Refreshing, invigorating, and fun for all ages, swimming pools add hours of pleasure to outdoor living. Because pools are often the dominant element in the yard, the manner in which they're surrounded can make a difference between a merely adequate deck idea and a simply terrific one.
Because of its versatility, wood decking makes an excellent choice for all or part of a pool surround. Wood integrates well with other materials often found around a pool -- tile, brick, natural stone -- and decking can be designed to adopt nearly any shape the area requires. If the ground around the pool is uneven or sloped, wood decking is sometimes the best solution.
Generally speaking, the surround should be at least equal in size to the area of the pool (preferably larger) to allow enough room for a table, chairs, and a variety of seating options. A shady place nearby to seek relief from the sun is desirable as well. A surround that covers a large expanse seems friendlier when broken into levels and treated as several outdoor rooms. Changing the direction and pattern of the boards can help scale down a large deck, too. By contrast, a surround that has to fit a tight spot seems larger if edged with built-in benches that take up little space but provide places to sit or stretch out in the sun.