April 13, 2019

It’s 2019 and we’ve finally decided to something about the backyard. It looks OK – most especially the repainted patio:

…but the 800 lb. gorilla in the backyard has always been the swimming pool patio/deck. Over the past few years it has really started to show its age – the pool deck coating has become chipped and completely missing in spots, revealing the poured concrete underneath it.

…but, given the size and shape of the backyard, the pool deck is such a critical feature that we’ve been holding off on any kind of decision until we could comfortably answer the question, with what?

As you can imagine, living in the Valley of the Sun and with all the swimming pools out here, the products and options for resurfacing pool decks are endless – everything do-it-yourself material you just pour and smooth over yourself to more exotic solutions such as the various kinds of tile out there.

In addition, I’ve been wanting to maximize the space available for true recreation on the pool deck by moving the barbeque grill back where I had it when we originally moved out here: to the concrete slab on the east-facing side of the house where the previous owners once had their spa.

The main problem with that location is that there’s no light out there, so when barbecuing during the fall and winter it’s damned dark out there. Sure, I could do what I used to do before and bring my flashlight out with me, but that’s not very cool, is it? Besides, that concrete slab is just begging for a new and exotic look that will make the whole area look that much more inviting and fun. So, I’ve been tossing around in my head running some kind of overhead lighting solution that doesn’t look third-rate and then recoating or painting or resurfacing that slab.

Finally, I’ve been thing about a wood-burning fire pit for a while now. Sure, we have a chiminea, but it’s not really cut out for the kind of wood burning you’d like to do come, say, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. And there’s this neutral spot between the pool deck and the grass area in front of the tiki bar just screaming out for something that looks recreational on cool nights: not to mention something you can enjoy by simply turning the chairs around on the pool deck to enjoy.

So there’s a lot of potential work to be done. But nothing was going to get moving until we made a decision on what to do with the pool deck. Every six weeks or so we get these magazines featuring every kind of home improvement company or service vendor you could imagine. Tracey is pretty picky about what she’s looking for as a pool deck surface replacement – it can’t be boring, and it can’t be all brown-shaded: after all, our newly-repainted patio is painted in lovely tropical colors. That being said, you also don’t want to get crazy and choose something that might turn off someone who might now share the same ideas about color and theme we do.

Enter the folks at Allied Outdoor Solutions and their Carvestone product. It’s perfect for what we’re looking for. Between the costs of do-it-yourself coatings and the high cost of solutions like granite and travertine tile, this not only fits our budget, but it comes in a wide range of colors that we’ll be able to select to integrate our patio and pool into a happy and colorful theme. Better yet, they will do our blank concrete slab for the designated barbeque area and even include a color medallion in the middle of the slab to really make it stand out. I think I’m going with an ancient sun:

Once the pool deck is done, everything else will fall into place: the barbecue grill will go to its new area on the east side of the house, and I’ll have the good folks at Hawkeye Landscaping create a lighting solution that will look great. (Hey, if we ever move from here and the new owners want to put a spa there it will make the side yard even more attractive!) Then, we’ll put in a wood-burning firepit with a mortar siding that will match the pink color in our patio with a surface around the top that will match the color of the pool deck. Everything will be integrated, everything will be designed for three-season “fun, fun, fun” that – oh, by the way – will increase the value of our property and make it more attractive to new home-buyers.

I’m kind of pleased and excited about the changes. I think, between the repainted patio, the cut-back mesquite tree, and the commitment to a new pool deck solution we’re finally going to be able to put the (at least for us) age-old question of “what are we going to do about the backyard” behind us. Can’t wait to show you the before and after pics – it ought to be something!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 17:04 | Comments (2)
  1. Can’t wait to see finished project. I am redoing my back area into a Japanese Zen Rock garden

    Comment by Jana — April 14, 2019 @ 3:35 am

  2. Can’t wait to see that! We’ll come befores and afters! 🙂

    Comment by The Great White Shank — April 14, 2019 @ 7:20 pm

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