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Building an Above Ground Pool Deck Part 1of 3

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Step by Step instructions

The first thing you need to do is to check with you local government to see what laws they have pertaining to building decks. They are all different where ever you live. This is a picture of the finished deck. notice it has an overhang. I used 2x 8 boards on top to keep it from bowing.because of the overhang. Normally you can use 5/4 Pressure treated Decking

The next thing you need to do is decide how you want it to look. In the case of this deck I followed the instructions of my customer. They wanted it to go between the wall and the pool.and have a ladder coming up the one side. They also wanted me to leave enough room around the side of the pool and the finished deck so that the Winter Cover could be installed with out to much trouble. If you notice there is about 2 Inches of space between the finished deck and the top of the pool.

1. The first thing I did was drive stakes in the ground placing the edges of the pool where it was to be.The I ran string around the outside to give me an idea of what it will look like. Then make sure that it is square and all sides are perpendicular to each other. The easiest way to check square is to measure across each corner and see if they are the same in the form of an X. if they measure the same then it is square. Next run a string around the perimeter of of the posts. This will help you to figure out how many you will need and what length by measuring from the ground up. You will also know where to dig your hole's and to be able to line up posts.

2.The next step is to decide where to put your posts. I like to keep them every 4 to 6 feet.There are different ways to set posts but I am only going to show one way.It is my preferred way. The tools needed for this is a shovel, Post Hole digger and a hole digger. see photo. A

3.Starting at the corner post first dig below frost line or at least 2 feet deep. The frost line is different from location to location. Insert a 4 x 4 pressure treated post high enough to go to deck level. So depending on the grade is how you determine the length of 4 x 4. I always make sure it is long enough and cut off whatever is extra. Get a bag of concrete mix. I usually put 1 bag per hole. Mix fairly wet in a wheelbarrow or small mortar box see photo B. After pouring in cement mix, check for plumb and square to the other poles by looking at string. YOU MUST DO THIS QUICKLY OR THE CEMENT WILL START TO SET UP.

4. After all the posts are in. Notice that i kept the post at least 2 to 2 1/2 inches from pool sides to allow the cover to be put on in the winter. if you add a board on the outside of the posts then you need at least 1/2 inch to 1 inch to get your pool cover on in the fall. That is also why the deck is kept higher then the pool. It is nice to be able to slip your fingers in and behind, when putting on the cover.See photo C

5.After all the posts are set then I leave them set for a least a day. Starting next to the pool you must decide on the height of the finished deck. I usually take a small piece of the material and use it as a gauge, I put the piece of material next to the pool and make a mark on the bottom to determine where the height of the floor joists are going to be.You will also need a level.The longer the better, I use a 4' level. Mark where each of the floor joists are going onto the 4 x 4 post using the level and scrap of decking. Going off of this spot you can use a piece of string to decide where the top of each board is going and putting the level on the string to ensure it is level. See Photo D

6.Next start to cut your 2 x 8" material to the proper lengths to span between the 4 x 4 post already in the ground.I tack them with 1, 2 1/2 screw till i have put all the out side boards up. That way ther you can adjust them if needed. After all the boards are up See Photo E. I then secure them with a at least 2 Lag Bolts 1/4 x 3". driving them with an electric drill with a socket that fits the head. Make sure that they are Exterior Grade. Or they will rust and look bad later. See Photo F

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7. Next lay out your Joists on 16" centers. Putting a joist hanger at each location. Securing with exterior screws (1" or 1 1/4") or by driving a galvanized nail 1" long to secure. See Photo G

8.Cut and Install floor joists. Checking for a bow in the length of the board. Always put the bow up. Because with the weight on the board it will go down.

9. Cut off extra 4 x 4 at the top of the joists as you go. I always use a Saws all with a fairly long blade. See Photo I

10. Any angle boards See Photo J use hanger on one side cut angle on the other side to maintain 16" on centers

11. Next start cutting the decking boards for the top. iI order to get the angle I used a square on the edge of the pool and made a mark on the board on both side. Then cut the angle that was there. See Photo k. Continue cutting and nailing boards across the top using Galvanized Ring Shank Nails See Photo L.These nails go in but will not work them selfs back out. Any nails that stick up hammer down. Note I used a Nail gun to do so. I also used 3 nails per joist. 3" long.

Another Deck Design

Part 2 will be Adding Steps

Part 3 Will Be Installing Privacy Fence and Handrails

Part 2 of 2 Deck Steps

Part 3 of 3 How to build fence,privacy fence and gate

Stainless Steel screws

recipricating saw

Lag Bolts

Joist Hangers

Another great Deck design

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Bill


Bill (author) from Greensburg Pennsylvania on June 25, 2015:

Alicia thanks for the comments glad I could help you.

Alicia on June 24, 2015:

Finally. A pic of how you cut and bolted the 2 x 8 in front of the posts directly around pool. I am in process of building a deck and could not find pics like this anywhere. Thanks do much for posting.

Bill (author) from Greensburg Pennsylvania on March 13, 2015:

Thanks Robbie. The customer in this case used Stain. I believe that now there are better options on finishing decks. Thanks for the link and comment.

Bill (author) from Greensburg Pennsylvania on June 12, 2012:

I left 4" above top rail of pool and 2' in back of pool to get the liner in and out.Thanks for stopping bye

Kevin on June 12, 2012:

Nice looking deck. Is there enough room between the deck boards and the pool rail so that the rail can be removed to change the liner when needed?

Bill (author) from Greensburg Pennsylvania on June 03, 2012:

I Pre-Drilled the hole into the 2 x 8 and into the 4 x 4 at an angle and used long enough bolts to go thru the 2 x 8 and into the 4 x 4. I also counter sunk the bolt head so it did not stick out. They are as strong at an angle as straight.Maybe stronger because of the pressure always being down.

John on June 03, 2012:

Thanks. What I was really asking was how you are able to get at least two lag bolts into the 2x8s that run along the pool edge. With most of the 2x8 below the top rail, how do you secure the 2x8 to the 4x4 (Photo J).

Thanks again!

Bill (author) from Greensburg Pennsylvania on May 20, 2012:

Crazy Angle is the answer. I used 2 lag bolts per 2 x 8 and yes you have to cut a crazy angel. Lay it out on the bottom of the 2 x 8 by laying it across the top the way it will sit when it is put in.Then mark the angle andn continue the line down the face with a square. Using a sawzall cut down thru the top of the 2 x 8. Till you get the right angle. Any other questions post it here and i will answer. thanks

John on May 20, 2012:

I love this deck and plan on building something similar for my above ground pool. The only question I have is how to secure the lag bolts into the 2x8s that run along the pool. It appears that about 3" of the board is above the pool. Do you secure the 2 lag bolts there? It doesn't appear the you could secure the part of the 2x8 that is below the top of the pool unless you use some crazy angle.


CapturedWord from United States on January 30, 2012:

Great deck! Interesting article!

Donna on August 10, 2011:

Helpful step by step article to help build a great looking pool deck.

Leah Lefler from Western New York on August 09, 2011:

What a gorgeous deck! We only have an Intex pool right now, but we are thinking of getting a more permanent above ground pool. I'll have to bookmark this hub for future reference - having a deck makes an above-ground much more enjoyable.

Deborah-Diane from Orange County, California on August 09, 2011:

You have built a beautiful deck for your above ground pool. Good job!

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