This pool deck we built in Northdene was in excess of 100 square metres. Pool decks can be quite difficult to measure as the pool is sometimes not square and the area to be covered is often an irregular shape. Care should be taken to measure it properly to avoid an underestimate of area for both the client and the contractor. No one, the client nor the contractor, wants to realise half way through the job that it has been grossly under, or over, quoted.
There were two levels on this deck. An area of about 1m running around the pool was in concrete while the rest of the deck was to be laid on soil. Also there was an area towards the steps where the existing concrete sloped upwards in an effort to get rain water to run towards the pool instead of collecting near the wall. This area ran almost up to pool level, so in order to get the deck level at the height we wanted we had to cut our baton at a wedge shape.
We placed posts in concrete throughout the soil area and where we got to the concrete plinth around the pool we switch to a 30mm baton. In total we decked about 100m². It took time to lay these joists and make sure that the tops were all flat and level. Deckboards also took time as we laid them down without a single joint line.
Where a deckboard ends and new one starts, creates of course a join in the surface. What one needs to do is sort of finger the deckboards so that the join is alternated on each adjoining deckboard. This is not only more pleasing to the eye but also prevents lifting in one single line. If a deckboard is going to lift it will almost always lift on the join. If all those joins are in a straight line then it will lift along the entire line. If they have been staggered then it won’t be as noticeable or as serious. So they took longer to deck but are done the correct way.
We built a small hut around the pool pump and heater that came off an adjoining wall. The hut had its own doors and roof and finished it off neatly to cover the pump and filter.
Around the edge that was exposed to the pool water we planned some deckboards to 10mm thick which allowed us to bend them around the curve of the pool. This fascia will protect the deckboards from excessive water from the pool and will ensure they last longer. Wood has a tendency to take in water from the end grain. Picture it as a bunch of straws held together. The water will travel up the end grain and this is where rot will start. Wood takes in very little water from side or face grain and it is therefore imperative to seal the ends off properly. When timber is purchased one will always find that the ends have been sealed using a wax substance. This is done in order to prevent the wood taking in water during transport, often by ship. Once it gets to site, it is cross-cut and this seal is lost. It is important therefore to apply plenty of sealer to this end grain.
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- Wooden Sundeck built in The Bluff Durban – Jan 2013 (thewoodjoint.co.za)