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With hot UK summers happening more and more frequently, there’s little reason to put off that swimming pool project that’s been floating in the back of your mind. However, an inground garden pool isn’t always the most budget-friendly or practical solution with its more complicated (and more costly) installation. In fact, the thriftier ones of us will know to reap the benefits of an above-ground pool deck substitute.

Incorporating decking around your ground-level swimming pool is a clever way to maximise your space, zone your garden, turn your pool into a permanent feature and add a safety platform into the mix. Forget about two birds one stone – that’s four!

Read on to explore the key considerations you should make before choosing your swimming pool decking, plus our practical design ideas.

Key considerations for your above-ground pool deck to get you started

Decking designed to frame a swimming pool is structurally no different than any other type of deck with a strong base. However, there are a few extras that should be carefully considered when you start to plan your above-ground pool deck project. Here are the most crucial:

Choosing materials

When picking out your decking material you need to be especially scrupulous – this is because you’ll want to ensure that the walkways surrounding your pool are safe and slip-resistant.

Composite decking is the best choice for pool decking as it has been specifically designed to resist warping and fading. Wood when compared to composite decking is less water-resistant and will become dangerous to traverse if you neglect its upkeep.

Colour scheme and pattern

Colour doesn’t have a huge impact on cost, but incorporating it into your overall garden scheme will create a gorgeous cohesive look.

Pattern, on the other hand, is a different beast entirely. While they definitely enhance the enjoyment factor, more complicated board patterns will bloat your blanket costs.

DIY vs professional build

Another crucial thing to take into account is whether you’re willing to build your deck from scratch. Obviously, this will take a certain base level of skill, a whole lot of time and careful planning to ensure you calculate your decking requirements accurately.

You’ll have to ensure you’ve future-proofed your pool, meaning that you’ve planned for the possibility that the pool liner might need changing. If you get your measurements wrong you may have to cut into the deck to change it, damaging your hard work!

So is a DIY job worth it? If you’re happy with this trade-off and believe your DIY skills are up to snuff, we say, why not? This will take a considerable slice out of the overall cost of your swimming pool decking project.

above ground swimming pool decking

6 above-ground pool deck ideas to get inspired by

Now you’ve got to grips with the basics, you should know what factors need to be high up on your list for shopping around for your new above-ground pool deck.

But we’re missing one more thing… the design! Here are some practical ideas to get your gears turning.

1.      Level things up with stairs

A beautifully contemporary way to introduce depth to your garden, adding a layered deck or steps leading up to your pool can completely transform the space.

With the step raised slightly higher than the rest of your deck, you can rest assured little ones will be safe as it acts as an inbuilt and attractive safety feature.

2.      Bring indoors out

If your aim is to create a poolside haven in your backyard, placing your decking beside a garden building is the way to do it in style. Ideal for zoning, this setup makes a jealousy-inducing staycation destination which can be used for lounging in the sun with a book or sipping drinks by the pool.

a half encased above ground swimming pool with decking

3.      Half-encase your swimming pool with decking

One of the benefits of composite decking is its versatility. With a composite poolside deck, you can choose to half encase the pool, thereby changing its shape and feel.

The surrounding decking maintains an intimate and cosy appearance while the exposed side of the pool can be decorated or concealed with plants.

4.      Frame with botanicals

An above-ground deck pool calls for interesting framing. The simple combination of a few potted plants or raised garden beds and a flower wall brings a jungle-esque, organic vibe into the picture.

a luxurious above ground pool with decking

5.      Less is more

Sometimes opting for less makes more of a statement. An above-ground swimming pool by no means requires a huge expanse of decking to create a stylish and practical look.

A small deck can still define the area, merge the pool with its surroundings and create a convenient entrance/exit point.

6.      Freshen up with a colourful backdrop

Another of our favourite above-ground pool deck ideas for those on a budget involves maintaining an interesting backdrop. Frame this leisure zone with a simple garden fence and inject some personality by giving it a colourful lick of paint, or perhaps a mural to complete the look.

Deck out your garden

There we have it: 6 above-ground pool deck ideas and some practical guidance to help your project hit the ground running. We hope these pointers, tips and tricks have shown you how easy it is to elevate your swimming pool decking set-up without breaking the bank.

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