Pool Party Prep (It's Not What You Think)
I'm not sure if I have ever revealed the real reason that we moved to our home in Connecticut- gaining more space was important, needing additional privacy did feel necessary, and a more family friendly environment had become a priority, but what ACTUALLY brought us here was... a pool!
That's right, we decided to move to the suburbs so that we could host pool parties ; ) And my very hip, but very mom friendly (aka one piece) swimsuit will make it's debut splash this weekend!
Here is a reminder of what we were starting with when we bought the house last summer (so you fully understand the "situation," you should know that the cover of the pool hadn't even been lifted for at least 5 YEARS!!)
Luckily we hired someone to begin the repairs immediately after closing on the property, though we were all still very unsure of exactly what we'd find when the pool was finally drained of years of gunky water and debris. And I wish we could say that we were surprised when the worst case scenario was what we discovered: nothing could be salvaged, except the dirt hole! But, we dove right on in and had the "pool guys" start from scratch, leaving us with an entirely new structure, equipment, plumbing, and electrical.
Yet, the process was not without some major speedbumps... One being that the main gas line to the house was hit, leaving us stranded and anxiously waiting in our car on a cold rainy night with our two dogs and toddler until the gas company deemed our home safe to re-enter (after having replaced the damaged pipes).
Another challenge was that the entire pool surround or decking, was completely destroyed (this was something that we intended to salvage, but you will see in the pictures below that we'll have to re pour concrete over what's left). Additionally, the landscaping was totally ignored during the repair process, which meant we'd have to move a bunch of bushes around to help them regain their health.
I should also mention that because the job wasn't fully completed until the end of November, we had to close up the pool without having worked on anything other than the pool itself, and believe it or not, we closed it ONE day before the first frost!
So, this is what the pool looked like after the snow melted (prepare yourself, it's not pretty)...
My husband and I got straight to work removing the large rocks and leftover construction materials while also leveling out the earth. And after adding new topsoil we spread the grass seed, peat moss and fertilizer. We raked, weeded and relocated many of the shrubs and I was even able to salvage two large pots by spraying them a matte black, and adding ferns from Lowes. The dilapidated gazebo was taken down, all of the old lamp posts were dug up and the non functioning electrical wiring (some of which was buried, some of which was sitting atop the ground!) was dug up and discarded. Next, I power washed the area like my life depended on it. We then hired a fence company to remove the rickety, rotting and so-not-to-code white fence and install a chic black aluminum number. And finally, we added the furniture.
The grass is steadily growing in and it currently looks a lot less patchy. We also have a landscaper coming out to construct a retaining wall, build steps and add lots of plants to the area that is strictly dirt at the moment (although we would love to do everything ourselves, at this point we are working on so many projects that we simply cannot). This, with the addition of a few more accessories (which I've pictured below), should have us ready for summer parties in no time! The only thing we'll have left to worry about is "wine or margaritas?"
Pool party anyone?!