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  The Pool
Retiring to Florida
The Big Picture
Selecting Legacy
Visiting Legacy
Design Studio
Red Carpet Center
The Pool
Lessons Learned
Our Finished Retirement Home
The Move: If I Only Had a Brain
The Yellow Brick Road
Fireworks, Booze and Porn, oh my!
The Emerald City
No Place Like Home
Leesburg Hospital

 What we thought we wanted

Our success at the Red Carpet center with the house (coming in under budget) sort of threw us off with the pool by giving us false confidence.  I was almost positive we'd be within a hundred dollars or so of our pool budget:

  1. Basic Pool -- 26610

  2. SAM and SAL lights -- 1500

  3. 6ft depth -- 800

  4. Chlorine Generator -- 1300

  5. In Floor Cleaning -- 2280

  6. Spa -- 6160

  7. Birdcage Extension -- 9560

  8. Tile Trim -- 500

Total Pool -- 48710

Initially I didn't have the Spa included, but since the pool heater we were getting (at $2500) was part of the Spa package, and since my doctor said he would write me a prescription for the spa (with my bad back it would be very helpful) the cost became almost nothing so we added it in.  However, I was unprepared for two major things, one "hidden" in the option list, the other no where on the list.

This extra cost was the cost of extending the screen beyond the "normal" 22 feet allowed for.  While they had (in their cost sheet) indicated that extra screen and decking would be $20 per square foot, that figure only held as long as you kept the width at 22 feet.  Since we wanted to go quite a bit beyond that, we got hit with another $3K or so in costs I hadn't allowed for.

I was reeling from that when we got hit with the "other" thing -- the one-touch control center.  Since we were getting a spa, a colored light system, heating, etc. it was only natural we'd want an easy way to control all this.  For another $2K or so we could install the system to control everything.

I couldn't afford this and keep all my birdcage extension, but luckily the pool designer had a good idea about where to economize.  We eliminated three feet on the back end of the cage (where we really wouldn't need it) and that allowed me to afford the remote control.

The pool itself was even better than we could have imagined, since the pool designer had a design he had come up with that was both "fatter" and allowed a lot more swimming space (with better spa placement) than the one we had been looking at.  By the time we were done we had created what he considered to be a showplace pool and outdoor living area, one he'll want to photograph when finished.

Final price:

  1. Standard Pool -- 26610

  2. SAM and SAL lights -- 1600

  3. 4 ft depth at shallow with extra step -- 500

  4. Chlorine Generator -- 1300

  5. In Floor cleaning -- 2280

  6. Spa -- 6156

  7. Birdcage extension -- 8200

  8. Screen beyond 22 feet -- 3250

  9. Child safe fencing -- 240

  10. One touch remote -- 2300

Total Pool -- 52436

or about $4400 more than our initial budget.

Now, those of you playing along at home might notice that because our house and pool budget was $260000, we had a little "slop" that we felt we might need.  In the end, the house and the pool combined came out like this:


House -- 207282


Pool ----   52436


Total --- 259718

So we actually came in a few hundred dollars under our total budget.  Admittedly, we missed the attic space (or we'd be a few hundred over budget) and we had to cut back on our birdcage, but all in all it was the kind of success with a budget I'd hope for in all my endeavors.

Update: Since I wrote the above, Angela had her gal call us so we could add the attic storage.  There was also a need to add the gas line and electric for the pool, so the bottom line has changed slightly:

House and Pool -- 261223


Budget Allotted -- 260000


Difference -- 1223

So we actually are around $1200 over budget -- but not bad and I do get my attic storage after all.  Considering all that we are accomplishing, we are extremely happy.

Other things about the pool --We had wanted to stay away from a DE filter, since everything we read was about how messy they were, but the pool builder only uses them, and his recommendations made a lot of sense.  So we'll see (it can be switched to a cartridge pretty easily).  We knew we wanted salt chlorination for the ease of use.  We ended up with planters even though we'll put portable planters on the deck as well because the pool man said it was really nice to have someplace to wash off the deck to -- kind of like sweeping dirt under a rug -- and this way we don't have to open the cage door.  We went with a bronze cage because both the pool man and the designer at the Red Carpet center liked it better than white (which apparently always looks dirty).  We didn't put tile trim on the steps because Steve (the pool man) said it made them slippery and I actually prefer the look without them.  We also went with a more "natural" tile around the pool -- this is also the popular trend, staying away from the shiny artificial looking tile and going with a more natural look, and I think it will look great with the pebbled Sunstone surface we chose (that has flecks of light blue in it).

Our original design had the spa more in the center of the pool, with easier access from the bedroom, but the way Steve recommended it made a lot of sense.  At the end it gives you more swimming room, and it allows those folks who don't want to sit in the hot tub to sit on the steps next to it.

The space we cut off from the lanai in our original estimate would have been planting space anyway -- now we'll just plant on the outside of the lanai instead of the inside, which is actually better in some ways.  And we will still have tons of room around the pool and spa on the right for barbecuing and entertaining.

We can still run into trouble -- retaining walls and drainage might be issues that can't be adequately prepared for until the foundation is poured.  But at least we have a clearer vision of our dream now and have done all that we can for the moment.

Lessons Learned


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