A Complete Guide to Building a Pool Deck

If you have a backyard above-ground swimming pool, you may have toyed with the idea of building a deck around it. Doing so can create a backyard landscape that looks inviting and comfortable for you and your guests.

To build a pool deck, you will need some boards, nails, and supports, as well as some tools like a saw and a hammer. You’ll start by measuring the area you want the deck, then cutting your wood to the right size. Next, you will lay everything out before you go back through and put it together. 

By following the advice of those who have built their pool decks, you can create the perfect outdoor space for you. Let’s look at the various supplies you will need, and just how to build your swimming pool deck.

What Supplies Will I Need to Build a Pool Deck?

Measuring boards for a new pool deck

Like anything else you may construct for your home, building a pool deck will require you to have the right equipment. Since building a deck can be an intensive activity, you should ensure that you have all of the necessary supplies on hand before you begin.

In addition to the decking materials, you will also need a few other supplies that will bring your deck together. These supplies will help you to complete the construction of your pool deck so that it lasts for years to come.

  • Posts or stakes to measure out the deck
  • Concrete pier footings
  • A saw to cut the posts to the desired length
  • Deck supports(on Amazon)
  • Screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Joist hangers(on Amazon)
  • Joist boards
  • Galvanized nails
  • Railing posts
  • Wood stain (optional)
  • Wood sealant (for pressure-treated wood)

While these are the most important supplies you will need, depending on the deck you choose to build, you may need additional supplies. It is best to ensure that you are following the instructions of the deck plan or other sources you consulted. 

Choosing a Material

The first thing you will need to make sure you purchase for your above-ground deck is a material that will hold up to moisture and pool water. This means that you will need to do your research on the different available materials.

In most cases, there are two types of materials for building a deck including pressure-treated wood or composite decking. Both of these types help you to build a deck that stands the test of time, but they both have various features that make them unique.

Pressure-treated wood is often less expensive than composite materials and they give you the beauty that natural wood provides. Wood decking material also gives you the option to stain it the color of your choice so it blends with your home.

Composite decking is made from wood fiber and plastic and is said to last much longer than pressure-treated wood. The advantage of this type of decking is that you will not have to stain the material and each piece fastens together in such a way that it has a clean look.

Overall, before you begin the planning process of your deck, you may want to take some time to investigate the various types of materials that you can use so you pick the best deck for your pool situation. 

Choosing the Shape and Size

One thing you need to think about before you install your above-ground pool and build a pool deck is the size and shape you want. This means that you should take the time to do some research on the various sizes and shapes that exist.

From round pool decks to rectangular, oval, and various other shapes, there are a variety of choices on the market. This means that you only have to choose the shape you want and what size you want it to be.

Wondering what shapes and sizes of pool decks you can build? Keep reading to find out.

Round Deck

If your above-ground pool is round, you may want to consider the same for your pool deck since it will be much easier to accomplish. Creating a deck of this shape is one of the most commonly built decks that above-ground pool owners.

Oval Deck

Some of the above-ground swimming pools that are available on the market today are not always round, but oval-shaped. This means that if you have purchased an oval-shaped pool, you may want to build the deck to match the shape.

Rectangular Deck

One of the easiest decks you can build is when the swimming pool you purchased is rectangular-shaped. This is because you only have to contend with straight sides and angles that make the construction so much easier.

Irregular-Shaped Deck

If you choose to purchase an irregularly shaped above-ground swimming pool because of the conversations it may start, then you should be prepared for the difficulty of building a deck to suit it. This is because most pool decks are easier to construct when they follow a specific pattern.

Finding the Best Location

As with most things you choose to add to your backyard to make it a better area for your outdoor entertaining, location is the key to making it successful. This is especially true when it comes to building a pool deck for your above-ground pool.

Finding the best location for your pool deck depends entirely on where you decide to place your swimming pool. Keep in mind that you should always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when doing so.

As for the pool deck, as you begin the planning process, you will need to consider a few things to ensure that your deck is built not only correctly, but that it will last for years to come. These few considerations include ensuring that you have enough room for people, furniture, various other equipment that a pool requires, and more. 

How to Build a Pool Deck 

Building a new deck

Once you have considered everything from supplies and materials to shapes, sizes, and the best location to build your pool deck, you should be ready to build your deck. To do so, you will need to follow specific guidelines and instructions so you will be able to enjoy it for years to come.

Step 1: Frame the Floor

The first step in building your pool deck is to frame the floor completely around the area where your deck will be located. In most cases, if you have purchased a deck plan, then you will find the instructions to do so in the plan.

Step 2: Place the Concrete Piers and Posts

The next step in the process of building a pool deck is to place the concrete piers and posts that will surround the pool. These will serve as a base for the entire pool deck and the framing that you built in the previous step. 

First, you will need to place the concrete piers around the pool area about 12 and 18 feet from the pool wall. This is then where you will place the posts that will hold the framing floor that acts as the beginning of your decking.

Step 3: Lay Down the Deck

This step will depend entirely on what shape you chose for your swimming pool deck and how big it will be. This means that you will need to follow instructions to either taper the wood ends so they fit well, or plan to cut the pieces down to the right sizes.

It may be important to note that you will need to ensure that you are either nailing or screwing the wooden planks down. This will ensure that your deck is secured to the framing floor and posts to make it more sturdy.

Step 4: Installing Guardrails

No pool deck would be complete without installing guardrails around the entire deck to prevent someone from falling off. In many cases, you can purchase precut materials to make the job of building a guardrail much easier.

Paint vs Stain: Which is Best?

Once you have built your swimming pool deck, it is time to decide whether you are going to paint or stain it. While the decision is a personal choice, there are obvious advantages and disadvantages to both.

When it comes to painting a pool deck, you should keep in mind that most people choose not to go with this route. This is because over time, even when you seal the paint, foot traffic can cause it to fade significantly.

Staining is what most people recommend if you are using pressure-treated wood since it goes on much easier and does not fade as paint does. This is because the stain is absorbed into the wood which creates a more natural overall look.

Keep in mind that if you are using composite materials, there is no need for either paint or staining since it comes ready to use. You should also keep in mind that you can purchase this type of decking in various colors so it takes out the step of having to paint it as well.

What to Keep in Mind Before Starting 

Modern house with pool

Before starting the process of building a deck for your swimming pool, there are several factors that you should consider. These factors will make the difference between building a deck that lasts for years and one that lasts for much less time.


One of the first, and most important, factors that you should consider before building a deck is the cost of materials. This is why it is recommended that before you begin the project, you should create a budget that will help you determine the types of materials you can afford to purchase.


Another important factor to consider when building a pool deck is the size you will need, which is based on the size of the swimming pool. It is recommended that you make sure to measure before you begin to ensure that you have enough space for the pool deck you will need.

Weight Capacity

While most people purchase a deck plan before they get started, others attempt to build their deck without one. Whichever you choose, you will need to ensure that the deck is supported with joists that will hold to a specific capacity. Make sure that you do your research to ensure that the deck will be suitable for anyone who chooses to use it.

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