Friday, June 2, 2017

The Metamorphosis of Our Pool

This post has been almost 2 years in the making, so it is going to be a little long-winded and picture heavy, but worth the wait to see the transformation, I promise.

As I've mentioned in previous posts, our house came with an in-ground pool, which was actually a huge selling point for us. We knew we either wanted a pool or a yard big enough to put a pool in.
(This is a picture from the house listing.)

The pool itself was great, but all the concrete around it and the tile inside was not-so-great! The original owners of the house had the pool installed back in the mid 90's. You could tell they enjoyed the pool and the yard. They planted a lot of trees and flowers and gardened often. However, the second owners, the owners before us, did not take care of the house or the yard and let it all get over-grown and let the house fall into dis-repair. They only opened the pool one year while living there and just didn't really take care of anything. They had the pool blue when it was up for sale, but as soon as our offer was accepted, they let it go and this is what it looked like when we closed.

Pretty gross right?

It was September of 2015 when we closed on our house, right past Labor Day. (Here in the Midwest, pools are open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.) So we started calling around to see what we needed to do to get the pool closed. They said we needed to get it blue and clear again and we took the steps necessary to do that before they came out to close it. We also got the yard cleaned up as best we could so you can see that looks much better as well.

It definitely looked better at that point, but as you can see in this close-up above, the concrete was in terrible shape and so was the coping and the tile.

So we had the pool closed for the Winter, thinking we'd probably get it back open in the Summer of 2016, but with so much work needing to be done to the inside of the house, it just didn't happen.

So it sat closed for 2 Winters. The cover we had them use was just probably meant for 1 Winter, so towards the end, it was starting rip and fray in spots and ended up looking horrible by the time we were ready to start work on it.

We had several companies come out and give bids on all the concrete and pool work that needed to be done. After choosing the company we wanted to work with, they came out May 10th to start working on it in hopes it would be ready by Memorial Day.
(This picture was taken on May 10th, the day the concrete company came to start work on the pool.)

There was a lot of work to be done and with rain, we just barely made it to having it open for Memorial Day. They took out all the old concrete, took out the walk-way from the patio to the stairs going down to the pool, took out the old retaining wall on the right side of the stairs and put in a new one on both sides. They also put in new coping and new tile around the pool and then stained the stairs to match the rest of the concrete. Before they could lay new concrete, my Dad had to get all the electric work done behind the scenes and we had to get the pool drained, cleaned out and power-washed which was quite a gross chore as you can imagine. It was a stressful few weeks to say the least, but I'm so happy with how it all turned out!!

(Here they are, starting to tear out all the concrete.)

(And this was after demo-day!) 

They started on a Wednesday, but due to rain, they couldn't come back out until the following Monday. So that weekend, we got the pool all drained and cleaned out, while my Dad worked on fixing and re-burying the electric lines.

That next week they worked on the retaining walls and getting the area around the pool staked out for the concrete and the gravel laid to go under the concrete.

By the end of that week it was finally starting to look like something. :-)

The following week they worked on getting all the tile around the top edge of the pool in and grouted.

And they also staked out where the coping would go.

I love the way the retaining walls turned out.

We had to power wash the inside of the pool again that weekend because of all the grout and dirt that ended up in the pool from the previous weeks worth of work.

The following Monday was the exciting day. It was finally time for concrete!!

 By the end of that Monday, they had all the concreted poured, stamped and stained. Yay!

The next day they came out to power wash the concrete, which made it look even better.

And the next day, they came out to seal the concrete which again, made it look even better. After sealing it we had to wait a day or two and then we power washed the inside one last time and started filling it up with water. We dropped the hose in on Thursday evening after work and it ran all night Thursday night, all day and night Friday and all day and night Saturday before it was actually full. The pool company we use came out Friday to transfer the pump from chlorine to salt water. We had heard so many great things about salt water pools that we decided to go that route.

So by Friday night we were all set and ready to go, we just had to wait for the pool to be full and by Sunday, it was looking ever so nice and inviting. :-)

We partied in it all weekend and are looking forward to so many more.

Although we love the transformation so far, there are still some things that need to be done in the backyard to get it where we want it. We plan to start on the railing for the stairs this weekend which will look much better and be much safer. We also had someone out to get a bid on laying sod all around where there is dirt now because of the construction and to also replace the retaining wall above the pool that is now mismatched. Next year we'd like to have the inside of the pool re-finished which would make it a dark gray to match everything else, so we're looking forward to that. Over the next few years we want to replace the fence with a white vinyl fence and we also want to replace the upper deck and make it big enough to cover the lower patio.

So that's a wrap, at least for now. :-) We are so happy with the work done so far and are really enjoying the pool. We can't wait to enjoy it all Summer long and for many Summers to come.