Pool Construction Recap: Weeks 6 & 7. We're DONE!
That's a wrap on the biggest, most exciting, project we've ever taken on! Having a pool has been something we've been planning for and dreaming about for a long, long time. We're thrilled to have been able to tackle this project and build something we hope brings a ton of joy to our family for years and years. The progress these last couple of weeks has been slower, but we've tied up all the loose ends we left you with a couple weeks ago.
Scroll to the bottom to see 7 weeks of construction in 35 seconds!
Finished Fence Installation
In our week 5 update, most of the fence posts had just been installed right before they laid the new irrigation system.
The company let the posts cure for about a week before they came back to put the fence itself on. We chose a 6-foot ornamental aluminum black fence which is similar to our backyard neighbor's that we hooked onto. We put a double gate on the south side here to give Zach easier mower access around the side of the house.
We put a single gate on the north side where we envision most of our foot traffic coming around from the front yard. Eventually we will probably extend a sidewalk of some sort around this side of the house to connect up to the driveway.
The fence process was probably the biggest frustration in this whole project so for that we're thankful, but have some opinions about the way American Fence Company manages their work. For anyone local looking for a fence company, reach out and we'll share our experiences before you consider them. The crew who actually did the hard work (who we later realized were actually subcontracted) did a great job. I just wish we would have hired a company that we would have communicated directly with the guys on-site. I'm sure we paid more than we should have for this type of arrangement, too.
But regardless of some of the annoyance we encountered with the company, the fence install looks great and we're glad to have this piece done. We're getting used to living with a fenced-in back yard. Not something we are experienced with - our dog Jake is probably most thrown off, but he's been kind of wigged out by the entire backyard project.
Sealing the Concrete
The concrete company came back this week to seal in the pool deck. I don't totally understand what this is, but it was referred as "belt and suspenders" to help protect the surface overtime from the pool chemicals. They power washed the deck and then came back a day or two later to spray the sealant. It left sort of a shine to the concrete. Just hoping it's not too slippery. It's not supposed to be, but we'll find out one way or another!
Preparing the Lawn for Seeding
We really underestimated just how much of our lawn would be torn up during the entire process, so now that the construction equipment has moved out, the irrigation has been laid and the fence installed, Zach is ready to start lawn rehab!
Grading and Raking
The buried downspouts were fixed this week so after that, Zach could get going.
He worked to rake out all the uneven dirt clumps and smooth out the grade of the land coming off the pool deck. Very quickly he could appreciate how much dirt hauling the excavator and skid loader did compared to a guy with a shovel and rake! He moved out any hard rock-like clumps to smooth everything out.
Our best helper got in on the action too. You can see she takes after her dad and does yard work in sandals too.
To help the raking process and get the ground ready for dirt and seed, he drove his mower with aerator attachment over it a few times. There were a lot of spots where the dirt was really compacted and tough so he wanted to make sure he could get the top layer raked up pretty well before laying down seed.
Patching and Filling In
Zach started by patching the front side yard where all the vehicles drove through. He brought in a few bags of dirt he found cheap somewhere to get started filling in big holes. He raked the dirt in to spread it around like a top coat.
Quickly he realized he was going to need a lot more dirt so he got a local company to drop a load of compost off.
This was good because he could really make a quick dent in filling in the lawn up to the concrete. Since we brought the deck up level with the step off the deck, the rest of the yard sloped off pretty steep toward the back and sides so we needed to add dirt back in to make it a little more gradual. Shouldn't have let so much dirt get hauled away early on!
Both kids got in on the raking action this time. Still no shoes.
The dirt and surrounding area got hit with the aerator too once it was settled in for a couple days.
Raked, smoothed, filled in and aerated - we're ready to seed!
Seeding the Lawn
Since Zach is clearly a lawn DIYer we never even considered laying sod down. But know that would have cost us a ton more than doing it this way so we're all about savings. If you've been following us for a while, you already he's a huge fan of a particular type of grass seed from Earl May which you can read about on this blog about pulling weeds and planting new grass. Normally he buys smaller bags for over-seeding and patching the lawn, but he went with the biggest bag they had for this job.
Using a handheld spreader, he walked the yard laying down seed before he watered it all in. Of course, in flip flops.
That's a Wrap!
The lawn rehab work will continue and we've got more planting to do, but we'll save those details for another day and call this project wrapped.
I'm going to wait to furnish the back until next spring since we're about out of time and need to shut things down soon. Don't want to buy new furniture just to have to store it for winter.
For a fun quick summary, here's the last 7 weeks in 35 seconds!
Be on the lookout for some more fun wrap-up videos as we truly put this project to bed. And as always, thanks for reading!
If you're just tuning in, get caught up on all the pool construction blog posts here!