Michael and I had talked about putting in a swimming pool, pretty much since we moved into our house. We have a large yard, so there was plenty of room to have a pool constructed. We had originally planned on waiting until Gavin was a couple of years older, but we decided now was a good time to go ahead and put in a pool. We had visions of what the finished pool and spa would look like, and the pool designer we worked with was able to come up with a dream pool for our family.
We talked with a couple of pool companies to see what they had to offer and get ideas on prices. We decided to go with Trinity Valley Pools. The pool designer was able to include everything we wanted on the pool, plus he addressed the concerns we had about location and layout. We met to go over the design a couple of times, but it didn’t take too long to decide on a final plan. We wanted a good size spa to go with the pool, plus a few other fun things. I really wanted a waterfall, and the designer added a weeping wall to the design, which makes the whole thing look amazing. We also wanted a tanning ledge with a bubbler, because we thought that would be a great area for Gavin to splash around in the water. The pool design came together very nicely, and we were eager to get started on the construction phase.
The pool excavation took less than a day. The guys doing the work arrived bright and early to get started. They used spray paint to mark the pool boundaries, and after I approved the outline, they began digging. The excavation work went quickly once they got started. This was a fun day for Gavin because we had an excavator in our yard, which was pretty amazing for our toddler. He may not have understood a pool was going in, but he had a blast watching the big equipment work.
STEEL & PIPING
This phase only took a day! Once again, the work crew got to the house early to get started. I’m amazed at how quickly they were able to place all of the steel and plumbing for the pool and spa. We don’t have a huge pool, but it’s a good size. Plus, we have “extras” like the waterfall and weeping wall. Placing the steel just right, and connecting all the pipes for the plumbing was a big job.
This phase of construction also only took a day. After the gunite was sprayed, it really started to come together and look like a pool.
TILE & COPING
We chose to use flagstone for our coping, plus we used it for the decking. We liked the look of the gray stones rather than brown, so we went with Silvermist Flagstone. For the tile, we chose the Verona Tondela Blue – we wanted a blue tile that coordinated well with the flagstone and rocks on the waterfall. The tile and coping took a couple of weeks to complete, though it did rain some during that time, so they were unable to work on those days.
The plumbing was in place from the steel and piping phase. We had our plumber install a gas line for the heater on equipment pad. Additionally, we had a plumber install an auto-fill on the pool. Electricians installed a breaker box at the pool equipment pad and connected all the electrical components.
The plaster took a day to do, and was the final phase before water went into the pool. We used Aquastone Mini Pebble plaster in white.
The day after the plaster was done, we filled the pool. We used a garden hose to fill the spa first, and then started filling the pool. It was the Friday of Father’s Day weekend, and we were ready to start swimming in our new pool. The pool company had a couple of guys come by to set us up and show me a few basic things to get us started. We have a chlorine pool, and I needed to know what to add to get the pool chemistry off to a good start. They also got the waterfall and bubbler settings adjusted, and showed me how to change those. I had a more in depth lesson on the pool chemistry and equipment the following Monday.
THE FINISHED PRODUCT
We are loving our pool! It was finished in mid-June, so we had a few months to really use it. Now, the weather is cooler, so we’ve only been using the spa. The pool can be heated too, but the spa is big enough for the three of us to relax in, so we just use it. Next year we may try keeping the pool heater on this time of year so we can use the pool longer.
I’ve gotten the hang of the pool chemistry and cleaning the pool. Actually, I usually find the pool chemistry and cleaning to be relaxing. We have a pool cleaner that runs in the mornings, and we have two skimmer baskets on the pool, so a lot of debris is caught in those. We have a lot of shade around our pool, which can be a good thing. The downside, is the trees shading the pool are starting to lose their leaves – the pool cleaner is getting a work out in the mornings.
We keep the water features running all day, so each time I go out or look out our back windows, I get to see and hear the waterfall and weeping wall, which really add to the beauty of the pool. We positioned the pool, so that we could see the water features from the kitchen and breakfast area.
We look forward to many years of swimming and relaxing in our pool. Not only is it fun to be in, it’s also a beauty to look at!