Pool Deck Designs and Options
Above-ground pools are easy to install, there’s no excavation necessary, and they cost about one-fifth of an in-ground pool. Although most folks say an in-ground pool is more attractive, an above-ground pool can be just as eye-catching with the addition of a pool deck.
To build a pool deck, you’ll want to create safe, secure access with a freestanding deck that comes right to the edge of — but doesn’t attach to — your pool. In terms of design, your deck can border just a section of the pool, go halfway around, or encircle the entire pool. The surface should be wide enough for safe walking — 3 feet is a good minimum — and after that, it’s up to your imagination. Include a nice lounging area for sunbathing, relaxing and keeping an eye on kids.
Wood decks are the most popular and easiest for the DIYer to build. Pressure-treated wood, cedar, and redwood are all good choices, but you’ll need to refinish your wood deck almost every year to protect it from constant moisture and chlorinated water.
Composite and aluminum decking are waterproof decking materials that shrug off splashes. Choose textured decking that provides slip-resistance.
To stay safe, remember that railings are required on decks more than 30 inches above grade. Railings should be at least 36 inches high, with balusters no more than 4 inches apart. It’s a good idea to add a lockable gate to the deck stairs to restrict access to the pool.
Existing Pool Gets New Decking 02:15
Here are some basic guidelines about how to build a deck around a pool. These requirements come form the 2012 International Pool and Spa Code, but that doesn’t mean they’ve been adopted by your region. Check with your local building authority for deck-building codes in your area.
• The deck should not attach to the pool in any way. The distance from the decking to the outside edge of the pool should be about 3/4 of an inch.
• Decks for above-ground pools are usually 3 to 6 feet above grade, so posts should be cross-braced for lateral stability.
• Freestanding decks have less code restrictions for foundations than decks attached to your house. A freestanding deck can rest on concrete deck blocks that are placed directly on the ground, saving you the time and expense of digging and pouring footings.
• Building codes state that decking surfaces around pools and spas should be slip-resistant. However, the codes don’t define what “slip-resistance” actually is. Some composite and synthetic decking materials have textured surfaces that should help reduce slipping, and aluminum decking can be ordered with a waterproof, anti-slip coating.
• Decking surfaces should be sloped 1/8 to 1/4 inches over 12 inches to shed water, but codes are unspecific about the total distance you need to slope a pool deck.
Festive lighting and ample seating make this traditional backyard pool a fantastic spot to entertain. Seating is grouped into zones for conversation, dining and poolside lounging while ample terraces connect the indoor and outdoor spaces and offer great views of the retreat-like backyard.
This 600-square-foot wraparound deck from HGTV's Dream Home 2013 is clad in durable garapa wood and features a plunge pool, all-weather outdoor furniture and stellar views of the Kiawah River. See more pictures of this Dream Home deck >>
This sun deck from DIY Network's Smart Home 2013 is built from sustainable composite material and is the perfect spot to enjoy nature, sunbathe or entertain friends and family. The refreshing modern pool features frosted glass mosaic tile, a programmable water fountain and two high-intensity swim jets for exercising. See more of this smart pool >>
Property Brothers Pool Party
The property Brothers, Drew and Jonathan Scott, transformed this once foreclosed Las Vegas home into an extravagant estate. The pool area includes a travertine-tiled deck and firepit, drop down movie screen, water slide and outdoor kitchen. Check out the exclusive HGTV Magazine feature of the bros' luxurious fixer upper >>
Palm Springs Inspiration
Inspired by a visit to Palm Springs, this poolside makeover from The Outdoor Room with Jamie Durie makes use of tropical palms, cactus and drought-tolerant plants, plus red tile and natural stone. The newly added poolside benches serve a second function as a fix for the crumbling retainer wall.
This gorgeous swimming pool features mist generation, a wave generator and waterfalls all programmed into the home's integrated control system. See more images of this integrated home >>
Al Capone's Pool House Deck
This two-story poolhouse, formerly owned by gangster, Al Capone, flanks an enormous lap pool and offers stunning views of bordering Biscayne Bay. Tour this incredible 1930's home >>
This Cape Cod home has an inviting backyard space with a traditional pool and seating area great for relaxing and enjoying the summer weather. See more photos of this charming home >>
Black Stone Pool
This neutral stone tile patio features a gorgeous contemporary infinity pool flanked by concrete fire bowls. An outdoor kitchen with a built-in grilling area is located just next to the pool, while meticulous landscaping—including a wall with climbing plants arranged in a diamond pattern—adds a finishing touch.
At night, the pool and patio areas of this home in the British Virgin Islands create a soothing and comfortable ambiance. Paired with the picturesque view, it's reason enough to have evening cocktails outdoors. See more photos of this stunning villa >>