Choosing Your Pool Decking

It’s an exciting time when you are planning to have a swimming pool built in your backyard. There are lots of options to consider; size, heated or not, enclosed or open etc. People are often so excited (granted, with good reason) that they neglect to give any thought to what happens when the contractors leave. Chances are the garden will need a complete re-landscape job and of course there is the question of pool decking.

When deciding on a deck to finish off your new swimming pool remember your decking is not there just as a means of entering and leaving your swimming pool. It will be a place to relax on a lounger or to entertain guests while you watch the kids playing in the pool.

Concrete pool decking is often the choice when the pool is of the in ground type. This is because it can be shuttered and poured at the same time as the pools concrete is laid. This cuts on man hours and cost and is a good method to choose as the deck is part of the pools structure, adding strenth to the whole design. A patio area can, and wherever possible should, also be incorporated. Concrete is a great material and can be formed into any shape required. It can also be left “as is” or finished with a none slip tile or paver. Pool decking for above ground pools is always built after the pool is has been constructed.

A Traditional Wooden Deck

For above ground pools, good old timber is still the favorite type of deck. Pressure treated softwood will not last as long as hardwood when it is constantly being subjected to splashing water so I always suggest hardwood if the client is adamant he requires the pool decking in timber. Above ground pools can be decked all the way around if space and budget allows, or can be simply decked at one end with access via a stairway.

Options To Timber Decks

Other choices are now becoming available when it comes to pool decking. Aluminum, vinyl and plastic are all recent newcomers on the block. A deck built around your pool in one of these materials requires no maintenance, won’t ever rot or get bothered by insects attracted by the dampness of a wooden deck.

It seems to me that it is only a matter of time before these alternative materials become more popular than timber when it comes to pool decking but it will be a long time, if ever, before they replace timber in a normal deck build. Timber is still first choice where practical but it has to be said, around a pool or any other body of water isn’t really practical for a long, maintenance free life.

Do-It-Yourself Deck Building

If you are handy with a saw, tape measure and the odd power tool then a self build will certainly keep the bank balance looking a lot sweeter. As with any large do it yourself project, check with your local building control officer to find out what specific building regulations apply to your area.