After many years of talking about it, we finally were able to put in a pool and a new patio. This is a photo log of the construction. First, a diagram of what the pool is going to look like (click on the image for a larger one):
This is what our backyard looked like before construction. Today we cleaned off the patio and started removal of the avocado tree and other vegetation. We hated to lose the tree, but it was in the way of the new porch and the roots would have caused problems for the pool plumbing and equipment.
We finished removing the avocado tree, but left a large portion of the stump so the contractor would have something to grab on to when they pull it up. We also cleaned up an old planter in the back corner of the yard.
The old screened porch was removed this morning. Looks funny with nothing there now.
That was fast... we have a hole! In addition to digging the hole, the concrete pad for the old patio was removed, and the tree stump was removed. Then the hole was framed out, the enclosure for the pool light was installed, and some of the plumbing was done. Within the hole can be see the bench that will go along three sides (both the long sides and the shorter side farthest from the patio door). It also rained several times today so lots of mud to deal with.
On Friday we came home and discovered a large concrete truck along with another truck with a large air compressor on it parked in front of the house. They were spraying the concrete shell. We have never seen that done before so we stood in the backyard watching most of the process. They were still shaping and troweling when we left for dinner. By the time we got home it was too dark to take any pictures, plus they had covered the pool up with a large plastic sheet.
The next day we visited a statuary place in Bithlo to look at some scupper bowls for the end of the pool, to go on either side of the planter and waterfall. We found a nice medium sized one, however it may be too big, so we looked at a smaller one as well. The bowls, along with a table and set of benches, will be stained to match the pavers for the patio.
On Sunday we finished fixing up the corner planter area by the back fence. The large trunk with the clay pot on it was part of our avocado tree. While we were working, someone was staring out the window, very much missing the old patio. No worries, he'll have a much larger patio in a few weeks.
This morning one of the construction foremen stopped by and removed the plastic sheeting covering the pool shell. The pool is really taking shape now! Also this afternoon the large dirt pile was hauled away and some grading work was done.
A maze of pipes! Today the main plumbing was started and most of the pool equipment was installed. The equipment includes a 400,000 BTU propane heater, a cartridge filter, a 2 HP pump, and a chlorine generator.
Early this morning the plumbers finished off the pipe work. None of the ditches were backfilled yet, we assume so Seminole County can inspect their work. We also went back to the statuary place in Bithlo to look at the completed scupper bowls. They came out perfect! A sample of the pavers to be used on our patio can be seen next to one of the bowls. Finally, we stopped by Old Time Pottery and picked up some stuff for the patio, including the pictured fire pit. Also pictured is the finished planter in the other back corner of the back yard.
A couple of days ago Seminole County inspected the plumbing and approved of the work. Yesterday all of the trenches that were dug for the plumbing were backfilled. Today the tile work was started. Also the planters at the far end of the pool were "framed" and tiled. In the last picture can be seen a blue strip at the top of the tiled wall; this is the waterfall. In the smaller, rounded planters on either side of the waterfall planter are where the scupper bowls will go; the water pipes to feed the bowls can be seen in a few pictures, sticking up from the dirt. Also shown below are a couple of cute pics of David down in the pool, to give a perspective of its size.
Today the old master bedroom windows were removed and work started on new French doors. The doors open inwards, and each door has blinds embedded between two sheets of tempered glass. No more blinds to dust! The contractor will finish the molding around the doors after Seminole County has inspected their work.
Early this morning a pest control company applied the required termite treatment; this has to be done anytime the soil around the house is disturbed due to construction. Work was also started on the footer that will go around the patio and the back of the pool, behind the planters. After work, David finished up the planter along the back fence.
Seminole County came out today and performed inspections on the latest pool construction and on the new french doors. Afterwards workers showed up to continue work on the doors.
The concrete footer that borders the patio and the back of the planters was poured today. The square patch of concrete by the end of the pool closest to the sliding glass doors is where one of the covered porch columns will go. And one of our two magnolias is about to bloom.
A few days ago the pavers for the patio deck and the coping were delivered. The door contractor also came out that day and finished up inside with the drywall and trim around the doors. David then started painting the wall; the trim will be painted next. Today workers came out to do the coping around the pool, and the door contractor prepared the wall outside for stucco.
Hard to see, but the coping around the pool was grouted today. The door contractor also wrapped up construction on the outside of the doors. All that remains is painting (our responsibility) and a final inspection by Seminole County. Also shown: the scupper bowls lying in wait, someone daydreaming about his new patio, someone else (a frog) not waiting for the pool to be finished, and the new planters getting watered by one of my favorite childhood toys: a rain bird sprinkler. The automatic sprinkler system was disabled for construction so we have to water the yard by hand.
This morning a large pile of crushed rock showed up on the driveway (and on the street!). This became the base for the pavers on the patio. About half the patio was completed today, along with the installation of the patio drain.
The rest of the pavers were put into place today. One big mistake that was made was that the planters were covered over. However we decided we like it better that way as is will give us the freedom to put our own pots and planter boxes on top. So we're not going to make an issue of the goof. The pipes you see sticking up on either side of the waterfall are where the scupper bowls will be placed.
Yesterday the electrician came out and did most of the electrical work for the pool equipment. We also had him add electrical outlets to the patio, one of which will be for a refrigerator, and an outside outlet which can be seen on the side of the pool control center. This outlet can be switched on and off by the remote pool control; we plan to eventually plug outdoor low voltage lighting into it.
Today we got a new grill; David spent all afternoon putting it together ("some assembly required"). We also got a storage cabinet to hold pool and grill stuff. Also shown is a refrigerator we got a few weeks ago for the patio.
The patio roof and screening were started today. Unfortunately the rain brought the day's work to an early end and made it difficult to take some pics this evening. The installers plan to try and finish tomorrow, however a tropical storm is predicted to pass through Central Florida in the afternoon. So it may be another day or two until completion.
Seminole County came out this morning and inspected the door alarms and screen enclosure. And the big moment of the day: filling the pool!
Time to swim! We went swimming for the first time today in our new pool. The pool builder still has some more work to do on the pool equipment, but they cleared us for swimming. They also got the scupper bowls working. Also the statuary company that made the bowls for us delivered the patio table set we ordered a few weeks ago.
Project complete! Since the last update the pool builder finished all remaining work and conducted "pool school" to show us how to use the equipment and how to care for the pool. Seminole County also completed final inspection. We had a contractor repair the sprinkler system and re-sod the front, side, and back yard. We also planted some more, layed down mulch, installed some low voltage lighting (which can be controlled via the pool remote), and even put some multicolor solar light sticks (gotta gay it up a little). A couple of friends (Anthony and Kevin) visited one weekend to enjoy our new pool/spa. Let the parties begin!
On Thanksgiving Day the weather was nice enough that we had dinner out on the patio.