Options for Your Above Ground Pool Deck
There are many different aspects to take into account when installing an above ground pool deck. The size and shape of your pool will play a large role, as will placement in your yard. Nail down these statistics before beginning to design your pool surround.
Above ground pool decks can be built with rounded corners to accommodate an oval pool. The pool deck can be designed as a walk-around, covering the entire perimeter, or you can concentrate on a particular portion and leave the pool wall to stand alone on the other sides. It depends entirely on your preference. If you place your pool close to the property line, your deck may be limited by municipality standards. Many require that any structure (including a pool or a deck) be set back from the lot line a certain distance. Find this information out directly from the municipality or from your pool contractor.
When building all around the pool perimeter, be sure to have an adequate width for walking. A minimum of 4 feet is recommended. Also be sure to include room for your solar blanket and any maintenance machinery that needs to be on the surface. Leave a spot for hanging skimmers, etc.
The most important aspect of your above ground pool deck is the railing. If your yard is not fenced with the standard specifications for pool safety, you will need to have that standard incorporated into your deck railing. Often this can be a convenient way to limit the enclosed feeling in your yard if high fences do not appeal to you. Install a pool-legal railing directly onto the deck or along the outer edge, completely enclosing it. Do not forget to include a locking gate at the entrance. If you are not decking around the perimeter, you can install a ledger board or post system close to the pool wall and attach the railing directly to that.
Be sure that your railing has the proper sized spaces between any pickets, is the correct height and has the proper post spacing. The pool or building code should specify each of those things. Look for prefab railing sections (in aluminum for example) that are designated for pools or design and build your own from scratch (such as with wood or composite).
Your above ground pool deck materials can be any number of things. Keep in mind that you will need a frame at the height of the wall, so concrete is not an option. Look at wood, either in pressure treated, cedar or another exotic wood, or price out a composite alternative. Vinyl decking is also an option for pool surrounds as it very resistant to water. Be sure to choose a deck board material that will not be slippery when wet.
Also consider privacy options on your pool surround. These can include screens, roof structures and even cabanas (although they would require a much larger decking surface). Often a privacy screen can be incorporated into a complimentary railing style, offering you a secluded spot on your deck and even a little shade at certain times of day.
Your above ground pool deck should always be large enough for you to properly enjoy the investment of your pool. Adding a seating area for lounging or eating is a great idea, as it adds to the overall function of your pool. Try to design the best and biggest pool surround for your space and budget.
Be sure that your pool deck and railing is entirely safe and well built. This will allow you to enjoy every minute of swimming in the cool waters and basking in the warm sun.