Finally, the POOL IS OPEN!! We did it. We got the pool put together and filled with water, and oh boy, was it a big job. All the youtube videos we watched used three or four men to install a pool, but Brandon and I managed to do it ourselves. It took us two days of hard labor and a day or regular labor, but still, we did it. We don't ever want to do that again, but we did it!
A giant truck arrived before eight in the morning, and dumped four tons of sand into the hole we've been chiseling for the pool. Four tons of sand is heavy. My shoulders and arms were tired from raking it smooth before the sun even burned away the morning mist.
Wendigo thought we invented the best game ever, and kept us entertained as she played king of the mountain on the sand pile. Why she wanted to eat so much of the sand, I don't know.
The pool wall is a long piece of metal that unrolls and slips into the meal track that was leveled along the bottom.
We figured out to put the heavy roll on a piece of plywood so I could spin it and feed out the wall while Brandon put it in the track. This is the part where the videos said to have people there to hold the wall in place as you work. Instead of people, we pounded in fence posts and used clamps and bungee cords to hold it in place. We named one fence post Jamie, and one fence post Joe. But even with all the help from Jamie and Joe, we still had trouble getting the wall to all fit in the track all at the same time. So frustrating! And heavy!
We were so glad to get that part over. Little did we know, that wasn't even the hardest part. Then, more raking to get the bottom smooth and to pile sand along the bottom edge.
After Brandon finished installing the vertical rails along the outside, and the metal piece that fit along the top of the wall, he looked so sweaty and exhausted that I had to take his picture. He looks like he just crawled out of a mine! There's just enough room between the pool wall and the embankment to walk, but it's not enough room to move freely when you have to get down on the ground and fit big pieces together with screws. I heard lots of grumbles coming from the other side of the wall while I raked sand.
Um.., Brandon, I think we were supposed to put the liner in first before you put those on... Doh! It's been years since we took the pool down when it was given to us, so we had to do some guessing about how the pieces fit together. This meant that everything we did, we did it at least three times before we figure out how it should go. And, of course, we did it in hot and humid weather. If only we'd had a pool to keep us cool while we worked, right?
The liner was a beast to install. I'm not sure if the pool isn't exactly round or what, but when we measured the over lap all the way around, it didn't work like it was supposed to. Youtube said to make sure not to get it too tight, or the pool wall could collapse, but not to get it too loose, or it would be all wrinkly. How do we know? We pulled and kicked and struggled with it for hours before we
gave up got it right and turned on the hose.
The whole time I'm kicking wrinkles out of the bottom, I have to wear these stylish foam pieces on my shoes so I don't leave foot prints in the sand. The backs of my legs are sore in places I didn't realize could get sore from doing an awkward backwards scooting hop over and over.
Even though we have the liner that was in the pool when we took it down, and it looked to be in good shape, we decided we would never get the holes lined up with the skimmer and the inlet pipe, so Brandon made a run to a pool store for a new liner, pump, and various other hoses, chemicals, and pieces.
While he was gone, I lined up all the rocks that were generated by our excavations which were piled near the pool hole, hoping to create a visual barrier that will keep us from forgetting to be cautious around the top of the embankment. We have thoughts and plans about vegetation and decking that would cover the embankment and make access to the pool easier, but that's a project for later.
By Sunday evening, the pool was full of water, the filter and pump leaks were under control, and we finally got to swim. Ahhh.... it was definitely worth all that work. If you are looking for me during the remainder of the summer - you can find me at the pool!