Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Diving off the Deep End

We have debated over the last three years whether or not we want to take the plunge and build a pool. The issues that arise in deciding are definitely the costs, maintenance and safety issues that come with owning a pool. I don't like the unexpected and not knowing what I am getting into makes me a tad bit nervous. After all, I am a planner. I like to take the safety bet. I am not so much the risk taker.

We have decided to jump in and build the pool. Now, comes the issue of price. We want more than what we budgeted for. Pool builders, to me, are basically car salesmen. They will say whatever and promise you whatever to get you to buy. The last four cars I have purchased have always been through email. I negotiate price, features, and I definitely play their quotes off one another to get the lowest possible price, which is usually a few hundred BELOW invoice (not MSRP). It may not work for every car out there, but it has worked for me. You just need to do a little research and find out what the invoice price is. I don't have time to go into the dealership and wait as they play their game and wear you down. In emailing, I like the fact that I am not waiting for them, but they are actually waiting for my reply. I usually get more than what I wanted because in the end, they want to sell the car. Making the sale is better than not.

I am trying to use the same technique when it comes to negotiating a price for the pool. Our goal is trying to stay exactly within budget, but still getting everything that is on our list. Yesterday it seemed as though we may have to give up our grotto (rocky overhang waterfall) slide which is more costly than what I want to spend, but one pool builder came to the table with an offer that made us rethink. We are discussing the details tonight. If all goes well, my backyard will finally get a face lift. I have been holding off on planting trees because the bobcats (equipment used to dig and transport dirt) would just destroy them. I can't wait to get started.

Here are some of the initial designs that we liked:

There is an 8" tanning ledge on the left, a place where my littlest one can play.

I am in love with the table and umbrella in the water. There is a bench around the table so that you could be in the water, but still be in the shade.

After some tweaking with safety gates, adding the slide and basketball goal (which will be removable, our final designs are shown below:

I will have to give up my umbrella water table for the slide.

We really like the the outdoor kitchen that was designed for us. It extends our porch and provides more decking, giving us a bigger seating area. We are big fans of grilling. It has been tough for the past year, having a broken grill.

The wrought iron doesn't look that great, but we like it better than having a fence around the entire pool. Safety takes precedence over beauty in my book.

There you have it. Possibly, my future backyard. I was at JoAnn's the other day and saw outdoor fabric on sale. I was tempted to buy it, in hopes of reupholstering my outdoor furniture, but I am going to wait until I can see the whole picture. Then I will decide what I want it to look like. It's one more room to decorate! I am really excited now.

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