Do you envision your pool deck as an extension of your home and lifestyle? Here’s a checklist as you begin the planning process. Enjoy our slideshow of deckstyles from Houzz.com and get ideas from the pictures of the decks showcased in this post. Designing a deck should be fun, after all, you are building your dreams!
Determine How Often You’ll Use Your Pool Deck
Traditionally, a pool deck was a summer space, where you could lounge between dips in the water. The shape of the deck would mimic the pool’s shape, and there might be some plantings around the perimeter. Today, many homeowners design their deck for year-round use, not just as place to towel off and sunbathe. Do you plan on enjoying your pool deck during the warmer months only? Or do you like to entertain outdoors no matter what the season? Determining how often you’ll use your pool deck is an important first step, as it will help you pick your materials and features.
Choose Your Deck Material
Consumers have many options when it comes to deck materials. Concrete is a popular choice due to its affordability, non-slip surface, resistance to excessive heat absorption, and low maintenance. However, when subjected to temperature changes and the natural movement of the earth underneath, a large slab of concrete may be prone to cracking. These cracks can be unsightly and dangerous, and repairing them may require that the entire slab be replaced. Instead, look for concrete pavers, which are smaller pieces of concrete shaped like brick or stone. They have all the benefits of concrete without the challenges of a slab – so you can easily change out a damaged section. Pavers come in a variety of colors, finishes, and sizes, and can be interlocked to create a pattern around your pool and beyond. Some are also manufactured to be permeable, allowing water to drain through them. If you have a larger budget, you may want to consider other deck materials. Brick, stone, unglazed tile, and exotic hardwoods can beautifully complement a variety of architectural and landscape styles.
Plan for Gatherings
Want to make your pool deck much more than a deck for your pool? A grilling station and a fire pit are wonderful additions if you love cooking under the stars. A sound system, lighting, and even a small stage are perfect for the born entertainer. Plenty of seating, from chairs to comfy couches, is a must. And if you’re ready to fully embrace outdoor living, go for a bar, fireplace, hot tub, movie screen, and an outdoor shower, too!
If you have a killer view, whether it’s a distant mountain range or the most popular bird feeder in town, design your deck so you can soak in the sights. Are you bonkers for botanicals? Potted plants, terraced gardens, and climbing vines on a pergola are lovely enhancements. And if water soothes you, a fish pond, a fountain, or a waterfall may do wonders for your well-being.
Make Safety Features a Must
Whether your pool plays host to a neighborhood of kids each day, or it’s your private oasis, it’s essential to include safety features in your deck design. Where there’s a pool, there’s water, so make sure the deck material isn’t slippery when wet, especially near diving boards, ladders, and slides. There should be depth signage along the pool’s edge, and railings at the pool’s entry points. A fence that’s childproof and pet-proof – meaning it can’t be scaled or crawled under, and is gate-locked – should be installed. Check with your town to make sure your fence is code-compliant.
There are many things you should consider when designing a pool deck. Determine how often you’ll use your outside space so you can better select its materials and features. From birthday parties to weddings, and intimate dinners to a meditation spot, a well-designed pool deck can serve many different purposes – or all of them!