around pool can enhance the aesthetics of your pool area by creating a more visually appealing landscape.
- Fourthly, a small retaining wall around above ground pool can increase the usable space around your above ground pool, allowing for additional landscaping or seating areas.
In conclusion, building a retaining wall for an above ground pool is a simple process that can be completed with the right tools and guidance. If you follow the steps we have discussed above properly, you can create a beautiful and functional retaining wall that will provide additional support and stability to your pool structure. So when choosing a type of retaining wall for your above ground pool, consider factors such as cost, durability, and aesthetics. Consult with a professional landscaper or pool installer to determine the best option for your specific needs.