Jan 212013
 
deck-around-pool

This deck was built around a kidney shaped swimming pool. It replaced a poorly built deck which had rotted in a very short time.

The deck is situated between Boughton and Pitsford.

Deck Features (click to see others with this feature):

  • Large Wooden Decks
  • Decks around hot tubs and pools
  • Decks with special features
  •  

    Here is the pool with the finished decking.

    deck-around-pool

     

    It’s difficult to know where to start in describing this project. I guess the first thing to note is that the customer already had decking which had rotted in less than 5 years. Initially they thought that hardwood decking would solve the problem. However, given that tanalised timber should last at least 15 years (in fact the decking timber I use is guaranteed for that period), I explained that expensive hardwood may not be necessary. Initial investigations showed that the frame had rotted more than the deck planking. The first thing to do was remove all the old decking.

    decking-around-pool

     

    This revealed the cause of the problem. Here you can see the deck framing, such as it was. Basically some strips of timber which had been bedding into ribbons of concrete. This was a bad idea as any water would be trapped between the concrete and the wood. Coupled with the fact that I suspect the timber had not been tanalised.

    rotten-deck

     

    In places, there was no frame at all – the planking was just resting on bare earth, and here is the result.

    how-not-to-build-a-deck

     

    So the first thing to do was dig out all the old concrete and excavate a few inches of soil, so that a proper frame could be built. Here you can see that the soil was covered in heavy duty landscape fabric to suppress weed growth (something else which had not been done before). The new frame is clear of the soil, supported on posts which are set onto concrete. This allows plenty of room for air to circulate and nowhere for water to become trapped. All timber is tanalised (pressure treated) and all the cut ends have been further treated. It’s all fixed together with coated, exterior grade screws.

    deck-frame-around-pool

     

    So here is the frame, more or less complete. What isn’t obvious here is that the frame is exactly 32 mm below the level of the coping stones which edge the pool. This is so that when the planks are laid, they will fit exactly level with this edge. Too high and someone could stub or scrape their toe on the deck planking. Too low and they could do the same on the coping stone. The height tolerance was less than a millimeter with no room for error. Furthermore, the frame had to accommodate the curvature of the pool, and just to add to the challenge, could not be built close to the pool edge because of the concrete footings of the coping stones.

    pool-deck-frame

     

    At this point you can see that I have started laying the deck planks around the pool. If you look closely at the nearest plank, you’ll see some blue plastic shims at the end by the pool. As I stated earlier, it was impossible to build the frame right up to the edge of the pool. So, although the planks are screwed to the framing, the end overhang is supported on these shims. In some places, it was also necessary to drill and plug the concrete so that screws could be used to prevent them from curling upwards as part of the natural warping and twisting process that timber goes through.

    The other thing to note is that the stone walls were a bit “crumbly” at the bottom. The customer wanted to hide this and also the base of the old wall mounted water feature. So we decided to build a seat running along the length of this wall and incorporated into the deck.

    swimming-pool-deck

     

    Just to prove that I was telling the truth about the top of the deck ending up flush with the coping stones. Following the curves was a challenge too, especially when, like the one in the picture, the curved cut out was in the middle of a 4.8 metre long deck plank.

    pool-deck-detail

     

    So finally, another picture of the finished pool deck. From this angle you can see the long bench seat and “cladding” which was added to hide the crumbly lower parts of the walls. I also built a new step by the gate.

    pool-deck
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