If you’ve just purchased an above ground pool, you’re probably looking for a deck that complements your pool and blends seamlessly into your garden design. If you’re on a budget, you may even be planning to build it yourself. But there are few things to consider before you start, and if you follow our tips, you’ll save time, money, and painful repairs further down the track.
Designing Your Deck
Whether you choose to do it yourself or hire a contractor, the first step is designing your decking. Do you want it to be big or small? What kind of materials do you want to use? It’s easy to get carried away during the planning stages, so make sure that your design aligns with your needs, space, and budget. Here are a few factors to consider:
- Should you do it yourself? It all depends on your confidence, the complexity of the job, and your budget. You might be a DIY whiz with plenty of time to design, plan, and build the deck yourself. If so, all power to you! But if you’ve got a sloping block, space limitations or ambitious plans, you’re better off hiring a professional. After all, they do this for a living.
- Get the pool first. This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people build a deck and hope the pool will fit. Even though there are standardized sizes, each pool will have different features that need to be factored into the design. Get the pool installed first, then build the deck.
- Buy the right fencing. By law, every pool needs a fence. Height regulations will depend on your location, so make sure it’s compliant. If you don’t already have a fence, include it in your deck building budget.
- Align the deck with your pool. It’s best to have your decking built as close to the pool as possible. This minimizes trip hazards and makes it easier to get in and out of the pool. It can also give your pool an in-ground look!
- Run the decking boards under your pool rails. Pools need to have their liners changed from time to time. If you don’t plan your deck properly, the repairer may need to cut the deck to do this, ruining your hard work. Most above ground pools have a top railing that screws or snaps into place. Have your boards run beneath the railing so it can be removed and allow easy access.
- Don’t put your equipment under the deck if there’s no access. You may think that this is a great way to keep pumps and filters out of sight, but it actually makes it difficult to perform regular maintenance, such as oiling or changing filters. You’re better off building a separate structure at the side of your pool. You can also save money by using lumber left over from building the deck!
How Much Will It Cost?
When it comes to pool decking, there are lots of styles and designs to choose from. The cost will depend on the materials, the complexity of your plans, and whether you do the work yourself. Here are a few factors to consider:
- Size. The bigger the deck, the higher the cost. After all, you’re using more lumber and more labor. It’s simple economics really.
- Labor: Yes, building the deck yourself will save you money. But don’t do it unless you’re a confident builder. DIY disasters can cost you thousands. If you decide to use a contractor, prices will vary depending on the time of year, the weather, the size, and your location.
- Materials: Decking can be made of natural wood, plastic, or composite materials. Get a quote on each to see how they compare. If you have a preference for natural wood, price will vary depending on the species, hardness, and availability. Wood may also require shipping, which adds to the price. Some people fall in love with California Redwood and then find that it costs more to ship than it does to buy!
- Pattern: Most decks are built with boards going across in a horizontal pattern. This gives you a classic look and minimizes waste. If you want a decorative pattern or an inlay, material and labor costs will increase accordingly.
Once you’ve completed the poolside decking project, it’s time to enjoy it. Throw some colorful Resort Style Bean Bags on the deck and enjoy the time with loved ones or a good book. Building a stunning pool deck can be an investment in your future. It adds visual appeal, provides easy access to your pool, and boosts your home’s value. When you’re planning to build, make sure that the design and materials fit your budget, and outsource any work that you can’t do yourself. With the right preparation, you’ll create an outdoor space that will delight your family – and be the envy of your friends and neighbours!