Update on #Projectpool

It is time for a photo onslaught to update you on the progress that’s happening in our backyard. It is getting really exciting! And now that the weather has turned into real summer-like weather we’re getting really anxious to get the liner in the pool and get it filled up.

Late last summer before the new grass had re-grown after #projectpatio our backyard was looking like this:

IMG_20160804_174611

We didn’t have much patio furniture to fill it out but boy did we love it! So much room… and access to the backyard via those stone steps. We were out there constantly and it allowed us to extend our use of the backyard much later into the fall. We also added a conversation set to the patio – which you can see in the next photo. We opted for the Brandemore set and ordered it through Costco.ca.

Let’s take a walk not so far down memory lane to earlier this spring to see what we were working with.

IMG_20170426_172116

A sure sign that work was about to start. Never been so excited about orange spray paint before!

IMG_20170430_190711

The first thing to go in was the pool. Once the pool was dug and installed (mostly) then the landscaping could begin. So, right on schedule the “pool guys” showed up and went to work.

IMG_20170507_140257

The pool went in so efficiently. We were so impressed with how quickly they dug the pool and then put it together. In only a couple of days it looked like this. After about a week, they had pretty much wrapped up their end of things, with a promise to be back when the major stone work was complete and heavy equipment had done their job.

We had a wet spring this year, though, so that set back the landscaping team a little bit. So our pool sat like this for a couple of weeks without any other action in the backyard.

IMG_20170523_200548

Once the landscaping team arrived, though we started to see big changes immediately.

IMG_20170528_175531

Big armour stone on site and lots of flagstone on site to be placed. The pool surround had the concrete poured so that the pool coping could be set in place.

IMG_20170601_174452

Then the water feature started to take shape and a lot of the heavy lifting with the skid steer. It was amazing to watch the painstakingly detailed work that takes a lot of effort. The large rocks were moved sometimes 3 or more times just to get them in the right spot, in the right shape, and then into final position after mortar had been placed.

IMG_20170609_175308

If you’re following #projectpool on instagram, you might’ve seen my giddy post about some of the large trees showing up on site. You’ll also see in the photo above that the fence posts were starting to go in.

IMG_20170614_195904

More fence progress and some extended patio work. That just about takes us to the end of last week and things were really starting to come together.

We’re getting pretty close and can almost see the finish line now!

Hoping to be swimming to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.

What are you planning for Canada’s big day?

Advertisements

Boys’ rooms update and big news!

Last I shared, the boys’ rooms were on the docket for painting… and indeed they were painted. While they had a great time at my parent’s house over March Break (see below) I painted their rooms in what I dubbed “the least dramatic before and after project” since the rooms basically look the same only *slightly* more shiny.

Grandmas Rules

And while they were enjoying Grandma’s house rules, I also did a bit more shopping and indeed the design gods were with me on my trip to HomeSense and I found a pair of panels for Harrison’s room. I’m planning to add some blackout lining so that these summer months are a bit easier on us at bedtime.

We now wait for the paint to cure, in order to put a few things up on the walls – like the decals I have saved for Foster’s room. Once some of the more interesting changes have happened to their rooms, I’ll post photos of the progress.

BUT… I also promised some big news so here it is:

WE ARE PUTTING IN A POOL! (Yes, that required All Caps)

I’m calling it #projectpool so you can follow along on instagram. This week we hit a major milestone because the digging has begun.

After months of planning – seriously we started planning in October – it is finally time to see the plans come together.

Phase two of our yard projects that we planned for last year (catch up on Phase One in New Nest  – Exterior Tour), includes an in-ground pool, the required fence for said pool, the patio/hardscaping around the pool and extending the existing patio, a pool shed, a walkway from the front of the house around the side to the back, and adding some gardens and/or plants. Whew!

Pool

That’s a lot to take in, but that image does show the left side of the house that’ll be part of the plan this summer. We’re going to share part of the path to the back with our neighbours so we can each have a nice wide path until our fences, rather than two skinny ones separated by another skinny patch of grass. It pays to be friendly with your neighbours!

Here’s a closer look at the backyard area.

Pool3

The pool will be right off the patio area, leaving us a patch of grass that we can still use to throw a ball around in.

We decided to ditch the hot tub altogether, since we didn’t think we would use it much. And although we thought this project might take on 3 or more phases, the addition of the pool required a bunch of other “stuff” to be done, like putting in the fence to meet by-law and safety requirements, and the shed (more of a “want” so we can store pool-related items), it made sense to do all the rest of the plan at once. So phase 2 will be the end of the major yardwork we have done. I’m sure the yard will continue to evolve though as our family grows.

I can’t tell you how excited I am to see this starting to come together.

Foster and digger

Someone else is pretty excited too!

New Nest – Exterior Tour

I hope you guys liked the sneak peek at our new nest plans and some of the interior spaces. Before I take you inside for a house tour, I thought I’d start by showing you around the exterior of the house just like you were pulling up to our house for a visit.

Also if you follow along on Instagram you know that in late July and early August we had a patio project on the go, so it seems appropriate to show you this newly completed project that I teased on Instagram and that has made such a difference to the whole look of the house and the function we get from it.

But first, let me show you what the house was looking like when we moved in.

Eaglecrest with driveway

Our house is new craftsman in style and the exterior reflects that. We didn’t go wild with colour choices and tried to stick with browns and greys. Choosing exterior colours was extremely nerve-wracking. The samples to choose from are quite small (especially when you consider the size of the house) and there weren’t any other houses in previous neighbourhoods that we felt got it exactly right (for us), so we had to select “blind” in a way. And once you’ve selected you just have to wait for them to start putting it on the house and hope and pray that you love it because there’s no going back now.

When we moved in last fall we put the patio at the top of our wish list for projects come springtime. We use our bbq year-round and the boys need to run around so we knew we’d want to make use of our backyard (and have access) as soon as possible.

First up, our lawn was installed right before the May long weekend. And boy did that make a difference to how the yard looked. We only had to stay off it for 3 weeks. #kidscantwaitthatlong

new grass

 

yard looking left

 

sprinkler

Don’t let those photos fool you. It looked extremely green in the spring in the few weeks after we got sod… and then we had one of the hottest, driest summers on record.

In terms of planning the yard we knew that building our dream yard would be more than a one year project. Being able to budget and save up year over year was the main reason, but also because it’ll give us a bit more time to live in the house (and the yard) and decide what’s most important to us, and how we use the space.  We asked the designer to show us a plan of our yard that would offer us all of the wants/needs for our yard all at once so that we could see the big picture and not make any hard to undo “mistakes” that we’d be kicking ourselves over later. Once we had the big picture then we’d consider how much we wanted to bite off at a time. For example, we didn’t want to put in a patio this year that the designer would tell us would get in the way of a future pool or fire pit next year or beyond.

Our BIG wish list included:

  • Large kid-friendly stairs leading out from the patio doors,
  • A large patio that could accommodate grilling, dining and lounging,
  • Low-maintenance gardens
  • A pool
  • A hot tub
  • A fire pit
  • A walkway from our driveway around the side of our house to the backyard
  • A fence (especially required if we put in a pool)

I’m guessing that like many home plans the yard will evolve as our family grows and will constantly be a work in progress.

We really want our backyard to be a place we can spend our summers entertaining, enjoying the natural surroundings of our yard, play with the kids and eat as many meals as possible al fresco.

So this summer we tackled  “phase one” which included front gardens, gardens on the right side of the house, and stairs from the patio doors and a stone patio spanning the width of the house and some some additional planting. We also included some lighting in the gardens and on the stairs.

Before work started the yard was already starting to look pretty crispy, despite our best efforts to water it on our watering day.

DSC_0972

 

 

 

 

 

Back Before

Pathetic Stairs 2

Those are some seriously sad-looking stairs.

It only took about two and a half weeks to complete the project (12 working days in all).

Front After

The birch tree in the front makes such a huge difference inside and outside the house. From inside you can see the green leaves through the transom above the front door and it makes our house feel so much more finished. #crazybutitstrue

Side Front After

Side garden

We’re told our side yard is almost no maintenance. This is the side of the house we decided we wouldn’t use at all as a means to get to the back of the yard. The other side of the house makes the most sense, so we decided to simply use up the whole space with garden so that we don’t have to mow it or maintain it much, but it still looks nice.

Back After

Back After 2

The day I took these After photos was extremely bright and a lot of the photos of the patio itself and the patio stones got really washed out. I’ll try to take some new photos on a dimmer day so you can get a sense of the colour. The in-progress photo below does a so-so job but in reality it is much darker grey than these photos suggest.

patio

Already, less than one month later, we have enjoyed so many meals on the patio, and more than a few glasses of wine on the patio after the kids have been tucked in.

Next up patio furniture to fill up the space. The dining set we have fits in the space better than we expected but we’re putting an 8-seater on our patio wish list and keeping an eye out for some end of season deals.