Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Filling in the pool...

(I love this picture)
Because of the expense involved with maintaining a pool, and the fact that the liner needs replaced(again), we're thinking of filling in the swimming pool. My parents had it put in the summer I was 14 and it has served us well over the past quarter of a century. The summer that Mark and I got married(1990), dad built two beautiful decks off the deep end of the pool. There was still plenty of yard available and the flow of the yard wasn't disturbed. When Ryan was a baby, dad put up a lattice fence to keep him safe. It didn't go around the decks, just the pool and a small amount of the original concrete decking. This definitely limited the usefulness of the nice decks since they were cut off from the pool area. A few summers ago, after Hurricane Rita tore down part of the fence, Mark and I reworked the lattices to include the decks inside the pool area so we could enjoy them as a family. This cut into a good chunk of yard though and now that we've got 2 more large dogs it definitely feels cramped out there.

(this shows the fence just around the pool with the decks on the outside. This was our first limb disaster when it fell on the house and bounced off, barely missing the trampoline. The limb measured 27 feet long, yes we measured it, and was as big around as a basketball at the wide part)

(after the hurricane winds)

(moving the fence)

(more work)

(these pics kind of show how much yard is taken up by the pool area)

One of the benefits from this would be the gain of 3/4ths of our yard back for the dogs and kids to enjoy. Right now they are in a pretty small space with about half being a cement porch about 20x14ft and a 14x14ft trampoline. We have to keep the pool area, decks, and extra yard inside a fence for safety reasons. The dogs would be in the pool if it wasn't fenced and the kids wouldn't be able to use the yard without close supervision. Right now the fence needs replaced anyway. A few summers ago a large limb fell from our oak tree and crushed part of the fence. We patched it but the spot is very weak and looks terrible. By removing the fence, we'd save the expense of a new one($$$).

(limb damage, I sat in that chair crocheting while the kids swam, just the day before, listening to a whacky creaking in the tree. See how it bent the back leg when it landed on the chair? It actually flipped the chair up onto the glass table, I thought it was a car crash when I heard it. Yikes!)

(girls and B-cup in the small yard)

Everyone's concerns about this are different. Mark is worried about the time and labor that will be involved. His job takes up much of his time, even when he is home so it isn't likely that he'd be able to work as it would require. He thinks we'll have to hire someone to run the jackhammers. He doesn't swim but maybe 3-4 times a summer but really enjoys the challenge of keeping the water crystal clear($$$). Ryan's main issue is that the pool is a status symbol for him with his peers. He rarely swam last year, even when his friends came over he would get out MUCH sooner than they wanted to. It bored him. He likes the idea of having huge pool parties and he got to have one last summer complete with us ordering pizza for about 20 teenagers($$$). That obviously couldn't be a routine thing!

(pool party for Ryan's church youth group)
He'd be in hog heaven, however, if we did THIS with it, and stocked it with catfish! But it wouldn't be safe without a fence either and the dogs would wreak havoc on it, not to mention those $$$$. Amy enjoys the pool but like Ryan, she gets out way before the rest of us are ready to go in. She's a homebody, doesn't like to leave the house, and thinks going to the health club to swim is going to not be "as fun" as walking out the door to our pool. Sarah is mainly concerned with the loss of "fun" too. I admit, they do have a lot of it when they get out there. But, they also have loads of fun playing in the hose or "training" the dogs, or filming each other doing tricks on the trampoline.

I'm hoping that they'll all come to terms with this soon and end up seeing the positive side to it. Obviously it will be different this summer than the previous
ones but I don't think it will be worse in any way.


Anonymous said...

You could fill in the pool and just buy the inflatable one at Walmart.. .we have been using the inflable kind for years. They are great.. you can get a 18 feet round by 4 feet deep for about $300
...or go smaller...or get the pvc pipe ones and go as large as 24 feet round (not sure how easy those are to put up thought)..but the inflatable kind are very easy.

Carol said...

You have a nice yard. You just have to do things when you can. It all takes so much time and work, not to mention $$ ;-)

Chickenbells said...

I can't even imagine how $$ it has been to maintain the pool! Although it must have it's benefits...I think they are not outweighing the stress of the upkeep...I can't wait to see what becomes of the backyard...