Let’s face it - the swimming pool cover is rarely as pretty as the pool itself. They make having a pool safer for your family and the neighborhood, but you lose all of that yard space when the pool is covered up...not to mention that some pool covers can be an eyesore. That is unless you have a sliding deck pool cover. A sliding deck pool cover is exactly what it sounds like: a removable pool cover that is also a deck. Just take a look for yourself. Some of them even provide enough support for furniture, dinner parties, or even dancing, and people might not be able to guess that you have a swimming pool when the cover is on. At River Pools, we’ve worked on countless pool designs over the years, so we’ve seen it all when it comes to swimming pool covers and accessories. In this article, we’ll compare sliding deck pool covers to other inground pool covers, break down the price, and explore some of the pros and cons of going with this design. Sliding deck pool covers (also known as roller decks and mobile decks) are generally considered safe because they provide a stable barrier between the pool water and the surrounding area. In other words, there’s no way your toddler is going to move the deck and get to the pool on their own. While there are different design and operating options for mobile decks, small children should find it difficult to access the pool with either manual or automatic cover designs. As an added safety precaution, automatic mobile deck pool covers typically require a key or code to operate, leaving very little chance for misuse.
Are Sliding Deck Pool Covers Safe?
Let’s face it - the swimming pool cover is rarely as pretty as the pool itself.
They make having a pool safer for your family and the neighborhood, but you lose all of that yard space when the pool is covered up...not to mention that some pool covers can be an eyesore.
That is unless you have a sliding deck pool cover.
A sliding deck pool cover is exactly what it sounds like: a removable pool cover that is also a deck.
Just take a look for yourself.
Some of them even provide enough support for furniture, dinner parties, or even dancing, and people might not be able to guess that you have a swimming pool when the cover is on.
At River Pools, we’ve worked on countless pool designs over the years, so we’ve seen it all when it comes to swimming pool covers and accessories. In this article, we’ll compare sliding deck pool covers to other inground pool covers, break down the price, and explore some of the pros and cons of going with this design.
Sliding deck pool covers (also known as roller decks and mobile decks) are generally considered safe because they provide a stable barrier between the pool water and the surrounding area. In other words, there’s no way your toddler is going to move the deck and get to the pool on their own.
While there are different design and operating options for mobile decks, small children should find it difficult to access the pool with either manual or automatic cover designs.
As an added safety precaution, automatic mobile deck pool covers typically require a key or code to operate, leaving very little chance for misuse.
Manual rolling decks usually have safety locks to keep them from sliding around when the pool is open. When the pool is closed, the deck cover will likely be too bulky and heavy for a small child to move, especially with the locks back in place.
How Much Does a Sliding Deck Pool Cover Cost?
One drawback for many people is that pool decks can be costly. By that, we mean it can cost as much as your swimming pool, sometimes more. Automatic sliding pool deck covers that can support the weight of people and outdoor furniture can cost $25,000 to $75,000 and up for residential-sized pools. However, some sliding pool decks can cost much more depending on the manufacturer or builder.
The smaller the pool, the more affordable it should be, but the cost of your pool deck cover will also vary by builder or manufacturer. Manual designs may be more affordable in general as well.
Keep in mind that the more weight the deck needs to support, the more it will probably cost.
Compare the cost of a mobile deck with other pool covers below:
Sliding deck pool cover
$25,000 - $75,000
Automatic pool cover
$12,000 - $22,000
Solid vinyl security cover
$1,200 - $3,000
Mesh security cover
$1,200 - $3,000
Tarp winter cover
$75 - $225
What Are the Sliding Deck Pool Cover Advantages?
They Create More Space
One key advantage of owning a sliding pool deck cover is the extra space that you get back. If your mobile deck can support furniture and the weight of several people, you can use it for virtually anything that you want. The best part is that you likely won’t have to move your furniture when you want to open and close the pool.
They Can Save Energy
Sliding deck pool covers also help to prevent evaporation and keep heat from escaping. This can dramatically reduce energy costs and keep your swimming pool warm in the process.
These sturdy security covers are very good at keeping unwanted guests out, and they keep out dirt and debris that change the chemistry of the water and cause stains.
They Look Nice
Sliding pool deck covers are among the most attractive, if not the most attractive, pool cover options available. When the pool is open, no one will know that your poolside deck is actually a cover. And when the pool is closed, no one will know that you have a pool!
There’s almost no way (at least that we can think of) that a small child can get under the wooden deck and into the pool unless they have access to the operation panel or can move the deck. Hiding the pool may also reduce the temptation for children to try to access the pool on their own.
They Last a Long Time
Sliding deck pool covers are sturdy and can last many years. Compare this to the vinyl used with automatic pool covers, which needs to be replaced about every five years and costs $2,000 to $4,000 each time. Solid vinyl security covers can last 6-10 years and cost $1,200-$3,000 to replace. Tarp winter covers have the shortest lifespan at only 1-3 years and cost between $75 and $225 to replace.
You can read more about your different pool cover options here.
Want to see how much a new pool project might cost with a sliding cover, or any other accessories and options you might want? Try our Design and Price tool now! It'll help you understand the price ranges for fiberglass pools of all sorts of shapes and sizes, with a wide range of potential add-ons and features. Start customizing your perfect pool by clicking the button below:
What Are the Disadvantages of Having a Sliding Deck Pool Cover?
Most people are concerned about the cost and for good reason. A sliding pool deck cover can cost as much as or more than the swimming pool itself. However, they are very effective, look great, and last a long time.
Your Poolside Features May Be Limited
You may not want to get a sliding deck pool cover if you are thinking about getting a pool slide, a diving board, a handrail, rock features, or water features. Anything that’s installed very close to the pool could obstruct the cover’s path and prevent it from fully closing over the pool opening. This would make it both ineffective and unsafe.
They’re Not Very Compatible with Large Pools
A sliding deck may also not be the best choice for very large swimming pools. In general, they work better with narrower, small to medium-sized pools. You also have to consider the fact that the larger your pool is the more space you’ll need to remove the deck cover. As a general rule and for most designs, you’ll need double the area of your swimming pool to accommodate both the pool and a rolling deck.
Sliding Deck Pool Covers vs Automatic Covers
If you like the convenience of being able to open and close your pool with the push of a button, you might find yourself torn between a rolling deck and a traditional automatic pool cover. There are a few key differences that you should consider, including:
- Automatic pool covers cost $12,000 to $22,000 on average, whereas sliding deck pool covers can cost double or triple and even tenfold that price to build. You’ll also need an engineer to approve the design and make sure that its load-bearing capabilities are suitable for what you want to do with it. For example, some can be walked on but aren’t sturdy enough for furniture or using as a disco dance floor. Other models with industrial designs can support almost any activity.
- Sliding deck pool covers may be a little bit easier to maintain. You won’t have to continually remove water with a pump or watch as cautiously for snow and ice buildup in the winter (read about automatic cover winter maintenance here). You also won’t have to worry as much about the water level, though it’s a good idea not to let your water level get too low.
- Sliding deck pool covers aren’t as prone to damage as automatic pool covers (a tree branch in a wind storm can easily tear an automatic pool cover while a wood deck would be able to withstand the blow.)
- Automatic pool covers work best with rectangular designs while sliding deck pool covers can work with a wide range of shapes. They tend to look better with linear pool models, but you shouldn’t have a problem installing one over a freeform pool.
Sliding Deck Pool Cover Designs
You might be surprised to learn about the number of options that you’ll have if you decide to build a sliding deck cover for your pool. Let’s take a look at some of the current popular choices:
Pool cover that opens from both sides of the pool
Single piece sliding deck pool cover
Sliding deck that opens from both ends of the pool
Pool deck cover that folds upwards to save space
Nesting deck pool cover
Or, as an alternative option you can choose:
A cover that has removable deck panels
A retractable turf pool cover
Side note: Sliding deck pool covers are perfect for fiberglass swimming pools. Why? Fiberglass pools are typically no wider than 16 feet, making a sliding deck both manageable and affordable for pools in this size range.
Want to learn more about fiberglass pools? Check out our extensive video library, try out our pool pricing calculator, or request custom pricing using the button below.
You can also download our free ebook or browse our fiberglass pool models online.
Is a Sliding Deck Pool Cover Right for You?
A sliding deck pool cover is a top choice for many pool shoppers, especially those who have big budgets and small yards, or those who want to make the most of their outdoor space.
However, sliding deck pool covers may not be the best fit for everyone. Let’s see if it’s a good match for your needs.
You might want to get a sliding deck pool cover if…
- You can spend at least $25,000 on it (manual options may be cheaper, but always be prepared for higher costs with designs like these).
- You have enough space for the cover to open (double the size of your pool).
- You don't want a slide, waterfall, or any features that would obstruct the path of the pool deck.
- You want a simple, linear pool design (freeform designs are compatible but don't always look as nice).
- You want a pool that's around 16 feet wide or smaller.
- You want to hide your pool to deter unwanted guests from trying to break in for a swim.
If you answered “yes” to most of these points, a mobile deck could be the right choice for you. Your next step would be to get in touch with an engineer and a sliding deck pool cover manufacturer or builder to learn more about cost, installation, and requirements for getting one in your backyard.
Have any other questions? Feel free to ask away in the comments below!
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Some advantages of automatic pool covers include: minimizing heat transfer, reducing evaporation, keeping the pool clean, and increased safety. Some disadvantages of automatic pool covers include: restricted chemical movement, overheating, collecting rainwater, ongoing maintenance, and, of course, cost.What are the pros and cons of automatic pool covers? ›
Some advantages of automatic pool covers include: minimizing heat transfer, reducing evaporation, keeping the pool clean, and increased safety. Some disadvantages of automatic pool covers include: restricted chemical movement, overheating, collecting rainwater, ongoing maintenance, and, of course, cost.Are automatic pool covers worth the expense? ›
Lots of insurance companies consider an automatic pool cover safer than a fence. An automatic pool can also mean big energy savings! This will help keep your pool warmer and maybe allow you to keep the pool open for longer.How much does a R3tract pool cover cost? ›
Our R3tract pool covers typically start at $50,000. The cost to install a bespoke sliding deck pool cover can quickly rise to $75,000 or even $100,000 or more, depending on the size and shape of your pool, the type of mechanism you want to use, deck materials and finishes, and other factors.How much does a rolling deck cost? ›
Rolling deck covers are typically priced somewhere between $25,000 and $75,000.What is the disadvantage of pool cover? ›
Lack of space
Depending on the design of your pool cover, you'll require some space to store it safely out of the way. Most covers now can be built under a deck or even as part of the deck, but if your space is restrictive this can prevent you from installing any form of cover.
Most automatic safety pool covers on average last 4 to 6 years if you maintain them properly. We recommend that you buy a pool cover that comes with a pro-rated warranty. That way, you can always ask for a replacement if you notice issues within a few weeks of purchase.Do automatic pool covers work in winter? ›
In summary, automatic pool covers can be used as winter covers if proper precautions are in place to prevent accidental damage. If you choose to cover your pool with an additional winter cover, the automatic cover should be cleaned and rolled up in the cover box.Is solar cover better than auto cover? ›
A safety cover does a better job than the solar cover does when it comes to protecting the pool from dirt, debris, and evaporation. The solar cover will heat the pool water during the day better than a safety cover, but the safety cover will contain all heat in a 24-hour time frame better.Can you walk on automatic pool covers? ›
The automatic pool cover can be walked on, but for the main purpose of rescuing someone or removing fallen leaves, twigs and other debris. However, it is not meant to be jumped on or played on. Putting the weight on the cover excessively or frequently can damage it over time.
Mesh covers typically last longer than vinyl covers. I've found the average lifespan for a mesh cover to be 10–15 years. Mesh covers do not need a pump on top because they just let the pool water pass through. Since there's no pump, mesh covers generally require no work during the offseason.How many years should a pool cover last? ›
Typically, a good-quality solid safety pool cover lasts from five to ten years, depending on how often it is used and how much it is exposed to many elements such as dirt and sunlight. Pool covers offer several benefits such as: Preventing drowning and other related accidents.What is a hybrid pool cover? ›
Hybrid pool covers are somewhere between a mesh cover and a solid pool cover. Hybrid covers let water through, but also block debris and UV rays. They can be used as safety covers when correctly installed. This kind of pool cover is usually the most expensive option though, so they might not be in your budget!How much does a 10x20 deck cost? ›
|Size||Pressure-treated wood Average cost||Composite decking Average cost|
So, why are decks so expensive? Labor, building materials, and extra fees like removal, permits, and demolition all add up to create a price that maybe you did not expect.How much does a 20 x20 composite deck cost? ›
|Deck Size (In Feet)||Low Cost||Average Cost|
Color. “A UV-protected, translucent blue color offers a better balance between heat retention and pool chemical protection,” Dobrica says, adding that a clear cover will warm the pool water the most, but it will also allow more UV rays, which can make chlorine less effective as a disinfectant.What is the best material for pool cover? ›
One of the most common materials used in manufacturing a pool cover is polyethylene, which happens to be the most produced and most versatile type of plastic. It is also known for its combination of light weight, strength and durability, that's why it is the base material of almost all pool covers.What is the best thing to cover a pool with? ›
Depending on how thick the material is, vinyl covers are typically used in higher quality winter and safety covers. Dean says, “I recommend it for most pool owners since it will save you safety headaches and some maintenance costs over time.”Is it OK to leave pool cover on all day? ›
In dry and/or windy conditions, the evaporation rate of the pool increases. Therefore, it is generally beneficial to have a transparent or bubble cover on during daylight hours. In warm, humid conditions the evaporation rate decreases. In this case, it may be more beneficial to leave the cover off during the daytime.
Your pool water level should not be too low, as the water must support the cover in situations where you receive a heavy snowfall. At the same time, ideally you don't want the water to touch the underside of the cover under general conditions as that contact will create a wet spot where debris will accumulate.Should you cover pool every night? ›
Pop quiz: should you cover your pool every night? If you want your pool to be ready for swimming tomorrow, yes, you should! Don't underestimate how powerful a simple solar cover can be: according to In the Swim, a properly fitting cover can reduce up to 95% of heat loss.Does a pool heat up faster with the auto cover on or off? ›
An automatic pool cover is one of the best ways to prevent pool heat loss because it keeps the warm water inside your pool and keeps cold air out so the water maintains a consistently comfortable temperature. Pool covers can reduce your pool heating costs by up to 70% by reducing evaporation.How much weight does an automatic pool cover hold? ›
Automatic pool covers are rated to hold around 2,000 pounds, which is a lot of weight. However, snow, ice, and water can be very heavy, too, especially if it becomes concentrated in one area.Is clear or blue solar cover better? ›
Blue covers absorb some UV rays themselves, so they retain heat while transferring less of it into the water than clear covers (2). Dark colors absorb a lot more heat than lighter ones because they absorb more light energy. Winner: Clear covers retain more heat because they hold less heat themselves.What is the difference between a pool cover and a solar cover? ›
Solar pool covers work – but it's important to keep in mind that these types of covers serve a very different purpose than other types of covers. Unlike other pool covers (such as safety covers, winter covers, and automatic covers), solar swimming pool covers are designed to absorb and retain sunlight and heat.Does a solar cover work better with the pump on or off? ›
The pool cover does not have any effect on the pool pump circulating water around the pool. In fact, we would recommend it as it reduces the number of hours that the pump needs to be run and therefore extends the lifespan of your pool pump.Can automatic pool cover motor get wet? ›
More recently, manufacturers have been making submersible motors that won't break down if they get wet. But even that extra precaution can't save every motor from water damage. Experts recommend letting the motor dry out before attempting to work it again.Can an automatic pool cover be opened manually? ›
Can the cover be opened/closed manually? Yes, it can .Should pool cover be tight or loose? ›
How Tight Should a Safety Cover Be? Safety covers should be drum-tight, with only a slight deflection in the middle. When covers are too loose, leaves can blow under easily, and a high water level in springtime quickly traps leaves and turns your cover into a giant tea bag.
The simple answer is they should face down, always. The way they heat your pool is through the sun warming up the air that is trapped in the bubbles. The heat is therefore then transferred into your pool. Thus, this is why your pool blanket should always face down.How much bigger should my pool cover be? ›
Most pool covers will be cut slightly larger than the size of the pool, so don't factor in any extra space. When stuck between sizes, order a size up. If you're in doubt, measure the pool's dimensions again.Should I leave pool cover off in winter? ›
It is best to switch your pool to winter mode and cover it entirely for the winter season. This may involve investing in a pool cover which will keep dirt, leaves and debris out of your pool whilst also reducing energy costs by approximately 80 per cent.Does water seep through pool cover? ›
Water displacement in above ground pools is quite common. Over the winter, the weight of the snow and ice push down on the cover, which can cause the cover to displace some of the pool water. The displaced water spills out harmlessly onto the deck, unbeknownst to the pool owners.How much money will I save with a pool cover? ›
A Cover-Pools pool cover can save you up to 70% on pool operating costs by acting as a passive solar heater, preventing unnecessary evaporation of both water and chemicals and keeping dirt and debris out of your pool reducing cleaning, maintenance costs and overall wear on pool equipment.What is GeoBubble pool cover? ›
Description. The Thermal GeoBubble Cover uses the sun's rays to gradually warm the entire pool, using solar energy only. It floats on the surface of the water, bubble side down, and can be trimmed to fit all pool sizes and shapes. This cover can be accessorised with a Rollup Station to aid use.What is smart shield for pools? ›
BioGuard Smart Shield forms an ultra thin, invisible barrier on the surface of your pool to reduce evaporation. Limiting evaporation conserves pool water & preserves heat. Regular use of Smart Shield will extend the swim season without the hassle of traditional solar blankets.What is a trampoline pool cover? ›
These covers look sort of like a trampoline. Spring-loaded straps connect to the cover and anchor it into the concrete to hold it in place. Security covers come in two types: mesh and solid.How much does a 14x20 covered deck cost? ›
|Deck Size||Deck Price Range|
|10x10||$3,000 - $6,500|
|12x12||$4,500 - $9,000|
|14x20||$8,500 - $17,000|
|20x20||$12,000 - $24,000|
A 12x16 deck gives you room enough to break your space into zones for everyone in the family. Let the teens hang with their squad while you and your BFFs huddle in our deep seats. Boost the ambiance even more with a grill or an umbrella.
'An average size deck is 12x16-ft. and the cost ranges from $5,000-$11,000, including labor, and depends on the products you select and other variables like design and complexity,' say Egypt Sherrod & Mike Jackson of HGTV's Married to Real Estate.What is the cheapest way to do a deck? ›
Pressure-treated wood is generally the cheapest material to build decks from. For up-front savings, that seems great, but don't forget long-term costs. Wood decks require yearly maintenance such as staining or painting, and they'll often break down quite quickly if you fall behind on maintenance.How much should I budget for a deck? ›
The average cost to build a deck is $20 – $50 per square foot. This includes both decking material and labor costs—with anywhere from half to two-thirds of the expense coming from the latter.Is Trex slippery when wet? ›
Trex decking is a low-maintenance decking solution that requires a fraction of the work of wood decks and is less likely to get slippery when wet. It still requires occasional attention to keep it looking its best, but you'll be delighted with the finished results.Is TimberTech better than Trex? ›
TimberTech composite decking is more resistant to harsh weather, the hot sun, and moisture, but even the basic Trex deck board shows higher resistance to scratches. TimberTech also has a shallower embossment than Trex, and according to TimberTech, their composite decking lines look more natural that their competition.Are automatic pool covers good for winter? ›
In summary, automatic pool covers can be used as winter covers if proper precautions are in place to prevent accidental damage. If you choose to cover your pool with an additional winter cover, the automatic cover should be cleaned and rolled up in the cover box.Why get an automatic pool cover? ›
Automatic covers reduce the amount of energy needed for the filtration of the pool. Electricity is required to run the pool pump and filter. An automatic cover keeps dirt and debris out of your pool, saving up to 50% on electricity because the filtration equipment can be operated much less frequently.What type of winter pool cover is best? ›
Depending on how thick the material is, vinyl covers are typically used in higher quality winter and safety covers. Dean says, “I recommend it for most pool owners since it will save you safety headaches and some maintenance costs over time.”What is the best way to cover a pool for winter? ›
Winter Pool Cover: A plain cover (sometimes even just a tarp) laid over the pool, and secured on the deck with water-filled bags. On above ground pools, a winter cover sits on top of the pool and is secured to the walls with cable tied through grommets and tightened with a winch.Can an automatic pool cover be installed later? ›
The good news is that most inground pools can add an automatic pool cover at any time, meaning it's not too late for your inground pool to enjoy all the added benefits an automatic pool cover provides.
In dry and/or windy conditions, the evaporation rate of the pool increases. Therefore, it is generally beneficial to have a transparent or bubble cover on during daylight hours. In warm, humid conditions the evaporation rate decreases. In this case, it may be more beneficial to leave the cover off during the daytime.How much weight can an automatic pool cover hold? ›
Automatic pool covers are rated to hold around 2,000 pounds, which is a lot of weight. However, snow, ice, and water can be very heavy, too, especially if it becomes concentrated in one area.Are black solar covers better than blue? ›
Color: Solar pool covers come in many colors, including clear, light blue, silver, dark blue or black. Choosing the right color is important, because it determines how effective the cover is at transferring heat and blocking UV rays. A clear color is best for heat gain, while a dark color is better for heat retention.Is it bad to leave the solar cover on all the time? ›
No. You should never leave a solar cover rolled up in the sun – even for a short period of time. The nature of a bubble cover is to allow the suns rays to penetrate through the bubbles.