Pool Deck Costs
Why Does a Swimming Pool Deck Cost More Than a Traditional Deck?
Homeowners often expect their swimming pool deck to be similar in price to a traditional deck installed off their patio door. To their surprise, though, a pool deck - even one that is built with the same material and is approximately the same size – will cost more. Understanding the price difference may help you as a potential pool owner to plan better and choose wisely.
Wooden and composite decks are essentially made the same way, with a wooden frame and deck boards attached to the top. When that type of deck is attached to the house, a beam is fastened directly into the foundation or house frame. This provides stability and strength. In that case, posts are set away from your home to support a beam on the outside of the deck. The framing then runs between the beam against your house and the opposite beam attached to the posts. The deck boards are then fastened on top of the entire frame and the deck is finished with trim or fascia.
When you have chosen a composite or wooden deck to go around your swimming pool, you are essentially floating that deck. It is not attached to your pool and therefore must provide stability on both sides and for both beams, usually in the form of posts.
Picture this: An above-ground pool requires a deck all the way around it, which means posts must be set next to the pool wall all the way around as well, providing an anchor for the inside beams. Then a similar row of posts is set out from the pool at the exterior edge of the deck - these support the second beams. Joists are framed between the two beams and the deck board is fastened on top.
This whole scenario requires additional materials, in the form of posts and concrete, as well as additional labor to install the posts. Sometimes, in the case of a wrap-around deck, there is more framing and blocking that must be done given the rounded shape. This also requires additional materials and labor.
In the case of concrete pool decks, the condition of the grading may be an issue. After installation of your fiberglass or in-ground pool, the grade will need to be leveled and prepared for a concrete pad. This may or may not require more labor than is necessary with a traditional floating concrete pad or patio.
Basically, if you opt for a wooden or composite deck, expect to pay slightly more for time and materials. Get a detailed quote from a concrete deck contractor once the pool is installed and ready for the pad. Consider the value of the stability, details and precise workmanship that needs to go into creating a concrete pool deck or surround. Be sure to hire a professional to create an accurate and detailed design. If you build the deck yourself, complete every step with care. You have invested a lot into your pool and it will be much more enjoyable with a well-built deck around it. Also be aware that not installing the deck properly can damage your pool and make it unusable.
Consider all of the details and be prepared to pay for quality when installing your pool deck.