Sunday, May 15, 2016

Pool Project: Week Nine

Week nine is a wrap and we are 99% complete. The crew is coming by tomorrow to finish up some things, which I'll get to in a moment. But first, I want to share this:

Not too shabby, huh?

But it took quite a bit of work from the crew last week to get it to this point. For starters, they had to finish the steps leading up to the pool. Here they are in their almost finished state. White paint has since been put on the risers, which really makes the tile pop.

In the very near future, we will be installing a grab bar from the column to someplace on the wall below the screen.

And speaking of screens, you might remember that the week before last the crew built the frames. Last week was spent stapling the screening to the frames. Now the thing about the type of screen we chose to use is that it really needs to be stretched a lot to avoid wrinkles and sagging. As a result, the frames were bowed from the tension. It took some time on David's part to come up with a way for the guys to affix the frames without damaging them or the concrete. With the use of a jack, all got fitted in.

In the above shot, you can see the triangular openings for screens. These frames were very tricky to cut, due to all the angles. David, again, came to the rescue to help the guys figure it all out and even made templates for them.

While all that was going on, a new crew member stopped by. Say "hi" to Bob, the temporary block supervisor.

Bob kept a beady eye on all the goings-on, including the installation and painting of the soffits.

One of the critical tasks that also happened was applying the Diamond Brite to the interior of the pool. It's messy work, especially as once it is applied, the entire area needs to be acid washed to help bring out aggregate color. We opted for a blue hue, but when we saw the final result, it appeared like a dingy gray. Big disappointment, but there was nothing that could be done. 

Then an interesting thing happened. We started filling the pool and magic!

The water changed color! Here's what it looks like completely filled.

Hard to believe, isn't it?

While the guys were doing their stuff, David was busy doing his, meaning installing the fans...

...and two of the four sconces he made.

So after all of this activity, that's how we arrived here.

This morning, I wandered out with my coffee to take it all in, as well as this hideous view:

The cat even took a gander.

And if you're wondering what our dog, Olivia, thinks of the new space, we can't coax her to come out there. We suspect she has been so wigged out over all the noise and activity these last nine weeks that she needs time to readjust.

And if you're wondering if we've been swimming yet, the answer is no. The main reason is that to effectively cure the Diamond Brite, the water needs to circulate for 24 hours. We're experiencing a problem with too much air in the lines. Investigations are underway as to the cause and what adjustments are needed.

Another reason we haven't been in the pool yet is that until the water circulation is complete, there is still a level of acid. Not a huge amount, but enough that you don't want to be bobbing around for long or going underwater. That being said, we are supposed to scrub the interior surface every day, and initially twice a day, for the next couple of weeks. I will be sure to report back on how that all goes.

We were rather surprised that once the pool was full of water, it was already 82 degrees. But late yesterday afternoon, it was all the way up to 86 degrees. Nice!

So where does this leave us? Well, tomorrow some of the crew are coming back to touch up paint, plus touch up the wood with stain and varnish. The guys making the screen door are supposed to show up and do that install. The crew also will be clearing out all their equipment from David's shop, so he can reclaim that area. And last, but not least, another coat of sealer will be put on the deck.

Once that's all done, we will be officially finished and on budget, I might add. But between now and then, I plan to spend most of this Sunday in the seating area with a big grin on my face.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Pool Project - Week Eight

It was estimated at the onset of this project that work would be completed by the end of last week. The crew is very close, but holidays and whatnot have pushed the end date to sometime this week.

And even though this was a short week (Monday was a holiday), the crew accomplished quite a bit.

Most of the wood frames for the screens have been assembled. We should start to see them going in tomorrow.

Gutters have been made and installed.

They are made from PVC pipe and, if you look closely at the top picture, the guys cut a narrow channel on the top. Water collects from the roof, but minimal debris. Pretty clever.

Painting is almost done, including the exterior and interior of the pump house.

Once the plumber and electrician arrive this week, the pump/filter will be installed.

The floor tile in the seating area is also almost done.

The floor has been grouted, but the four-inch surround still needs to be done. Oh, and the bottom step you see here also needs to be finished and painted. 

At this very moment, David is installing the brackets for the two ceiling fans that will be in this area. It will be nice once they are installed so they no longer live in our spare room bathroom.

We had thought that the pool and deck would be acid washed last week, but due to a lot of ash produced from cane and field burns, it won't happen until this week, once the screens are in.

So, starting tomorrow we have the following things to look forward to:

  • Screen installation
  • Completion of painting
  • Acid washing deck and pool
  • Installation of switches and outlet covers
  • Completion of half-round steps in the seating area
  • Pool pump/filter install and testing
  • Job site clean-up

But best of all, if all goes according to plan, we can fill the pool. It's hard to believe that by this time next week, we could be bobbing around enjoying a refreshing adult beverage! Keep your fingers crossed.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Pool Project - Week Seven

Well, the crew faced some challenges this week, but was still able to achieve a number of milestones.

As you may recall from my Week Five post, the crew spent a great deal of time rendering the columns and walls to create a smooth finish. 
Once all the surfaces were cured, Mr. Mario went around and started tapping the columns and walls. It seems that on another project he has going, the crew ran into a problem with the final coats of cement not adhering properly. Sure enough, he identified a bunch of spots on our structure that had the same problem.

As a result, those hollow spaces needed to be chipped out and redone. And while it was a bit of a setback, we were glad that Mr. Mario took the time to check into it. The last thing anyone of us would like to see are cracks.

With that work out of the way, the crew started installing the zinc roof panels.

And this is where the next challenge cropped up. It seems the screws that come as part of the roofing "kit", were too long. If used, we would be seeing the pointy screw ends every time we looked up at the ceiling. Not exactly the look we were shooting for. David checked around at hardware stores in town, but shorter screws aren't available.

The solution? Mario had one of his guys, using a chop saw, cut the ends off of a slew of the screws. Somehow, all of his fingers were still intact by the time he was done. 

While the roofing work was underway, a couple of the other guys were putting the decorative tile in the pool.

In the meantime, the glass block was installed in the new hallway.

Once the tile work was done in the pool, the entire structure was power washed. When the surface around the pool was dry, the guys taped off the area around the pool's perimeter where Diamond Brite would be applied.

Mr. Mario's plan was to spread a thin coat on the deck surface and around the bull nose. His reasoning was that if it's a thin coat it would still provide grip, and it would eliminate people stubbing their toes if a thicker coat would be applied.

When David went out to see how it was going, he noticed brown specks in the aggregate.

Hmmm, what was up with this? After some head scratching and emails to our supplier, we finally hit on the answer. As the guys were applying the Diamond Brite with a trowel, they were inadvertently collecting little bits of untreated cement that the power washer didn't remove. David picked out as many brown cement specks as possible all the way around the pool and it now looks like it should.

And just to keep things interesting, while the Diamond Brite was going on, the painter showed up and spent a couple of days priming the walls, columns, and pump house.

Here's a view from the south end...

...and from the west.

This week's activities will include applying Diamond Brite inside the pool, more painting, putting the finishing touches on the south end fascia board and the rafters, and maybe gutter installation. Once the painting is finished, the frames and screens can be assembled and installed. Oh, and there is also hooking up the pool pump and installing all the electrical boxes, outlets, and switches.

I must say that even though there is still work to be done, we are definitely in the home stretch. And even in its uncompleted state, there's a spa-like sense to the place. Without a doubt, we love it and anticipate spending quite a bit of time out here.

Matter of fact, as this is our first day off in three weeks, I think I'll grab a chair, go out to the seating area and just be for a bit.