Above Ground Pool on Wood Deck

by Daryn
(Urbandale, Ia)

We want to buy an 18' x 4' foot round above ground pool for our backyard, one problem is our back yard is slanted so I thought about building a wood platform for it.

We want a 5 foot walk way around it and on one side we want a 10 foot area to put some lawn chairs to get some sun, I was thinking that if I make the whole base out of 4x4s every 2 feet buried 3 feet into the ground around the whole outside and inside with 2x4s across the top, I'm worried that the weight of the water will break it, what do you think?

Hi Daryn. A well built deck could easily support an above ground pool. Take a look at the under structure of this deck. Mobile Home Deck
The structure starts with the 4 x 4's and resting on them is the key to a strong deck. They are 4 x 8 purloins. On top of the purloins is a frame made with 2 x 6's on 16" centers. On a pool deck we would use 2 x 6's on top of this frame, for a mobile home deck where we plan to use carpet we use plywood.

A structure this stout could easily hold the weight of an above ground pool. These pages show pool decks using the exact same basic structure.

Pool Deck and Awning

Above Ground Pool Decks

Wood Decks for Above Ground Pools

underside of above ground pool deck

Something like this would work fine but to hold the weight of an above ground pool I would add a few more support posts.

Comments for Above Ground Pool on Wood Deck

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Jun 27, 2015
Enormous weight of water
by: Eric

I think you are seriously underestimating the enormous weight of the water in a pool this size. An 18 foot round pool 4 feet deep contains about 7,600 gallons of water, and that water weighs about 63,000 pounds. That's more than 31 tons!

A deck is typically sized to support about 40 lbs/sq. ft. live load (anything on top of the deck, not the dead load of the structure itself). I've seen recommendations of 100 lbs/sq. ft. if you want to put a hot tub on the deck. And a hot tub holds way less water than even a small pool (typically around 500 gallons, which weighs about 4000 lbs or 2 tons -- a far cry from the weight of a medium sized pool.

So how much live load does that 18 foot pool put on the deck? About 250 lbs/sq. ft. No usual deck construction is going to support that, and god forbid one of the posts or joists fails.

Thanks Eric Your points are duly noted, I will be far more cautious with any recommendations of that nature.

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Above Ground Pool On Wood Deck

by Neil
(Mesa, AZ)

We are considering installing an above ground pool in our backyard. Initially we considered having the pool sit on top of a ground level wood deck. Is this ever done, as from looking around online, I haven't seen one. I have seen plenty with the deck around the pool, but not under.

Hi Neil. I can only think of a few reasons why you would want to cover all that expensive wood with an above ground pool. A few years back I contemplated building a wood deck over a creek running through my back yard. It was the perfect place for the pool and I knew I could make it work. It just never got done.

To match an existing elevation on a home might be a reason or, like my case, to cover extreme landscape conditions. So yes, it is very possible, but also very expensive. This deck would need to be built very stout using only the best in lumber. It will need to be strong and well treated to withstand the elements for years to come.

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Small Pool on a Deck

by Dan
(Sacramento, CA)

I'm a renter and I'd like to put one of those easy set pools on a deck. The deck is made of a plastic fake wood material. It is also only about 12" off the ground. Is this an ok idea? What potential problems could I run into or should watch out for.

Hi Dan. I would seek more than one opinion on this but setting your above ground pool on a well built deck should not create a problem. If the decking material you are talking about is Trex Deck the water splashing out of the pool should not hurt it.

If the deck is structured anything like the ones we build the weight of the water should not hurt it.

What does your landlord think about doing this? I would get their permission, check the deck under structure, and give it a try. Pay close attention for anything shifting as you are filling the pool.

They use water beds in mobile homes and second story apartments so this is really not that far fetched of an idea.

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Support Deck For Above Ground Pool

by Becky Byers
(Portland, Or)

I just purchased a 16 x 42" above-ground pool, the area I plan to put this pool has new lawn put in earlier this year. I am hoping to build a support deck that keeps the pool off the ground so I will not kill the grass, nothing fancy. Not sure what or how I should do this. I have plenty of good sturdy posts and large pieces of plywood available to me and a thick protective cover to put on prior to laying the pool down to be inflated.

This pool has a filter system and a ladder that came with, if that even matters. Any visual ideas and suggestions on making this happen with successful results would be very appreciated.

I am hoping to have this done quickly, my grandchildren are coming for a visit and I am hoping to surprise them with this pool.

I will be building this myself and for the record I am a FEMALE and I have no problems swinging a hammer.

Thank you, any advise you can possibly give me!!

My name is Becky and my email address is boomduii@yahoo.com.

Regards and Thank You

Hi Becky. Any sturdy deck will hold this size of pool. You can set your posts on concrete blocks, or put them into the ground in concrete. You can connect the posts with purloins and place 2 x 6 inch limber over them. On top of the frame you can use plywood and then your cover.

The link below shows the type of deck I would build to install a pool on. The part you don't see are the 2 x 6's on 16" centers just under the plywood.

Awning and Deck

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Pool On Deck

by Eric Frazer
(Seattle, WA)

My yard is about 6" out of level for the pool... I have been out there stripping off the sod and bought a couple yards of "supreme" topsoil (fine-grain topsoil mixed with 20% sand). My father-in-law said, "why don't you just build a deck and put in a lot of concrete footers for it?" The pool is 16' round x 4'deep.

Well, first off, I don't want it another foot or so off the ground, but secondly, at 65lb/foot, that's about 250lb/foot, and at 200 sq ft, that's about 50,000 pounds (a fully laden Semi) sitting on top of a little 16x16 deck? Can this be done?

Assuming the top of the deck is 1" plywood, by the way. I scoured the internet, and LOTS of people say "don't even think about it", and a few carpenters say "oh, it's easy, just put the bottom rails a little closer and all will be fine."

your thoughts?

Hi Eric

I'm sure it can be done, a well built deck could easily handle the weight of 16' round pool. I almost did that once to put a pool across a creek, but then we moved and I never got the chance.

My question is why would you want to? A deck like this would be expensive and it would put the pool higher out of the ground. Plus you would have the extra expense of a pool pad and preformed pool cove.

With just a small amount of leveling and packing you will have a perfect base for an above ground pool. Add a couple of tons of sand while you are installing the pool and you are done, just as simple as that. In the field, with that much leveling, it might take my crew three hours to build the pool. Building the deck would take days.

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