The guide to an above ground pool deck
Above ground pool are the perfect way to beat the summertime heat, and in backyards all over the United States – and around the world – millions of them are getting ready to open up for the season, with hundreds of thousands of new ones being built this year, too.
Affordable, quick, and easy to set up and install, and almost effortless to maintain, there are a lot of benefits to an above ground swimming pool system.
At the same time, though, you’ll only ever really be able to get the most out of your swimming pool if you have built on above ground pool deck around it as well.
Luckily, this kind of project isn’t all that challenging if you have a little bit of construction know-how and a DIY kind of attitude. If not, you can also choose to have a contractor knock this kind of project out for you relatively quickly and without having to spend a mountain of money along the way.
Below we dig deeper into the benefits that in above ground pool deck system bring to the table right away, a couple of tips and tricks for planning and building your new above ground pool deck, as well as some helpful information for cleaning and maintaining your deck so that it lasts a lifetime.
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Benefits of an Above Ground Pool Deck
You don’t necessarily need an above ground pool deck built around your swimming pool, but it’s impossible to argue with the myriad of benefits that has to offer.
For starters, getting into (and out of) your above ground pool becomes a whole lot easier when you have a deck system built around it – especially one complete with steps that are a whole lot easier to access than any swimming pool ladder ever could be.
This is especially helpful if you have younger children and older adults that are going to be enjoying the swimming pool, as well as anyone with physical disabilities that may make getting up and down ladders on a regular basis a bit of a challenge.
Swimming pool deck stairs can be built to be extra wide and with grippy surfaces that can offer a lot of extra security and stability as well. You are in total control of how these stairs look and how they feel, something that can’t be said about commercially available above ground pool ladders like.
A swimming pool deck is also going to provide a place for people to kind of hang out and sit even if they aren’t going to be spending time in the water. Some folks just want to sit by the pool and dangle their feet in the water to cool off, and a pool deck makes that all lot easier than it would be if it wasn’t there.
Of course, a high quality above ground pool deck system is also going to add quite a bit of visual flair to your outdoor space.
It’s not that above ground pools are necessarily unattractive to look at – it’s just that they are (by their very nature) really utilitarian, really minimalist, and not all that often built with aesthetics in mind.
A high-quality pool deck that you have total control over the look and finish of is going to add a lot more visual interest and style to your swimming pool space.
You’ll also be able to better control the area around your pool as far as safety is concerned, preventing things from becoming a muddy mess because of splash water or rain that can accumulate up against your pool structure.
Combine that with the ability to stain or paint your deck any color you’d like, to modify its construction to add different design elements, and to implement above ground pool deck landscape pieces and it’s easy to see why so many people add these kinds of projects to their backyard as soon as possible.
The myriad of seating options that these kinds of deck systems bring to the table shouldn’t go overlooked, either.
When you are building your own deck (or having someone build it for you) you can have integrated seating planned strategically throughout the deck as well, limiting the need for separate pieces of outdoor patio furniture – pieces that can get pretty expensive on their own.
Planning Your New Above Ground Pool Deck
There are a lot of things you’ll need to consider when you are planning your new above ground pool deck (no surprise there), but the first thing has to be measuring the area where your new deck is going to exist to make sure that it is going to work in the first place.
This all starts by measuring the dimensions of your pool, getting accurate measurements for both the diameter and the radius of the pool that you are going to be building a deck around. These measurements will dictate pretty much everything about the new deck that will be created – through you’ll have a lot of room to fiddle with different dimensions if you’re going the DIY or totally custom route.
The next piece of the puzzle is obtaining any and all necessary work permits that are required to begin this kind of construction project.
Getting on local laws, rules, and regulations (that are different in every municipality) you may need to get a mountain of paperwork squared away just to break ground on your above ground pool deck – or you might not have to worry about any paperwork whatsoever.
At the end of the day, though, this isn’t something that you can skip if your local building code requires permits for this type of work.
The next piece of the puzzle is figuring out what you are going to build your new pool deck out of.
The overwhelming majority of these projects are made out of pressure-treated wooden construction materials, though composite and synthetic decking materials are starting to become very popular (and a lot more affordable) these days.
You’ll want something strong, something durable, and something easy to work with – but you also want something that is waterproof and weatherproof or can be made so, too. This is, after all, a construction project that’s going to live permanently outdoors.
After this has all been taking care of you’ll want to go through the process of setting down your foundational components (usually posts and piers, but sometimes slab work), knocking out the framing of your new deck around the pool itself, and then finishing things off with the actual decking material, stairs, and other accessories.
Cleaning and Maintaining Your Pool Deck System
After your deck is built the number one thing you need to do is seal it for protection against the elements but also to protect your pool deck from the chemical-laden water that is inevitably going to get splashed all over it.
High-quality sealers really lock in the finish of the material that you are working with, providing it with a high-end look that would have otherwise turned gray and sort of murky in no time at all otherwise.
A lot of the best sealer products on the market today include plenty of ultraviolet light protection as well. That’s certainly something you’ll want to consider if the overall look of your pool deck is important. It’s going to get a lot of sun exposure – and some damage – if left unaddressed.
It should you go the paint route you want to be really careful about the type of paint that you have selected.
Number one, exterior paint only should be used. Too many pool owners use interior paint or something that was just sort of laying around from another project to paint their deck – only to discover (pretty quickly) that it is chipping, peeling, and coming apart all over.
There are specific paints made with decks in mind that you’ll want to consider taking advantage of, though most people have a much better experience staining and then sealing decks. You won’t have to repaint all the time with this approach.
Lastly, it’s always a good idea to keep your deck clean on a pretty frequent basis.
Hosing the whole deck with a garden hose at least once a week is a good idea, washing away sanitizer, chlorine, and any other pool chemicals that might have been drying on the top deck after the water from your pool inevitably splashes onto the deck and evaporates.
It’s also not a bad idea to power wash your deck when you open your swimming pool for the season and just before you close it down for winterization. This gives it a much deeper clean and gives you an opportunity to see if you need to apply more sealer, more stain, or more paint to protect the finish go forward.
At the end of the day, as long as you focus on the core details we highlighted above you’ll find that building a new deck for your above ground pool – and maintaining it – becomes a whole lot easier than most people would expect.