Life Events: Home Improvements

This is a busy month! It’s my 5th anniversary, my son’s 2nd birthday, I’ve gotten my 2nd Covid vaccine shot, and my work project is finishing (hitting serious deadlines headlong!). Oh and we’re ripping the pool out of our backyard.

Yup. When we bought our house, we bought a house with a pool. We knew it would be an expense. We knew it would be work.

After 3 years, we knew we didn’t care for a pool. In 2019 my in-laws gave us a gift of cash right after our son was born in order for us to afford to have a professional take care of the pool every week. It helped. A little. We still didn’t use it a lot. It isn’t something we love. We got a few quotes on removing it to decide if it’s what we might want to do.

Last year with our son home we left the pool “closed.” And realized we kind of hated it. We hated caring for it. We hated the expense. We hated that when it was installed, the people put it on a hill and did not build retaining walls – making the concrete decking erode and the pool’s lining fall away. It would cost thousands (maybe $10k or more) to fix the damn thing.

You can actually see the problem (barely) in the 2018 picture. That back corner behind the diving board – you can see where the pool deck has a “step” – that is the concrete literally falling down that hill. That hill SHOULD have had a powerful retaining wall. What you can’t see is how the liner over in that corner was falling. It wasn’t as bad in 2018, but in 2019 it was getting worse.

So last summer we began to really dream about removing it. With my son hitting two – and running like he’s practicing for the Olympic track team – we need a backyard. We don’t want to worry about him drowning. We want to use that space. So we did it. We decided to crack into our savings and remove the pool. We’re next going to get a professional landscaper to help us with a real plan.

For the moment we’re going to do grass and I have 2 raised garden beds I’ve wanted to put out for a few years. We got a new fence to replace the old, literally rotting wooden privacy fence. There is still a lot more to figure out, but this was a huge help in imagining what we could do with this space. I knew the pool was a big area, but it was only when I could really walk across it that I could feel it.

I know this isn’t the choice most people would have made, but it was definitely the right choice for our family.