Replace AGP top rail with deck board rather than going over?

Titus

Well-known member
Jun 3, 2010
47
Nevada, TX
While thinking about deck designs, it occurred to me that you may be able to replace the top rail with deck board to create a seamless transition rather than going over it. A quick peak at my doughboy top rails show that they don't seem to provide any more structural support than a mounted deck board would, and a search of the internet turned up the picture below. Has anyone tried this? Can anyone think of a reason why this would be a bad idea?
 

Cherie

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 23, 2008
506
Wylie, Texas
Re: Replace AGP top rail with deck board rather than going o

Have y'all started your deck yet, or did I miss it somewhere? :sleep: Looking forward to pics!
 

dmanb2b

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 4, 2009
3,734
NY
Re: Replace AGP top rail with deck board rather than going o

I just built our deck flush with the top rail :goodjob:

 

cindybuck

Member
May 3, 2011
11
Re: Replace AGP top rail with deck board rather than going o

We are in the same predicament. I want the deck to go over our semi-buried pool because I don't want anyone stepping on the rail (You can remind kids a million times, but someone is bound to forget and then something gets bent) Has anyone just built the deck above the top railing? My husband's main concern is that our pool is buried except for about 15" on one and maybe 9-10 " on the far side. The backfilled circle is about 1 and 1/2 feet around the pool. It has been backfilled for about 3 weeks now, but he is worried about putting the deck foundation on the freshly backfilled area. We live in Florida, and the ground is the type of dirt that gets pretty hard after is has been saturated and then dried, but it isn't concrete for sure. Any thoughts?
 

mcgeggy

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 13, 2011
51
Re: Replace AGP top rail with deck board rather than going o

We had a small deck built for our pool 6 years ago. We opted to have the edge of the deck sit just above the top 2 rails , so if a child wanted to jump into the pool, it would be a "clean" edge from deck to water. This past weekend we tore the old pool down, left the deck, and put the new same size pool up in the same location. Well, same size except 4" taller! We ended up having to jack the deck up 8" in order to get the new pool top rails to sit under the deck the way the old pool did.

I'll post some pics tomorrow!
 

New Guy

New member
Aug 4, 2011
1
Re: Replace AGP top rail with deck board rather than going o

That's a pretty good idea although I would agree it would probably void the warranty. I've heard few warranties are honored due to homeowners getting creative with alterations. Also your going to be putting alot of stress on the side of the pool I would think with people stepping on them. Anyway I am currently designing a deck for our new above ground 24ft round. I am considering running my deck up over the top rails of the pool to keep feet off the top rails and just leave a gap for the cover. Most of the pools I've looked at folks run the deck boards under the top rails and I can't figure out why. My top rails are resin but being realistic..years of people stepping on them and they are bound to crack and of course by that time they will be difficult to replace with a matching product. Anyone's insight would be appreciated.
 

Cherie

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 23, 2008
506
Wylie, Texas
Re: Replace AGP top rail with deck board rather than going o

We put ours under the rails. Word of caution: be sure to leave ample room for ground heave. We only had heave in one small section, but it definitely pushed up and now the boards in that area are flush, with no room to give.

As for stepping on the rails, we issue one warning and then they're out!
 

dattia

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 12, 2008
520
West Chester, PA
Re: Replace AGP top rail with deck board rather than going o

I just had my deck built and the contractor talked me into going over the top rail, I had wanted to go under the rail. I am happy with the outcome. (For some reason, the pic will not attach, sorry) The deck shows briefly at the end of this short video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEwu5YdM3eQ
 

daurand

Member
Jan 18, 2011
8
Re: Replace AGP top rail with deck board rather than going o

I am thinking of replacing the resin top rail(s) with deck board. I would design the deck so the new deck rail does not have to take much weight: The deck would not rest on the pool except the one deck board. As the deck board has less flex than resin, it seems it would be stronger and better able to take normal standing and jumping forces.

I don't like a deck that comes to the bottom of the rail because the rail looks like a trip hazard.
A deck that goes over the rail puts the deck a long way away from the water. (I usually don't use a ladder, just jump or lift myself out.)
A deck level with the rail would be OK, but my rails are not flat, so there are pinch points and trip hazards.

I plan to use the resin rail as a hole template.
 

pfeazel

New member
Jul 25, 2012
1
Re: Replace AGP top rail with deck board rather than going o

Can someone post pictures of the top rail replacement they completed using deck boards (composite would be my choice). I cannot view the picture Titus posted. It sure seems to be the way to go and I agree it should be much sturdier than the resin top cap. I then plan to bring the deck itself level with the deck board top rail thinking it will look as if they are all part of the deck. Anyone with suggestions or pictures would be greatly appreciated. I have a Sharkline 12X24 pool with aluminum sides that I placed in the ground 3' on one 24' side down to 1' on the other 24' side. I plan on using a 13:1 mix of sand to cement backfill as recommended by Doughboy and would like some input so I might direct my contractor on what I want to do. Thanks

Pfeazel
 

daurand

Member
Jan 18, 2011
8
Re: Replace AGP top rail with deck board rather than going o

pfeazel,
I have replaced the resin top rail with 2X6 treated pine and like the results. I will post some photos when I get a chance. I have not completed the whole deck, but so far I am happy with the results.

Since composite decking is usually 1 inch thick, I think it would look and 'feel' even better than treated wood.
The resin top rail extends below the top of the side wall. The wood does not. It only sits on top, so some of the side wall bracket is exposed.

I did find that the pool does not have nice, consistent angles (or straights), so each piece has to be cut to fit. It takes a while to do, but it does look great.
 

daurand

Member
Jan 18, 2011
8
Re: Replace AGP top rail with deck board rather than going o

I found that the manufacturer of my pool ladder (Confer) makes a conversion kit to go from over the wall, A-frame type ladder to one that mounts to the deck. Saved buying a whole new ladder. Don't have it installed yet, so not sure how well it works.
 

techguy

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 21, 2010
2,697
Antelope, CA
Re: Replace AGP top rail with deck board rather than going o

I built my high deck just under the top seat. Here is a side shot to give you an idea of how much room there is, I have built a section for the kids to jump off of that goes over the top seat. I don't have photos of that right now.

 
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