March 16, 2011
So it took 4 weeks give or take a few days to be completed. We still have some patio furniture to be returned that we were having the fabric replaced on together with some canopy blinds still to be added to the kitchen windows outside and last but not least the spiral staircase. During the course of yesterday and right now we are having some additional landscaping rock added as what was there had significantly thinned out in both the front and back yard since the house had been built almost 12 years ago.
We don’t use a landscaper very often but he swings by once every other month just to trim back a few bushes. He is due to come round this Saturday morning and add a few date palms to the back wall behind the spa. We had 4 there before the work began but due to the harsh winter they really suffered so I just had them removed. I should be getting 3 x 2 trunk date palms.
What you can’t see from these pictures so I’ll have to take more and create a different post is the 15 mosaics we decided to add into the pool.
We tested out the BBQ and the fire pit on Saturday and had a couple of friends over for dinner. We had a lovely evening and finished it off by roasting marshmallows over the firepit. Kirsten couldn’t eat them fast enough!
February 15, 2011
John and I have lived in our home since October 2002 and one of the few areas we’ve not touched, or done very little too, is the back yard. We took out the grass April 2008 just before Kirsten’s first birthday and replaced with artificial but other than that the pool and barbeque island have been left untouched. The pool was built back in 1999 at the same time of the home and it has a pebbletec coating with cool decking all round the pool. The pebbletec is outside of the water line and there are a lot of rolled beams. We have since discovered this is not the best as the pebbletec is starting to crack and fall away where it meets the cool decking. We started to look at remodelling back in late 2008 but ended up not following through. About a month ago we went to look at what we thought was our “dream home”. I’d been drooling over it since it was built about 8 years ago. Having looked round it it didn’t live up to my/our estimation. This was a good thing and gave us the push to go ahead with our plans for the back yard.
We have a relatively large pool, about 20,000 us gallons. Around the back of the pool we have numerous date palms. Unfortunately they were hit hard by the recent unusually cold temperatures here in Phoenix. The picture on the right shows that we have 2 pots with some lovely artistic cactii made out of metal. We bought them from a local artist about 18 months ago at the Fountain Hills Arts & Crafts Festival. The pots themselves were being thrown away by a neighbour and had been left on the side of the road for the bulk pick-up so I decided to “recycle” them and added river rock in. Once the back yard/pool remodel is completed I am going to have some decorating/replanting to do. You can also see that we have a small barbeque island. Unfortunately there is no protection from the sun as the umbrella hole has the gas line running just a few inches beneath it. It is a 2-burner fire magic but has no warming rack. I don’t use the barbeque as much as I would like due to the fact that running between saucepans/frying pans on the stove in the kitchen and watching the food on the barbeque itself just doesn’t work.
The plan, or rather it has already started to happen, is that the current barbeque island is being demolished and rebuilt closer to the house. It will have a larger grill with a warming rack and a rotisserie. There will also be a double burner to the side of it and a fridge underneath allowing me to do far more cooking and not having to run to the far side of the garden either. Simultaneously we are adding in a small fire pit to the side of the spa so there is a lot of work to re-run electrical and gas lines.
The work started last Wednesday with the pool being drained. I will try and write a few more posts in the next few days to bring you completely up-to-date with where we are.