Wood Top Rail for an Above Ground Pool
(Saint John, IN)
I'm trying to make my above ground pool blend into my deck as much as possible. Any thoughts on replacing the normal resin top rail with one made out of pressure treated lumber?
I was planning on removing the existing top rails and post caps and cutting a piece of pressure treated wood to match the curve of the pool (using either a 2x8 or larger). The new wood rail would be mostly supported by the deck structure with a little support from the existing pool posts. Have you ever seen this done?
Most above ground pools have a strong enough support system to stand just fine without the top rails. The rods, posts and post caps are usually enough to hold the pool together just fine. The rods are an important part of the pool strength and as long as they are held firmly in place by the caps the pool should be fine. Pools with interlocking rods are especially strong and would be best for what you are doing.
You would just have to remove a few of the top rails and see how much strength you feel is being sacrificed, and if any, can you replace it with your homemade rails.
I have seen poorly built pools tear open the pre-drilled holes in resin top tails. There is very little material there to actually hold a pool together, and any well built pool will stand just fine without them.
My concern would be in removing the uprights and top caps. These are important as they hold the rods in place. If the rods are allowed to fall into the pool the liner could be damaged real easily. Think it through real good before you remove these.
A more common option for deck building is to build it over top of the rails. This way none of the pool structure is changed and the decking can be self supported so it never really touches the pool.