Making an Outdoor Oasis Around Your Intex Pool

5 Materials
2 Weeks
For a couple hundred dollars and a few weekends of your time, turn your ordinary outdoor pool into an outdoor oasis!
We already had an area from our last pool but we needed to make an even larger area for the new pool and landscaping. Living in Minnesota we have to take down our pool every fall and set up in the spring.
Lay out the area where your pool and landscaping will go. We suggest renting a sod cutter to make your job much much easier! Then let the sod cutter rip! We listed our sod for free on Craigslist but maybe even charge enough to cover the cost of the sod cutter rental.
After you have installed your pool on level ground and filled it, it's time for the fun part. We purchased landscaping timbers from our local Menards for the border of the area. My husband used black plastic landscape edging around the pool and zip tied it to the poles so that the river rock would not fall down near the liner of the pool and possibly puncture the pool. River rock is mostly smooth stones anyways but you never know!
Before laying down the stone, we covered the area with landscaping fabric. We then layed down the smooth stepping stones which we installed along the pool as a path to the ladder and also our sand filter and pump. So that we can see in the dark, we used some solar landscaping lights placed along the path. Finally we filled in the area with the river rock we purchased from a local garden nursery and had delivered. River rock is smooth so it won't hurt your feet when you step on it and is a little heavier than pea gravel which will stick to wet feet.
Over where our ladder sits, we installed some hooks for towels on the fence. We also placed some square stepping stones so the ladder has a firm base to sit on when it's in the pool and there is somewhere to step off of the ladder. My husband also built a pvc pipe holder for all the pool floaties. Now it's time to sit back and enjoy your pool!!!! Bonus, no grass to mow or weed whack around the pool and it doesn't stick to feet and get in your pool either!
Suggested materials:
  • River Rock   (Local Garden Center)
  • Landscaping Timber   (Menards)
  • Landscaping Fabric   (Home Depot)
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The Blooming Hydrangea
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
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  • Jeanne Jeanne on May 21, 2019

    I would like to know how your husband did the PVC float hangers? We have an unground pool (Florida) and need to hang the floats. We have used bungee cords and hooks into our porch, but it takes its toll on the floats. We have many animal floats, without holes to hang them on. If we leave them on the ground, raccoons and neighborhood roaming cats puncture them with claws. They don't seem to bother them if they are hanging.I have a white PVC fence all around the yard.

  • Donna Burnham Donna Burnham on May 28, 2019

    I would love to know how your husband built a pvc pipe holder. I’ve been looking to find a way to hold floaters in my pool area.

  • Donna Donna on Jul 19, 2021

    i just told my mom we have to do this around her Intex pool! I love it! Great job and I will share with her!

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  • Shelly Clemmons Shelly Clemmons on Jul 07, 2018

    Thank you for sharing this... i am beginning my pool installation today (a little late due to moving) and can't wait to implement some of your ideas. Great job!

  • Louann Louann on May 28, 2019

    If your pool has metal sides, don't use limestone rocks. We bought our house many years ago, and the same idea was done with white, limestone rocks. The pool had about 2 feet of hideous water in it. We drained the pool, scrubbed the liner and refilled the pool. Overnight all of the water was gone. Little did we know that the limestone had corroded little holes in the metal sides, which had poked tiny pinholes in the liner. Cleaning the liner unclogged the holes, and the water drained out. Our yard was flooded! So, we either had to deal with a very large sand box, or get another pool. As our daughter was 13, and had already fallen in love with the idea of having a pool, we bought a new one. After just buying the house, it was an expense we didn't plan for....☹. Bottom line... be careful of the type of rock you use.

    • Cindy Quinn Cindy Quinn on Jun 01, 2020

      Same thing happened with our pool... we used small pebbles as shown but they made several tiny holes on bottom. We had to remove all those tiny rocks and purchase a new pool.