Share details about our pool! It was a long process – we still haven’t quite finished it all – but it was worth it. I’m excited to share more about the pool building process and final product. I’ve been waiting for a good time to share this post, especially with everything that’s going on in the world, but I feel like there’s never really going to be a perfect time. Many of you have told me that you are considering building a swimming pool, so I decided to go ahead and post the details. Let’s pour some virtual margaritas and hang out together on the tanning brink. It’s a nice escape, I tell you.
Hi friends! Have a great morning and thank you so much for all the excitement about Motion + Macros. It’s going to be ongoing, and if you’re looking for more team atmosphere and workout plans, the Fit Team beta test spots open next week. Stay tuned for it all!
I’m excited to share some photos today from our group! It has been a work in progress but we love it so far and have been enjoying it for over a month now. Our yard was a complete disaster for several months, but the second time the girls were able to dive in, it was totally worth it.
(The gate between the pool and the plaza is almost finished. My husband makes it and it looks great so far!!)
We always knew we wanted to put a pool in the yard. When we first got back to Tucson, the pilot was immediately deployed for 7 months, and then when he came back, he was straight at the airlines. The airline’s first year was bananas, and during that time, we explored the various pool companies and options. Our top two gave us designs and quotes, and we decided to stay on the waiting list because at that point, the final product wouldn’t be ready until fall. That was February 2020…and then COVID hit. This was an additional factor to convince us that we finally needed to do this.
We usually get a summer membership at a local country club and the pool was a saving grace for us when everything else was closed. My friend Catherine was meeting us at the pool, and we were walking around and talking while our kids played and danced to the music. It has been a major mind saver for all of us. At the end of the summer, we finished the company we wanted to use for our pool (Pools by Design!) and signed all the papers in February (2021). We started laying the ground in March and the pool was completed and filled with water in the last week of July.
The day we all got to jump in the pool was a really exciting day. The girls enjoyed this amazing swim and we already have a lot of friends to enjoy with us. 🙂
Time-lapse video of pool construction:
Our professional photography setup:
Our experience with swimming pools by design:
We ended up choosing Pools by Design because they are highly recommended in the pool industry and we loved their design the most. The price was higher than we expected but we are very pleased with the quality and design. They really exceeded our expectations. All the contractors who went out for the different steps were skilled and talented at what they do. They have excellent reviews for a reason, and our designer Nick was stopping by often to check things out and was available for questions along the way.
Some of our favorite aspects of the pool:
Water feature! We can play it with our phone and there is a seat under it, so you can relax under the waterfall. I also liked that we had room behind it to add some plants. It looks very calm and beautiful, especially in the morning with a cup of coffee.
Color changing LED lights. You can use the app to choose different modes or a single color option.
Tanning brim with umbrella sleeve. The tanning rim is approximately 6-8 inches long – perfect for lounging! It also has bubbles and is the perfect toddler play area. Our 3 year old friend came in last weekend and had a blast in the tanning rim area.
Ozone! We had the option of adding ozone, which disinfects the pool and reduces the need for a lot of chlorine.
Tips for building a custom pool and things we learned:
Expect to spend a lot, especially now. The cost of supplies increased by approximately 15% between the time of our signing and the establishment of the complex, and supply chain issues caused delays. There’s a chlorine shortage now so if you’re building I’ll buy chlorine if you can find it, just to have some on hand.
– If you know you’re going to, get on a waiting list ASAP. Lots of companies are being booked for next year, if not longer.
– When you choose a PebbleTec color, they have an app that shows you how each color looks at different depths. It is also useful to take the samples you like and put them in a bucket of water, and take them out in the sun. They look different when wet and in sunlight than indoors.
When it’s time to fill your pool (or if you have to drain and refill your pool for any reason), use Orenda Technologies. You can check Their website is here and find a provider near you. This was not taken care of in any way, but this is my first inside tip and it has made a huge difference in our water quality.
Here’s in a nutshell, my unscientific understanding of how the process works:
When you go to fill your pool, The water will ask for balance. This means that if he needs any calcium, it will be taken from the shell of your pool as it cures, which will affect the quality of your Pebbletec or whatever surface you have in the long run. When you use an Orenda provider, they filter your hose through a bucket and test the water as it fills the pond. They add everything that is needed in the process (different minerals and enzymes), so the water is really balanced and can properly treat the pool’s crust.
(We chose the blue Pebble Sheen granite. You want to protect that crust because it heals!)
Katherine has been in the pool industry for 20 years and when she said we had to do it, I knew it was an important step! (It’s worth noting here that Catherine helped us a lot with her pool experience and the set-up and start-up process.) She tested the water several times, taught the pilot how to do it, was here for the whole start-up period, and also helped us select all the plants and landscaping for the water feature and private front yard. Us… that was completely destroyed in this whole process haha. Mom and Dad have helped us tremendously with various projects over the past few months as well.)
We also use Orenda products for swimming pool and their test supplies. The pilot tests the water 1-2 times a week and enters the levels into the Orenda app on his phone. The app tells it exactly how much of each chemical and/or enzyme to use. (Pro tip from Katherine: Add the chemicals to a 5-gallon bucket filled with pond water and move it around. Then pour everything into the pond as you scoot around the ocean. As you empty pure chemicals into the pond, they can leave streaks on the surface over time.) Because Because we do it this way, we only use exactly what we need instead of guessing and adding extra ingredients. The water is crystal clear and has a bouncy, not stinky feel. 😉 The pH levels are also constant where they should be.
Could you Check out more about Orenda here – They also have a video explaining what it’s all about. The water is absolutely gorgeous and I love that the girls don’t have bloodshot eyes or smell like chlorine, even after swimming for hours.
I also love that Pools by Design has really enhanced the use of our backyard and created a large pool, while maintaining our own private lawn and patio area.
I’m glad it didn’t end up taking up my entire backyard.
So there you are! Lots of pool parties waiting for us at Harney’s house. 🙂
Do you have any home projects on the horizon? What’s next on your home improvement list? I can’t wait to rip all the rugs upstairs….
Master bedroom renovation
We painted our lockers!