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Thread: Question about top rail

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    Question about top rail

    We have a 24' above ground pool for about 2 years now. Just getting around to designing deck for it and had a question. Is the top rail of the pool able to support weight of a person? Or should I cantilever the deck six inches over so it's even with the inside of the top rail?

    I've also seen pics of decks where the deck is even or under the top rail - that is why I was wondering what if someone sat on the rail - would it cause the pool to buckle?
    Eddie

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    delfargo's Avatar
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    Re: Question about top rail

    probably don't want an adult sitting on the rail. i've had to tell a few folks to get off, even thought nothing happened. i have no proof that it wouldn't support the weight of an average adult, it just doesn't sound like a good idea. i may be wrong, but it's one of the rules at my pond.
    30' round above ground - 21000 gal. (shade ONLY in the evening),
    pentair dynamo 1.5 hp pump,
    pentair sand dollar 150 lb.sand filter,
    bbb method.

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    No P in my ool's Avatar
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    Re: Question about top rail

    Quote Originally Posted by delfargo
    probably don't want an adult sitting on the rail. i've had to tell a few folks to get off, even thought nothing happened. i have no proof that it wouldn't support the weight of an average adult, it just doesn't sound like a good idea. i may be wrong, but it's one of the rules at my pond.
    What he said! You don't want to sit on the top rail.
    21' Leslies Beachland Ag Pool, 10,000 gallons, professionally installed (best money I ever spent) Hayward 16" sand filter w/Pentair two speed pump Fafco 4x20 solar heater,Aqua Trol RJ. Borates added. Hard plumbed.

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    Re: Question about top rail

    Thanks.

    That's kind of what I was thinking. But like I said a lot of the deck plans seem to have the deck go up under the top rail. So I thought maybe they are designed to bear weight.


    I think I will just extend my decking for six inches or so to cover the rail. I'm using 2" x 6" - anybody see any problem with this?
    Eddie

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    NCFlyersFan's Avatar
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    Re: Question about top rail

    I ran my decking underneath the top rail and left about 1/2" between the rail and the deck. After about a year, I noticed the edges of the rail were bent due to kids stepping on the rails, etc.. So, I would definitely recommend cantilevering the decking over the top rail. Just be sure to design a way to remove the decking in the event you have to remove the post caps and rails to replace the liner or do other maintenance.
    13,000 gal AGP, Hayward X-Stream 100 sq ft cartridge, 1 HP Hayward Power-Flo Matrix Pump, all on two 6-hour on cycles per day. Baquacil to BBB convert.
    "It is necessary for us to learn from others' mistakes. You will not live long enough to make them all yourself." - Hyman G. Rickover

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Question about top rail

    I think alot of it depends on the type/brand of pool. Our deck runs level with the top rail, with a 1/2 inch to 3/4 gap in order for the winter cover to fit thru (you probably don't worry about that in texas?

    My BIL nearby, his deck runs right up under the top rail, no issues that I know of. He uses the water bags to hold the cover in place. (we use a sinch (sp?) and jugs)

    The top rails where our deck and pool meet - the rails have experienced no issues from adults, no damage or anythin....and I stand on mine sometimes to lean over to reach the return, when I'm standing on the deck. I have no pic to show you of that amazing skill.....
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Crazycalvin's Avatar
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    Re: Question about top rail

    Hello. We ran ours up underneath the top rail. We do not tend to stand or sit on the rails. We just step over the rail and down onto the first step. When I first was thinking of going under the rails, I wondered if it would feel awkward stepping over the rail but it doesn't. It is also easier just slide the deck boards up under the rail and only have to cut around the uprights. Good luck. Later, Calvin.
    15 x 26 Sharkline
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    AnnaK's Avatar
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    Re: Question about top rail

    Our deck is like FPM's, level with the top rail with a small gap between the two. Some of the photos here show what I mean.
    — AnnaK —

    12,000 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

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    Re: Question about top rail

    I too am struggling with this as I plan my deck around my 27' AG pool. The deck will only go around a third of the pool.

    I would think with 2x6 decking that you should probably bring the deck inward to the water's edge horizontally, or at least nearly so. And it's likely that if you build the deck with about 2-3" of clearance from the top rail, you won't have to worry about removing decking boards. 2x6 material will likely be fine extending 10-12 inches from the rim joist.

    I'm going to build my deck with PVC decking, which isn't nearly as strong on its own as 2x6 cedar or PT pine. Therefore, I'll probably be forced to have the decking come about flush to the top rail horizontally, and keep it 1.5 inches above the rail height. The PVC decking can only go about 4-5 inches from the rim, from what I've read. That won't get it across the top rail, but ideally that's what I think would be the most practical.
    Scott

    27'x52" AG Vogue Impact, Waterway Cyclone 200 cartridge filter, Waterway pump w/2 HP 2-sp motor, 8mil solar cover, Raypak 206 nat gas heater, Pool Rover Jr.

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    Re: Question about top rail

    I'm glad I threw this question out there, a lot of things I hadn't considered!

    Like access to remove the top rail later, :doh:
    Or the need for space for a cover. (not a winter cover, but a leaf net)


    The design we are going with is probably (always subject to change) similar to this

    http://www.deckplans.com/plans/size.cfm?plan.type.id=9

    where a sorta circle of 3-4' boards radiates out from the pool. Then a large deck on one side - probably two level.

    One possible problem I see with a cantilever over the rail is nothing supporting the ends of the boards - kinda like individual diving boards - over time they would bet all warped and bent and it would end up looking pretty sad. Even with 2" x 6" boards.

    Right now - probably leaning towards 1/2 " under the top rail, then I can have bracing under the ends. But I am always subject to being over-ruled in the final aesthetic design areas of projects, so we shall see.
    Eddie

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    Crazycalvin's Avatar
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    Re: Question about top rail

    Hello. Aesthetically speaking, the deck will look good going under the top rails also. Deck boards ends should not be extended more than about two inches without support and expect to bear any type of load. Joists can be cantilevered up to 1/3 of the joist span, but this is because the joists are on edge. If you use the "Pier Block" system, you will need to use 2x6's for the deck boards and you will probably need more posts than if you "sink" posts in the ground with cement. Our deck is presently only on one end of the pool and sort of wraps around the one end. When we built our deck, we used 4x6's for the posts, 2x8's for the joists, 5/4 deck boards for the decking, and galvanized hardware. We also cantilevered the joists about 12 inches to allow the pool to sort of "sit" into the deck. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. Good luck with your deck build. Later, Calvin.
    15 x 26 Sharkline
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    Re: Question about top rail

    Quote Originally Posted by Crazycalvin
    Hello. Aesthetically speaking, the deck will look good going under the top rails also. Deck boards ends should not be extended more than about two inches without support and expect to bear any type of load. Joists can be cantilevered up to 1/3 of the joist span, but this is because the joists are on edge. If you use the "Pier Block" system, you will need to use 2x6's for the deck boards and you will probably need more posts than if you "sink" posts in the ground with cement. Our deck is presently only on one end of the pool and sort of wraps around the one end. When we built our deck, we used 4x6's for the posts, 2x8's for the joists, 5/4 deck boards for the decking, and galvanized hardware. We also cantilevered the joists about 12 inches to allow the pool to sort of "sit" into the deck. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. Good luck with your deck build. Later, Calvin.
    Do you have any pics of this?
    Eddie

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    Crazycalvin's Avatar
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    Re: Question about top rail

    Eddie, I don't have any pictures of the deck frame. I can try to take some pictures from underneath the deck and post them or maybe draw what it looks like on AutoCad and do a "copy paste" on the forum. I will try to get pictures this evening or draw something on AutoCad tonight at work. Later, Calvin.
    15 x 26 Sharkline
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    Crazycalvin's Avatar
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    Re: Question about top rail

    Eddie, here are some pictures of our deck.

    This is the 12 inch side. It just shows you what it looks like from the side.


    Here is picture of the underside. It shows the post, beam, joist, and deck board system cantilevering under the top rail and out to the pool.


    This shows the top of the deck above the cantilever.


    This just shows the pool entrance and the boards under the top rail.


    Hope this helps. If you have anymore questions, feel free to ask. Later, Calvin.
    15 x 26 Sharkline
    2.5 HP Dual Speed Pump
    200 Sq. Ft. cartridge filter

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    Re: Question about top rail

    Calvin,

    Thanks for the pics. It looks great. I am going to show my wife these tonight for approval - with the deck under the top rail. I also am thinking about stealing your design for rail. I like that a lot.
    Eddie

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    Re: Question about top rail

    not quite the same but may be of some help

    http://s286.photobucket.com/albums/ll82 ... _my_albums

    pics of my deck build
    15 x 36 Intex AGP
    External skimmer
    Mega sand filter
    1/3 HP pump
    http://s286.photobucket.com/albums/ll82/GazzMan9/

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    Re: Question about top rail

    Quote Originally Posted by GazzMan
    not quite the same but may be of some help

    http://s286.photobucket.com/albums/ll82 ... _my_albums

    pics of my deck build
    Since I have a soft side, and am planning on building a deck, probably next year, (or maybe as early as the fall) I will need to do almost exactly like you did! So in order to make it fit around your round pool, you put the support boards at an angle close to the pool? Did you do that between all vertical supports? I like the way you put - what - coping? on the top of the deck around the pool, between the vertical supports. Gives it a nice finished look. Did you have plans, or did you design it entirely yourself? I'll probably have more questions for you as I get started!
    Above ground soft side Omega pool
    20 feet diameter, 4 feet deep
    Hayward sand filter
    Hayward 1 HP Matrix pump
    Hayward Aquabug Automatic Pool Cleaner

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    Re: Question about top rail

    Quote Originally Posted by Swimgirl
    Quote Originally Posted by GazzMan
    not quite the same but may be of some help

    http://s286.photobucket.com/albums/ll82 ... _my_albums

    pics of my deck build
    Since I have a soft side, and am planning on building a deck, probably next year, (or maybe as early as the fall) I will need to do almost exactly like you did! So in order to make it fit around your round pool, you put the support boards at an angle close to the pool? Did you do that between all vertical supports? I like the way you put - what - coping? on the top of the deck around the pool, between the vertical supports. Gives it a nice finished look. Did you have plans, or did you design it entirely yourself? I'll probably have more questions for you as I get started!


    swimgirl, just ask away hun

    they're not to good but i have just taken some oics of the underside of the deck
    http://s286.photobucket.com/albums/ll82 ... %20garden/

    didnt have any plans, just knew in my mind what i wanted to do

    The coping around the edge of the pool is just upside down deck boards

    if you look at the pics in my previous thread, they show the full story of the build
    15 x 36 Intex AGP
    External skimmer
    Mega sand filter
    1/3 HP pump
    http://s286.photobucket.com/albums/ll82/GazzMan9/

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Question about top rail

    Quote Originally Posted by GazzMan
    not quite the same but may be of some help

    http://s286.photobucket.com/albums/ll82 ... _my_albums

    pics of my deck build

    That deck is huge! It looks like it takes up practically your whole yard. I like the work around the pump and filter - m akes a very clean installation.

    Your supporting wood looks thicker that our wood - is it rough cut? I also like the grooved decking.
    Eddie

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    Re: Question about top rail

    Quote Originally Posted by Pleakpool
    Quote Originally Posted by GazzMan
    not quite the same but may be of some help

    http://s286.photobucket.com/albums/ll82 ... _my_albums

    pics of my deck build

    That deck is huge! It looks like it takes up practically your whole yard. I like the work around the pump and filter - m akes a very clean installation.

    Your supporting wood looks thicker that our wood - is it rough cut? I also like the grooved decking.
    yea pleakpool, all the underside framing is roughcut

    all deck boards in the uk have the grooves in it and comes pressure treated

    the deck so far is 85 square M, i have 41 square M still to deck

    that way my whole garden, yard as you guys call it will be level :P
    15 x 36 Intex AGP
    External skimmer
    Mega sand filter
    1/3 HP pump
    http://s286.photobucket.com/albums/ll82/GazzMan9/

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