An important feature of any swimming pool is the additional living and recreational space that you create around it. Adding a pool deck around the perimeter of the swimming pool creates a social center for all of your outdoor activities. A pool deck is also a way to integrate the pool into the surrounding landscape, providing a cohesive look to the backyard. There are basically three materials you can use to build your pool deck: wood, composite and concrete.
Wooden Swimming Pool Deck
The least expensive material for a pool deck is wood. Common varieties that are used in most plans are pressure-treated pine, cedar and redwood. Pressure treated-pine is the most affordable, but cedar and redwood are more resistant to rot and decay. Using wood for your deck plan provides the flexibility to design around elevation changes. This is especially helpful for sloping backyards or above-ground pools. Wood allows you to create different levels of recreational space that either builds its way down or up to the water's edge. The only drawback to wood is that as it ages it will tend to crack and splinter, which is not good for bare feet. By power washing and resealing the deck on a regular basis you can minimize this risk.
Composite Swimming Pool Deck
Composite decking material is made out of plastic and wood fiber. It can be used just like wood in your deck building plans since it retains the same design attributes. While the structural frame of the deck will still be made out of pressure-treated wood, the composite decking is what will be seen on the surface. Railings, spindles, bench seats and any other added features to the deck can also be made out of composite material. Reduced maintenance is the biggest advantage to composite decking. It will not fade and crack like wood and is more resistant to mold and mildew. The only required maintenance would be occasional power washing to remove any built-up dirt. A drawback to composite decking is the higher upfront cost, but low maintenance costs tend to outweigh this factor over time.
Concrete Swimming Pool Deck
When it comes to in-ground pools the most common decking material is concrete. Most pool packages include a 3-foot concrete pad around the entire perimeter of the pool, so it is easy to extend this area into a larger pool deck design. Resist the tendency to limit the size of the concrete deck since it's best to give yourself as much room as the surrounding area will allow. Also, it will be very costly to add on to it at a later point. You can dress up the look by using patterned or stained concrete. Each can be used to create a look that brings life and color to the area.
Another option would be the use of concrete or brick pavers to create the pool deck. They come in a variety of shapes and colors, which allows you to create a custom look that best suits your style and taste.
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