Backyard Beautification Project – Phase 2

Once our pool was resurfaced with new tile, we fell in love with the clean, finished product. But as often happens, once you upgrade one thing, everything next to it starts to look worse. By the time last fall rolled around, the entire deck area surrounding our newly beautified pool was a mess. Even though our pool was much prettier, the mess around the pool indicated a backyard area in serious need of an overhaul.

As the new year rolled around we did the same thing we had done the year before. We looked at the money we already had, the money that would be coming in, and the overall cost of the project and finally decided that we could complete the project that would both make our backyard beautiful and take care of some of the landscaping issues that were an ongoing headache for two people who hate doing outdoor labor. We met with the contractor, signed the paperwork, and paid the deposit. Then the fun began.

I came home on the first day of the project to this.

It was crazy to see everything that had been bothering us suddenly absent from our backyard. Of course, it wasn’t gone. It was all sitting out in our driveway waiting to be picked up.

But as often happens with renovation projects, mistakes are made and issues discovered. A water pipe going to the pool got broken and electrical lines damaged. And then, in the process of fixing the electrical that got damaged, the electrician found several issues with the wiring that had been hiding underneath the pea gravel that had surrounded our pool.

“Do you want to know what death looks like?” the electrician asked my husband as he pulled my husband away from his work to check out the situation near our pool light.

No, Jeff didn’t want to see what death looked like, but when I got home and he showed me I said a quick prayer of thanks that no one had been harmed over the last three years of pool use and swallowed the reality that the extra money was going to make our pool not only prettier but safer.

Once everything was fixed and the new drains installed, the crew waited for the perfect day to pour the concrete. Our dogs got banished from the backyard for 48 hours and we waited for the concrete to be dry enough for us to be able to walk around the new surface.

In the weeks after the concrete was poured it seemed to rain non-stop. It was dry just long enough so that we could walk on it, but there was no way that the crews were going to be able to come back out to do the finishing touches. While we waited we completed the gate project so that our dogs wouldn’t escape out of our backyard. Finally the week after Spring Break, we were back on schedule.

We still hadn’t selected the colors for the spray, so on my second day back from break Jeff sent me a message with an attached picture shortly before lunch. I wasn’t ready to make a decision. How was I supposed to pick out a color with just pictures to determine whether the color would work with our backyard? But a decision needed to be made so he sent me multiple pictures with the tile right next to the color options and I took a leap of faith.

When I got home I was welcomed by a gorgeous continuous pattern on our back decking, all ready for color to be applied the next day. I was also greeted by two anxious dogs who had once again lost their free range lifestyle until the work was finally finished.

The next day the crew came and added the color, a little lighter than recommended but I loved the idea of it looking like sand around our whole pool area. What can I say? I miss Lake Michigan.

We finally put furniture on the decking before we had friends over for Easter. While we still aren’t going to be getting the pavilion that I wanted (we need to put that off until next year) our backyard is both easier to maintain and it looks gorgeous.

Now if just had a working pool heater so we could use our hot tub.

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