There are few pleasures on this planet that compare to the simple luxury of owning your very own pool deck.
Imagine this: long summer afternoons spent poolside, luxuriating on a sun-lounge with a cold beverage on hand, the sound of your kids leaping and splashing and having the time of their lives in the pool.
Nothing beats it. Which is why having a reliable, hardwearing pool deck is a must for anybody owning a pool.
With the right pool deck, you can extend the memory of those long, hot summer days to last a lifetime. But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves here.
Before you can enjoy a pool deck, first you need to build one.
Which is where we come in.
In this article, we give you the lowdown on how to build a pool deck to suit your pool — whether it’s in-ground or elevated — so you can transform your vision into a reality, and build around your pool that deck you’ve always wanted.
Your first priority when building a pool deck is to take into account the amount of money this project is likely to cost you.
If you’re doing it by yourself, a pool deck typically costs anywhere between $100 to $300 per square metre.
The price will vary depending on the type of materials you purchase and how elaborate the process is in turning your design into a reality.
When you take into account the area that you hope to clad out in a neat, trusty deck and the labour costs, the overall cost is likely to amount to a pretty hefty price tag, no matter which way you cut it.
This is why it’s imperative that before you even pick up the tools (or before you pay someone else to) that you calculate the costs of your project, and make sure you have the cash to see the project through.
We even advise that you tack on a 10% buffer to your budget to help with any hidden costs that might arise during the development of the project, such as waste management.
Okay, so you’ve got your budget planned out. Now you need to consider the style of your deck.
Ideally, your deck should have a complementary effect on the pool, appearing as an extension of your at-home swimming rather than something that’s been bunged on for the sake of convenience.
Make sure that you select colours and textures that naturally add to this entertainment area, rather than detract from it.
So you’ve selected the ideal design for your deck, it’s time to make sure your project falls in line with council rules and regulations.
Typically, above-ground pool decks are restricted to a one metre perimeter from any side boundary fence.
And remember that sun-lounge we were dreaming about earlier?
There won’t be space for it unless you make your deck at least two metres deep, particularly if you want to put a sunshade and barbecue on the deck too.
For decks surrounding in-ground pools, you must ensure there are no powerlines or pipes of any kind running under the ground that you’re planning to dig up, and if there are you had better make sure that you take the appropriate precautions and measures when installing the deck around them.
Another regulation that you must comply with as an owner of a pool is having an appropriate barrier or fence around your pool.
In Australia, homeowners are required to install a pool around their fence to ensure the safety of visitors, children and those that are poor swimmers.
This rule doesn’t change when you build a pool deck, which is why it’s important that you select a fence that matches your pool both in terms of practicality and visual appeal.
The most popular choices for pool fences include glass and light metal, but if this doesn’t align with your personal tastes, you can always check with your local decking consultant and see what they have in the way of options for a fence that matches with the style of your decking — there are plenty of them out there!
Now it’s time to purchase the cladding and materials that will convert that space around your pool into a dream pad ready for long summer days and an abundance of happy family memories.
Timber decking is probably the most popular material for pool owners, which is primarily on account of its versatility, its cost effectiveness, and the variety of types in which its available, including Blackbutt, Spotted Gum, Jarrah, Mahogany and others.
Another style of decking that is becoming increasingly popular is composite decking. Due to its desirable non-slip and non-flammable qualities, it is widely considered a less hazardous option than timber decking. Furthermore, its impersonation of traditional hardwoods with real woodgrain effects and colours means it looks just as good as its natural counterpart.
If it’s an in-ground pool deck that you’re after, it’ll probably be concrete or stone paving that will be the best option for you, although they can be more challenging to shape and install than the type of decking mentioned above.
Time to get started
Now that you’ve done all the prep work, it’s time to start building.
Below, we outline some recommendations that you should take into consideration when building your dream deck whether it’s for an in-ground or elevated pool.
Take careful stock of the width of your decking material, as well as the height of the pool and the proximity of the posts (and the intervals at which these posts will be spaced).
Measure the height of the lip of the pool so that your deck will fit neatly and snugly under it.
Put a pool railing in. With all the splashing and cavorting that will happen in your personal paradise, your deck is likely to become wet and slippery, necessitating the installation of a pull railing, which will give something for your loved ones to grip onto when coming in and out of the pool.
Determine the size of the dig site around your pool. Figure out how big the space should be around your pool and start shovelling. The depth of your excavation should equal the depth of your decking materials with an extra concession for joists and bearers.
You’ll want your deck to conform to the gentle curvature of your pool, meaning you should first cut and install general lengths before you return and trim out more specific sizes to create the shape you’re after.
Finally, before you cut and install, determine whether you want your deck to sit back from, touch, or protrude over the edge of the pool (this will prevent against unnecessary wastage and make sure everything happens right the first time, hopefully!)
Regardless as to whether or not you adopt a DIY approach or get some help off a friend, you should always make sure that you get someone with a little professional know-how to cast their eye over your plans and give your project the green light.
There is nothing worse than beginning a project such as the construction of a pool deck only to realise a short time later that you’ve taken on more than you can handle.
If you’re ready to let those summer times roll and need a pool deck ASAP, we here at Superdeck can hook you up with professional advice for every stage of your deck construction, as well as pointing you in the right direction for any materials you might need at the most cost-effective prices.
If this sounds like you, contact us here at Superdeck for more information.