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Which is better, a wood or metal deck?

Some people seem to like wood decks better – they seem heavier and more substantial.  If you build a wood deck, you can get exactly what you want, for a very custom look.  If you’re concerned with your property tax rate, though, you may wish to check with your town hall before you start.  You could end up turning a “portable” pool into a permanent addition in the assessor’s mind.  Your building inspector may wish to require footings and structure as if it were part of your house (think property taxes).  Some people have been concerned with the chemicals that are injected into pressure treated wood – specifically the thought that splinters could hurt a child, or run off would hurt the pool water.  I have personally never heard of either happening, and currently-made pressure treated wood should be much lower in chemicals than in the past.

Building a deck now or later?  Don’t build it above or below the pool’s top rail.  It sounds tempting, but what if ground heaves move the pool and the deck, but not at the same rate?  The deck is light, but probably on footings.  The pool is really heavy, but just sitting on the ground.  Build the deck next to the top rails, just like it would be if you bought a deck from the pool store.  Even if you like having the deck planks perpendicular to the pool, stop and place the three planks closest to the pool parallel to the top rail, and screwed in instead of nailing them in.  It will be easier to build, cut around angles of the pool, and handle potential repairs in the future.

A metal deck would also solve that potential problem, while giving the pool a very nice “finished” look.  A steel deck would probably require a lot of maintenance, while an aluminum deck would maintain its looks without maintenance for longer than steel or wood.  A metal deck purchased with your pool would probably be built the same day.  A wood deck built by you or a carpenter could take all summer.

In any case, a deck does add lots of enjoyment, and a nice place for adults to catch some rays while watching the kids.