Well the good news is that the big, cracked in-ground pool that took up our entire backyard is finally gone.
Built in the early seventies, the oversized pool—and its poor condition—was the big reason this house was languishing on the market when we found it.
You might remember it was last year at this time when we were living in a tiny condo waiting for any kind of movement in the neighborhoods we wanted to live in…it was actually weird how small the housing inventory was back then.
We eventually decided to take a look at a home that had a lot of issues--- but was SO close to the ocean that we couldn’t resist.
I still remember the sinking feeling I had when we walked into the kitchen; the previous owners had a bulky red couch pushed up against the sliding glass doors and the view was awful. All I saw was an old pool and a lot of cracked concrete.
And plain concrete walls that had never been planted except for a few dying plants and no trees to block the neighbors. Gulp, it was a far cry from our old backyard.
Plus, the last thing we wanted was another pool. Even though we’d had years of great pool memories in our former backyard—now with the boys in college we were ready for a different kind of outdoor space.
But after weighing the price and square footage and the proximity to the ocean we decided to make an offer despite the backyard. And I’m so glad we did. Since then we know we made the right decision; we’ve got some great neighbors and the floorplan has real potential.
Now. Fast forward 8 months and here’s a picture of the dreaded pool being drained.
Yep. We couldn’t wait. Even though our kitchen really needs to be remodeled we decided to divert the money and get rid of the pool, the first step in transforming our ugly backyard into a usable living space.
Because of the tight space on the side of the house, the demolition company had to use the smallest Bobcat available. Andrew was the talented driver who made over 200 trips with dirt before it was all over.
The city of Huntington Beach requires an engineer to be on-site to take samples of the dirt compaction after each foot of dirt was added.
Yes, it was a verrry laborious (and loud) process.
This is a powerful piece of equipment that produced vibrations we could feel inside our house.
Once the pool was filled we had to address the drainage and figure out the hardscape.
Because of the drought here in California we made a decision to forgo lawn and instead plan on designing with a combination of hardscape, softscape and lush plantings.
This week we finally had the concrete poured for our patio. Hooray!!!
Here’s the view from our sliding glass doors while it was happening.
I wanted to eliminate the step down when you walked outside…preferring a seamless flow with the interior of the house and fortunately because of our overhead structure already here, we don’t have to worry about flooding.
Although we finally got some great drainage in our backyard.
Before this, we didn’t have one drain in our backyard. Hard to believe. Lucky we don’t have heavy rains here.
Here’s a photo with the wet concrete. (No more step down)
We also have the backyard plumbed for gas and electrical so we can have a fireplace and up-lights for our palm trees. And of course, gotta have that electrical outlet for the blender. (Margaritas anyone?)
Now the fun stuff. Designing the landscape. The hubby wants palm trees, banana trees and Bird of Paradise for sure.
Even though I’m a lover of the English garden, now that we’re in Southern California I want to incorporate a tropical vibe and blend some drought resistant plants into the landscape.
I can’t tell you how excited I feel to finally have a backyard filled with good old dirt.
Funny the things that makes us happy. I’ll keep you posted on our progress.