How to build a pool deck

The main purpose of a pool deck is to provide space for your friends and family to walk, sunbathe, or dine as they enjoy the outdoors and your pool.

There are different considerations when it comes to building around a pool (whether in-ground or elevated) compared to standard decks.

Things to consider when building outdoor decking

Deck budget

A DIY project can cost between $100-$300m2 depending on the materials and design details of the deck. It is good practice to add 10% onto the calculated figure to factor for waste if you’re using timber.

Decking style

Your deck should be an extension of your pool rather than an add-on. Get some inspiration and use colours and textures in a design that complement your pool and house’s architecture.

Decking location

poolside decking

Check for council building restrictions before you start building you pool deck. As a rule of thumb, for above-ground pool decks you cannot build your deck to within 1 metre from any side boundary fence and for a deck to be usable you want a minimum of 2 meters’ depth.

For in-ground pools and decks, ensure no reticulation or power lines are running through the area you’re planning to excavate.

Pool railings

Due to Australian laws, you are required to have a barrier around your pool... Common pool fence choices are glass and light metal, but there are many decking materials that can be developed into railings and stairs for a fence that integrates seamlessly with your decking.

Decking materials

Timber decking is by far the most common decking material for pool owners due to its craftability, the smaller price tag and wide range of choices such as Merbau, Blackbutt, Spotted Gum, Jarrah, Batu, Fiji Mahogany.

Composite decking is increasing in popularity as it mimics the grains and colours of traditional timber and its low-maintenance, non-combustible, and non-slip qualities. Composite products include:

In-ground pool decks are commonly laid with concrete or stone paving; they can be harder to shape and install than timber or composite decks but provide a look than many appreciate.


Decking installation steps

Below are some recommendations and tips for the construction of your deck around a pool. For the full steps of how to build a deck read our blog How to build a deck: 6 simple steps.

Above-ground pool deck

1.       Consider the width of the decking material, the height of the pool, and closeness of posts.

2.       Measure the height of the lip of the pool so the deck slips just under, consider the expansion and contraction of boards over time.

3.       Add a pool railing for safety; the height of your pool combined with wet surfaces and people relaxing can lead to a slippery deck, so pool railing is especially important.

In-Ground Pool Deck

1.       Determine the boundaries of the deck and begin to excavate around the edge of the pool. The depth should be equal to that of your chosen decking material plus allowance for joists and bearers.

2.       As most in-ground pools follow a curved shape, first cut general lengths before you go back and trim the pieces to follow the curvature or shape of the pool.

3.       Decide whether you want your deck to hang over, or sit back or flush to the edge of the pool before you cut.

Hire a Decking Expert

Whether you build the deck yourself or get help, it should be checked by someone with sound technical or construction knowledge.

Constructing a deck DIY can be very gratifying but also a huge pain if it’s not up your alley.

Austim provides timber & composite decking to many decking builders throughout Perth, Western Australia. If you need help finding a decking installer, contact Austim the decking specialist for more information.

Mike Rowney