Your beautiful new pool deck will bring your outdoor space to life. The sun is shining and your friends are juggling in the water while you grill hot dogs. You can create a luxurious pool deck with the right tools and hardware. Our step-by-step tutorial will show you how to build a deck that surrounds a swimming pool.
Why Build a Deck around a Pool?
Building a deck to surround your above-ground or inground pool has many benefits. Building a deck around your pool will give you the following benefits:
- Sunbathing and relaxing space.
- Easy access for monitoring children in the pool.
- Additional space for entertaining and dining.
- Anti-slip area near your pool
- Enhance appearance and aesthetics
How Much Does It Cost to Build a Deck around a Pool?
The price to build a deck to surround a swimming pool can range from $3,000 to $12,000 depending on size, materials, and if you do it yourself. The average cost of a pool deck is $5,000.
How to Prepare for Building a Swimming Pool Deck
The pool deck should be attractive, safe, and durable. Before you get out the circular saw and screwdriver, check out these plans for pool decks.
1. Plan Your Deck
Measure the diameter, height, and length of your pool to help you determine your deck’s dimensions. Draw a rough sketch of your deck and include the dimensions. Consider buying a premade Deck Plan. These plans usually include construction plans, lumber, and hardware, as well as footings and deck boards.
2. Apply for Permits
You may need to obtain a permit from your local municipality in order to construct a deck. Check any local guidelines on residential pool decks to make sure you are meeting the codes for stairs, railings, and all other elements. You are required by most states to install a pool fence in order to prevent anyone from entering the pool without supervision.
3. Select Your Deck Material
Decking materials come in many different types, ranging from composites and synthetics to pressure-treated lumber. No matter what, you’ll use pressure-treated wood for your framing. You’ll want to stain your deck if you plan to use lumber as deck boards to protect it against UV rays and the elements.
4. Get Your Tools and Materials Ready
Prepare your tools and materials and choose an outdoor space to cut the 2x6s.
You’ll also need the following tools and materials:
- Reciprocating saw
- Circular or miter saw
- Power screwdriver
- Tape measure
- Frame square
- Sander with 120-grit paper
- Hearing and eye protection
- Dust mask
- Chalk line
- Carpenter’s pencil
- Pressure-treated wood
- 4×4 deck posts
- Pre-cut 4×4 railing posts
- 2×6 rim joists
- 2×6 floor joists
- 2×6 deck boards
- Use 2x4s to make diagonal braces
- Pre-cut 2×2 balusters
- Pre-cut stair stringers (3)
- 2x12s for stair treads
- Galvanized structural deck screw (1 1/2 inch and 2-1/2 inch)
- Galvanized lag screws (3/8 inch diameter, 4 1/2 inch-long)
- Through bolts
- Angle brackets
- Flat angle brackets
- Joist hangers
- Gate hardware and lock
- Concrete deck blocks
- Concrete patio blocks
- Mason line string
- Wood stakes
- Waterproofing deck stain
- Paint or spray can
How to Build a Deck Around a Pool
Here’s how you can build a poolside deck that will last for many years.
1. Mark the Perimeter and Post Locations
Outline the perimeter of your deck using wood stakes and mason line string. The markers should be adjusted until they are at the same level. Mark the deck posts you wish to install with paint. Plan your deck post locations using the following guidelines.
- The interior posts should be positioned one foot from the edge of your pool.
- When using 4×4 decking posts, you should space them four to six feet apart.
2. Remove and Level the Area
Remove any bushes from the deck area. Although your ground does not need to be perfectly level, you should aim to flatten any uneven ground using a shovel.
3. Set Your Posts
Mark the location of your concrete deck blocks. The pier must be leveled in both directions. If necessary, adjust the ground using a shovel.
Install your 4×4 posts into the square slots of the deck blocks closest to the pool. Mark a line with a pencil and a level on the 4x4s to indicate the height of the deck posts so that they are flush with the edge of the pool. The line on each post may vary depending on the slope of your ground.
Measure down each line from the removed posts, taking into account the coping of the pool, the floor joists (5 1/2 inches if you are using 2x6s), and the deck board thickness (1 1/2″ if you are using 2x6s), as well as a 1/2-inch expansion allowance. Your posts should be cut to the desired length and then placed back onto concrete blocks.
Use taller posts to support the railing on the deck’s outside perimeter. (Use a chalk line to make sure it is level.)
4. Cut and Install Rim Joists
The perimeter joists for your deck are made from 2x6s. Place them along your deck posts, and make sure they are level. (It’s best to have someone help you). Screw the joists into place at the height that you marked. Square the two pieces of lumber at the corners to create a 90-degree angle. Install them with an angle bracket after ensuring that the joists are level. Add an extra beam joist to the middle of a large deck.
5. Add Diagonal Braces
Install diagonal 2×4 braces if your deck is higher than 24 inches above grade. This will add strength to the joists. The braces must run parallel to the pool and from the interior to the exterior of the posts. To secure them, use through bolts or lag screws.
6. Install Floor Joists
Floor joists should be 16 inches apart across the deck. Your 2×6 joists should span the width of the deck and fit in between the rim beams.
Screw in the joist hangers. Set up the joist and then screw it into place.
Add block joists to your deck floor for added stability.
7. Install the Deck Boards
Crown side up, place your 2×6 decking on your joists. Use spacers of 1/4 or 3/8 inches between decking boards in order to allow the wood to expand and drain.
Cut the edges of the deck boards that are closest to the swimming pool with a jigsaw. To allow for wood expansion, the gap between your pool and deck above ground should be 1/2 inch. You can create a curve that follows your pool’s line by cutting the ends at an angle of 80 degrees.
Deck screws of 2 1/2 inches are used to secure each board to the joists.
Mark the outer joist with a chalk mark if any deck boards are overhanging the perimeter. Trim the deck boards’ edges with a circular blade to make them flush with the perimeter beams.
8. Secure Railing Posts
Install pre-cut 4×4 railing posts at every 6 to 8 feet. Align them with the intersection of your floor joists, rim joists, and wall joists. This will allow you to secure each railing post properly. Leave an opening for the width of the stairs.
Install your railing posts along the deck perimeter using a power screwdriver. Pre-cut posts usually have a notch on the bottom to allow them to be installed against the deck edge.
9. Handrail Construction
Cut a 10-degree bevel at the ends of the 2×6 to make horizontal handrails that span between railing posts. Slide the board in between the posts and secure the handrail using a 2 1/2-inch deck screw. To act as a decorative top, cut a 2×4 the same size and screw it on the 2×6 rail. The edges should be sanded smooth.
10. Attach the Balusters
Keep your balusters parallel to the railing posts and upright. To ensure that each baluster is straight, use a level. The balusters need to be spaced about four inches apart. Beveled edges of balusters must be facing down. The balusters should be screwed to the railing and the rim joist.
11. Build the Stairs
You can widen your staircase if you wish. One stringer is needed for every two feet in stair width. If your stairway is 36 inches wide, then you will need three stringers. A left, right, and a middle.
Set the bottom end of pre-cut stair stringers on concrete patio blocks. This will prevent ground moisture from coming in contact with the wood. Check that the stringers and the ground are both level. If necessary, adjust the ground.
Attach the angle brackets to each side of your stringer.
Then screw the treads to the stringers. Create a railing to match the slope of your stairs, just as you did for the deck guardrails.
12. Connect the Gate
Build a gate that has a lock and latch to prevent pets and children from entering the pool without supervision. Make a gate frame from 2x4s by cutting 45-degree angles, just like you would when building a picture frame. The corners should be squared and securing them with angle brackets will help to keep the frame together. Fix balusters at the same distance as you would for railing balusters.
Attach the gate hardware, aligning it with the lock. This will ensure that it is easy to move and stays in place. Your gate should open to the pool and not the stairs.
13. Stain the Deck
Wait 30-60 days after building a new deck before staining your deck. First, the wood needs to “age” and dry. To ensure your deck is resistant to UV rays and weather, stain it.
Let the stain cure completely before adding outdoor furniture, grills, and fun accessories.
Take Care of Your Pool Deck
You’ll want to keep the deck looking good for many years. Here are some tips on how to maintain your pool deck:
- Seal your deck at least every three years.
- You should clean your deck once a year. This includes sweeping away dirt, debris, leaves, and snow.
- Avoid uneven fading by moving your pool furniture or other accessories.
- Trim the bushes at least one foot away from your deck in order to prevent moisture damage.
- As soon as possible, secure any loose screws or boards. Replace boards and screws that are damaged.
Hire a Pool Professional Today
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