How to Build a Deck Around an Above Ground Pool

Building a deck around your aboveground pool gives you easy access for swimming and maintenance. If you extend the deck on one side, you create a place for gathering family and friends and sunbathing. A few simple techniques let you build a deck that matches the shape of your pool and add any extra space you need.

Barefoot by the Pool
credit: Chiya Li/Hemera/Getty Images
Your aboveground pool deck can hide the pool's edge.

Choose a Design and Materials

Decide on shape, materials and size. Your deck should be at least 3.5 feet wide around the above ground pool (ref. 1, section 2, para 1) , but you may want a wider area to act as a sun deck on one side. Place your access stairs, add a railing and include a self-locking gate for safety. Pressure treated lumber is an inexpensive material that is easy to work with. Concrete pier blocks that support the deck posts can create a floating foundation permitted by building codes in most areas.

Prepare Plans

Draw detailed plans with the part of the deck surrounding the curved part of the pool made up of identical trapezoid sections angled outwards. Draw your pool to scale on a large format with the trapezoids matching the panels of your pool. Measure the dimensions you need for construction from the drawing.

Alternatively, you can use the trigonometric functions of a scientific calculator to find the trapezoid dimensions. For example, 18 trapezoid sections give 18 triangles with 20 degree corners at the center of the pool. Each one is made up of two right-angled 10-degree triangles. Find the trapezoid dimensions by using the tangent and sine functions.

Construct the Trapezoids

Cut the lumber to the right lengths and angles. Choose lumber size according to the spans you have and the size of your pool and deck. Frames made of 2 x 6, 2 x 8 or 2 x 10 inch boards can span at least 6, 10 and 12 feet respectively (ref. 4). Check your building code for requirements specific to your area. Assemble the trapezoids and place additional boards inside the trapezoids to make sure the decking is supported every 16 to 24 inches.

Assembling the Framework

Use one of the trapezoids to position the concrete pier blocks around the pool under the angled sides about 6 inches in from the corners. Place 4 x 4 inch posts into the blocks and mark how high you want the deck to be. Use a level to make sure the tops of the posts will support a level deck. Cut the posts to size. Place the trapezoids on top of the posts and screw them in place Add the posts and framework for the sun deck the same way.

Lay Down the Decking

The 2 x 6 inch pressure treated boards are inexpensive but rough on bare feet. Pressure treated 1.25 x 6 inch boards are smoother. Composite boards made of recycled plastic are smooth and leave no splinters. Install the decking you choose radially around the pool, filling in the rectangular parts of the trapezoids first and then cutting angled boards to fit. Complete the sun deck, railing and stairs at the end. Stain or paint pressure-treated wood; leave composite untreated.