Desperately Seeking Deck Help

aztec123

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2015
29
Dobbs Ferry, NY
Hi – I have been working to make a plan for a Spring pool (and deck) renovation. The pool is old, dated, and needs resurfacing. The deck is concrete with an old kool deck type surface that has been painted over multiple times with some sort of deck paint. The kool deck is delaminating in spots from the underlying concrete, and the paint (multiple coats) gets slippery when wet (kids have fallen). I will attach a photo of the whole pool / deck enchilada.

GOPR0816.jpg

I have met with 4 PBS and have received proposals for the pool work. Finalizing a plan for what I want to do on the actual pool will be pretty straightforward (replaster, tiling, coping, convert to salt, new drain, etc). Where I am in bad shape is any sort of plan on what to do about the deck. I asked all 4 PBS to include in their proposals options for fixing the deck. Of the four, number one PB recommended ripping out everything down to dirt and laying all new concrete, stone surfacing, etc. Number two PB said flat out he wanted nothing to do with the deck. Number three PB said he knew a guy who might be helpful. After trading a few calls that deck guy, he lost interest and stopped calling back. The fourth PB recommended a guy who I eventually got to come take a look, and he submitted a proposal for the deck as follows:

He thought it would be overkill to rip out all the concrete as it seemed to be in good shape – it just needed to be stripped of paint, stripped of kool deck, etc. and resurfaced. My instinct is similar – there doesn’t seem to be any major cracking or movement of the core concrete. In a two-hour long meeting he discussed laying a new 3-4 inch slab of concrete on top of the old deck and having it extend to create a new cantilever coping. He also discussed removing the existing kool deck and just grinding/polishing the concrete surface. In the end, however, he did not submit proposals for either of those ideas. He did submit a proposal for removing the old paint and prepping the existing surface for new kool deck ($6,000) and laying down new kool deck ($18,000). The total surface area of the deck is 900-1,000 square feet.

The PB who included a complete tear-out in his bid quoted $4,000 to remove the old deck and $30,000 for a new ‘wet laid stone deck’.

I don’t much like the cost of these options but in the end - it will be what it will be. But what I mostly don’t like is the feeling I have not had a thoughtful consideration of alternatives. I have been doing some internet research into all the resurfacing options for a pool deck – and at this point am pretty overwhelmed. There seem to be quite a few options – kool deck, synthetic spray coats, polishing the concrete, retrofit cantilever deck, etc. and I have not had real discussions about most of them.

Question 1 – how can I get my head around what the options are, and pros and cons of each? Is there a good website, or book? Should I be reaching out to a different type of tradesman (not a PB) for just the deck to de-link the deck discussion from the pool renovation discussion? If so, what type of tradesman should I be looking for? I feel like the folks I have been dealing with thus far either a) don’t want to do the job, or b) want to steer me to one path with little in-depth discussion of all the options. I would be willing to pay someone just to walk me through the various options I have, and the pros and cons.

Question 2 – if I decide to go with a thicker coping than I have now (existing is 1 ¼” thick) do I increase my deck options to include the possibility of laying down some sort of thin pavers over the existing concrete (after grinding off the existing kool deck)? Or are there other alternatives that open up if I effectively raise the deck level by using thicker coping? Hopefully this question makes sense.

Any thoughts are appreciated. I wanted to get started on this in the Fall but the lack of progress on a deck plan has killed that. But I’m not starting on the pool until I know what the plan is for the deck.
 

lazygirl1978

Gold Supporter
Oct 20, 2018
234
Missouri
I don’t have much experience with this but I wonder if a landscape architect would be a good option? Might be worth a search in your area.
 

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
5,353
Damascus, MD
Pool Size
29000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
I would agree also talk with a regular hardscape/landscape contractor.
 

Poolbella

Silver Supporter
Jun 28, 2018
246
Houston, TX
I contacted a couple of local landscaping companies to get quotes on decking, before we decided to just have our PB do it. Maybe try that angle instead.
 

bmoreswim

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
6,763
Central MD
Pool Size
27000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
On one of the options mentioned, pouring a deck over the existing deck and creating cantilever coping in the process, unless you also raise the skimmers, I don't think you will be happy with the long distance between the deck surface and the water. I've seen a pool with that arrangement of a raised deck vs. the water level. I did not like the appearance it created. But sometimes function triumphs over form.

If you do a tearout, $4K seems reasonable. And on the rebuild, a simple broom finished concrete with an organic or stone-like design brushed in the surface might be just the right mix of nice and not crazy expensive. If you look at PoolGate's post above and look in his signature for his Google Photos link, you'll see what I'm referring to regarding his straightforward but very pretty concrete deck.
 

aztec123

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2015
29
Dobbs Ferry, NY
Yes, on the cantilever idea I had not thought about the distance to the water. I don’t think I want that - seems like it would be weird.

The $4,000 is just to remove the old deck in its entirety, and I guess I sort of agree that is reasonable given the other quote was $6,000 just to remove the old kool deck surface from the underlying concrete. I just don’t know how to think about $30k to pour a new 900’ concrete deck.

Nor do I know if $18,000 to put down 900 square feet of kool deck is ‘normal’. Actually of all the numbers that one seems the most jarring to me.

It just bothers me that I can’t even get two ‘apples to apples’ quotes for any of the alternatives. It makes me think I’m going about this wrong.

Thanks to all for the feedback
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
47,973
Tallahassee, FL
If your current deck base is solid I would NOT tear it out. I would do a said above and think outside the pool world and more in the landscape/hardscape world. They do this all of the time. I would think about having someone remove all of the paint (not sure you could pay me to do that job as I am sure it is hard work).

Wait you say the cool deck is delaminating..........can you post a pic of this? I have an idea.

Kim:kim:
 

Gorilla83

Silver Supporter
Jul 2, 2017
458
Thornton, PA
Pool Size
33000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
I don't know about specific pricing in your area but agree 30K seems insane for 900 sq of concrete. At that price I'd expect a tear out and replacement with nice pavers? We just had a 550sq ft stamped concrete patio demo'd and that took them about 1/2 a day to break up and remove. I would definitely shop around - the place that just did our deck may travel up to your area.
 

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
5,353
Damascus, MD
Pool Size
29000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
My contract price for the concrete was $9.75/sq foot. You are getting robbed.
 

Poolbella

Silver Supporter
Jun 28, 2018
246
Houston, TX
We are going with a big corporate PB and they wanted $9.31 p/sqft for brushed concrete and $13.61 p/sqft for concrete with spray deck.
 

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support

bmoreswim

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
6,763
Central MD
Pool Size
27000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)

aztec123

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2015
29
Dobbs Ferry, NY
Thanks for the responses. Here are some photos of what the delamination is like. It's probably only 20% of the kool deck surface area that is delaminating from the underlying concrete. But another 20% of the deck has been patched poorly (both from prior delamination and from repairs to pipes etc) so 40% of the deck is "bad" at this point. You can feel the delamination when you step on a spot that has it - your foot sinks a little as the gap between the kool deck and concrete compresses and there is a light crunching sound. In the photos I took a spot and chiseled off a chunk of kool deck - you can see the gap around the edges of the removed section. Basically I could stick my fingers in there and pull and easily clear about a two square foot section of the kool deck before I reach areas where it is still attache properly.

IMG_3401.jpgIMG_3402.jpg

Those price per square foot numbers sound more 'normal' than what I'm hearing, even if I account for a markup because I'm in the Ny suburbs. Does anyone have any experience or data on cost just to put a new decorative layer of (stamped?) concrete on top of the existing concrete (once the existing kool deck has been blasted off)? Or if this is even a thing that can be done.

I called a couple of local concrete specialists / hardscapers this week but so far nobody has returned the call. Sigh.

Thanks for the feedback!
 

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
5,353
Damascus, MD
Pool Size
29000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
If you look in my sigline pics, what my deck has what is called "stone marking" and was only an additional $1/sq foot. We really like it and so much cheaper than stamping.
 

aztec123

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2015
29
Dobbs Ferry, NY
I think the "stone marking" looks great. I wonder if I can have that applied as a top coat over the existing concrete? $1/sq foot looks great too but I realize that's as part of a larger project. But as of now the price to beat is $18,000 for new sprayed topcoat of kool deck, so I've got a lot to work with!
 

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
5,353
Damascus, MD
Pool Size
29000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
I think the "stone marking" looks great. I wonder if I can have that applied as a top coat over the existing concrete? $1/sq foot looks great too but I realize that's as part of a larger project. But as of now the price to beat is $18,000 for new sprayed topcoat of kool deck, so I've got a lot to work with!

No you can't. It is carved into the concrete when it is still a little wet.
 

Nectarologist

Well-known member
Apr 3, 2015
580
New York
Hi Aztec. I feel that your best bet for decking is someone other than the pool builder. In order to really compare quotes you need to settle on what you want first. one company says do x and it sounds great but then company 2 says do y and that sounds good. But you can't really compare the two for price. So I'd meet with a few people to see what they suggest and then you can go back to get quotes based on what you really want to do. Have them price out the same thing (even brand of pavers or finish of concrete).

I'm across the river from you (Tappan). Price-wise I expect things to be a little cheaper in Rockland. So that being said, I paid about $16 per square foot for techo bloc pavers (and have about 550-600 sq ft). So that price for concrete is a walk away quote in my book (meaning no need to discuss anything further with that company, lose their #). Call a landscaping/hardscaping company for options. Look for companies that do lots of paver jobs. They'll have the equipment and experience. I don't know if the company I used works in Westchester but their name is Edge Landscaping. They do tons of pool work (coping and patios). But you really need to decide what you want to do first then compare prices.

Another option to consider is having a paver area where the steps are and then do grass around the rest of the pool. I love the way it looks, it's great on the feet and comes in at a great price compared to pavers or stone. Plus if you don't like it you can easily prep the ground for concrete or pavers without adding too much cost. I have grass around 80% of my pool and if I moved into a house with all concrete decking around the pool I'd rip it out, I like it that much.
 

aztec123

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2015
29
Dobbs Ferry, NY
Thanks for the great info. I am getting some traction with a few non-PB hardscape companies to come out and discuss options. I will also try Edge and see if they work across the river.

With grass I worry that there will be enough sun. My pool is sort of in a 'bowl' of trees (which makes it a PITA to keep the pool clean). But I will keep it in mind as an option if I don't make progress with pavers or a new topcoat on the concrete.
 

Chuckiechan

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2014
482
Roseville, CA
I may be daft, but do you need cool concrete in New York?

They can probably sandblast off the old surface, or you could hire a sandblaster person for just that task.
 

aztec123

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2015
29
Dobbs Ferry, NY
Definitely need it. We get 90-100 degrees (and humid) in the Summer. Yes, I think either sand blasting or shot blasting is what will ultimately be used to strip off the kool deck and paint.
 

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
5,353
Damascus, MD
Pool Size
29000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
Definitely need it. We get 90-100 degrees (and humid) in the Summer. Yes, I think either sand blasting or shot blasting is what will ultimately be used to strip off the kool deck and paint.

If it is just for heat protection, regular old white concrete does not get hot at all. Save yourself the money and just get stone-marked concrete. ;)
 

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support
Thread Status
Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.