How to Build a Pool Deck

Getting the most enjoyment out of an above-ground pool is usually dependent on the installation of a wooden pool deck around it. A wooden pool deck eliminates the need for a pool ladder and creates a poolside area for entertainment. Building a pool deck requires a bit more than a beginner’s handiness and spare time, but with planning and some assistance a novice can build a pool deck within a few days.


  • 2”x6” pressure-treated stock
  • 4”x4” pressure-treated post stock
  • Floor joist
  • Joist hangers
  • Prefabricated railing
  • 2 1/2” Galvanized deck nails
  • Cement
  • Sand
  • Water
  • Bolts
  • Galvanized deck nails
  • 2 1/2” deck screws
  • Spray paint/stakes
  • Foundation tube
  • Post anchor
  • Floor Joists


  • Hammer or air gun
  • Circular saw or table saw
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Shovel
  • Tape Measure
  • Level
  • Pencil
  • Paper


Pre building considerations

  1. The size of your pool will greatly affect the suitability of the deck design; wooden decks are great for above-ground pools, while concrete and tiled decks are more suitable for in-ground pools.
  2. Decide on your pool dimensions and mark them on your plan. If you do not have a plan, draw your own and include the dimensions.
  3. Check and compare prices for lumber; the quality of the use of the material will determine the strength of your deck. Though some quality lumber is expensive, some aren’t. Shopping around is crucial to finding the most suitable wood at reasonable prices.
  4. Find out if you need a building permit in your region to build a pool deck; if you do, obtain one before starting any construction.

Laying the foundation

  1. Using paint or stakes, plot where the footing will be.
  2. Dig 4” holes into the ground and install a base tube 3” below the frost line.
  3. Pour cement inside the base tubes then, install an anchor into the cement while it is still wet.


  1. If there is a doorway entrance to your pool area, measure 4” down from the door to the top part of the deck joists.
  2. Use a 2×6” ledger board as a level and height indicator, ensuring that the posts are the same height as the level board. With the help of 2×6 stock, secure the deck frame with drill bolts.
  3. After the frames are secured, fasten them to the posts using drill bolts; use nails to attach joists hangers to the frame at 16” spacing.

Installing the Decking

  1. Divide the 2×6 to your preferred length and sand overall sharp edges and corners to prevent unanticipated injuries.
  2. Lay out decking stock, and alternate the grain patterns up and down as this helps to keep the deck flat if the boards are slightly cupped. Leave a nail’s length between boards for drainage.

Installing railings

  1. If using store-bought prefabricated railings, drill and bolt railing posts to the deck frame, and check for the vertical and horizontal levels as you work. Pre-drill and screw the railings to the posts and deck frame.

Tips and warnings

  • Some pressure-treated stocks aren’t paint-compatible. Before buying wood, consider whether you want your deck painted or stained. If staining, try to do so before installing the wood pieces.
  • Try to use standard board lengths initially to minimize cutting.
  • When designing, consider the motor and other vital parts of the pool. Your deck design should not obstruct your access to these areas.
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