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Thread: Ugly Duckling Pool Reno in Maine

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    Exclamation Ugly Duckling Pool Reno in Maine

    Well I need some help. Here is Swampville, our ugly 80s pool filled with toxic waste. Folks in the getting started forum are helping me get it all sparkly clean.

    I need advice on the horrible concrete squares and cracked concrel te surrounding the pool as well as the retaining walls. I even dislike the fence. We have done a major reno on the house and have virtually no money left for a while.

    What can I do besides pressure wash those concrete tiles? How do I get rid of the ants that are all over the place? We will paint the fence, which I think will help alot, but I do not like the retaining wall at all. I have to live with it. We will also be painting the side of the garage and doing some gardening which should also make a positive difference. We also will do some landscaping, adding some classic New England style shrubs, plants, and some sort of privacy screen hedge on the righthand fence side.

    You can see snow on the side of the old barn. The barn is kind of charming and I am plugging away at prettying that up too. Just yesterday we finished moving 4 truckloads of an old woodpile that was covered in stinging nettles and thistle from behind the white picket fence right behind the pool.

    I will post pictures of my progress, but would love to hear anyone's suggestions, esp on the pool surround, with no real budget other than our own labor and possibly some type of pressure wash rental.

    This was yesterday. It looks better, but we have so much to do!



    22,000 gallons, IG ,vinyl, AstralCantabric sand filter, magnatech century corp. pump- 2.0 HP, Just took over home with an August 4, 1975 pool and system, though pump, filter and lining have been replaced at one point. Have been to swamp and back....

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Ugly Duckling Pool Reno in Maine

    I would start by cleaning it up and pulling all the weeds. Its labor intensive but free and once you get the clean slate, then you can start planning your garden and whatnot.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: Ugly Duckling Pool Reno in Maine

    I feel your pain with the ants and pavers.... Before I started my pool, we pulled up hundreds of pavers.... The ants had built quite a complex nest spanning under so many different pavers.... Now we pulled them all up as we didn't need them..... So we killed thousands of ants and haven't had a problem since as we killed all the queens we found and destroyed all the eggs....

    Now if you don't want to remove the pavers, you have to use a poison that the ants will eat and take back to the nest and pass it on to others....You'll be amazed at how prolific they can be...... This will eventually kill them off... Eventually, but it is slower.... Great job on clearing your water... Its starting to look like a real pool...
    Intex Rectangle 18 x 9 x 52', 4544 gallon (18000 litres), 0.75 hp pool pump, 100 sqft Zodiac Titan Cartridge Filter - 40mm, Stenner Peristaltic Pump chlorine injection system, Intex Over The Wall Skimmer, Intex Fittings with 40mm plumbing Lil Patch Of Heaven. Build/Construction http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...lice-of-heaven

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    Re: Ugly Duckling Pool Reno in Maine

    I actually use a blacknDecker weed wacker on my pavers to cut down weeds between the cracks. I also have moss that comes up every year which I just started using moss aside which is safe and does a pretty good job in the spring. Eventually I need to power wash all the cracks in the pavers and then put down the polymeric sand in the cracks. Just don't want that stuff in my pool especially with my new pebble sheen finish. Maybe next years project. Good luck with your pool!
    Inground 22k gallon gunite 15x31 main pool, 15x7 wading pool/sunning deck, hot tub/with overflow (9' octagon with limestone top) & slide NSWG, Aqua Blue Pebble Sheen
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    Re: Ugly Duckling Pool Reno in Maine

    From the photo, I don't think the concrete pavers look bad. I think a pressure wash is a good idea. My neighbor painted his concrete walkway recently from gray to a terra cotta color. Maybe consider staining or painting them to give the impression of a paver/tile you like?
    Swimming!: 19x32 IG rectangular pool, 22,500 gallons; 3' - 6.5'; open spa w/ 6 jets; raised wall w/ 1 sheer descent and 2 minijets, 2 color-changing LED pool lights, 1 spa light; Jandy 2 1/2 HP 2 speed Pump, Jandy cartridge filter (320 SQFT), Diamondbrite Cool Blue

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Ugly Duckling Pool Reno in Maine

    I think they look nice, honestly. A good weeding and cleaning with a powerwasher will make a world of difference.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
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    Re: Ugly Duckling Pool Reno in Maine

    I think if you cleaned up the pavers and added some pots of flowers around it would be very nice looking. Spilling flowers in the retaining wall area would be charming.
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Our pool build--> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard Skippy's Cheap Pool Cooler -->Skippy's New Fountain

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    Re: Ugly Duckling Pool Reno in Maine

    Thanks so much to all of you who replied. I weeded half the pool and rented a power washer today. I got through half. Wow! It did make a huge difference. YippeeSkippy, there are some cascading flowers and I do want to put in more. It looks nice. I think painting the diving board and the fence will make a huge difference as well. I think the pavers look 1,000 times better with just the power wash.

    Will post another pic when I finish that tomorrow. Thanks again!
    22,000 gallons, IG ,vinyl, AstralCantabric sand filter, magnatech century corp. pump- 2.0 HP, Just took over home with an August 4, 1975 pool and system, though pump, filter and lining have been replaced at one point. Have been to swamp and back....

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Ugly Duckling Pool Reno in Maine

    Can't wait to see it! Sometimes, all you have to do is strip down and take a bath!
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: Ugly Duckling Pool Reno in Maine

    I'm looking forward to seeing the progress! I bet those pavers look great.
    Swimming!: 19x32 IG rectangular pool, 22,500 gallons; 3' - 6.5'; open spa w/ 6 jets; raised wall w/ 1 sheer descent and 2 minijets, 2 color-changing LED pool lights, 1 spa light; Jandy 2 1/2 HP 2 speed Pump, Jandy cartridge filter (320 SQFT), Diamondbrite Cool Blue

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    Re: Ugly Duckling Pool Reno in Maine

    I actually do like the pavers, gives it a kinda English garden vibe. I second staining them, then seal with glossy finish! We also pulled up a ton of pavers here due to ants. We have done everything imaginable to get rid of the ants, guess what? We still have ants.

    The fence is sweet too. Grow some ivy over it, urn-type planters. Lavender...
    12 x 28 Doughboy Dinosaur (j/k: Breckenridge) partial bury, continuous depth 9,000gal. Doughboy Power Pak I digital 1hp pump, Hayward Pro-Series 300lb sand filter. Foam panel base, Gladon wall foam, Gladon cove.

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    Re: Ugly Duckling Pool Reno in Maine

    A propane weed torch works great for patio stones and sidewalks, and a lot less back breaking work. http://youtu.be/Y3V6Q8JvCqE

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    Re: Ugly Duckling Pool Reno in Maine

    To get rid of ants you need to know what kind they are. But bait is always better than spraying poison. Ants will bring bait back to the colony thus killing the queen and the worker ants who never leave the nest. Spraying can actually make the infestation worse as the ants survival instinct will cause them to bust up the colony and create new queens to keep the colony going. I make my own bait and it works with almost all sweet eating ants. One cup of Apple jelly and one tablespoon of borax. Borax is also sold as roach poison or roach powder. Mix it up well. Dab it in a lot of areas where ants go. If they eat sweets, they will congregate around it. Do this for a few days and you will be amazed. If they are protein eating, you can do the same with peanut butter and borax.
    6000 gal inground fiberglass
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    Re: Ugly Duckling Pool Reno in Maine

    There's a product called Over and Out that works great for killing ants. Here in Florida we have fire ants, and ususally I wind up chasing them around the yard it seems but we have two acres so they can pop up over night. If you keep the area around the pool treated you will be fine.

    For the pavers I would get some round up weed killer... it's not cheap but easier than manually doing it.
    Installed May 2014 - 16' x 48" Summer Escapes Pro Series Pool AG Vinyl (6,000 gal) - Intex 2650 Sand Filter - Christmas, FL

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    Re: Ugly Duckling Pool Reno in Maine

    You all have come up with some really excellent suggestions, ideas, thoughts. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your time and ideas! Well, the pressure washing was a long process, but it got rid of all the weeds, moss, dirt, etc. Now you can see there are two tones of paves used, subtle, and I kind of like the random pattern. I love the idea of coating them so maybe we will do that next year. I replaced the mismatched section of fence and weeded. Hoping to do some painting this week. I was also thinking about lavender, fence roses and perhaps some russian sage. Hoping to add some things like peonies, and some other pretty flowers. I love the idea of big urns. I will have to be on the lookout. Trying to find some affordable chaise lounges and trying to decide on 2 umbrellas.


    I have not taken photos yet, but I am hoping to also replace the picket gate that enters from the streetside with a set of 8' vintage wrought iron gates. I put one up (not attached today) and it looks very promising. There is a massive amount of weeding, planting to do, and it will not get done this year. Focusing on the fence, pavers and of course, getting our swamp swimable (in the middle of my very first slam as I pen this)

    Here you can see the beginning pressure wash results

    A close up on the pavers once cleaned up! Really not as bad as I thought! You folks were right!

    This evening, where I am at so far. The fence behind the chairs is tacked in place. I need some help adjusting the size of one of the gates and help hanging them, but they sure look better than that old mismatched section. Paint, mulch and a few more shrubs/flowers will help! I cannot believe what a few days did so far. I no longer hate the pavers or the old fence!


    Oh I found this photo from two years ago before we bought the place. The weeds were horrendous by the time we were able to get on them this spring. You could barely get around the pool. Just full of woody, thistle, stinging stalks and burdocks stuck to you hair, socks, clothes! I forgot how bad it was just two months ago!

    22,000 gallons, IG ,vinyl, AstralCantabric sand filter, magnatech century corp. pump- 2.0 HP, Just took over home with an August 4, 1975 pool and system, though pump, filter and lining have been replaced at one point. Have been to swamp and back....

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    Re: Ugly Duckling Pool Reno in Maine

    Quote Originally Posted by keithw View Post
    To get rid of ants you need to know what kind they are. But bait is always better than spraying poison. Ants will bring bait back to the colony thus killing the queen and the worker ants who never leave the nest. Spraying can actually make the infestation worse as the ants survival instinct will cause them to bust up the colony and create new queens to keep the colony going. I make my own bait and it works with almost all sweet eating ants. One cup of Apple jelly and one tablespoon of borax. Borax is also sold as roach poison or roach powder. Mix it up well. Dab it in a lot of areas where ants go. If they eat sweets, they will congregate around it. Do this for a few days and you will be amazed. If they are protein eating, you can do the same with peanut butter and borax.
    This is an incredible tip! Thank you. I will try this. We have every type of ant imaginable on the planet earth here! I kid you not. Giant ones that could eat godzilla to tiny little busy bee ones. Darn ant mounds are definitely under some of the pavers. We have a groundhog living around the pool (under the garage) along with a family of three chipmunks. They are welcome to stay, but the ants are outta here!!!!!!!!
    22,000 gallons, IG ,vinyl, AstralCantabric sand filter, magnatech century corp. pump- 2.0 HP, Just took over home with an August 4, 1975 pool and system, though pump, filter and lining have been replaced at one point. Have been to swamp and back....

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    Re: Ugly Duckling Pool Reno in Maine

    I like your pool with the clean pavers. And the white picket fence and the barn in the background! Very nice indeed!

    Keep some round up handy to spray the weeds that try to grow back between the pavers and that will keep them at bay.
    A quart of concentrate for 19 dollars at Lowes will make 7 or 8 GOOD gallons.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Ugly Duckling Pool Reno in Maine

    Lookin good! Target is the place for decent, affordable chaises in Texas. We're on our 2nd season with 4 $60 and 4 $80 chaises. Good stuff. If you have a Target way up there, that is.

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    Re: Ugly Duckling Pool Reno in Maine

    Those pavers look incredible! Great job. The before pool photo is unbelievable; congrats on restoring everything.
    Swimming!: 19x32 IG rectangular pool, 22,500 gallons; 3' - 6.5'; open spa w/ 6 jets; raised wall w/ 1 sheer descent and 2 minijets, 2 color-changing LED pool lights, 1 spa light; Jandy 2 1/2 HP 2 speed Pump, Jandy cartridge filter (320 SQFT), Diamondbrite Cool Blue

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    Re: Ugly Duckling Pool Reno in Maine

    What a turn around - great work! The pavers look awesome - it is really coming together!
    28,600k IG, vinyl, 20X42X31 Lagoon, Savannah Tile/Sandstone liner, Hayward Swim-Clear 425 Cartridge Filter, Hayward 3/4hp TriStar Pump, 2 Color Logic Lights, SWG
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