Step 3: All the Miscellaneous stuff before the pool is built!
One of the first things I had to do is take down the playset. I built this for the kids when they were real little and it was strong enough for even me to play on it. I'm going to miss this thing. I moved it up into the corner of the yard during the construction of the pool to see if there will be room for it when the pool is done. But now that they have started the pool it looks like I have to tear it all the way down. What am I going to do with all that wood!
One thing I learned during the process is a phrase called “deep end dig”. This is a phrase that means the pool is dug from the deep end instead of the shallow end. Always ask about this if you are planning on having a pool put in. The typical way to dig a pool is from the shallow end most if not all pool companies will charge you more for a deep end dig. At first I did not want my front lawn torn up, but when I realized that I would have to have a deep end dig I had to plan for my front lawn to be torn up. Not to mention the sidewalk being damaged etc.
You should remove all the plants and shrubs that will be in the way. In the fall I removed all the shrubs that I figured would be in the way. Now that the pool is being built, I have to go back and remove other shrubs because they won’t look right when it’s all done. Also I had to remove the fence on both sides of the yard. One trick I used, was to place a 4 x 4 post in the hole, left by removing the fence posts, cut off flush with the ground to make it easier to put the fence post back up when it’s all done.
I have to build a retaining wall and figure out where and how to run the drain that will run behind the wall. We’ve decided to use “PAVESTONE” retaining blocks sold at Home Depot to build the retaining wall. The wall will be 6 courses high and be around 50 feet long. The “fun” part will be building the stairs!
We had to apply for a “zoning variance” because we have a 40-foot setback in our yard. This means that the developer built too close to the road behind us and restrictions are placed on the land to prevent someone from placing a permanent structure in this setback area. When I went to the county to find out what I needed to do they also reminded me that I still needed a final inspection on my front porch that I had built 10 years ago. So with the cost of zoning variance and a new permit for the front porch so I could get a final inspection the cost was around $500. Tell me if this isn’t a tax! But we won’t go there……
So I applied for the variance and they placed a sign in my front yard telling everyone what I was going to do and if they didn’t like it they could show up at a date and time at the county office and tell their story. I attended the hearing and no one came to complain. The hearing was just like a courtroom. I was under oath and I could present evidence and call witnesses and cross examine any witnesses that were testifying. Turns out that the only people that spoke were me and the county zoning office. The key to winning a zoning hearing is if the zoning office doesn’t have any problems with your plan, then in most likehood the hearing examiner won’t either. I told the hearing examiner what I wanted to do, even though he already knew because he had all the paperwork in front of him, and he asked me some questions. About 6 weeks later I received a letter in the mail telling me that the variance was granted, see the variance letter here, and we were on way to building a pool.
Here's what our yard looked like before they started the pool.
(double click on picture for a larger view)
Phase 1- Excavation!
Phase 2- Steel
Phase 3- Plumbing
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