Back in May, I completed the One Room Challenge of making our deck into an outdoor oasis.
That was part 1 of our backyard makeover. The second part of the outdoor oasis involved the pool area. We have been blessed by some friends to have been given two intex pools over the past few years which we have really enjoyed using but we kept outgrowing. This year we stepped up our game by purchasing a bigger pool and creating a defined pool area with landscaping.
Beyond digging out a circle for the pool, we really didn’t do much else in the backyard the past few years for our pool area, which was fine besides the grass in the pool and weed whipping around the pool without hitting it.
Last year we knew if we wanted to have another pool we would need a bigger one and we weren’t sure if we wanted to buy one or how much we would use it with our neighbors having an amazing inground pool that we swim in quite often. In May, thanks to a great sale at Kmart.com we decided to purchase a 24ft x 52 inches deep Intex Pool for $699. The hubby and I figured it was time to get serious with our pool landscaping so we made a plan for the backyard and got to work. As you can see, the area where we had the 20 ft pool was looking pretty sad.
We laid out the tarp and measured out the space we wanted to dig up. Our professionalism is top notch, we only use the best tools and even the best photos.
Thankfully this time I convinced my hubby to rent a sod cutter instead of us shoveling it out like the first time.
By posting the sod on craigslist for free, we were able to get rid of it quickly. Unfortunately it still had to be hauled out of the backyard but the guy who came for the sod helped do that so it wasn’t too bad. Once we had it all cleared out, the hubby stuck a pvc pipe in the center of the square and using a string and some spray paint, he created the circumference of the pool. Because our backyard is sloped, we had some work to do to create an even spot for the pool.
While chopping up the clay/dirt with shovels, I had the genius idea to use our neighbor’s tiller. Thank goodness! That sure made quick work of that and he did it all for me, which I was very thankful for!!!
After that the hubby used a stamper and some string with his level to get the ground even and as flat as we could.
Finally! Pool time! My man, he is such a hard worker, he really busted his butt getting this space ready and putting up the pool. It took about 24 hours to fill the pool with hose water.
We decided to use timber and river rock for around the pool. The landscaping timber was fairly cheap but the river rock was a little more expensive with the delivery fee. We ordered 1.5 yards of rock and probably should have done 2 yards when all was said and done. Before installing the river rock, we laid down landscaping fabric and also used black plastic landscaping edger that comes in a roll. We zip tied that to the posts of the pool so that the rock would stay away from the pool liner. I didn’t take a pic of this step and I really wish I would have. We then laid the stones down and finally filled in with the river rock. If you look on the right side of the photo below, you can kind of see the black plastic edging by the pool.
The stepping stones we purchased from Menards and were around $4 each, kind of pricey but worth it as they are smooth and have no sharp edges. Another purchase was some solar landscaping lights to light a path to the pool for late night swimming.
After a little over two weeks, our pool and landscaping project was completed! Our kids helped out quite a bit with digging, rolling sod and shoveling the river rock and bringing it from the driveway to the backyard. We are really happy that we put in all the extra time and energy on this space! It really makes it feel like our own outdoor oasis!
We installed some hooks on the fence down by the ladder for pool towels and my hubby also created this pvc pipe floaty holder for all the pool floaties so they don’t blow away or end up deflated.
This is our 4th summer having an intex pool and we love it! Yes, it’s a bit of a pain to set up and tear down each summer but for the price, it’s worth it to us. Our summers in Minnesota aren’t really that long that we want to spend a lot of money investing in a pool.
The kids love having it and inviting friends over to swim, even our high schoolers. We had a great time playing volleyball the other night with our kids in the pool and scored cool parent points too. Now we just need some lights for in the pool!
The upkeep is not that bad, my husband checks the water with test strips and adds chemicals when needed. This year our pool has a sand filter so there is no need to purchase filters which is awesome. We have had a few holes in our last two pools but those were patched up without any problems during the middle of the summer.
Whenever we are not in the pool, we take the ladder out and our kids can not go swimming without one of us outside. It helps that we have a fenced in yard as well but please check with your city on the code for pools, most require a fenced in yard.
Our backyard gets full sun most of the day which is awesome as we don’t heat our pool. This year we purchased a solar cover that has helped a ton with the temperature of the water. It has been averaging 78 to 80 degrees and it hasn’t been that hot here.
Rough estimate of total cost for the landscaping and pool stuff is about $1400 which includes the solar cover, pool chemicals, all landscaping and rental of the sod cutter, pvc pipe and miscellaneous stuff.
So that’s about it. If you have anymore questions, we’d be happy to answer them for you!