Creating a Deck Around an Above-ground Pool or Spa

Reference Number: KB-00852
Last Modified: March 28, 2017

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors


My clients need a deck built around their existing above-ground pool. How can I design it for them in Chief?


You can easily drop a pool or spa into a deck by specifying part of the deck room as "Open Below".

outside above ground pool in deck

To drop a pool into a deck platform

  1. Open the plan in which you would like to position a pool or spa in a deck platform. 

  2. If you have not done so already, select View> Library Browser  from the menu, then select an above ground pool to place in your plan. Move your cursor into the drawing area and click to place the pool at that location.

    • A selection of pools and related objects can be found in the Pools, Spas & Waterfront library as well as in the Bonus Pools library.

    • In this example, Exteriors> Recreation> Pools, Spas, & Waterfront> Pools> Oval Pools> Oval Above Ground Pool - Large is used.

  3. Click the Select Objects  button, then click on the pool to select it and click the Open Object  edit button.  On the General panel of the Fixture Specification dialog:


    • Specify the size of the actual pool used in your project.

    • Make a note of the pool's Height value and click OK.

  4. Select Build> Railing and Deck> Straight Deck Railing  from the menu, then click and drag to draw deck railings around the pool, creating a Deck room.


  5. Click the Select Objects  button, then click on the deck railings and move them as needed to create a deck of the desired size and position.

  6. Select Build> Wall> Room Divider  from the menu, then click and drag to draw a second room entirely inside the first one. Trace along the edges of your pool.

    • If your pool is round or has rounded edges, you can instead use the Curved Deck Edge  tool and then make your railing walls invisible.

    • To learn how to create a perfectly round room, see the Related Articles section at the bottom of this article.

  7. Using the edit handles, position the deck edges so that they align with the outside edges of the pool symbol.


  8. An invisible wall or room divider is automatically drawn any time you draw a room inside of another room.  This is to avoid an issue with creating open below rooms inside of other rooms.

  9. Click the Select Objects  button, then click in an empty space in the larger rectangular deck room to select the deck room and click the Open Object  edit button. 

    • On the Structure panel of the Room Specification dialog, specify the Floor as the same or slightly less than the pool's Height value, then click OK.
    • In this example, the pool's Height is 55 7/8", and the Floor height for the deck is specified as 50". 

  10. With the Select Objects  tool still selected, click in the new Deck room, that encompasses the pool, to select it and click the Open Object  edit button.

    It is likely that you will select the pool instead of the room first.  Click the
    Select Next Object  edit button or press the Tabkey until the room is selected. 

  11. In the Room Specification dialog:

  • On the General panel of the Room Specification dialog, select Open Below from the Room Type drop-down list.

  • On the Structure panel, uncheck Roof Over This Room

  • Click OK to close the dialog and apply your changes. 

  • Select 3D> Create Perspective View> Full Overview  from the menu to see the results.