My parents have a new favorite child. You think I might be joking. You would be wrong.
Three summers ago, they made the big decision to invest in a backyard pool and now it has taken the crown from me and my siblings as the new beloved one. I can understand though. The heat and humidity are brutal here in Atlanta. And pools are everywhere.
I guess I should give you a little glimpse into our lives first. You should know, we are pool people. Big time pool lovers, pool workers, pool everything. My grandparents had a pool that we loved growing up. My parents had a pool installed in New Jersey when we were in our second house. And when we moved to Georgia, we moved into this neighborhood that had a pool two doors down. Growing up, my siblings and I swam year round competitively. We ended up all getting life guard certified and working all over Atlanta, managing pools, teaching swim lessons and coaching summer league teams. So you can imagine the shock when we heard that the neighborhood pool was closing and getting filled in because the Homeowners Association couldn’t afford to keep the insurance policy. I think there were real tears that day.
So my parents decided to get a pool in the backyard and I tagged along for the ride (just to learn the process and see what it entails!). Hopefully one day, Jeremy and I can get a pool of our own but they are really expensive so I know it won’t be anytime soon.
Okay…so this is my parents backyard circa 2011….
And now this is what it looked like at the end of last summer….
Mom and Dad first had to research pool companies and landed on one that had lots of referrals. The company encouraged the homeowners to visit past pools built so that the new pool-owners-to-be could see different shapes, different stones, different concrete patterns, different extras (like a diving board vs. diving rock), different pool colors and different tiles. I think my parents went to about ten different pools (I tagged along to about 6 of them) and everyone who had a pool had a various combination of colors and textures. It was very interesting!
In my parent’s backyard, they had to choose what best suited them but they also needed to have a couple trees taken down, a shed moved and a fence installed.
In the end, they LOVE their new pool though.
My mom is gonna be so embarrassed of these before photos but seriously….landscaping in Georgia can be ridiculous. We have some years where we are on water bans so all your plants die or you get charged a bazillion dollars for summer time watering. And the dirt here is a mixture of granite rock and red clay. You have to spend a small fortune to get real dirt.
After they had the trees taken down, the shed was moved and then the excavator started with the hole. There also needed to be power lines dug and additional plumbing run from the house…so you can imagine how fast the expense builds up. My mom dug up a lot of plants and gave some away and transplanted some too.
Once the hole was dug, the crew also had to grade the yard properly so that the concrete decking would be correct.
It rained really frequently the months that this project happened, so when it came concrete, there was a lot of ‘extra’ pours. The pool itself was dug in one day! Then the crew had to run all the plumbing parts, install rebar for stability and make sure everything was right for the concrete to be poured.
Here it is as the concrete was formed and you could really start to see the pool…
On the front right hand side, my parents decided to get a shelf….basically a shallow area that is only about a foot deep so that little ones could sit and play. I voted for a huge shelf because I knew I wanted to have lots of babies….but I got vetoed because it’s not my pool. My parents keep me in line like that.
The pool itself goes from four feet to eight feet and then it also has a ‘spa’ or a hot tub built in. The coolest part is that my dad can adjust his hot tub from the house with his remote control. I know. He’s such a dude.
Once the walls are built and the basic structure are done, that is where all those pool-visits come into play. My parents opted for a lighter blue pebble bottom and then natural red-toned stone for the edge. The two were married with the tile that goes around the edge with a dark blue, gray and red tile. It helps tie everything together.
Hello shirtless Jeremy 🙂
So far, the favorite part has been the spa. The kids love it. And it’s nice that the parents can sit in it and still be comfortable too while the little ones play.
Overall, it has been a nice thing for family get-togethers and it really helped open Jeremy and I’s eyes to the advantages of having a pool….especially a salt-water one. We even went on Pinterest to see what we could DIY….much to our dismay, there aren’t a whole lot of really attractive DIYed in-ground pools out there so we understand why this one cost so much (I think my parents from start to finish, including sod and fencing and everything, this bad boy cost about $60K!). We hear that pools are not a huge return-on-investment, so we are gonna milk this thing dry in the fun factors!
So are you a pool person? Do you have one? A neighborhood pool? Anybody out there with a different experience on pool building? I find this subject fascinating….probably because we are already getting a taste of hot weather down here….so I need DETAILS!