Planning An Above Ground Pool Deck

by Miranda

We are getting ready to install a 45x18x52" oval above ground pool with an overlap liner and no deep end. We would also like to add a deck around the entire pool.

What is your recommendation on designing the deck where it meets the pool? Considerations are:

(1) we may someday need to replace the liner

(2) I'm not sure but I would think that it is not good to sit on the edges of these pools, but I can see my young kids doing this anyway. If the deck went right below or right above the pool edge it would be better supported.

Thanks for your help!

Hi Miranda.

Number one, you may someday need to replace a liner. Just about everyone does at some point. So planning ahead for that time puts you ahead of the thousands who built their decks with no concern about how they would change a liner.

In my opinion, beaded liners serve only one purpose, to be used by those planning decks that would cover the top rails. This page

Above Ground Pool, Deck and Awning

illustrates the use of a beaded liner when a deck is part of the project. But again, I'm not fond of beaded liners, so I would plan the deck a little differently, if it were me.

My preferred way of installing vinyl liners is like this.

Expandable Liner Installation

I use this method for all my liner installs, not just pools with a deep end. All my installs that is, unless there is a pool deck in the way. When a deck is in the way there are a couple of options. If the deck is up to, but not covering the rails, and I can still get them off, I will install the liner from inside the pool. The drawbacks

to installing a liner this way are footprints and wrinkles. It can be done, and most of the time with a respectable outcome, but stretching a liner is so much better. If the deck is over the rails, it just has to go, with an overlap liner the rails must come off.

Personally, I prefer a two level deck. I just can't see any reason to build a deck four plus feet high all the way around an above ground pool, unless the pool is in the ground. It makes sense to me to go up a couple of feet maybe. This next page shows an example of that. It's on a soft side pool, but it's also an ideal deck for a steel wall pool.

Wood Decks For Above Ground Pools

The idea is that most of the deck could be twelve to twenty four inches below the top of the pool, all but one section. The one section at pool level could be removable at liner changing time. This section is where the ladder will attach and where all the getting in and out of the pool will occur. It can be up against the rails or over top of them, it does not matter. When it's time to change a liner it will be pulled back out of the way.

Smaller decks, if built correctly, can always be pulled back away from a pool when it's time to change a liner. When I install a liner I like to be able to walk all the way around the pool. A good two foot clearance is nice. If I have to work off a deck I prefer it down at least 12" from the top rail, this way I can still stretch the liner into place.

Below are more pages related to above ground pool decks.

Tips For Building Wood Decks

Above Ground Pool Decks

Deck Ladder

Wedding Cake Steps

Above Ground Pool Deck

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