Why Do You Need an Above-Ground Pool Deck
Have you ever had to clean an above-ground pool that doesn’t have a deck? Standing on the ground, you stretch your cleaning pole out over the pool wall. All your core muscles start screaming, “STOP,” cleaning a pool may be an excellent way to exercise, but it’s not the best way to clean a pool.
I’ve cleaned my share of pools, and I can tell you straight up. You need a deck to clean your above-ground pool! Not to mention having one will increase the enjoyment factor by tenfold.
Hi, I’m Dave, an above-ground pool contractor from Massachusetts. I’m always asked about above-ground pool decks and they have become super popular, judging from the thousands of decks I’ve seen.
They can look “AMAZING,” there are many talented deck builders here in Massachusetts, and I’m sure it’s this way all across the US and other countries.
As a pool contractor, I want to explain a few different deck designs. To help you decide what may be right for you and your family.
Different Style Decks and The best Way to Connect to Your Pool
The Cantor Lever-type deck
Consider your ladder or steps choice. They will need to extend from the deck to the pools’ bottom. Not all steps or ladders will work with a cantor lever. Make sure the ladder or steps will reach the floor from the deck.
Under top rail connected deck
Remember here is to make sure you leave enough room between the top of the pool and deck. You’ll need sufficient room to take apart the pool top for a future pool or pool liner replacement.
Flush with the top of pool deck
You’ll need a flat-topped pool if you want the deck to be level with the top. Choose a pool with a flat-top design. You also want to leave enough room between deck and pool for installing a winter cover at the close.
And my personal favorite, The Multi-Level Deck
You can custom build the pool and create different levels with the multi-level deck. I like this because you can create different areas for different entertainment activities.
Make sure there will be enough room to take apart for a pool or liner replacement where it abuts the pool. You will also want to leave enough room between deck and pool for installing a winter cover at the close.
Height of Deck is Important
The most frequently asked questions regarding above-ground pool decks are: “What should the pool’s deck height be?” and “What materials are best to use?”
Pressure-treated lumber for the frame and composite deck with Resin rails make up most above-ground pool decks in the early 2020s.
Although we are not deck builders here at the Above Ground Pool Builder, we have some opinions based on our experience. Over the years, we have seen many decks and know what styles are best when our crews come by to replace pool liners or entire pools with surround-style decks.
Speaking from experience, it’s not fun for a pool owner to take apart a deck to replace a pool’s liner. Or have to tell a homeowner that a replacement pool will not fit and the deck needs an overhaul.
Above-Ground Pool heights
Manufacturers construct their pools with different-sized uprights, top rails, and caps. They also have different lengths of walls, so a new pool’s footprint is often different from the old one.
Even if a replacement pool measures the same height and diameter, the new pool will always be slightly different depending on the manufacturer, the model, and the pool’s height. Homeowners can always expect to tweak the old deck to fit a new pool.
The only way to ensure a perfect fit is to buy the same pool model. Just buying the same diameter and height could prove disastrous. You should know they are constantly changing pool layouts from year to year.
Your design should consider that the pool will need maintenance, and part of that includes a liner replacement. Some folks don’t consider this future need and will get burned when it’s time to change the liner.
You’ll need a deck that accommodates a future pool and or liner replacement. So when choosing which of the four designs from above, you’ll want to tweak each of them to accommodate future needs.
May I suggest opening our Pinterest page-Above-ground pool deck ideas and scanning through all the different design options. You’ll probably find a few designs you love right away. Take it all in and see where the pictures lead you.
I promise you’ll see some new ideas that you may want to incorporate into your design.
After looking at all the different decks, close your eyes and picture your new deck in your backyard. Maybe the following deck-add-on features will help the process.
Pool Deck Accessory Ideas
- A BBQ Area
- An outdoor shower
- An outside changing room
- Toybox for that run-a-way toy collection
- Every swim side toy box should have a permanent air pump for inflatables
- A place to store chemicals under lock and key
- Create a media area where you can watch an outside movie with that new projector; this is just fun for the kids!
- A place for a Tiki bar to serve cold drinks from the Mini-Fridge
- Maybe a hot tub to enjoy all year round
- Maybe a Gazebo built right on the deck, a permanent sun-shade
- Perhaps an Awning for shade too
- Built-in seats so more can enjoy the deck
I could probably go on all day long with these add-ons. The idea is to think about what you want for the next few years. It may cost less to have it all built at once compared to adding on each idea in the years to come.
Design your AG deck, A simple way Try sketching it out on paper and discussing it with your family. Bring all of your ideas to life.
Once the right side of your brain has weighed in, it’s time to incorporate the left side.
Semi-Inground Pools Will Need Less Material
Semi-In-ground pools like the Excursion or Intrepid can be buried halfway into the ground; thus, a deck around this pool will require fewer materials.
Panel pools are trendy as these can be built just like In-Ground pools if your looking for a traditional in-ground look. They can also be semi-Inground and come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.
Types of Semi and panel Pools:
- Optimum Pools
- EZ Panel Pools
- Radiant Pools
- Hercules Pools
- Fox Pools
- Wilkes Pools
Today you have hundreds of different pools to choose from, and there truly is an above-ground pool for everyone.
Hiring a Contractor
The next step will involve getting a deck builder to draw up blueprints. At the very least, go over all your Idea points with potential contractors and choose the one that you’re most comfortable working together.
Perhaps you already have a contractor; most folks do these days. The consultation visit will give you the best match for your design elements.
Your contractor needs to know the pool needs to be erected first. Decide this with them ahead of time. Some deck contractors like to start projects fast and will not consider the pool needs to be erected first.
There is simply no way anyone, including myself, the pool contractor, to accurately determine the pool’s end height and exact placement until it is erected.
The contractor will design blueprints of the deck with the correct measurements and include the features you want. From here, your budget will dictate whether you need to scale down or add more options.
Composite deck and resin railings have been around for about 30 years; nowadays, composite materials are much improved compared to 30 years ago. Remember back in the late ’90s, a new material called composite decking was going to revolutionize outdoor deks?
As luck would have it, the first choices were eye-catching, beautiful looking. However, several years later, they would look faded out and needed to be replaced. In 2022 this isn’t the case.
One last tip. With a bead track, you don’t need to take apart the top of the pool when it’s replacement liner time. You’re probably thinking, why didn’t you say this first?
I state this last for a reason. It sounds like the perfect solution, and salespeople love the bead track pitch. So they can sell you an extra item that doesn’t always live up to its expectations.
The truth is, many bead tracks weaken over time and need replacing when the liner needs replacement. The liner can slip out of the track, and many people report becoming real nervous when the liner slips out of the track. However, it’s familiar and easily fixed. Most homeowners cannot do this kind of repair.
I get phone calls every year from nervous homeowners not knowing what to do.
I hope this information was helpful. Our blog is pretty big. If you search feature, you may get instant information.
Nothing can give you the chills like a dip in the pool on a cold day in New England. But with AquaComfort’s state-of-the-art heating systems, you can enjoy your pool