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6 Above-Ground Pool Deck Ideas for a Backyard Upgrade

Caroline Gilbert
Written by Caroline Gilbert
Updated October 20, 2021
mom teaching toddler how to swim in above ground pool

Przemyslaw Iciak – stock.adobe.com

Dive into these awesome pool deck designs

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Are you concerned your above-ground pool has become an eyesore as the years pass? Trust us when we say that you don’t need a bank-breaking inground pool to create a backyard so dreamy, you’ll never want to go inside.

All you need to update your existing pool and transform your backyard is the right above-ground pool deck design.

Pool Deck Design Ideas

A thoughtful deck design can morph your above-ground pool into the at-home lounge area you’ve been dreaming of. Get inspired for your pool project with these six above-ground pool deck ideas. 

1. Build a Half Deck

An above-ground pool surrounded by a half deck with four loungers

lawcain - adobe.stock.com

Depending on the size of your yard (and budget), a half deck might be the best deck design option for your above-ground pool. 

If your pool is relatively close to your house, you can design a deck that covers the entire space in between. Keep in mind, this may require a multi-tiered deck with steps to reach the ground level of your back door to the top of the pool. 

If a deck of that scale isn’t an option, opt for a small half deck that wraps around only a portion of the pool perimeter. You can customize the deck space at the top of the pool to be just large enough to easily access the pool, or add additional space to the design for lounge chairs. 

2. Build a Wraparound Deck

An above-ground pool surrounded completely by a wooden deck

fotog/Royalty-free via Getty Images

Unlike a half deck, a full deck surrounds the entire perimeter of an above-ground pool. Whether the deck connects the pool to the back door of your home is entirely up to you and your budget. 

A full wraparound deck can actually give an above-ground pool the appearance of an inground pool. Plus, this deck design is great for hiding the dated side paneling of your pool that’s been driving you crazy. 

Design enough deck space to add a lounge area with a few chairs and small tables. 

3. Add a Fire Pit

A woman putting wood in a fire pit

Annebel146 - stock.adobe.com

No backyard hangout spot is complete without a campfire and s’more—especially after a long summer day spent swimming. 

You can add one to your pool deck design in a couple of different ways:

  • Brick top: Lay a circle of bricks on the deck and place a portable wood-burning fire pit on top

  • Sunken-in fire pit: Leave a hole in the ground level of your deck to expose the ground. Fill the space with stone and place a fire pit on top.

  • Portable gas: Simply design enough space on the deck for a portable gas fireplace.

Whichever option you choose, just be sure to leave enough space for seating around the fire. 

4. Add Built-In Seating

A wooden deck with a built-in sitting bench and cushioning

Luis Viegas - stock.adobe.com

Built-in seating on a pool deck is just as aesthetically pleasing and it is functional. Keep the seating as exposed natural wood, or add a few cushions and pillows for comfort and safety. 

This seating option usually works best with a multi-level tiered deck design, but with a little creativity, you can add built-in seating to almost any deck space. 

5. Add a Safety Gate

A backyard pool with a security gate

Fluer - stock.adobe.com

Prevent pool accidents before they have a chance to happen, especially in homes with young children and pets. Even with an above-ground pool, it’s always better to be extra safe. 

Ideally, your above-ground pool will have a 360 degree safety gate wrapped around it along with another gate or safety feature at the deck level. 

Work with a local pool deck contractor to design the best safety elements for your specific pool and deck set up.

6. Build a Multilevel Tiered Deck

Teenagers making dinner outside on deck

Maskot/Royalty-free via Getty Images

If you’re looking to transform your above-ground pool into a luxury swim spot, consider building a multi-level tiered deck to surround it. 

This high-scale design will take your backyard to the next level. You can even combine this deck style with other design elements mentioned above including a fire pit and built-in seating.

Pool Deck Material Options

above-ground pool with wooden deck and railing

Lawcain - stock.adobe.com

Authentic wood or synthetic materials—which type of decking material is best for your backyard?

These options will hold up against the wear and tear of the seasons, heavy foot traffic, and splashing pool water. 

Keep in mind that no matter which material you choose, all options will require regular care and routine maintenance if you want your deck to last.

1. Natural Wood

Natural wood provides a certain warmth and feel that is hard to replicate with synthetic options. Though it is still the ideal choice for many homeowners, it does require a lot of regular maintenance to keep your deck in tip-top shape.

Pros:

  • The most natural-looking option

  • Free of chemicals and plastic, unlike other options

Cons:

  • Can rot, splinter, and fade

  • Needs to be cleaned, sanded, stained, and sealed every two to three years

  • Can be expensive

2. Pressure-Treated Wood

Pressure-treated wood is an affordable and long lasting option when choosing a material to build a pool deck. With proper care and regular maintenance, a treated wood deck can last between 15 and 20 years.

Pros:

  • Long lasting

  • Holds up well against weather

  • Affordable

  • Rot- and insect-resistant

Cons:

  • Chemically treated

  • Can easily warp and splinter without proper maintenance

  • Unnatural wood color

3. Composite Decking

Composite wood is made from combining plastic and wood fibers to create a realistic looking wood plank.

Pros:

  • Long lasting

  • Does not peel or splinter

  • Easy to maintain—no sanding, staining, or sealing required

  • Available in a variety of colors

  • UV-resistant

Cons:

  • Requires regular scrubbing and cleaning to prevent mold and mildew buildup

  • Tends to be more expensive

Budget and Cost Considerations

A deck build is hardly ever a cheap and easy project. But, the good news is that building a deck for an above-ground pool is usually much more budget friendly than a build for an inground pool. 

The cost of building a new deck for your above-ground pool will vary depending on the size of the deck and the material you choose. Remember to factor in the cost of hiring a professional pool deck contractor in your area if you aren’t planning to tackle this project on your own. 

Additional cost considerations include permits, add ons, security gating, terrain management, hardscaping, and regular maintenance (yearly cleaning, staining, sealing, etc.).

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