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Jungalow By The Mountain Pool Renovation


That is the story of a pool transformation.  However, I wish to begin off by saying that the “earlier than” photographs of this pool usually are not some wretched hole-in-the-ground swampy “earlier than” photographs that make the “after” photographs all of the extra attractive. The “earlier than” photographs of this pool are, for my part, actually stunning. The truth is, the pool and the yard surrounding it have been what offered us on this home. I’m a water individual. In my household, we’re all water folks. We may spend all day within the water. And this pool is giant sufficient to do laps in! And surrounded by timber! We liked the pool! We liked the brick coping (the bricks across the pool’s edge) and the unique waterline tile–hey solar form (couldn’t be extra good for us!)! Hell, even the little home made pergola scenario had its appeal. If we may have left the pool as-is, consider me, we’d have.

Before photos of the pool

We liked the unique coping and waterline tile of the pool

Once we purchased the house we knew that the pool wanted new tools and replastering. What we came upon after shopping for the home was that the pool additionally wanted new electrical and new plumbing. The truth is, a number of tradespeople warned us: “{the electrical} work on this pool is so outdated, I’d be afraid to swim in it for worry of being electrocuted” (yikes).  Properly, that was sufficient for us to re-allocate funds for a loo transform and add it to the pool finances in an effort to make it protected and swimmable. The lavatory transform may wait — in spite of everything, there was no actual hazard of being electrocuted within the outdated bathtub.

This was our first time ever engaged on a pool, so I used to be coming at it from a spot of complete ignorance. After interviewing half a dozen contractors,  we employed a licensed pool contractor to information us by the method. What I shortly discovered is that the plumbing and electrical work have been all positioned across the pool, that means that we would wish to interrupt up and take away all of the cement within the surrounding space, together with the coping and the waterline tile in an effort to get to {the electrical} wires and piping.

I don’t know the place I used to be anticipating the pipes and electrical wiring to be positioned in a pool — I suppose I had by no means given in an excessive amount of thought!?! However I used to be shocked as soon as I noticed that we needed to demo your complete pool and surrounding space in an effort to make the pool protected to swim in. The very first thing that we requested is that if it was going to be potential to salvage the tile and brick coping. The reply was a “perhaps.” We went into demo day hoping for the most effective.

It’s all the time laborious to look at one thing be demolished, particularly one thing stunning and one thing that you simply’ve simply spent a wholesome portion of your life financial savings on, however hey, typically you simply should dive in, huh? So we took a deep breath, paid the deposit and commenced to empty the pool — which took three hoses and three days.

As soon as the pool was drained the demolition crew got here by and demoed the floor space of the pool and the encompassing areas. Sadly, the coping and waterline tile crumbled through the demolition and have been unsalvageable.

Now that the method was underway it was time to make some design selections. We might hold the form and measurement of the pool the identical, solely take it from 9 toes deep, to 6 toes deep within the deep finish. Making the pool extra shallow would make it cheaper/quicker to warmth and make it a bit safer, too. Additionally, since we have been eradicating the prevailing diving board for security causes, there was no purpose to have the pool keep that deep. Different large selections to make have been:

1.) The pool was beforehand surrounded by a cement floor, what did we wish to change the cement with?
2.) What kind of coping did we would like?
3.) What did we wish to use for waterline tile?
4.) What kind of end did we would like the pool to have?

We started to consider the general vibe and the way we wished the house to really feel. All of us agreed that we liked the look of the outdated pool, so we determined to purpose for a design that will make the house really feel type of prefer it had all the time been there, so making a design that match with the general vibe of your complete property drove our design selections. Timing additionally guided many choices. Decided to complete the pool in time for the new L.A. summer season months, every part that we have been on the lookout for wanted to be IN STOCK. This proved to be very difficult, particularly throughout COVID since there have been quite a lot of shortages, delivery delays, and gadgets from abroad caught on the docks.

Reclaimed brick specified by a chevron sample

1.) The Pool Encompass

After quite a lot of analysis and throwing concepts round, we determined to exchange the cement across the pool with brick pavers. We landed on the pavers as a result of tiling your complete house would have been prohibitively costly. We didn’t love the look of the cement that had been there earlier than however DID love the look of the brick ground on the higher patio, and so we determined to try to emulate that look. Sand-setting the bricks could be cheaper than grouting them in. As soon as we settled on the brick look, we forged a large internet on the lookout for the right brick — however that truly ended up being an issue — the brick that we have been discovering was too good — it seemed too new and due to this fact didn’t actually match with the vibe of the remainder of the property. So we determined to go on the hunt for outdated brick. Not solely wouldn’t it appear to be the remainder of the home, however it will be extra sustainable as nicely. We ended up discovering 800 sq. ft. price of BEAUTIFUL, reclaimed brick at an area stone yard and snatched all of it up. The one problem was, the floor space of the yard is 1200 sq. ft. So we had 400 sq. ft. of house that will nonetheless want hardscaping. We thought of on the lookout for extra reclaimed brick, carving out areas for crops, or cementing small “zones” for, say the outside eating space, however landed on the thought of tiling a 400 sq. ft. space of the yard that, as a result of structure of the yard, was raised. We name the raised space “the stage.” We spent a number of weeks sourcing cement tile for the stage too — and entertained plenty of completely different colours and motifs, however couldn’t discover something that was “in-stock” that felt proper for the house. We wished it to really feel like a contemporary backdrop that might look good with a number of completely different finishes. As a substitute, we ended up deciding to make use of a sage-colored, hexagon cement tile from Zia Tile that we had ordered months earlier for our kitchen transform.  Since we have been nonetheless ready on permits for our kitchen transform, we knew it will be months earlier than we’d want the tile for the kitchen, so we determined to tile the stage with cement tile that was initially allotted for our kitchen, and use brick on the remainder of the encompassing space. (And ordered extra of the identical tile for the kitchen ground!)

The brick and the sage would drive the colour selections for the remainder of the world.

When the brick was lastly being put in, we had plans to put in it in a cross-hatch motif like the remainder of the property, however that’s after we discovered that in contrast to the brick on the remainder of the property in the event you put two of those bricks side-by-side, the width of two bricks didn’t equal the size of 1 brick #oops! So we needed to assume quick, and selected a chevron sample as a substitute. You reside, you study, you pivot!

Brick pavers and bullnose pool coping

On the left, the reclaimed brick pavers earlier than sand-setting and grout, on the fitting the pavers and coping absolutely put in.

2.) The Coping 

Full disclosure, I had by no means heard the phrase “coping” earlier than Feb. 2021, however now I really feel I’ve explored each kind of coping recognized to mankind! Ha! Impressed by the unique brick coping that the unique pool had, we preferred the thought of utilizing a brick coping. However, I didn’t love how sharp the perimeters have been across the pool. In any case, my desires of sipping a mojito on the sting of the pool with my toes within the water didn’t embrace scraping my tush on the sharp fringe of the pool, so Jason steered bullnose brick coping that led to a spherical edge and I liked that concept. And bullnose brick coping was in inventory and straightforward to search out at most stone yards, in order that’s what we selected.

3.) The Waterline Tile

Waterline tile is used on the pool to forestall a yellow ring from forming across the pool’s edge. Sure, I had desires of utilizing gorgeously uneven Moroccan zellige clay tile across the perimeter of the pool after having seen it utilized in so many fountains and swimming pools in Morocco (and after utilizing it in my kitchen at #JungalowByTheRiver). However, after speaking to fairly a number of consultants at tile retailers, I used to be suggested towards utilizing a clay tile. The consensus was that “pool-grade porcelain tile” was the best way to go for the pool encompass. I used to be informed that it will final a lot, for much longer than clay tile and resist the damage and tear that pool chemical substances can have on tile. Our contractor additionally made it very clear that the tile set up could be a lot quicker, cheaper and simpler with a porcelain tile. He didn’t flat out refuse to put in the zellige — however didn’t wish to be held accountable if it didn’t maintain up. So, albeit a bit dismayed, we went on a hunt for the right *in inventory* porcelain tile. This was an actual problem. Porcelain tile that felt vibey proved troublesome to search out. We noticed quite a lot of tile with fairly patterns, however the patterns seemed like they have been printed on the tile, not a part of the tile itself. A variety of it seemed too retro (not in a great way). A lot of what we noticed and preferred was solely obtainable by particular order, oftentimes with 12-20 week lead instances, and we couldn’t afford to attend that lengthy.  After looking excessive and low, we lastly discovered some porcelain tiles that actually liked at Mission Tile West in Pasadena who has a huge tile assortment. The tile we landed on, the 4X4 Sant Gervasi tile from Latin Accents  *was* in inventory, expensive, however in inventory. However, very similar to the reclaimed brick — there wasn’t fairly sufficient of it to make it across the total pool. So, by no means one to shrink back from mixing it up, we discovered a stable, 6×6 celadon coloured sq. that recalled the colour of the sage hexagon cement tile, and we additionally discovered a small 2X2 accent tile that coordinated again to the bigger Sant Gervasi motif, and we ordered sufficient of these to cowl the “stage” portion of the pool’s edge and the new tub encompass. This was additionally a pleasant repair as a result of these different tiles have been considerably cheaper so we saves a number of cash, too.

As soon as we bought the tile again to the pool, and positioned the stable celadon tile on the pool’s edge we bought nervous. It seemed like toilet tile and didn’t really feel enjoyable or particular or outdated or something that we had wished it to really feel. So, Jason had the sensible concept to insert the small 2X2 tile at a diagonal within the nook of 4 stable, 6X6 tiles and instantly the vibes got here pouring again in. Disaster averted! The tile installer, Eugenio did a tremendous job at meticulously reducing the corners off of the stable tile to create the sample and we’re actually, actually pleased with the ultimate consequence.

We additionally had plenty of loopy sample concepts for the spa spillway into the pool. We performed quite a bit with the patterns right here and ended up with a checker sample that makes use of the small 2×2 flower tiles, which I’m obsessive about. Due to the curved line right here, it’s greatest to make use of smaller tiles for the spillway in order that there aren’t too many gaps.

We additionally dotted tiles alongside the pool steps and the pool benches and saved the additional tile for an eventual outside bathe that we plan to put in down the street.

4.) The Pool End

The pool end choices have been fairly restricted. We may have gone with commonplace plaster, however we have been informed (and analysis confirmed) that Pebble Tec merchandise final quite a bit longer than conventional plaster, and after 5 months of coping with this pool renovation, we didn’t wish to should replaster the pool any time quickly.  Pebble Fina within the Egyptian Sands end was our first alternative. We preferred how the hotter tone of the end forged a heat inexperienced coloration on the pool, however, alas, that product was caught on the dock and so we needed to pivot once more, going with Pebble Sheen in Desert Gold as a substitute. The colour was comparable, however the Pebble Sheen has a rougher texture than the Pebble Fina. In the long run, it seems quite a bit like actual sand, which may be very cool as a result of it offers us a beachy really feel that I welcome wholeheartedly.

As soon as the pool end was carried out, it was time to fill the pool, which took about two days. The anticipation was killing us. The entire undertaking took about twice as lengthy (nearly six months) and twice as a lot cash as we had anticipated (about the price of an costly marriage ceremony) however within the few weeks for the reason that pool has been principally carried out we now have been swimming each single day and on daily basis that I’m in there, I simply go searching in awe and gratitude that we have been capable of make this place ours.

We nonetheless have some issues to verify off the to-do record — we have to construct a canopy for the pool tools, end furnishing the pool encompass, do landscaping, repair the fence that surrounds your complete yard, and wait one other couple of weeks till the Pebble Sheen cures earlier than we are able to warmth the pool or the spa, however as with all tasks, the paint will all the time be a bit moist, and I’m positive as time goes on we’ll proceed to hone in on this place and proceed to make it our personal.



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