Well, it’s time to let the cat out of the bag! We have had quite the home project on our hands since mid-April. We got a pool!!! A pool is something Adam and I have wanted for years and I’m so glad we didn’t put one in at our other house so that we could invest it in now at our “forever” home. When we were looking at this house back in August 2015, we knew the yard would be the perfect yard for a pool and that was another selling point for us.
After we had the baby, we met with a pool company that had recently completed two other pools in our neighborhood to get an idea of size, shape, materials, timing, costs, etc. At that time, Carter was about 8-10 weeks old and we were already into the summer. We got the info and, for the next 6-8 months, talked on and off about the pool. Fast-forward to February/March, randomly, one day, Adam and I both mentioned moving forward with the pool. We decided we wanted to make the investment now so that Carter could grow up enjoying the pool, and us too. We got back in touch with the pool company and had new plans drawn up. They have amazing software that will mimic your house and yard to give you a pretty spot-on idea of what everything will look like when it’s done. This company specializes in gunnite which is the type pool we wanted. We met with the sales rep and decided on everything – size, shape (free form), depth (we went with what’s called a sport bottom pool – it’s deepest in the middle with shallower ends on each side), tile color, pebble finish color (dictates what color the water will be), flagstone type, paver color and style, additional features desired (Cabo ledge was a must for me, additional bench/ledge on the other end of the pool, umbrella holder on the Cabo ledge, spa, etc.).
They finally broke ground the week of my birthday (April 11th) – pretty good birthday present! That same week the roofers were working 12-14 hour days replacing our hail damaged roof/gutters so we had a lot of construction happening at once and the stress level was HIGH.
Within 3 hours of digging, the first problem arose. The utility contractor that came out to mark where the power/gas lines were in the yard had incorrectly marked the power line by 8 FEET. This was a life or death mistake! The excavator broke the conduit and pulled the lines up but didn’t break them. Everyone working just basically walked off leaving it to us to deal with – like literally walked off – they even left the key in the excavator. When I finally spoke with our rep she suggested we move the pool back 8 feet – well that wasn’t an option to us – everything was designed around the pool being where it was being dug. Everything quickly got halted for several days until we could get the utility company back out to repair the line and then we had to pay for an electrical company to relocate the line. Nothing like surprises that lead to more money being spent! Luckily, Adam knew a company from work that was willing to work us into the schedule pretty quick and get us back underway.
Digging happened pretty fast but they over dug one side which changed the shape of the pool. The owner of the company and I went round and round over this and ultimately he ignored my concerns and went forward like a bull in a China shop. For this and many reasons, I would not recommend this company nor will I share their name here to give them any publicity. However, they are a nationwide company with branches in most states so if you’re thinking about putting in a pool, message me and I will share the company we used for you to draw your own conclusions. Throughout the whole pool process, communication with this company was terrible. Our sales rep who was supposed to be our main point of contact was usually 2-3 days behind on what was happening and had incorrect information several times. There would also be long periods of time, I’m talking anywhere from 5-10 days, where we would have beautiful weather and NOTHING would be done on the pool. I’m pretty sure this company’s philosophy is to get as many people “on the hook” for pools and then just do the minimum in order to keep collecting checks. ANYWAY, enough of my irritation!
As the weeks went by, we enjoyed watching the progress (for the most part). They finally finished the digging/shaping and then we waited…
While we waited for progress to take place, we watched the pool fill with rain water… and then be pumped out.. two or three times.
Next came the piping –
The concrete was sprayed and spread out and then shaped to create the Cabo ledge and bench and also the spa and seating. Next came the flagstone – what an art! These guys chipped away until it made a perfect perimeter around the pool and spa. Then they added the flagstone to the sides of the spa. The flagstone turned out beautifully.
The next week they came back and did the decking. We added quite a bit of decking square footage so that we have lots of options for seating and loungers around the pool. I could have watched the guys place the pavers all day – it was really neat to see them piece it together like a giant puzzle and then so effortlessly cut the pavers down to size to make them fit against the flagstone. This process also stirred up even more dust – there was literally at least an inch of dust on our patios and outdoor furniture. Fun cleaning times awaited us!
The gravel was spread to create a foundation for the pavers.
Next came the tile — love the shade of blue we selected!
It was then finally time to add the pebble finish. It was sooo crazy to watch! They had a gun shoot bright blue plaster into the pool. The guys wore special shoes with spikes in order to keep from messing up the work as they went. They shaped and smoothed for hours and the bright blue gradually turned into the color we had picked.
Once this was complete. it was time for the electricians to come install the lights in the pool and spa. We’ve had fun playing with the light options at night. Somehow these guys managed to cut the fiber for internet/cable so that was an added bonus to deal with.
We finally got to the point where we could fill the spa/pool with water! It took about 1.5 days to fill. Once it was filled… we took our first dip! The heater couldn’t be installed right away so it was a chilly first swim. Carter didn’t mind tho, he was so excited to get in.
Three visits later, they finally got the heater installed and working and we got to try out the spa. I think we will really enjoy having the spa once things settle down around here and we get a chance to use it. We did break it in on a Friday night date night a few weeks ago. It was so comical – Adam and I finally got a chance to use it while Carter was fast asleep, we get outside and it starts POURING the rain! The rain drops were massive! We figured what the heck, we were already wet, so we waited it out.
All in all, it took about 3 months to get everything done on the pool. Was it worth all the headache? Yes – we love it and it seems like we have a quality product. Would I use this company again? Not a chance! We’ve had 6 weeks straight of company and it’s nice to have the pool/spa as entertainment. Carter and I try and take a dip a few days after work and we spend a lot of the weekend splashing around.
Over the last 2 weeks, we had a fence installed. That was another drama as well AND they cut the internet/cable fiber, too! I was worried the fence would make the pool area feel too small but I actually like the pool better with it – it doesn’t feel so “wide open” when you’re in the pool. The company we used got the fence up in about 8 hours total.
Next up – landscaping. So far we have met with the landscaper and picked out the river rock we are going to use. If it ever stops raining we will get underway on that project!
Thanks for stopping by – now I’m heading out to take a swim (in between storms)!