You might wonder how much ground you need to leave between the pool and the above-ground pool deck edging if you have an above-ground pool with a deck around it. Depending on the pool and deck type and dimensions, the gap is the distance between the pool edge and the deck planks.
The gap may impact your pool area’s aesthetics and security, as well as the upkeep and longevity of your pool and deck. The gap between a pool with deck above ground and a deck must therefore be measured and adjusted.
Use a tape measure or a ruler to measure the gap between the above-ground pool and the deck. It would be best to take an average of the gaps measured at several locations around the patio and pool. Moving the pool or the deck, as well as adding or removing spacers or shims between the pool and the deck, can all be used to change the gap. A more polished and safe appearance can be achieved by covering the gap with pool deck edging or railing.
Several variables, including the type of pool, the kind of deck, the temperature, and personal preference, affect the optimal gap between an above-ground pool and a deck. A good rule of thumb is to leave a gap between the deck and the pool between 1/4 and 1/2 inches wide.
In our guide, you can learn more about the gap between the deck and the pool to enjoy your new deck between swimming sessions. By the end, you’ll be able to adjust the gap; even if you have an oval pool deck, you’ll have the best-sited decking boards near the pool edge. (Read Should You Open Propane Tank Valve All The Way)
Above Ground Pool Deck Ideas
Above-ground pools are a great way to enjoy swimming in your backyard without the hassle and expense of digging a hole and installing a pool. However, above-ground pools can look plain and unattractive without some decking around them.
A pool deck can enhance the appearance and functionality of your above-ground pool, providing a place to relax, sunbathe, entertain, and access the pool.
Here are some above-ground pool deck ideas to inspire you.
1. Pool Deck Edging:
One of the simplest and most affordable ways to add a deck to your above-ground pool is to use deck edging. This deck edging is a type of pool coping that covers the top edge of the pool wall and creates a smooth and finished look.
Deck edging can be made of various materials, such as real wood, composite, or plastic, and can match the color and style of your pool. Pool deck edging can also prevent water from splashing onto the pool’s frame and damaging it.
2. Pool Deck Boards:
Another way to add a deck to your above-ground pool is to use pool decking boards. Pool deck boards are decking boards attached to the pool’s frame and extend over the pool edge. Pool deck boards can create a seamless and elegant look for your pool and provide a place to sit or lean on.
Pool deck boards can be made of natural wood or composite materials and customized to fit your pool’s shape and size. Pool deck boards can also cover the pool’s top rails, which can be unsightly or uncomfortable.
3. Pool Deck:
A more elaborate and expensive way to add a deck to your above-ground pool is to build a pool deck around the pool. A pool deck is a separate structure that surrounds the pool and provides a large and level surface for various activities.
A pool deck can be attached to the house or the existing deck or be freestanding. They can be made of wood, composite, or concrete and are designed to suit your preferences and needs. A pool deck can also have features such as stairs, railing, fencing, equipment, and furniture.
4. Pool Deck Shape:
One of the most important factors to consider when building a pool deck is the shape of the pool and the deck. The shape of the pool and the deck can affect the aesthetics and functionality of your pool area, as well as the cost and difficulty of the project.
The most common shapes for above-ground pools and pool decks are round and oval, but you can also choose other shapes, such as rectangular, square, or irregular. The shape of the pool and the deck should complement each other and fit your backyard space and style. (Read Can You Use A Window AC Unit Inside The House)
What If Deck Was Built After Pool Installation?
Almost always, once the pool has been installed, the deck is built around it. You might be wondering why this is important. It’s essential to keep this in mind while thinking about replacing your existing pool in the same spot next to your deck.
Above-ground pools can therefore be installed in an unusual shape and at an angle. If the old pool weren’t in good repair, your new pool wouldn’t match the existing deck very well.
What Affects Existing Deck Placement?
All above-ground pools come in different shapes and sizes. Even if the same manufacturer and pool, there can be differences. Rarely do pool manufacturers make their pools the same size. Here are a few things that could affect the deck placement and the gap to the pool.
The Upright Spacing Is Different
All above-ground pools have uprights. Beautiful wood decking tightly wraps around each upright on the pool deck side. Only a couple of the new uprights will fit in the existing wood groove/slot constructed for the old pool when it is replaced.
This happens because the new uprights are spaced significantly differently. Each upright after the first will fit less well. The existing deck must be reduced or shifted away from the pool to accommodate the new pool.
The Current Deck Was Made To Fit The Old Pool
Building a wood deck around an above-ground pool does not consider the shape or level of the pool. In any case, you are adjusting it to the structure.
Because many DIY above-ground pools are installed slightly out of round and off-level, it is relatively common to have a deck that is out of shape and off-level for a properly shaped and level pool.
Make every effort to shape the new pool to the deck when replacing a pool with an existing deck. Because of this, the new pool edge or pool coping might need to be installed away from the existing deck.
Wooden Deck Supports Are Next To The Pool Edge
Wood decks use 4″x4″ posts. Deck boards and 2″x8″ beams are usually attached. Here, the support posts are usually placed near decking edges for stability. Some of those support pillars are near the decking-pool intersection.
However, they can block the replacement pool uprights. More often, this happens when replacing an oval pool.
Concrete or Paver Decks Were Used
A sturdy concrete or paver deck needs its earth to keep packed and in place. Otherwise, the deck may drop. As mentioned, semi-inground pools demand more area. A replacement pool would entail digging some earth under the existing deck.
Avoid digging too much of the support earth for concrete or paver decks. They’ll either drop or crack as you move the earth away, which isn’t desirable as it would weaken your decking structure.
If this is the scenario, you may have to move the edge of the pool away from the edge of the decking. One thing to note is to ensure they are at the same level when installed or ensure a railing is fitted if one is slightly higher than the other. (Learn How Deep Are Power Lines Buried)
You Need Room To Install Top Rails
Most wood decks are elevated next to an above-ground pool. The replacement pool needs room for top rails and connectors. You will find good reasons for this. Above-ground pools need to use a liner; a liner changeout usually requires disassembling the pool top.
Remember this when adding a deck next to the top of a pool or positioning a pool next to an existing deck in your yard.
A Retaining Wall Causes Issues
Above-ground pool retaining walls are often poorly built and fail. This may alter where the new pool goes or require retaining wall repairs.
Your Deck Surrounds Your Pool
Most wood decks are fitted 1/4 to 1/2 way around your pool. A replacement pool can then be installed further away from the existing deck. A replacement must be installed in the existing deck opening when a deck surrounds the pool. It cannot be installed far from the deck if it doesn’t fit.
To fit the new pool in the enclosed area, the deck must be cut 99 times out of 100.
How To Replace Above Ground Pool To Existing Deck
- Just make the new pool sit higher than the old pool if the new pool is taller.
Sizes for metal-walled above grounds are 48″, 52″, and 54″. Because 54″ is more common than 48″ was previously, it is more likely the old pool is shorter than the new one.
To fix this, raise the new pool higher out of the ground rather than trying to dig your existing pool site lower to make the new, taller pool fit at the same level. Being a little higher against the deck won’t make much difference.
The new pool will appear better sitting taller if it’s level and your decking is slightly off being flat.
- Don’t make an excessive effort to make the new pool match the existing deck.
Existing decks are frequently unlevel and in poor condition, as was already mentioned.
It is best to correctly install the new pool by making it circular (or oval) and significantly level, employing adequate room to make it happen.
- The old deck room can sometimes be transitioned to the new pool by putting it further away, where you fill in the gaps.
Is it feasible not to try to build the pool near the deck as possible?
To make a smooth transition, it’s better to leave a large enough gap so that you can add new decking. (Learn How To Cut Copper Pipe In Tight Space)
This does serve another purpose also. Come winter; you want to attach a pool cover or use other equipment; you need space to fit your pool cover around the pool edge.
- Move your pump, filter, and skimmer while you have the chance. Often, under the deck sounds like a good place to install such equipment.
However, crawling under the decking is a pain when it’s time to clean your filter.
- Before installing the replacement pool, check your decking. You may carefully inspect the condition of your deck’s underside now that the old pool is out of the way. While you have ground-level room to do the task, look for any rotten wood and replace it.
Installing a Pool and Deck: What To Know
If you have a pool install and a deck built, there are things to be aware of.
Here’s an overview of things to consider.
One of the most critical choices you will have to make for this project is where to put your pool and deck. Your pool needs to be far enough from your house that it cannot be seen from the back door yet close enough to see anyone in the pool.
You might see a deck attached to your house and imagine having to put your above-ground pool extremely close to it when you hear the word deck.
2. Pool and Deck Size
Your budget, the amount of space you have in your backyard, and the size of your pool all play a significant role in determining the size of your pool deck.
Decks can be any size, from a modest area with just a wooden ladder leading to your pool to an oversized wrap-around deck with enough room for a table, barbecue, hot tub and enough deck room for your entire family.
3. Shape of Pool
Decide what you want your pool decks to be used for when choosing their shape. If you want to be able to roam around the pool in all directions, have a specific place built only for eating or using the barbecue. Smaller yards can have decks against the fence with the pool on the inner edge.
4. Pool Height
Shape your deck beyond length and width. Your deck’s height can be customized. Building a deck area lower or higher than the area around your pool can separate your spaces and give them a more opulent feel.
The typical heights of an above-ground swimming pool are 52–54 inches tall. Decks can be built below the top rail or above your pool and overhang the top rails.
We recommend placing your deck just under the top rail of your pool. Otherwise, the laying decking over top rails can leave pool-facing boards splintering. To prevent water expansion, leave 1/2 inch between your pool and deck.
Note if your deck meets your fence, ensure you leave a gap around this edge.
5. Decking Wood
There are several wood options to decide on for your deck and pool.
1. Pressure Treated
Choosing wood that fits your budget and lasts is very crucial. Your deck will be exposed to the weather and last longer if built with treated lumber, but it will get wet more often when around a pool.
Hardwoods are splinter-resistant, yet they are pricey, heavy, and difficult to handle. Avoid dark woods in hot climates because they absorb the sun and become very hot to walk on.
3. Cedar and Redwood
These woods naturally repel insects. They can last 20 years and are lightweight and easy to deal with; however, foot traffic and sun damage them.
Composite is probably best, but it costs more than lumber. They don’t splinter and don’t need staining or maintenance. If you can afford composite wood and don’t mind its unnatural appearance, it’s worth considering.
This step is unnecessary if you decided on composite wood in the last section. Most decks are built of solid wood and need a stain to look new and survive. Petroleum/oil-based stains sink into the wood and repel water the longest.