If you have recently installed a pool at your home, you may want to consider placing a deck around it. Some people will lay concrete, which is very common, but to exemplify the beautiful pool that you have just installed in your backyard, you may want to consider decking instead. There are many forms of wood that you can use, as well as composite materials, that will create a beautiful end result. If you would like to attempt this, here is a brief overview of what will need to be done in order to put decking around your pool.
How To Begin
In certain areas of the country, especially in the Southwest where the weather is typically warm year-round, swimming pools are very abundant. According to some statistics, there are millions of both inground and above ground pools nationwide with hundreds of thousands being added every day. Some of these will have a deck around them which is where people can sit in chairs to watch their kids, or just go out to get a suntan.
They are also very popular from an aesthetic point of view, adding quite a bit to the landscaping of the backyard area. Depending upon the shape of the pool, its size, and how much room you have to work with, the shape of the deck will conform to the perimeter of the pool itself. Therefore, you will need to measure how much decking material you will need and you will want to use precast piers with slots on the top where 4 x 4 posts can be inserted.
This will form the basis of the foundation for the decking around your pool. You will then need either pressure-treated lumber, preferably hardwoods like ipe and mahogany that will not easily crack, plus you will need wood sealant, screws and joist hangers. You can alternatively use composite decking instead.
Steps To Creating Your Deck
Once you have all of the materials, you will want to begin with creating the trapezoidal floor joist frames. It is recommended that you use galvanized metal corner brackets to hold them together. Next, you will set all of the piers and posts around the perimeter of the pool, and place the posts into the sockets. This will allow you to add the floor joist frames along the top, and secure everything with two by four diagonal braces.
Once that is secure, it's time to lay the deck using the wood that you have purchased. Remember, you can use composite materials or vinyl instead of hardwoods like cedar or redwood. You will fasten them to the joist frames using two and a half inch deck screws. You will have to trim the boards as you go around to conform to the shape of the pool so that it is flush adjacent to the perimeter. The final step will be building the guard rails using precut railing posts, and you will fasten them together using foreign a half inch long galvanized lag screws. You should also use precut balusters in between, especially if you have young children, to finish the guard rails that will keep everyone safe.
Once you have created the deck, you will want to walk across to it to make sure it is securely in place. As long as you have leveled the ground underneath the precast piers, and have secured everything with the recommended screws, it should be very sturdy. Pay careful attention to the guard railing to make sure that it is not wiggling. If it is, you may have to add additional bracing to keep it in place. The time it will take to complete this project will depend upon the size of the pool, and how adept you are with home improvement projects.
As long as you have all of the tools that you will need which will include power drills, hammers, skill saws, measuring tape, and all of the components mentioned above, you can usually get one done in the span of a week or two working in your spare time. You of course have the option of contacting a professional to put decking around your pool. This is probably the best choice for people that are working quite a bit. If your goal is to have this ready by summer, you should consider contacting a contractor months in advance so that they will have time to add you to their schedule.
Placing decking around your pool may seem like a very difficult project, especially if you have never attempted something like this before. Using the basic outline provided in this article, you will have a general idea of what type of material you should use, the parts and tools that will be necessary, plus a general outline of the steps that need to be taken. If you do decide to work with a contractor, make sure that you get multiple estimates from different companies that specialize in this type of installation. Search for comments or testimonials that have been made about the different companies in your area, specifically from Google and Yelp. If other people have had a good experience with a contractor, then you will likely have the same. Once it is done, it will not only improve the beauty of your backyard, but make your pool a very special place to be with family and friends during the warmer months.