Decking Over Above Ground Pool

We need to replace our above ground pool liner but the decking was built around the top to overlap the pool.

Is there any way to get to it? Or do I have to cut all the wood around it and replace the deck boards?



Hi. Decks over the top rails of above ground pools can create a real problem. Assuming you have an overlap liner, you will need to remove the top rails.

Many times a deck will need to be cut back and then rebuilt. Sometimes it is as easy as pulling some deck screws and removing the top 2 x 6's. Other times it means cutting and replacing boards.

If you plan to put the deck back the way it is now you might consider buying a beaded liner and bead receivers for your pool. This way the decking would not have to come off again.

Below are links to pages that might help you out further in making your deck cutting and liner changing plans.

Above Ground Pool, Deck and Awning

Overlap Liners

Beaded Liners

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Deck Around a Doughboy Pool

by Emma
(Stockton, CA)

I have a sand dollar doughboy pool installed in ground by professional installers for doughboy pools as well as the excavator.

Now we are in the process of putting a deck around the pool. I need to know what to do before putting in the deck. I have been told that we can actually paint the outside of the wall with roofing tar and then do we backfill it with dirt or slurry? Do I need to hire someone that is an expert on putting deck around a Doughboy pool?



Hi Emma. Any good deck builder should easily be able to build a wood deck around an above ground pool.

In order to do the slurry method of backfill that is recommended on the Doughboy website the area around the outside of the pool needs to be about 6" from the pool to the edge of the hole. Installing a pool in this way is extremely difficult. I require at least 3' extra area around the pool inside of the hole. This gives me enough room to build the pool correctly. When done this way I recommend coating the pool with tar and backfilling with dirt. If the slurry is used, coating the wall should not be necessary.

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Deck Ladder Too Short

by Kathy
(London ON Canada)

Since building a deck around our pool and extending it over the top rail of pool, our deck ladder no longer fits to bottom of pool. Any ideas on how to fix this?

I have been told by one pool place to put ladder on top of a bag of sand...not to sure of this one - bag breaks - I now have sand to contend with.



Hi Kathy. No, I would not go with the sand. You should be able to make the adjustment at the place where the ladder attaches to the deck. Cutting off a chunk of each side should allow you to mount the ladder in a way that it rests on the bottom of the pool.

I have seen 2x4 or 4x4 lumber, wrapped in carpet, tied under the bottom rung. This seems to have worked just fine and the carpet does a good job of protecting the liner.

Deck Ladders


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Building an Above Ground Pool Deck

I am wondering about the best way to build the deck. Is it better to build it under, over or flush with the top rail of the pool?

We are just adding a small section from the existing deck to the pool for easier access to the pool. What is your opinion? Thanks!



Hi. You might want to consider how you will change your liner the next time it needs it. Most people do not consider this when building a deck. If you have an overlap liner you will need to remove the top rails so you may want to keep that in mind when planning your pool deck.

This page shows how we install an overlap liner.

Vinyl Liner Replacement

In order to install a liner like this the deck needs to either be removable or a foot or so below the top rails. I recommend to either build the deck so that it can be easily moved away from the pool or build it below the top rails.

These pages show some above ground pool decks that I have worked on, they may help.

Above Ground Pool Deck

Wood Pool Deck Installation

A deck like the one below is nice but they have sure made things difficult the next time they need to change the liner in the pool. Unless they have a beaded liner, in that case they are probably just fine. The top rails would not need to come off and the liner would not need to be stretched.

wood deck for an above ground pool

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