How to Design and Build and Above-Ground Pool Deck

Do you feel like there is some empty space on your deck that needs to be filled? Perhaps it's just wanting your deck to serve more purpose than just a deck? Then perhaps you have made the right decision to have a pool. Sometimes if you're installing a new pool you might want to have a beautiful deck to go along with it. At least, in most cases you would have to do some deck resurfacing entirely. Whatever the case, you would need to change the design of your deck to suit your pool. Designing a deck for an above ground pool is a little more different than designing a deck that just sits off the side of your home or patio.

Before you head in deeper, it's important to consider some hidden costs and plan accordingly. This way, you can set aside an ample budget for your project and head off any future problems at the pass.


What to Consider When Designing a Deck for Above-Ground Pools.


Here are some questions you should be pondering on to decide if you want to DIY or enlist a professional to draft a plan for your above-ground pool deck:


Should you hire a professional deck builder or a DIY?


The first and biggest decision you have to make is whether you want to try your hand at building an above ground pool deck yourself, or if it makes more sense to hire a contractor. Consider your construction skill level, the amount of time you have to complete the project, and your budget. It doesn't matter what route you choose, there are plenty of tutorials and resources online. You can also very easily find a contractor nearby.


Install Your Pool Before you Build your Deck


Don't build the deck first and hope it fits. You need to make sure that the pool that you want fits and the deck should be built around it as after all, your deck is going to provide the structural bracing for the pool itself. Above ground pools usually have a set of standard pool heights but obviously, every pool will always be slightly different. Don't take chances on building your deck first and not having your centerpiece of your background.


Budget for Fencing around your Pool


Any yard that has some sort of a pool must have a fence as a safety precaution. Regulations on how high fences around pools vary between states and municipalities. Be sure to check in with your local building codes before you break ground. If you don't already have a fence, be sure you earmark the parts of your pool and deck building budgets to include the construction or installation of a fence around your pool.


Build your deck as Close to your Pool as Possible


You need to perfectly align your pool decking with the lip of your pool. This is not only an attractive design feature but also a great safety feature, too. It keeps the ground level for those getting in and out of the pool eliminating all tripping hazards.


Run Decking Boards beneath your pool Rails


At some point in the near future your pool would need its liner to be changed out. If your deck hasn’t been planned correctly, your installer might need a few cuts and adjustments to change the liner, ruining a seamless, beautifully constructed deck. To future proof your deck build, take into account that most above ground pools have a top railing that either screws or snaps into its place on the pool's frame. Running deck tiles beneath your pool rails can make it easier for an installer to remove these to change your liner without having to cut completely in your deck. The best way is to consult your pool installer, ask him how the deck should be installed.


Build a Separate Structure to House your Pool Equipment


Many people choose to place their pumps and filters beneath their above ground pool deck, While it does look neater and would even protect your equipment from the elements, it can make it much much harder to maintain the said equipment which is essential for the proper sanitation of your pool. Make sure your equipment is in a place where it is easily accessible such as the side of the deck. To keep your equipment out of sight you can have a structure that contains your pumps, filters and equipment. Repurpose any waste lumber or composite boards that might be leftover from constructing your deck to build housing.


The Shape of your Pool


Before you go ahead you need to decide the shape of your pool which depends entirely on how you want it to look or what kind of functionality you want the pool to serve. Is it just to sit and relax or do you want a deeper area to swim in. There are many ways you can shape your pool such as.

  1. Circular or Round Above Ground Pool Deck.

  2. Oval Above Ground Pool Deck

  3. Rectangular Above Ground Pool Deck

  4. Irregular or a kidney Shaped Pool deck

Read more: Access to Recessed Hot Tub Decks


How to Build an Above Ground Pool


A deck constructed around an above-ground pool shouldn't be attached to it for stability, which means the deck should be stable in all directions on its own, without any support from the pool. As a matter of fact, the structure is just a freestanding deck adjacent to the swimming pool. There will usually be a deck between 3 and 6 feet above the ground and it will need to be lateral braced from the beams/joists to the bottom of the posts. The areas in question should be braced in both directions (north and south, east and west, etc.). The posts embedded in the foundations will not be adequate for lateral restraint at common pool heights.


It is ideal to build the pool deck directly under the lip of the pool. A series of segmented beams and footings should be set about 2' from the edge of the pool to support the curved sides. For protection against standing water, joist tape should be installed over the top of the joists. Unsupervised children may be prevented from accessing the area by installing a self-closing gate. Due to the added activity and variety of uses on pool decks, additional blocking will reinforce the frame.


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