Monday, April 28, 2008

Building a Deck Like a Pro

I've been asked by people, "how do I build a pool deck like a pro?".

My response is usually something along the lines of, "that's a weighted question because while there is a generally accepted building technique each pro likely has their own methods moving through that process... especially during planning."

But that is the one unique thing about professionals, they always plan their above ground pool decks. And you should too.

My mother remarked to me recently that, "most DIY'ers don't want a lot of instruction and they don't want to spend more than necessary. They would rather do it all themselves - and if they get it wrong - so be it. At least you did it yourself."

I'm not sure where she got this general stereotype from... perhaps my DIY cousins in Virginia who very much represent her conclusion. But I don't completely buy it.

Yes, there is very much a "can do" and "on my terms" spirit to being a person who builds your own home improvements.

But with that said, why wouldn't you want to do it yourself and get it right? Now that would give you an even greater sense of accomplishment.

So, back to the question "how do I go about building a deck like a pro?"

The biggest advantage a pro has over the average do it yourself enthusiast is experience. This means they can build a pool deck up to code much faster than you. And they likely have the technical process licked.

Unless you already have a lot of experience and skill with home improvement projects or contracting, it's unlikely you will be able to match the speed of a professional construction.

That said, you can absolutely make your finished above ground pool deck look just as good!

How? With one key element before you begin construction. And that's planning your pool deck.

It sounds simple doesn't it? But you would be surprised how many people overlook this key step in the process.

Here's how you'll benefit from planning your pool deck, so you can then build a deck like a pro:

  • It gives your the opportunity to envision and sketch at least several different design ideas, so you can mix and match the best elements into one master plan... or find the one plan that really works for you and will best match your swim lifestyle.
  • You practically ensure that your plans and deck will be up to local building codes. This means a safe and secure pool deck, and one that can boost your property value if you ever choose to sell your home.
  • You'll know ahead of time precisely what materials and tools you'll really need, plus if you need to hire out some parts of the job. This is an obvious money and time saver for you.
  • You can schedule your building days and know in advance how much time you'll need for each step in the deck construction process. This saves you time by making sure you don't start building... then realize you forgot something, so you have to double back... and so on.
Other than good planning, you'll need a good step-by-step guide on how to actually build a pool deck like a pro.

Also, know that since a pool deck is built in sections and the contracting principles are generally the same... you can use just about any design example for your own step-by-step process. The most common is a wraparound design with a floating foundation, and that's the example I use in my eBook.

Remember, people can only give you a helpful guide and the best information possible on how to build a deck like a pro. Ultimately, it's up to you to study those resources and then apply the information towards your own project.

As always, to your success and enjoy your pool!

Best regards,

Paul Ottaviano

Monday, April 21, 2008

Building Deck Idea for Your Pool

I've noticed that many of you are searching for an above ground swimming pool deck idea. Truth be told, as long as you're up to code the details of your ideas are probably limitless.

You can build a wraparound above ground pool deck, or a multi-level pool deck. It can attach via ledger to your house and be compatible with the room it attaches to. Or it can be out in the middle of your yard, surrounding just part of your pool providing a safe entrance and exit to your swimming pool.

Your above ground pool deck could have a focal point facing west, so the setting sun shade illuminates it. You could set up a fountain in one corner of the pool deck as that focal point, or install deck benches so your kids and their friends have a comfy place to sit.

As you can see, your above ground swimming pool deck ideas are limitless.

What is most important is that you:

1. Build the above ground pool deck you want and it's compatible with your intended use, lifestyle, and your climate.

2. Make sure the pool deck is compliant with your local building codes so it's safe for continuous use.

3. Plan before your start building so you know whether or not your idea will work.

One good way to start coming up with some above ground pool deck ideas is to take your camera outside. Start snapping some pictures of your backyard and pool from different angles. Imagine what a pool deck would look like on that side... or this side... or with a full wraparound design....

Write down your ideas.

Then go back outside and use a rope, or water hose, and use it to lay out the outer dimensions of where your above ground pool deck might be. Use outdoor furniture you may already have to get a sense of where benches or fountains may go on the pool deck.

Sketch your vision down. And then rearrange it until you find a look that works for you.

I've listed some basic tips on how to make above ground pool deck plans.

Perhaps the most simple building deck idea for your pool is also the most common and easiest to build, other than a pool deck kit - and that is a wraparound deck with floating foundations.

As you can now tell, there are many above ground swimming pool deck ideas out there. People like me can give you some helpful tips here or there.

But ultimately it's up to you to discover more than several ideas that will work for you, and be compatible with your backyard. Best of all, it's something you can have a lot of fun with!

Enjoy your pool.

Best regards,

Paul Ottaviano

Learn more about building a deck around your pool.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Pool Deck Ideas

Many of you have asked me for more pictures of above ground pool decks. I like to think of myself as someone who listens and acts on smart feedback. So I went ahead and published some above ground pool deck photos. I hope this helps you get some good pool deck ideas of your own going.

Building an above ground pool deck is simple in concept but you must focus on the details, if you are to build the deck you envision. So it's as much a visual project as it is a physical and technical one. Especially when you're making your pool deck plans.

If you would like to see the pool deck pictures I've posted on my site, check them out here.

Also, the photo gallery is currently in PDF format so you'll need Adobe Acrobat reader.

I see our pool deck photo gallery as something that can gradually grow. So if any of you have photos or diagrams you would like to share please do so!

For those of you still planning your pool deck or just thinking about building one, I think these photos will help you get some visual pool deck ideas going.

Best regards,

Paul Ottaviano