Archive for the ‘pool’ Category


Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Ever since we brought home a galvanized livestock tank with starry eyed ambitions of converting it into a pool, I’ve been peppered with emails about the progress and inquiries into the possibility of posting a DIY.


Two years and counting and we still haven’t done any of that.

Yup, we never installed a filter system or really attempted anything beyond relocating the tank to the still unfinished side yard.  But, all of that neglect doesn’t mean we haven’t used this baby over the years. Summers are hot in the desert. Duh.

Since the pool it isn’t filtered, we use a skimmer net to clean out random chunks of debris that occasionally land in the water and when that water gets cloudy from use, we dump it into the yard and refill with fresh stuff. Typically this dump and refill happens about every three or more weeks depending on how much we use the pool or neglect skimming it.

Some day I hope to finish the project up, but for now, a soak, a float or a quick splash keeps us plenty cool in the summer. Oh, and if your jonesing for a more complete tank pool project check out this post via The Cabin House.


Thursday, April 21st, 2011

The house is mostly a blank slate when it comes to fixing up the landscaping, well, except for the spring time weed “lawn” that shall be pulverized. Though the plan is to do everything in stages as budget and weather and will power permit, I have to admit to being a bit overwhelmed by the scale of the project. This will be a massive undertaking requiring oodles of hardcore filthy labor and serious cash. My brain refuses to acknowledge how long this project will drag out (years, likely) or how many new skills are needing learning or that the future holds face to face dealings with nests of earwigs, feral cat crap and other horrifying surprises lurking in the dirt.

Thankfully, I’ve been working with the talented and soothing (and award winning) Ryan Prange of Falling Waters Landscape fame to help quell my anxiety and give the low down on drought tolerant low maintenance landscaping. We’ve whittled out my landscape needs (cheap, low maintenance, desert modern, neighborhood appropriate, water friendly) and he’s been pulling together some design recommendations for plantings.

In response to the layouts and ideas Ryan’s been sending over, I’ve been screwing around with SketchUp to flesh out the landscape.

Admittedly, the free version of SketchUp’s plant selection sucks. The program also goes wacky with the 2-D face me plants which wander out of place as the viewing angle shifts – not just a little out of place, but jumping 10 plus feet out of their plant “zone”.

These renderings are supposed to include a bunch more feather grass or rush or grassy bush type things to help fill out the blanker areas. Putting the right amount of plants in the model causes it to start resembling very sloppy and confusing photoshopping. The pared down renderings do illustrate basic layout of the major plantings and hardscape elements which are still getting fiddled around with and finalized.

In terms of making this stuff physically happen (without hiring contractors and workers) I need to learn some new skills like pouring and finishing concrete. Initially, concrete seems messy and hard and fits neatly in my frustrating projects that I suck at category. I also want to figure out how to install drip irrigation and exterior lighting. Sexy and thrilling projects like those will need some in-depth research, which is is fantastic, since there is nothing more exhilarating than researching piping or timers or whatever.

The neglected side yard needs some attention and extreme weed annihilation. The more obvious question though – who the hell installs a spigot like that? Extend that sucker over one foot to the right and out one foot please. Perfect. Logical. Extra functional.

We picked up the ridiculous blue spa cover at the local thrift store for a couple of dollars.  The cover is a few feet wider than required, so it’s rocking a stylish droop and devil may care attitude whilst keeping leaves out of the empty tank. Trust that I know it’s looking kind of ghetto.

Still working out the plan of attack in the side yard, but the idea is to keep it simple and add an eating area. We need to rip out the brick planter and install hot rolled steel edging, pour some concrete pavers, plumb the pool, build a deck, stain the fence, grade the yard, throw decomposed granite everywhere, plant many plants, build a table, install lighting and then done? Maybe? This is going to take years.

Above are a few of the design options Ryan has been sending my way. I’ve been picking and choosing ideas and incorporating a little of each into the finalized plan, which shocker, might ultimately change as we dive into the nitty gritty of finances and skill levels and what stuff actually looks in real life.

Landscaping. You soul crushing monster.

The big sale will hopefully raise funds to help get us going on some projects. I can’t wait for the exterior to shape up a bit and be usable.

Also, if you have a landscaping project in need of some help, design, project management or otherwise, give Ryan & Falling Waters Landscape a shout. He’s good people, with a great eye and super easy to work with personality. I might know, because admittedly, I’m a demanding she-beast with a highly specific design sensibility who worries that it’s not as easy to switch out trees as it is sofas. Then again, I don’t have to sit on trees and constantly look at and criticize them.

Should be fine, right? Right?! RIGHT. We are nowhere near ready to plant trees.


Friday, July 16th, 2010

I know it’s a bit premature (since the side yard is nowhere close to being ready to install the pool) but we went ahead and got ourselves a 10 foot galvanized livestock tank.

We were planning on restoring and painting the garage doors on my single day off this week, but since it’s been a 100 plus degrees for some time I think my brain may have got a little fried from being overworked, overstressed and totally overheated. Pretty much I just said fuck it, there is no way we sanding and painting garage doors in this heat and we aren’t driving two hours to the beach and I need to swim RIGHT NOW.

We went over to the local tack and feed store to pick out a tank and I was super disappointed to see that the 8 foot galvanized tanks were gone. The owner informed us that there was no chance of getting another shipment in for months and months and months…shit.

I had recently gotten a couple quotes from BH Tanks to have a custom tank made like this one; at about $1,300 – $1,500 it was out of our budget. We settled on this 10 foot biggie and at about $500 it was a little bigger and more expensive than we originally planned. We had to go home and remeasure the side yard to make sure it would fit – and with the yard at 16 feet wide the 10 footer is going to be a better fit.

Until we get the side yard cleaned out and ready to go, plumb out the tank and order our salt water pump and filter we are just going ahead and filling that bitch up. Total ghetto Hemet style our above ground pool out on the back patio. No filter, no chemicals, just an old fashioned cowboy style dipping trough. When the water gets too filthy to stand we are draining the tank into our sad and overheated grapefruit tree.

The Boy even went more ghetto style and brought in a folding plastic chair to sit in while in the pool. Classy.

I must have spent three hours soaking and swimming around in there and it was AWESOME. SO AWESOME. Seriously worth every penny – that’s how happy I was. I haven’t been that elated or relaxed in a long time – the Boy got his TV and I got me a pool. Now at least when we are doing projects outside in the 100 plus degree heat we can jump in the tank for a little cool down and get back to work.

I’m betting that we can get the side yard going since, big announcement, the long arduous battle that has been the exterior painting is ALMOST DONE. So close. So very close.