If you have an above ground pool in your back yard, you’ve surely thought about how amazing it would be to install a deck around your above ground pool. It not only looks stunning and offers endless hours of family fun, but it’s also a great way to add value to your property. If you’re like most people, the big problem standing in your way is the shape of your pool – it’s round! Building a curved deck is actually more simple than you’d think. Check out these helpful tips to learn how to build, install and maintain your very own above ground pool deck!

How To Get Started

First, you’ll want to take precise measurements of your pool. The more accurate your measurements are now, the easier the project becomes later. Make sure to be as accurate as possible! Next, you’ll have to decide on the dimensions of your new deck. Try to build the deck with enough room to accommodate both loungers and swimmers – you’ll end up needing more room than you think!

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Get Permission

And by that, we don’t mean get permission from your parents. Before building a new deck in your back yard, you’ll need to obtain a permit from your local building department. In order to do this, a building inspector will likely have to visit your home – during their visit you’ll be able to explain your project, present your design plans, and learn more about any and all regulations to consider.

Watch Out For Surprise Costs

While building an above ground pool deck can increase the value of your home, it can also increase your property taxes and insurance rates. Make sure to get in touch with your local building department and your insurance provider to learn how building a new deck will impact your monthly rates.

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Gather Your Materials

At this point, you’ll want to decide on which decking material is right for you. Most decking materials fall within two simple categories: wood and composite. Composite decking is made from a combination of many different materials and plastics. Composite decking is flexible in its applications and easy to maintain, making it the perfect choice for an above ground pool deck! Wood decking tends to look better than composite on the whole, thanks to wood’s natural grain. It’s also affordable and reliable, but its pores make it susceptible to water damage, mold, and mildew. If you decide to use wood, you’ll need to apply a sealer or reliable oil-based coating to strengthen the wood and prevent water retention. 

Lay It Out

Provided you’ve made sure the ground beneath your pool and deck is level, it’s finally time to break ground. Now that you have all of your materials, learned everything you can about any and all tax implications, and obtained the proper documentation from your local building department, you’re ready to get started building your new above ground pool deck!

First, you’ll want to lay out the deck around the pool. Drive stakes around the perimeter of your deck and tie them together with a tight string. Then place your interior piers every four feet throughout the entire length of your deck.

Once you’ve laid out the location of your piers, remove the piers and place pre-cast concrete footings in their place. This type of construction is allowed in most states and cities, but make sure to check with your local building department to err on the side of caution. Place your piers in the 4×4 socket and make adjustments as you check your work with a level.

Install The Framing

Now that your piers are installed and holding steady, you’re ready to install the framing. First, you’ll want to attach pre-treated deck supports around the perimeter of your pool. The supports should be screwed into the side of the piers that face the pool. Make sure to use nothing smaller than 2.5 or 3 inch screws to secure the framing. Check your work with a level and square to ensure that your framing is even with the ground and squared properly at the edges. Repeat this process on the outside of the deck to build the outer framing. Now hang toenail joist hangers vertically every 16 inches on the insides of both deck supports.

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Time For Decking

Now that you’ve successfully built your frame and foundation, you’re ready to begin installing the actual decking. Make sure you allow for expansion by resting your deck about a half-inch away from the edge of the pool. Using spacers between the boards will also allow your deck to compensate for expansion and contraction. Once your deck has been played out and attached, use a jigsaw to adjust the edges of the decking as needed. Make sure any and all edges are smooth before you continue!

Don’t Forget The Guard Rail

You’re only one step away from enjoying countless nights of family fun and swimming under the night’s sky! Now that your foundation and deck has been completed, it’s time to install a guard rail for safety measures. In most cases, you’re actually required by law to include a safe, fully-functional guard rail to prevent injuries. Your guard rail should be comprised of 4×4 precut railing posts. Install these posts anywhere a joist meets a support beam using sturdy lag screws. Above all else, don’t forget to leave an opening for the stairs (you’d be surprised at how many people forget that step)!

If you want to maximize your deck-viewing experience, choose a high-quality glass railing system like Invisirail. It allows you unobstructed view of the scenery around your deck, and will also provide premium safety and protection for your children and pets.

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Your New Deck Is Ready For Enjoyment!

Congratulations! You’ve finally built your brand new above ground pool deck! Before calling up your friends and family for a barbecue, it’s best to coat your deck with a sealer to protect it from harmful sunlight, foot traffic, and water damage. Sealers come in all different colors and styles, so make sure you find the right one for your specific needs! Since above ground pools are continually exposed to the elements, you’ll want to find a sealer dedicated to protecting your decking material from UV rays, rot, insects, and water retention. Now you’re ready to go forth and enjoy your new deck for years to come!