How To Build A Platform For A Pool

Before you start construction, there are a few things to consider when building a pool. Most importantly, the size and shape of your pool. The reason for this is that the position and angle of any steps or platforms will greatly depend on your pool’s location. For example, a shallow ledge may only be needed in one part of your pool while another area might need an extension to make it easier for bathers to get into the water. If you have the right tools, materials and skills it is possible to build a stand-alone swimming pool. This was accomplished by building a wooden platform for a pool. The building materials were made out of wood but other material options can be used including metal and plastic.

How To Build A Platform For A Pool

The construction of platforms around above-ground pools is very similar to that of other freestanding decks. For stability, the deck should not be attached to the pool, which means it should be stable in all directions on its own and not be dependent on the pool for vertical or lateral support. The pool and deck are practically adjacent to each other. These decks must be laterally braced from the beams/joists to the bottom of the posts for most above-ground pools. Decks are usually 3 to 6 feet off the ground. It is critical that both North and South (east and west) axes are available as cross-bracing. It is not sufficient to embed posts in the foundations to restrain lateral movement at most pool heights.

A pool deck should be constructed right beneath the lip of the pool edge. The best way to support curved sides of the pool is to place some segmented beams and footings a couple of feet from the edge. Joist tape is a good idea for protecting against standing water on joists. It may be necessary to install a self-closing gate to prevent unsupervised children from entering. As more activity takes place on pool decks, extra blocking will be required to reinforce the frame. You can aid water drainage under your deck by using gravel.A circular deck surrounds the pool.

New building codes should also be considered for decks around swimming pools. Generally, there is an approximate gap of 3/4 inches between the pool deck and coping. Local codes may regulate the slip resistance, the gap between the boards, and slope of a deck as well. In addition, decks adjacent to swimming pools or hot tubs, whether in or above ground, should also consider these design requirements.

Step 1

Choose a location for your new pool. Pick a spot without trees directly overhead, which can invite debris from birds, squirrels and even leaves or branches. Avoid spots where water tends to sit, since the soil will not prove as stable, in addition to creating a muddy surrounding for your pool area.

Step 2

Sink a stake at one corner of the installation site and measure the length required for the first side. Drive another stake at the end. Repeat for each of the sides, measuring and sinking stakes at the end to outline the area. While the concrete pad must fit at least the size of the pool, you might want to enlarge it beyond the pool substantially to incorporate a dirt-free zone surrounding it. At minimum allow for an extra 6 inches — a foot or two is even better.

Step 3

Dig the entire area out to a depth of about 6 inches. Verify the depth with a tape measure, or mark a 2-by-4-inch board or other piece of lumber and use it as a gauge.

Step 4

Attach a length of twine or other string to one of the posts and run it diagonally across to the opposite corner. Slide a line level onto the string before tying it off. Adjust the height of the string, as needed, until the bubble in the center indicates level.

Step 5

Measure, from the string down to the ground, in various spots across the excavation. Fill in a little dirt, tamping it down with your foot or a board and sledgehammer, if the area is a little low; dig out a little extra and remove for high areas. Remeasure to ensure accuracy. Repeat with a string running through the opposite corners to cover the entire area.

Step 6

Cut lengths of fiberboard or plywood to run across each side of the excavation. Use screws or nails to attach to the corner stakes. Drive additional stakes along the length, on the outside of the forms, to further reinforce the sides; wet concrete is very heavy and the more you have, the better your forms will hold.

Step 7

Spread an even layer of substrate, an inch or two deep, across the pool platform area. Use pea stone — very small gravel — or even deteriorated limestone or your preferred base. A good layer of rock encourages water to drain away from the concrete platform. Rake across the surface to level the rock.

Step 8

Pour the concrete, using a shovel to help spread it as necessary. Lay sections of wire mesh across the rock, adding stone or brick to prop it above the rock slightly, before spreading the concrete for extra reinforcement. This helps prevent cracking and crumbling of the concrete. Take care to avoid disturbing the mesh during the pour.

Step 9

Lay a 2-by-4-inch board across the forms and pull it firmly across the length. This will level and flatten the freshly poured concrete. Next, work the entire surface with a bull or darby float. Push and pull the floats repetitively over the surface, like you are polishing a car or scrubbing a dirty pan. This works the cream and water to the surface of the concrete. Work quickly during the “pour and float” to avoid the concrete hardening prematurely, which will make your work much harder.

Step 10

Edge the slab, running an edger along each inch of the forms. Use any tool that allows you to cut down along the wood if you don’t have an edger; your intent is to loosen the concrete slightly from the form, like you’re cutting a piece of pie or cake that sticks to the pan.

Step 11

Cover the entire concrete surface with plastic sheeting to allow it to cure. This holds the moisture in while it hardens totally. After about a week, pry the forms away and finish the concrete with indoor/outdoor carpet if desired.

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