Hello all:

I've been learning a lot reading all of the questions and answers. Hopefully I didn't miss this answer somewhere. I paid $1,600 to have a reputable installer install our 24' round 52" flat bottom vinyl above ground pool, including excavation, sand, etc. Most quotes were around $1,200 but I wanted a one stop shop with a store front and good references so there could be no finger pointing.

We have a slight slope so that they dug in about 18-24" on the high side. I watched the owner of the pool store use a skid loader to excavate. Things went very quickly for the bulk of the process. Then I noticed that he had a really hard time digging the last few inches because the clay was so hard. Things really slowed down at that point. When he had the whole area withina bout an inch or so, I saw that eventually he just put a little dirt back on the 'low' side, tamped it all down good, added sand and installed the pool (instead of digging that extra inch on the 'high' side). This seemed like a big 'no no' at the time, but I figured he was the expert. Now 3.5 months later I can see the side of the pool they built back up is a good 1" lower than the 'high' side.

We had a smaller all vinyl 12' quickset pool last year on a two or three inch slope and saw what that did to it--it became elliptical and finally collapsed--and we obviously don't want that to happen to this more sturdy and more expensive pool. Does anyone know if 1-1.25" is in an acceptable level of tolerance for a 24' round pool or if I should be concerned?