Above Ground Pools With Decks
DECKS DECKS and more DECKS
If you are looking to enhance your swimming experience, you may be contemplating a deck for your above ground pool. Well as the title of this review states Above Ground Pools with Decks let us share some information with you. It used to be that above ground pools with decks was less attractive than an in-ground pools with decks but decks have really come a long way. With the products and styles available today, the results are endless. Thanks to the addition of a little landscaping, your backyard oasis can be very soothing to the eyes. With a variety of deck sizes, styles and materials to choose from, you may be wondering where to begin. Decisions abound! That’s where we come in. We’re here to help!
The relaxation that lounging poolside on a sleek and chic stylish deck isn’t reserved just for those with in-ground pools anymore. Above ground pools with decks are becoming more commonplace these days. The basic needs of a small deck with steps, all the way up to extravagant styles and designs to choose from. Creating an attractive but functional above ground pool deck is determined partly by your style preference and certainly by your budget. Ask yourself if having a deck on one side of the pool is enough or does it need to be around the entire circumference? For the truly ambitious, a multi-level deck may be desired.
How Will The Pool Look
Maybe one of your important concerns is how will the pool look in your yard? Will the pool ladder be enough for egress and ingress to the pool, or will I need a deck? Does my pool even come with a ladder or is that something I need to purchase separately? Pay close attention to the contents of the pool you have chosen to be sure you have everything you’ll need to get started enjoying your backyard family fun adventure. After all, what could be worse than a pool with no way to get in and out?
A deck can provide the ultimate in convenience and style, safe access, or just a place to sit and relax. How many times have you driven past people’s houses and you see their above ground pool just sitting out there? No deck, no ladder, no attractiveness at all. We see that all the time! What an eye sore! And how do they get in and out of that pool anyway?
Let’s Take A Look at Materials
There are so many different materials on the market today to build a deck out of but let’s look at the top three: Composite decking, Wood decking and Resin deck kits. Above ground pools with decks made of composite decking are some of the nicest looking decks.
Above Ground Pools With Decks made of Composite Decking
Composite decking — This is a hybrid product that’s composed primarily of wood fibers and recycled plastic. The result is a dense, heavy, and weather- and stain- resistant deck board that won’t splinter, warp, rot, or split. The appeal of composite decking is that it’s virtually maintenance-free. It never needs to be sanded, scraped, refinished, or stained. An occasional scrubbing with warm, soapy water will remove most dirt and grime. A little diluted bleach can kill mold and mildew that grow in damp, dark areas of a deck.
They are made from tough materials that stand up to harsh weather and resists scratches or stains. The newer composite decking resists fading far longer than most older types of composite decking. Most are mold and mildew resistant which helps resist moisture damage to the boards. Composite decking is beautiful with low maintenance and quick and easy installation.
There is no annual sealing or staining as you have with a wood surface. And most composite decking have a warranty of several years, some even 25 year or 30 year fade and stain warranty. Be sure to check with the manufacturer to see what kind of warranty they have as some have limited warranties. You will want to know right up front how durable it is on the items that are important to you, whether it’s fading or cracking or some other features. If for some reason it doesn’t perform as well as intended, how do you claim that warranty. Depending on how many years you’ve had it, the warranty may be pro-rated so these are all good things to know up front before spending mega dollars. These types of composite decking is the most expensive of the three types of decks we are reviewing!
Above Ground Pools With Decks Made of Wood Decking
Wood decking — If you are looking for maintenance free, then this isn’t for you, however, wood decks are still the king of decking materials. Above ground pools with decks made of wood are very common but do require upkeep. Most wood decks for above ground pools are made from pressure-treated lumber, redwood or cedar, or tropical hardwoods.
Depending on where you live, you should find most types of wood decking at your local lumberyard or home improvement store. A growing number of decking options — redwood, cedar and tropical hardwoods in particular—are widely available online. I know our local home improvement stores don’t carry all of these in stock but several types are available by special order.
Pressure treated lumber is the most affordable and widely available. Most pressure treated decking is cut from southern yellow pine and then chemically treated to resist decay, fungus, and wood-boring bugs. For safety, always wear gloves, eye protection and a dust mask when handling wood. Due to chemicals in pressure treated wood, never burn its sawdust or scraps; instead dispose of them in a landfill. Pressure treating is a chemical process that helps wood withstand the elements and wards off insects, microorganisms and fungal decay.
During the pressure treating process, wood is saturated with the chemical solution carried in water. The wood takes several months to dry and there may be some shrinkage and warping as a result. It may be necessary to wait three weeks to six months prior to staining or painting the wood, depending on the climate where you live and the treatment process the wood has undergone. Ask an associate where you purchase your pressure treated lumber for details about the lumber you select. Pressure treated lumber can last 20 years or more, and most pressure treated wood comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
Disadvantages of Pressure Treated Lumber
One disadvantage of pressure treated lumber is because it’s made from pine, it has a tendency to swell, crack, split and warp. When we’ve picked up lumber at our local home improvement store for our projects, we laid several boards over to the side in the store because they were warped or had so many “pine knots” in them that they were more of an eyesore than anything. Just try getting a screw through one of those pine knots, and for some reason, the pine knots always seem to fall in the line where our screws had to go! Most of our local home improvement stores carry pressure treated lumber in numerous lengths and thicknesses, we’re sure most do. While you’re choosing boards, don’t forget to look at each board for straightness or other deformities that you wouldn’t want showing on your beautiful new deck.
Helpful Tools For Building A Pool Deck
If you choose to go with above ground pools with decks made of wood, then of course for your decking project, you still need nails or screws to hold this thing together, posts, joists, beams, drills, drill bits, saws. Preferably a skill saw with a fine tooth blade so it doesn’t splinter the boards when you cut them. You’ll also need a hammer, nails, and other tools like a 4’ level, chalk string for making straight lines for screws. Other items such as brackets to make the joints sturdy and don’t forget about the “square” to keep everything in perfect harmony. You really don’t want a lopsided deck that you will have to look at every time you’re lounging around in the pool. And don’t forget your mask for cutting that pressure treated lumber, as recommended.
A set of plans with a materials list which are available for purchase at most home improvement stores and of course are available online. Try to think ahead to help keep your trips to the local home improvement store for supplies down to a minimum. If you don’t already have the necessary tools, you don’t want to rush out and buy them just for this project ‘cause if you weren’t already a do-it-yourself kind of person, this pool deck doesn’t need to be your first project, because if this is the only thing you ever use those tools to build, then the price of your deck just went up. Most wood used for exterior amenities will also require maintenance on a yearly basis. Not only does it need to be inspected closely on at least an annual basis for rot, loose joints, loose screws or steps, it will need to be pressure washed annually and painted or stained every two or three years as well. The sun and other weather related phenomenon can really wreak havoc on a decks surface!
Above Ground Pools With Decks Made of Resin Decking
Resin decking — Most of the above ground pool deck kits we found state that the platform is made from resin. Resin is a lightweight but sturdy type of plastic. The deck in the photo to the right is stated as having a weight capacity of 3,000 pounds! Make sure to check the weight limit for the deck you are considering. Most of the above ground resin deck kits include a resin platform surface, handrail system, support posts and step system.
The Resin Deck Railing system is pre-engineered so there is no cutting involved and the handrails are reinforced with a steel channel. Powder coated steel frames and bracing systems provide these above ground resin decks with maximized strength and stability. Some deck kits have a safety step with a self-closing, lockable gate and a step ladder with handrails. The Anti-Skid step systems utilize double handrails for both the in-pool and the exterior steps for greater safety and ease. Since there are so many styles, sizes and features to choose from, make sure the deck has the conveniences that you desire.
Resin is pretty much maintenance free; however, if there are moving parts such as a ladder that flips up when not in use or a safety gate that is covering the stairs to prevent unwanted entry, then you also have some sort of bolt that is probably metal. Most of the complaints against these deck kits is that the bolts rusted after a short time. But since the bolts are being splashed with chlorinated water, and being rained on, not to mention being exposed to all kinds of elements, it should be expected that rust will happen.
It may be a good idea to replace the bolts every year or two. Just take them to your local hardware or home improvement store when you take them off and go ahead and get new ones so that you will already have them when the new season rolls around. Don’t forget to store those new bolts with your deck pieces so that you don’t misplace them.
I DEFINITELY WANT A DECK!
Well…you’ve decided you want a deck. Now, what kind of deck? How big? Made from what material? Do we just want to be able to jump off the deck into the pool on one side or a small section, or be able to lounge around the pool on our above ground pool deck on any side of the pool? If the latter is desired, it will need to be big enough for lounge chairs. Can we use the deck already on the back of the house? With some alterations, that may be possible. Will the deck remain in the yard during the winter or need to be disassembled for off-season storage? All things to consider to make sure you get the right deck for your backyard fun.
There are a lot of materials for decks and determining the building material may be dictated by what you already have. Will a deck made from wood match the existing lawn décor and decks already in place, or does it need to be made from composite decking, or is resin a better choice? How close will the pool be to the house or maybe your above ground pool with deck will be farther away from the house where matching the material to existing decks doesn’t even matter.
Above Ground Pools With Decks that you do your self. When choosing a decking material, remember that it will be exposed to the harmful rays of the sun and chemically treated water, on a continual basis. If you decide to go with a pre-made deck kit to accessorize your above ground pool, it will need to be assembled before using. And wood decks require maintenance, so if you want maintenance-free, you would be better off going with some sort of composite or resin decking surface. Another factor to consider with the pre-made deck kits is the amount of weight that the deck will hold.
Do you have a big family or are you planning on having the family get-togethers at your house all summer for summertime family fun in your pool? If so, make sure to get a deck that is sturdy enough to handle the weight. Most pool sets with ladders give you the max weight that the ladder will withstand as well, say 300 pounds max. Are there any friends or family members that would put that 300 pound ladder limit to the test? If so, you may want to do a ladder upgrade right from the start. Also, if everyone is on the deck at the same time, will it stand up to the pressure of the combined weight? You don’t want to take a dip in the pool because the legs buckled under the pressure of your party guests!
If you ARE that do-it-yourself person, you may want to go with a pre-made deck. They come with all the necessary parts without making several trips to the hardware store because you forgot to figure in all the necessary materials. These kits come with pre-cut and pre-drilled pieces for ease of assembly and they come in a variety of sizes, styles, and features. While most are white, taupe or grey in color, there are some other colors out there. And if by chance any of the parts are missing from your deck kit, a call to the manufacturer usually takes care of that. Some of these pre-made decks have anti-skid steps and some even have indoor-outdoor carpet for comfort. Look for the features that are important to you.
Pre-made Deck Kits
A handy thing to have is a pre-made deck kit that has a self-closing, lockable gate and a step ladder with handrails. The lockable gate can add a layer of security when the pool is not in use and add peace of mind for unwanted access when you are not home or just need to keep toddlers off the steps during family fun. The decks come with detailed instructions to help you assemble your beautiful new backyard addition.
Most of the pre-made deck kits also allow for disassembly for storage during the winter months so don’t throw away those assembly instructions, you’ll probably need them again next season! Most decks have some sort of a warranty for peace of mind as well. We noticed that the higher dollar deck kits usually have a longer warranty so if that is important to you, make sure you check for the manufacturer’s warranty and what all it covers and for what time frame they’ll cover that.
Another consideration for pre-made deck kits is how it attaches to the pool. Some decks need to be attached to the pool and others are free-standing. Some of them have a ladder down into the pool and others do not. If it doesn’t have a ladder extending from the pool for access directly onto the deck, people will have to get out of the pool onto the ground to climb the outside ladder to get onto the deck again. So if people exit the pool onto the ground, and then climb the ladder to the deck, guess what just got stuck all over their wet feet that they are bringing in the pool with them when they do that cannonball into the water …..grass! So unless you have some sort of landscaping around the pool to prevent grass and other debris from sticking to drenched feet, you’ll need that deck to have a ladder from the pool for direct access onto the deck, as well as a ladder from the ground onto the deck for initial entry.
We tried sitting a deep pan with water in it at the base of the ladder for washing that grass off but it really doesn’t work very well ‘cause with all that grass floating in the pan, it just sticks right back to your feet as you pull them out. And you know how excited kids are for getting on that deck over and over and showing off their latest pool tricks and fancy footwork on their way into the pool, and I can assure you, they don’t care about that grass on their feet that’s gonna be floating in your pool! You’re the only one that cares about that! So unless you want to spend a lot of time vacuuming and cleaning up the pool water after the family festivity, spend a little time on designing the landscaping around the pool to knock down some of the debris before it lands in your pool. Those family and friends all tend to disappear when it comes time to clean up, so you’re probably on your own! Make it as easy as possible by thinking ahead. You’ll be glad you did!
If you are contemplating a more permanent (and usually more expensive) above ground pool, then you may want to consider a more permanent form of decking as well. There are simple decks that just wrap the circumference of the pool all the way up to multiple level decks and beyond. Let your imagination run wild!
Unless you excel at designing and installing decks, you may want to allow the experts to install this type of decking to achieve the professional results you desire. Make sure any walking paths created won’t be slippery under wet feet. And don’t forget the landscaping. Plants can add a visually appealing appearance to any pool area. But not all plants are complementary for pools, in other words, more pool debris for you to clean up. You don’t want to spend an hour every day getting plant fragments out of your pool before you can jump in and enjoy it. Check out our section on Pool Friendly Plants (coming soon!).
In the meantime, check out some of the pre-made deck kits that Amazon has to offer by clicking the links below.