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  • Writer's pictureKiersten

Pool Construction Recap: Week 5

Week five was lit!! Literally. Pool lights are in! Ok bad jokes aside, we're officially swimming!! We're winding down on our pool-specific construction and moving on to the other yard related additions and rehab before we can call this project officially complete! Just a few quick updates this week.

Getting the Pool Lights and Automation Working

The crew worked into dark one evening getting us all officially "plugged in." Our pool filtration, heater and lights are all connected within the electrical box and they got everything running so that it is all controllable from a central command box, and even our phones!

connecting pool electric components for automation at night

The most exciting part of course was getting the lights to work. We've got four LED lights in the pool and we got to play with their different "themes." From "voodoo lounge" and "cabaret" to "tranquility" and "USA" there's a light show ready for any reason. Wanna guess my favorite? Plain white. Obviously! :)

Livia teaching us about the command center

Was fun to watch them get things connected, turning things on and off and making a crazy light show in the backyard. The kids of course all got in - Blue Iowa Pool Kids too!

inground pool light up in dark

Fence Posts Installed

Our fence company got started on Tuesday. We chose to fence in the whole backyard so that we can still take advantage of the useable grass space on either side of the pool.

installing fence posts

We've got a beautiful tree line in the back with old pines but unfortunately due to the fact our property line runs right between them, plus the big old tree roots underneath, we had to "give our neighbors" more space and bring the fence inside the tree line another foot or so. It's not technically useable space, but this is us saying "you're welcome." ;) JK

fence posts installed

We're planning to put a double gate on the south side of the house where the yard is flattest, and a single gate on the north where we have a pretty big slope running away from the property. Hopefully this makes it easy for Zach to have options for getting his tractor through.

fence posts installed

Marking Future Plant Beds

We had one night between getting fence posts in and our irrigation crew showing up. The irrigation company came and did some initial marking of where they thought sprinkler heads should go, but before they came, we worked quick after work and between kids activities to mark the yard where we intend got put plant beds. It was a little bit of a crapshoot but a worthy effort.

marking yard for plant beds

This way they could put the right type of head in right place, knowing that there was quite a bit we plan to turn into landscape beds that we didn't want sprinkler heads within.

marking yard for plant beds

When we first started getting this project rolling, we were hopeful we could just patch the existing system. But as you know if you've been following along, we found that the main line for the system ran right under the pool so it was going to cost us less to just replace it all and run new lines rather than hire a company to hunt and peck and figure out how to patch so much of a system.

marking yard for plant beds

We're looking at this unplanned cost as a nice silver lining because we can get the system set perfectly for our future plans for running outside of landscape beds, so Zach doesn't have to move so many sprinkler heads when we get there.

Installing the New Irrigation System

We were so grateful to have another awesome, hardworking crew on the job. We didn't get to see much of this process but thanks to my mom stopping by (Hi, Mom!), we got some nice pictures of the work in progress.

installing irrigation system

They used some pretty cool machines that cut in and pulled the irrigation lines through the ground. They all connect underground in two different locations where the master lines run between. I think. ;)

installing irrigation system

The front yard was pretty much the only part of the yard that went unscathed throughout this whole process. Until now. You know Zach is DYING to get his hands back on his yard!!

installing irrigation system

Just one issue uncovered on in the process. They found some damage to the drainage tile we ran coming off the house. They figured most likely it got damaged with the skid loader when they were grading the area. Glad they found it - even though it caused a little panic that we didn't plan for on Thursday. The crew was great at communicating their concerns and also wanted to make sure we knew they didn't do it. haha

troubleshooting at irrigation install

Irrigation lines were installed and hooked up to our existing system all within a day. So we were thrilled to be able to check off one more big item off the to-do list.

Side lawn after irrigation system install

Shopping for and Planting the New Backyard Landscape

I'm sure Zach will give you the full rundown of all the plant plans in an upcoming blog post, but since it was SO nice this weekend, we had to get a start on planting. This was the first text of the day from Zach, who found one of the hydrangeas we've been looking for! We're planning to plant a hedge along the back and have been looking for this type of hydrangea for a long time! He was pumped. But also, all the garden centers are having nursery sales now so it escalated from here. I think he hit every single garden center in the metro looking for plants grabbing up different perennials at 50% off.

Zach text to kiersten

Literally three car loads later, we have more plants, mulch and landscape materials than I ever saw coming this weekend.

Zach's car trunk full of rock and grass

Kids "LOVE" when we drag them to garden center after garden center just to buy more of the same plant. But I chalk this up to some of the better lessons we can teach them: how much money you can save when you DIY, especially when you can buy things 50% off! Like this entire cart full of Russian Sage! Jackpot!

Abbey at Earl May with Russian Sage

We planted a lot this weekend but we'll leave that reveal for another blog post!

Zach planting boxwoods

Taking a Break to Soak it In

If you follow us on Instagram, you probably saw my post about the fact we were able to get a lot of family over to enjoy a quick dip. Fall is definitely on its way in and the air temperature was only 78 but we cranked the heat up in the pool to try to enjoy it while we can! We're looking forward to next summer already! Good news is kids don't seem to mind the air temp!

Hank and Abbey on inflatable flamingo in pool

PS, how cute is this flamingo? Livia at Blue Iowa Pools surprised us one day with this cutie blown up on our deck with a stack of new beach towels. Such a sweet surprise! We just love those guys.

Coming up this week:

-Finish off the fence - they're coming to install the top fencing early this week. That should really change the view!

-Wrap up the first plant beds

-Fix the downspout

-Figure out how to prioritize the rest of the yard rehab

Thanks as always for following along!

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we're kiersten and zach

Follow along with us each week as we work to make the very 2000s home we bought during the middle of a pandemic more “us.” We’ll share everything from quick fixes to more permanent changes, along with projects you can do in your own home. Zach will also share all his lawn and garden advice as he starts over on the yard.


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