Add Style and Function with a DIY Pool Deck

It’s the perfect time to start planning backyard improvements. One project that can completely transform an above-ground pool is adding a custom DIY pool deck. These stylish and functional spaces provide extra room for lounging, playing, and entertaining. And with the right materials and design elements, you can build your own gorgeous poolside oasis right at home.

From choosing decking materials to incorporating design features, you’ll find everything you need to take your pool from basic to spectacular.

Select the Ideal Materials for Your DIY Pool Deck

The materials you choose for your DIY pool deck will impact the look, cost, and longevity of your project. Here are some of the most popular options to consider:


Wood is a classic choice for DIY deck building. Cedar, redwood, and pressure-treated pine are common wood types for outdoor structures. The natural beauty and variety of wood grains allow you to create a customized look. Wood also makes an excellent base if you’ll be adding deck tiles or other surface materials later.

On the downside, wood requires more maintenance over time. Regular sealing is essential, especially in wet climates. And organic materials like wood will eventually decay. But with proper care, a wood deck can last for many years of poolside enjoyment.

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Composite Decking

Composite decking offers the appearance of real wood without as much upkeep. These products are made by combining wood fibers, plastics, and bonding agents. Composite decks resist moisture, fading, and insect damage. The material is more expensive than wood up front but pays off in long-term durability and low maintenance.

Concrete and Stone

For a contemporary vibe, you might opt for poured concrete, concrete pavers, or natural stone . Concrete offers incredible strength and longevity. And materials like travertine, bluestone, and granite make luxurious poolside surfaces. Keep in mind that stone and concrete can get quite hot in the sun. Adding texture to concrete can make it less slippery when wet.

More Material Considerations

  • Look for ways to use recycled materials like broken concrete chunks to save money and reduce waste.
  • Factor in the DIY skill level required for each material before deciding.
  • Compare the costs of different decking materials to choose one that fits your budget.
  • Keep in mind the climate and how much maintenance different materials will need.

Include Special Design Elements

The materials form the bones of your DIY pool deck. But the design details are what really brings it to life! Here are some fabulous features to incorporate:

Built-In Bench

Adding a built-in bench instantly makes your pool deck more inviting. Benches provide comfy seating as well as extra storage for pool toys and supplies. Build a basic bench by attaching deck boards atop a framed base. Or get creative with bench shape, height, and size!

Multi-Level Deck

A multi-tiered deck breaks up the space into functional zones. Create separate areas for sunbathing, dining, and conversing. This layout works especially well on sloped sites. Connect the levels with steps and railings.

Shade Elements

Protect guests from harsh sun with shade structures like pergolas, gazebos, and retractable awnings . For a quick DIY shade cover, stretch a canvas drop cloth over a simple wood frame. Or install permanent shade fixtures made of weather-resistant materials.

Focal Points

Focal points draw the eye, enhancing the visual appeal of your deck. Try a fire pit, bubbling water feature, mosaic tile design, or unique sculpture . Strategic lighting also creates dramatic focal points after sunset.

Finishing Touches

Details like planters, trellises, privacy screens , and accent lighting add personality. String lights above the deck for ambiance. Line the perimeter with potted bamboo for a tropical vibe. The options are endless!

Bring Your Design to Life with DIY Construction

Now for the fun part: turning your DIY pool deck dreams into reality. Careful planning makes for smooth sailing during construction.

Plan and Design

Start by measuring your space and sketching layout ideas. Look at deck designs online or create 3D models using free deck planning software. This helps visualize the finished project.

Permits and Codes

Most areas require permits for pool decks over a certain size. Ensure your design meets local codes for stairs, railings, and electrical. Also check pool barrier requirements for child safety.

Site Preparation

Prepare the installation area by leveling the ground and excavating for concrete footings if needed. For sloped yards, a stepped design with retaining walls can create a usable flat space.


Construct a sturdy frame from posts, beams, and joists to support the decking. Pay close attention to joist spacing and blocking. Also add diagonal bracing across the substructure to prevent wobbling.

Install Decking

Lay deck boards across the foundation. Use hidden fasteners and proper gapping between planks. Then apply railings, stairs, and other built-in elements according to your plans.

Maintain Your Space with DIY Pool Deck Care

Put your feet up and relax – you’ve earned it! But don’t forget about periodic maintenance to keep your DIY pool deck looking its best. Here are some care tips:

  • Sweep away debris weekly and deep clean twice per year.
  • Re-seal wood annually to protect from moisture damage.
  • Watch for loose fasteners, splintering boards, and slippery surfaces.
  • Repair cracked concrete and replace rotten wood as needed.
  • Improve traction and safety with anti-slip deck paint or tape.

With routine DIY care, your custom pool deck can stay gorgeous for many summers ahead. Reach out to a professional for periodic power washing, sealing, and more extensive repairs.

Do you dream of stepping outside to your personal poolside paradise? With the right plans and materials, you can build a stunning DIY pool deck unique to your home, yard, and taste. Get inspired by the creative options for materials, features, and finishes. Your customized pool deck will become an outdoor oasis for gatherings with family and friends. So grab your tools and start designing your backyard retreat right away!

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