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Planning for Your Backyard Pool Party

A pool party is the perfect way to spend a warm summer evening with friends or to celebrate a child’s birthday. However, before inviting other families over for a swim, it’s important to ensure you’ve got all of your bases covered, including ensuring the safety of your guests.

When you have the right deck design and keep safety a top priority, your backyard pool party can go down without a hitch. Following is a look at some fence and deck design considerations to keep in mind when planning to entertain by the pool.

Decking and Fencing for Pools

While most people think of pools in a pleasant, recreational context, in the eyes of the law they can also be a liability. Because pools are considered an “attractive nuisance,” the homeowner is responsible for any injuries that occur during its use – even by an uninvited individual who trespasses into the yard.

For this reason, homeowners with pools often build fences and decks around them to make them more secure. If you’re planning to install a new pool, or are looking to increase the security of an existing one, you may want to consider adding a fence, deck or both.

When choosing fencing and decking materials for your pool, keep in mind they will be exposed to a lot of water, so you’ll want durable materials that can withstand moisture with minimal deterioration. Here’s a look at some pool construction options:

Safe decking. Because an above-ground pool is less expensive and involved than digging a huge hole in your backyard, many homeowners choose to sink a standing pool into a deck to give the impression of a built-in swimming hole. However, a poolside deck design has different requirements than a regular backyard deck.

For starters, you’ll want to use slip-resistant decking materials, such as Endeck PVC decking. Between wet feet and kids splashing water around, some decking materials can get pretty slick – especially if it’s a material that’s prone to mold or mildew growth, such as cedar or composite decking. Endeck boards have a classic wood grain texture and are resistant to mildew and mold, which helps to minimize the chances your guests will slip and become injured.

If you have the space and budget, consider installing a patio cover over part of your deck. Place outdoor furniture, towels, cubbyholes to hold your guests’ items, and a cooler with beverages in this area for your guests to use and enjoy while staying out of the sun’s rays.

Secure fencing. Another important element of your pool is the fence surrounding it. Not only does a fence prevent trespassers – including uninvited neighborhood children – from entering your pool, but it makes it easier for you to monitor who is going in and out of the pool during a party.

A proper pool fence should be at least four feet tall, and children should not be able to climb over or under it. If you’re considering a chain link fence installation for this purpose, make sure the diamond-shaped openings are no larger than 1-3/4 inches so the fence does not offer any foot- or handholds.

The gate should swing away from the pool and have a self-latching lock. Consider installing an alarm that sounds whenever the gate opens, as this will alert you whenever a child opens the gate.

Other Pool Party Tips

Once you’re comfortable with the infrastructure around your pool, it’s time to start planning the party. Following are some pool party planning ideas:

  • Dress up your pool area with tiki statues, garden flamingoes, inflatable palm trees and acrylic flowers. Cover your outdoor chair and couch cushions with pillows and slipcovers made of brightly colored terry cloth or a hibiscus floral print to continue the tropical theme.
  • Place side tables next to each chair so guests don’t have to put their plates and cups on the ground. Place sunscreen and a waterproof disposable camera on each side table.
  • Decorate large tables with grass skirts, bouquets made of fruit, tropical flowers and seashells. Add to the look with serving platters shaped like clamshells, fish, hibiscus flowers or surfboards.

By planning ahead and keeping safety in mind, you can effortlessly make a big splash at your next pool party.

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