Just when my husband and I were growing somewhat smug, feeling we had somehow played the system by selling our new construction cottage in cookie-cutter suburbia for a fixer upper home on a private lot which only needed some cosmetic adjustments(which we enjoyed more than our other home while also significantly reducing our mortgage), we received a major wake-up call…a homeowner’s nightmare of sorts.
In addition to the open-floor concept, one of the major selling points of our 1980’s fixer upper home was the pool and the private lot. Our goal was to create our own little utopia for our boys to grow up in.
While we did notice a few warped Trex boards on our deck upon first inspection of the home, we assumed it wouldnt be much of a task to reinforce some of the sagging areas with additional joists. So, using a recommendation from a family member, we hired a contractor to reinforce the existing deck. This contractor, who had done such great work for family and friends, decided to take off with $2000 of our money- never rendering any services or materials.
After failing to retrieve our money from this douche bag, we decided the show must go on. So, the search for a competent contractor resumed and after several expert opinions, it was decided that the deck was in such bad shape it needed to be completely demolished and rebuilt. Investing around $30,000 on a project we never anticipated was a hard pill to swallow, but we did what had to be done.
As the deck was removed and we were addressing some dirt work around the pool, we noticed portions of the wall on our steel pool had completely rusted through to the liner. Instead of concrete behind the pool, someone had back-filled it with dirt. As a result, the moisture from the dirt had contributed to the rusting of the pool walls.
After consulting with pool specialists, it was determined that the pool was installed improperly and was in such poor shape it would also have to be excavated and removed. So, not only would we have to build a new deck, we would also have to pay to have our pool demolished and hauled off. To top it all off, we would have to buy a new pool (cue the dramatic music and nervous breakdown).
Excavating Original Pool:
Yoga, wine and Jesus helped me through the three months that my yard was reduced to nothing but a gigantic mud pit. I constantly chanted to myself first world problems, b!tch….snap out of the pity party.
My Depressing Reality for 3 Months:
But from ashes comes beauty, and I am so incredibly thrilled with how everything turned out. I am so relieved to finally be sharing the finished product. Without further ado, I present to you my new backyard oasis. At the bottom, I have listed sources for furniture and decor.
After completing this monster of a project, we have now invested just as much into our fixer upper as our new construction home (which kind of stings). However, home prices in our area have significantly increased so we think we will still come out on top if we ever decide to sell. Not to mention, this home fits our needs and lifestyle so much better than our previous home.
And if anyone is looking for a decking contractor in the Chattanooga area, I have a great guy who will hopefully not run off with your money.
For your convenience, I have included affiliate links to products used in this design. That simply means if you click on one of the links and buy something, I receive a small commission, but don’t worry… you won’t pay a dime more.
Furniture and Decor Sources:
Lounge Chairs – Amazon
Dining Set – Hayneedle
Garden Stools – Hayneedle
Pillows – Target
Cushions- TJ Maxx
Towels/Table Cloth – Etsy
Flower Pillows – Ross
Lantern – Ikea
Chinoiserie Flower Pot- Ross
Metal Chairs- Southeastern Salvage
Now get out there and design good vibes!
Friday 23rd of June 2017
Erica, Your backyard is gorgeous. I just found your blog today coming over from Rhoda at Southern Hospitality. I have been trying to talk my husband into getting a pool. We would have to do an above ground because of our yard/tree situation. I can't tell from the pictures, but is your pool an in ground or an above ground? Can you please give more details about the pool itself? Thanks so much. Alli
Saturday 24th of June 2017
Hi Alli. I am so glad you stopped by. Oh my goodness...we originally had an in-ground pool when we first moved into our fixer upper, but whoever installed it, didnt do it properly and back-filled it with dirt (causing the steel walls to rust through). So, we had to excavate the original pool. It was such a horrible surprise. Not preparing for something like that in our budget but definitely still wanting a pool, we now have an above ground pool. We had our carpenter design the woodwork around it to still give it an "in-ground" effect. I need to do a separate blog post on how he gave the pool an in-ground look. Hope this helps!
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Thursday 1st of June 2017
This is absolutely gorgeous! Your design of the space is beautiful. I love how you mixed materials with the decking and the stonework. I know you all will get tons of enjoyment out of it!
Thursday 1st of June 2017
Thank you so much, Beth. It was a long process, but we are finally able to enjoy it and it feels great.
Wednesday 31st of May 2017
Oh my gosh, what a nightmare!! $30k is a lot of unexpected dollars to spend! But... it's done... And, it looks super amazing!! I'm totally jealous! You guys are making a beautiful house to create wonderful memories in with your boys. Well done friend, it couldn't haven't turned out any better!
Wednesday 31st of May 2017
Thank you so much, my dear friend. Yeah...$30,000 was just the deck and we thought that was rough (then came the pool and dirtwork). But, it looks so much better now so I guess it was just meant to be.