If you're considering adding an above ground pool and deck to your backyard, congrats! Now comes the hard part: making decisions about size, materials, and construction. An above ground pool can blend seamlessly into your backyard — especially if you're creative about incorporating a deck — all for a fraction of the price and headache of an inground pool.
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Scroll on for above ground pool deck ideas that will make you want to transform your backyard pronto.
15 Deck Ideas for an Above Ground Pool
1. Go for a wrap-around deck.
For the ability to cannonball from any angle, build an above ground deck that fully surrounds your swimming pool. Its surface should be flush with the top edges of the pool for a built-in appearance, so you'll likely need to add a staircase leading up from the ground level. Be sure to leave one end of the deck open or create a movable section so that you can reach the filter, rim, and wall of your pool for routine maintenance.
2. Stick to one side.
If your backyard space is limited, you can go with a one-sided deck. Consider an option that reaches from your house to the pool, with a sliding glass door in between. If your doorway is higher or lower than the surface of the pool, you can create landings or steps to make up the difference.
3. Try a stock tank.
An alternative to traditional above ground pools, stock tanks are easy to set up and come in both round and oblong shapes. Made of galvanized metal, they give your backyard a cool rustic look. Airstream Island added a deck to one side of this stock tank pool and wrapped the exposed side in bamboo, which makes it blend into the yard for a natural oasis feel.
4. Design a multi-level deck.
If you don't want your entire deck to be as high off the ground as the surface of your pool, consider splitting it into two levels. The lower deck can provide room for lounging and dining, while the taller one offers a place to sit and dip your legs in the water.
5. Opt for a tiered design.
Here's a different take on the multi-level deck idea. Create a low deck on the ground around your pool. Then, build a deck in stages from the pool to your house. You can have two or three distinct levels before the deck meets up with your back door.
6. Go ultra-wide.
Why settle for a pool or a patio when you can have it all? An ultra-wide deck allows plenty of space for sunbathing or entertaining, and the small steps up from the patio to the deck create a seamless transition for an above ground swimming pool. A potted plant or container garden provides greenery.
7. Keep it simple.
If you want to add a pool to a small paved patio, you can make a DIY project of it, like Megan Collins of Head to Heart House. Dress up a simple pool kit with wood cladding, a space-saving ladder, and a mini deck just big enough for sunbathing. Collins says hers feels like "a hotel plunge pool in our South East London garden."
8. Decorate with plants.
A budget-friendly small deck design like this one by Trevi leaves most of the above ground pool walls exposed, creating the perfect opportunity to play with lush landscaping ideas. This look doesn't take too much effort, and it costs significantly less than a wrap-around deck. Even a novice gardener can DIY this look with easy-to-maintain shrubs and grasses, topped with mulch for an intentional look.
9. Lounge side by side.
There's no need to share when you have two pools! Enjoy personal space and companionship at the same time with separate soaking areas unified by one deck. This setup by Salt Shack includes a minimalist seating area with Acapulco chairs and string lights, letting the natural environment take center stage.
10. Prioritize your swimming needs.
If you're more interested in lap swimming than splashing around, a long rectangular shape, like this one from Trevi, is your best match. We love this one-sided deck that lets the pool stand out as an architectural element. Swim some laps, then watch the sun set from the hot tub.
11. Make the backyard your spa.
How's this for the ultimate relaxing outdoor space? The above ground pool is surrounded with a wooden deck, hiding the outer pool walls, with steps leading down to a large patio area. Take a dip, sit for a snack, and warm up by the fire pit — in any order.
Cost of an Above Ground Pool and Deck
Compared to traditional pools, above ground pools are far more affordable. According to HomeAdvisor, an inground pool costs on average $53,370. The average above ground pool, meanwhile, costs $2,858 before installation. Prices vary based on size, material, and quality, of course. You can find above ground pool kits for as little as $800, while luxury models can run over $10,000.
Installation, including ground leveling and hookups, cost an additional $1,000 to $3,000. You can DIY a simple above ground pool, but keep in mind the rental costs of any equipment you may need for leveling (a paver, for example) as well as sand for evening out the surface below your pool.
As for the deck around your above ground pool, costs range from about $300 to $3,000, or $3 to $40 per square foot, depending on the materials you choose. Consider durability and comfort as you make your decision. Wood is generally more affordable than composite decking, but it requires more careful maintenance to avoid rotting and splinters. For safety, you'll also need a pool fence, which costs about $15 to $25 per linear foot.
Additional expenses to keep in mind include a pool cover (about $100 to $1,000), regular maintenance ($115 per month), and the increase in your water and electric bills ($30 to $250 per month). Depending on the model you choose, you may need a vinyl pool liner as well.
Sizing of an Above Ground Pool and Deck
Above ground pools come in a range of sizes and shapes, so you'll have plenty of options to consider depending on the dimensions of your backyard. Oval pools range in size from 8 by 12 feet to 21 by 43 feet, with the most popular sizes being 12 by 24 feet, 15 by 24 feet, 15 by 30 feet, 18 by 33 feet, and 18 by 40 feet. Round pools range in size from 12 feet to 33 feet in diameter, increasing in size by 3-foot increments.
So how big should your pool be? Most likely you'll be working around the space constraints of your yard, but also consider this: Allow for approximately 15 square feet of water for each potential swimmer to make for the most comfortable pool parties. Keep in mind that pool measurements are based on the inside water dimensions, and you'll need to factor in extra installation space around the perimeter to determine what size pool will fit in your yard.
As for the size of your deck, you'll want to make sure it's wide enough for two people to pass by each other; think 3 to 4 feet minimum. Other important factors to consider: How many people should your deck comfortably accommodate? Can it hold all the outdoor furniture you want to include? Will it have both shaded and sunny areas? Will children be using the pool, and therefore would a larger deck feel safer?
Regardless of whether your above ground pool has a deck, it's important to check with your local zoning department and your home insurance carrier about the safety requirements regarding railings, gates, locks, alarms, and minimum distance from your pool to your house and neighboring properties.
Keep in mind that plastic, composite, and even wood decks can be slippery when wet, so the "no running by the pool" rule from childhood still applies. With all these safety precautions in place, your backyard oasis will bring your family years of summer fun.