Has it really been 4 months since my last blog post?! I apologize for being absent lately but I had to take a break to handle “life”. Our kids are back in school now, I am feeling better and our backyard project is winding down so I will have more time to focus on my blog which makes me happy 🙂
What Have I Been up to for the Last Four Months?
I lost both my parents this year, which has been incredibly difficult for me. Taking time to deal with the loss has helped me through the mourning process. I am feeling much better these days, more positive and look forward to the future and spending time with those closest to me. In an upcoming post, I will detail some things I did to help me deal with my grief…if you are interested in hearing about it, let me know in the comments below.
Another stressful and very time consuming area of my life has been trying to finalize our backyard project. As many of you know, we started Our Backyard Project (Phase 2) Planning to Build a Pool and Pool House, two years ago. To say this was a challenging project would be a massive understatement. There was nothing easy about this process. Building during a Pandemic complicated matters further due to lack of labor and shortages of supplies. Time lines went way longer than anticipated and costs increased dramatically.
But when all is said and done, I am happy to report that we are so close to the finish line and LOVE our new backyard space!
We have a beautiful pool and pool house to enjoy with family and friends. Spending time outdoors this summer has been a blessing for both my body and mind. Granted, much of the time I spent outside has been working…but my efforts are well worth it.
After a year and a half, our pool is finally done! What a complicated process it has been. Building a pool house simultaneously made everything more difficult but I do believe building the two together yielded a better result in the end.
Of course, this isn’t always possible to do for many people and for numerous reasons, but in hindsight I am happy we made the decision to incorporate building the pool with the pool house. So many decisions depend on one another, and to be able to think of the project collectively helped me create a more cohesive space.
The first big decision we made for the pool was orientation. Where in the yard would the pool be best situated? Luckily, we have a big enough space and had several options. Many different views were presented to me, and in the end..we decided on a perpendicular orientation to the house. This opinion was brought about by a landscape designer I hired. We had a simple drawing created for the yard that optimized views, space, and aesthetic design.
The landscape designer suggested to situate the pool to line up with the back door entrance, as you can see in the photo below.
This option did bring about other complications with grading and water issues, as the pool house is located very close to a hill. But, I still believe the location was the best option for our yard to optimize everything we wanted in our outdoor space. Pool House Post coming soon!
Sitting in the hot tub and enjoying the mountain views and the changing colors of the sky is simply fabulous.
We opted for a raised hot tub that connects directly to the pool house. The hot tub is independently operated from the pool so it can be heated and controlled all year long.
I get asked often, where I get my bistro lights HERE that I attached to our fence. The warm glow at night is so pretty and calming.
My tile choice is not a color that pops but rather blends into the pool and background. We have a lot going on in our yard so I don’t want the waterline tile to stand out but rather compliment the pool…if that makes sense?
As you can see from the above picture, when you look at the pool, your eye is not drawn to the waterline tile…which was my intent.
This particular evening was so lovely, watching the moon, the clouds and the sky change colors with my family.
Another treat was to see a beautiful rainbow over our yard on my son’s birthday! So much to be grateful for…and we are 🙂
When I posted this pic on my Instagram stories, I had a lot of questions about the floats. Check out these inexpensive floats HERE,HERE and HERE.
Is it Worth the Cost to Build a Pool?
I know many of you are building pools right now and probably running into many frustrations as well. The process is not easy but do your homework and research well. Pool builders these days are backed up, some as many as two years as more home owners are investing into their houses and are now able to spend more time at home. The lack of materials is a huge problem too right now, you may have to settle on products you don’t like to get the job complete. Prices are increasing, for just about everything it seems, pools as well.
I am constantly asked, would I do it again? The answer is yes. I would do it differently, many lessons learned from this process but yes I would.
Hope you enjoyed the post and pictures. I have a lot more info on my blog regarding the pool build, so check them out!
It’s so good to be back, I missed you all! Talk again soon
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Adding a pergola to an outdoor area is a great way to add a stylish defined space for entertaining and family enjoyment. A pergola can be added to a garden, near a pool, off the house, or a separate area for dining al fresco.
We plan to add two pergolas to our pool house. I have been researching styles, types of materials, and of course….cost! Cost will depend largely on size – getting a pre fabricated out of the box kit will be the most economical way to go. Choices will be limited such as size and structure but it’s definitely worth considering if you have flexibly with your space.
Our Pool House is Complete – Updated Fall 2021
When I initially wrote this post in February we were still in the middle of construction. The pic below shows how the pool house looked in February 2021.
If you remember my posts from late last year, I predicted our pool house would be done by Christmas 2020…at least that’s what I was told. Why the delays? The availability of the sub contractors mainly. Why they had delays – not exactly sure, the pandemic may have contributed but to what extent, I don’t really know.
The two toned pergolas are really pretty. I feel all white will fit better into the overall aesthetic of our pool space.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Pergola
Is there a right way and a wrong way to choose a pergola? Depending on your style and budget, choose what you like best. I did prepare a list of things to consider when deciding on a style of pergola for your home. Look at your outdoor space and think about what you like about it.
Are you someone to prefer a rambling free form garden with lots of flowers at varying heights or a more ordered garden with shrubs planted in neat and tidy rows?
Do you tend to keep your shrubs and trees neatly trimmed or like a bit of extra growth and disorder?
How do you feel about symmetry in your design?
Are there defined patio spaces or established walkways in your yard?
What is your preference – rustic, country, modern sophistication, or contemporary?
A traditional pergola will give you straight clean lines and a more modern feel with square posts while rounded columns lend to a more formal style.
How Will you Use the Pergola Space?
Perhaps for outdoor dining and gardening? Maybe a smaller pergola will suit you perfectly but if you envision large parties and entertaining you will need a larger space. Wood pergolas are the most traditional style with a variety of grains from which to choose while vinyl wrapped pergolas offers maintenance free convenience (supposedly) but is a more expensive option.
It’s also important to think about scale when choosing a pergola. We have to consider the size of our pool house when we pick a pergola especially since each one will come right off the sides. If we pick ones too small, it will look out of proportion to the scale of the pool house and pool, so choosing the right size is important. Most likely it will be custom built so we can choose the scale proportionately.
How Much Shade do you Need?
A traditional pergola has an open style top. The closer the cross bars are to each other, the more shade it provides. It is also possible to install a canopy over the top for additional shade if needed. We want quite a bit of shade, so we will choose cross bars close to each other or a sliding canopy.
What Pergola Features do you Like Best?
Perhaps an arched top or lattice roof appeals to you? A solid privacy panel can create a barrier from your neighbors and worth while to consider. I love lattice panels and would like to incorporate it somehow into our final design.
In the end, the decision is all yours. Determining your style, deciding how you’ll use your pergola, measuring your available space, exploring pergola materials, colors, and features and planning for the right amount of shade are all great ways to narrow your choices.
I know we want all white with square beams and detail on the crossbeams. I have had discussions with my pool house builder about vinyl vs. cedar, pre fab vs. custom. I feel confident that the style we choose will suite the overall aesthetic of the space nicely.