Building a Deck Around a Pool

Careful Measurements

To build a deck around a pool you will first need to measure your pool area and decide how many deck supports you will need, based on the size of your above-ground pool and the design that you have in mind. An in-ground pool normally requires a patio rather than a deck because the surface lies flat on the ground, which does not require deck supports. The deck supports need to be planted in cement to support the beams. Once you have your beams solidly in place you will need to measure across the width of the proposed deck surface. You will need to lay support beams across the width of your frame -- these are the beams that will hold up your decking boards. Keep them a uniform distance apart. If you place them too close together, you will need more boards than you will likely want to pay for. If you place them too far apart, the base boards will be unstable and dangerous. A good distance is about sixteen inches on center, which is the center of the beam lying on its edge. You measure from the center of one beam to the center of another so 14-1/2 inches is the actual distance between the boards.

Support Beams and Decking

Support beams are needed beneath the central areas of the deck as well, in order that you have support all the way across the deck. After you have your support beams in place, you will lay your decking on top. This is where you might like to do some some creative measuring. You will need to measure your boards and either cut them or nail boards together to cover the required distances. Since you are fitting your deck around a portion of or all of an above-ground pool, your base boards will reflect the shape of that pool, whether it is round, oval or another shape altogether -- your decking will reflect that. This requires careful measuring and double-checking because you do not want to cut your boards too short and end up wasting lumber. For safety purposes it is a good idea to include a railing around the outer edge of the deck except for the part that connects directly to the wall of the pool. This is usually the last step, after you have nailed all of the decking boards into place. For a simple railing, the upright beams should be about 24 inches apart, with a board nailed all around the top.

Weatherproofing

After you complete the decking and railing, it is time to weatherproof the boards. Using wolmanized lumber in the first place is an excellent weatherproofing idea but you can add to it by painting your finished deck with weather-repelling varnish to help it last a lot longer. Walk around on the deck before you paint it to make sure the boards are all solidly nailed. A loose board will creak and move slightly when you step on it -- if you find any, check it all over for any nails that are not solidly set against the wood. You can also use weatherproof paint in various colors, including natural wood colors. Painting over the nails makes them match the wood, which makes them camouflaged.

About this Author

Kristie Karns has written and published many articles online, both for Demand Studios and for Triond.com, covering a range of topics. Ms Karns has published a book, dozens of poems, photographs and digital artworks over the past twenty years and is always working on several novels at once.

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