Robin Flies South...

A blog about decorating and tablescaping with an emphasis on creativity and smart shopping over cash!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Backyard Before and After

Today I'm featuring the biggest Before and After at my house, the back yard.  This is what it looked like when we moved in Sept. 2010.

Not much to it and how do you like that hideous blue!?!  The buyer who picked out everything in this house backed out of the deal a few days before closing.  This was his color choice even though the rest of the neighborhood is all neutral colors.  We had sold our home in NJ and were staying at my sister-in-laws and need a house that was already finished.  Loved the house, hated the color.  Luckily the builder knew they would need to change the color to sell it and let us pick out the new colors free of charge.    We knew we wanted a pool, so as soon as we closed on the house the pool installers went to work.

This is how it looked at the end of Day1.  These guys worked fast!

I won't bore you with pictures from each day (we have them!) but here is how it looked the day they finished.

The past year or so we have done some landscaping, furnished the lanai (that will be another post) added the tiki torches, solar lights and bought the mandatory floats and noodles.  This is what it looks like today.

I am able to have my herb garden outside year round here.  Believe it or not, I just cut them back the other day.  They are going crazy!

This is the first pool we've had so we did a lot of research before having it installed.  Here's some things you might want to know if you're thinking about taking the plunge (get it?)

-This is considered a large pool here in FL (14' x 28') even though it seems much smaller than what we were used to in NJ
-We had the steps put on the side of the pool so that you can swim laps (which I do on occasion).  This was important since my daughter was a college swimmer and I'm planning on Olympic caliber grandchildren!  Just kidding! No pressure Allison!
-We picked out tile to coordinate with the house color.
-This is a salt water pool.  It costs a little more than a regular pool but you will make up the savings quickly.  Our costs for maintaining the pool are minimal (no chlorine) and the water doesn't smell, feels silky and doesn't turn your hair green or fade your bathing suit.
-Florida law requires all pools to have a child safety gate which installs easily if we need it. 
-Remember that you will spend more time outside of the pool than in it, so make sure you allow for enough deck space for your lounge chairs, patio table, etc.
-It goes without saying that you should get several estimates, check references and the BBB and get every detail in writing.  Never pay a large amount up front.  We paid in several installments as the work progressed.
-Our installation took about a month because we had no problems and good weather.  They never know what they might find when they start digging.  Our installer told us he once found a car!
-There are all kinds of options available but remember that you will never get back what you paid for a pool (even in FL) so watch your bottom line.
-Most people have screened cages around their pools here in Florida.  I love ours because I've always wanted a screened porch and we can be outside any time of day or night and not be bothered by the bugs (which we have plenty of here!)
-My husband does all the maintaining of our pool   It doesn't take that much time but you have to be consistent and get the water tested regularly.  We don't have to worry about opening and closing it here so he avoids that extra work.

It goes without saying that this is our favorite part of our house.  We even used it for our Christmas card!

I will be joining the following parties...

Before and After at Thrifty Decor Chick
Masterpiece Monday at Boogieboard Cottage
Motivate Me Monday @ Keep It Simple
Show and Tell Monday at The Delectable Home
Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style
Inspiration Friday at At the Picket Fence


allisamazing said...

What a great transformation. Your pool looks lovely :)


What a fabulous metamorphosis! Your back yard pool looks amazing and everything else. Enjoy your week in your fab back yard pool.

Debbie@Mountain Breaths said...

What a great transformation. I love the Christmas card :-)

Claudine from CondensedLoveHome said...

Oh My God, loved the Christmas card!
Beautiful pool and screened porch, I never saw anything like that! Is it all glass?

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

Hi darling, incredible. What a fantastic addition to your home. I can see why you enjoy this beautiful spot.. hugs ~lynne~

Atticmag said...

What a great way to use the endless yard and extend the house. I'll bet you live out there on the screen porch. I certainly would. It's a lovely pool and a beautiful job all around. Jane

Linda @ it all started with paint said...

It's grey and a bit chilly and very damp here in Chicago today, so your backyard simultaneously cheered me up and turned my eyes green with envy!



(Seriously, they once found a car buried in someone's backyard? That must've been one very naughty teenager whose mom & dad went to such great lengths at punishment! My friend once came home and found her father removed all her wheels and put the car on cinder blocks!)

Danielle Benson said...

Great! Wow! I'm about 1/2 done with my project.

the cape on the corner said...

gorgeous! just gorgeous!

Pine Tree Home said...

Great job. We live in NJ and can never wait long enough to whip the pool cover off. I just love the sight of water!

Becca said...

What a wonderful transformation and beautiful (and fun) backyard oasis! I love how it's screened in and can be enjoyed all year long.

✿ⒹⒺⒺ✿@ A Lapin Life said...

I love the transformation! How nice to live in sunny Florida :)


Kathleen said...

Bet you sent that card to every one of your friends in NJ.
Your yard looks great. We are not pool people, we live a block from the beach, but if I lived in Fl I would like one like yours.

Sheri said...

OMGosh - another FL blogger - we're few and far between i think :) Your herbs are going crazy like mine are - my rosemary is out of control but i love it. I agree with you on the salt water pool thing - very very soft water.

vinylpicketfences said...

This is a great series of fences. That first one is so pretty. They are all unique in their own way!

White Fence