Every above ground pool needs a deck. And that usually means lots of deck footings. It's easy to see why if the deck wraps around half the pool. All of this means tons of work, digging, mixing cement and money.
This deck was built in 2013 and has been punished with cold snowy winters and hot sticky, wet summers. But to this day, it looks fantastic still and the footings have not budged an inch.
If you have big seasonal temperature swings and but you have decent clay or stable soil, don't worry. You can have confidence the Deck Foot Anchor™.
Brian is from Ottawa, Ontario and he built a beautiful above ground pool deck with six Titan Deck Footings which he installed in less than an hour - forty-five minutes to be exact - according to him.
He is also a gifted mechanic who has been building cars and drag racers from the ground up since he was fifteen years old.
So he decided to give the Deck Foot Anchor a try for his above ground pool deck even though carpentry was never something he spent much time doing.
He just wanted to have a nice attractive and solid deck to compliment his above ground pool and he wanted to do it on his own so save a few dollars.
But just as importantly, he wanted to know that the deck would stand the test of time and be stable around the pool. That is exactly what he got.
Plus he didn't break his back digging holes and he avoided the cost and mess of using cement. And best of all it took less than an hour to have all six in the ground and ready to build.
Use the manufacturer's Rule of Thumb and plan for one footing every six feet. This deck was sixteen feet wide and about ten feet deep. Brian decided to space the footings a bit further apart and used six Deck Foot Anchor™.
Floor decks are supposed to support 50 psf. So a 6'x6' tributary area above each footing times 50 psf equals 1800 psf per footing. That matches up nicely with the average soil bearing capacity of 1800 psf.
Brian did a really nice job of preparing this job site. He removed the sod and two inches of loose soil and made sure that was no organic debris that will eventually rot.
He laid out landscaping fabric, put down three inches of ½" or smaller crushed stone and also installed a concrete block perimeter. This made for a really clean look.
This is a bit more important for an above ground pool deck because the support structure is almost always visible unless you plan to install a lattice skirt around the deck.
Free standing decks will require bracing between posts and from posts to beams. This eliminates any sway and creates a finished structure that is rock solid.
You can see from this photo showing the underside of the deck framing how the beam is braced to opposing support posts and then each post along adjacent beams is braced in the alternating direction. This deck will never move and that is critically important given that an above ground pool is located in close proximity to the decking.
Notice the technique used to frame the deck around the pool. This pool had a 24' diameter and so the deck had to follow it closely but still be about an inch away so that any movement of the deck over the course of the seasons would never cause damage to the pool.
The framing solution involved extending the lengths of the perimeter beams longer than the middle beam. Then 2x8 joists were framed in at a slight angle that closely followed the radius of the pool. Deck boards extended beyond the joists and were cut to the final length using a jig-saw.
To really make the entire deck structure strong, Brian notched a rabbet cut out of each 6x6 post and set the 2x8 beams on the flat cut.
This transfers all the weight of the deck directly onto the post and is the right way to build. The ½" carriage bolts and washers are the final piece in the puzzle and then secure the beam to post.
Since this is a free standing or "floating" deck, the structure should be built to remain stable and rigid and merely rest on the Deck Foot Anchor™ below it.
Rather than merely "toe-nailing" the joists to the beams, joist to beam clips were used on both sides of the beam as you can see in this photo from underneath the deck.
Brian may be a developing carpenter but his attention to detail from his automotive and mechanical skills comes through here. He built this above ground pool to last in every way.
An aluminum gate with hardware added a nice security element to Brian's deck and complimented the balustrade, caps and post anchors. This gate was 36" wide.
An aluminum framed gate is very lightweight and a better idea than trying to building one from dimensional lumber. It also never warps or twists like a wood gate might tend to do over time.
If you are trying to achieve a classic look but without breaking the bank, do what Brian did.
Here you see he used 3/4" diameter black aluminum balusters and black solar post caps. He also used turned 4x4 posts which added a bit more elegance to the final appearance. And those posts worked well with the Titan Wood Post Anchor™.
This surface mounted post anchor (Titan Wood Post Anchor) was a perfect and easy solution for anchor the railing posts to the decking. No notching the deck boards around each post saved time and means the ends of the deck boards are not cut and compromised.
A flat 2x8 blocking board was secured in the joist bay below each post and posts spacing came out to around 5'-4". The manufacturer states 6' on center is the maximum for residential jobs.
You can bet this pool gets a lot of use and brings lots of smiles, laughs and relief from the hot summer. If you have an above ground pool and you want to build a pool deck around it to get maximum use keep these building solutions in mind.