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Family Fun In Our 27' Round Above Ground Swimming Pool

Updated on June 1, 2013

A 27' Round 52" Deep Above-Ground Swim Pool Fits The Whole Family

The man in the pool is treading water in the 7' deep area, while the girl is swimming in the 52" deep area of our backyard pool. Imagine having nearly 30,000 gallons of water to swim in. This swimming pool became the magnet for countless daily hours spent playing as a family. In our hot Summer climate this pool was a lifesaver.

I couldn't visualize the size so my family took my engineer dad's measuring tape outside and drove little stakes into the yard, measuring a 27' diameter circle, and connected the stakes loosely with twine. We then walked around inside to get a feel for it. The pool area seemed immense, and it seemed even larger when assembled and filled.

We lived a rural lifestyle, and outdoor chores, such as gardening, yard care, animal care, irrigation work and daily activities inside the home, including cooking and canning, really heated us up and we were always looking for a chance to cool off.

Our house was edged on two sides by a forest of deciduous trees, but when we built the house we placed it about 50' from the trees, to allow ample yard space and to minimize fire danger. The trees only shaded the house as the sun went low in the Western sky.

That meant our pool had full sun all day long, plenty of time to warm the water every day from June - September. Oh, some years we even kept it going into September, because our Autumns were too beautiful and hot to ignore. Kids would take a plunge after school and on weekends until the 80 degree days ceased to warm us, and the chill prodded us to cover the pool for the season.

ALL PHOTOGRAPHS Copyright Leslie Sinclair


Does Your Family Swim in An Above Ground Pool?

Do you like swimming in an above-ground pool in the backyard?

This Is The Sort Of Pool I'm Talking About - If you're already rarin' to go - here are some art supplies

Splash Pools Above Ground Round Pool Package, 30-Feet by 52-Inch
Splash Pools Above Ground Round Pool Package, 30-Feet by 52-Inch

Our set up differed from this one, but I would prefer a 30' pool over the 27' model we had.

Seven people swim and play with no crowding.


We Excavated By Hand

We Excavated By Hand
We Excavated By Hand

No Excavation Necessary For Most Pools

Excavation is only needed for a pool that has a split-level bottom. Most pool buyers select the flat-bottomed style since all they need do is

select the site

mark off the measurements

level the space

put up the framework

install the liner

put up a ladder

& they are ready to swim!

Do You Own An Above Ground Swimming Pool

Do you have a above ground swimming pool?

See results

Digging Deep To The Seven Foot Depth

Like most rural families, do-it-yourself was almost a mantra, so we dove into clearing the area by hand.

We measured the 27' diameter the old fashioned way - used a heavy cord looped at one end around a piece of rebar pounded into the earth. We tacked the other end of the card to a piece of lath and then I stood in the middle to ensure the cord stayed center and slid around the metal. My husband use the stick to dig a shallow line into the ground.

Our kids hauled out the tools and the big wheelbarrow. From then on I spent most of my time on food and refreshments to keep this crew energized and happy.

About 1/3 of the pool dipped down from the standard 52" to 84", so after the perimeter was leveled through raking and shoveling and hauling away of rock, the digging began.

Digging Things, Like Holes

Realize what you really want.

It stops you from chasing butterflies

and puts you to work digging gold.

William Moulton Marston


Stretching The Liner Felt Spectacular

Nothing could stop us from pursuing the goal after the hole got dug. During the weekdays Dad went off to his job while the rest of us continued our work on the pool.

My sons manned the wheelbarrow and our old wood sided wagon, keeping them filled with rocks and soil. They worked as a team, filling both contraptions, and then wheeling their loads out of the yard to dump in a ditch over the back fence that separated the yard from the back pasture and main garden.

They became semis, hauling ore, and gave their vehicles names ending in Bilt, as in Mack-Bilttruck." My daughter was younger and still took naps, so she did the lightweight work.

This big pool replaced our former 12' diameter kiddie pool that disintegrated one day when we were all out there to experience it. In fact, the three children were inside the pool and suddenly, with a roar, they were washed out into the yard when the seam of the metal side split. It was hilarious but also a bit scary for my daughter. That's why she wasn't so gung-ho as a laborer on the project.

Transporting The Jumping Platform

In true do-it-yourself style we whipped up a makeshift platform from recycled wood palettes. They were left over from the temporary walkway I had built prior to laying the exposed aggregate back patio and sidewalk around from the front of the house.

Truthfully, we never did replace this simple platform, just built it up with additional layers. The wood stack was heavy and never budged. I place a 10' strip of leftover industrial carpeting across the top and down both sides to protect bare feet from splinters.

Originally this strip lined the walking space in our back utility room, but we found a better use for it. Over the years we were all grateful for the development of this pretty sage green carpet technology - neither rain, nor chlorinated pool water. now winter storms affected it at all.

This photo shows the Matt-Bilt in use hauling palettes from the barn area.

The Kids Claimed Ownership

This scene looks more pastoral and restful than was typical but that was because Grandma and Grandpa had just arrived for their yearly visit and they weren't about to get wet. The grandkids loved the pool toys they brought.

Proof's In The Pudding --- Pool

After some reluctance my daughter decided to go solo in the big pool. She turned into a natural - swims like a fish. That was one plus of having a pool in the backyard, even if an in-ground pool was out of the budget.

Our children spent hours on end swimming and playing, learning proficiency in swimming and keeping their bodies toned in the most enjoyable way.

Nearly every evening the whole family would play games of water tag and ball in the pool. We'd often start out walking backwards around the pool until we got the water spinning and whirling and then we'd all just give in to the flow and let the water carry us in rings round the pool.

Like Swimming

We go old-school during the summer,

like swimming or setting up lemonade stands.

I try to teach my kids to make their own fun.

Gail Devers

Old School Swim

You Can Do This Too

All you need to do this

is to grab

a bunch of tools

and your family


dig some dirt

Other Styles of Pools You Might Want

Really, you don't need to dig anything yourself, and there's no digging at all if you buy a pool that has a flat bottom.

We only had to dig because we selected a pool with a deep area.

Splash Pools Above Ground Oval Pool Package, 33-Feet by 18-Feet by 52-Inch
Splash Pools Above Ground Oval Pool Package, 33-Feet by 18-Feet by 52-Inch

This oval shape is a good option because your laps can be even longer than 27'.


What Do You Think About Above Ground Pools?

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    • lesliesinclair profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      @anonymous: Tipi, it was truly a bundle of fun. The Summer heat in that area is sometimes hard to bear, so we were high on anticipation of the results of the dig. Of course, we were nearly 40 years younger, too.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I would say you have a hearty family and nothing could feel better than a dip in the pool after all those hours of digging you folks that's a way to get in shape and what a great goal centered family activity! :)

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      It looks like you made a great decision and probably saved a bundle over digging a permanent pool.


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