Anyone feel like solving a pool mystery?

riny

Active member
Aug 20, 2020
28
Poughkeepsie, NY
This post (also here - links removed - TFP Mod) is making the rounds on reddit and I thought the TFPers would have fun with it! It's about a house for sale in Florida with an inground pool and a really strange access hatch from inside the house. What it looks like now:



Location relative to the pool:



Photo from an older pre-renovation listing:



And here's the full listing if you want a better view. Go ahead, take your best guess. :)
 
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colonelkirby

Silver Supporter
Mar 20, 2017
42
DFW - Plano, TX
This post (also here - links removed - TFP Mod) is making the rounds on reddit and I thought the TFPers would have fun with it! It's about a house for sale in Florida with an inground pool and a really strange access hatch from inside the house. What it looks like now:



Location relative to the pool:



Photo from an older pre-renovation listing:



And here's the full listing if you want a better view. Go ahead, take your best guess. :)
Shark tunnel ala Thunderball?
 
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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,193
Central California
I think I've got it. It was originally an entry into the pool. Those look to be steps. There was nothing above it or covering it. The room the hatch is in was clearly a patio at one time that someone converted into a room. You can tell by its ceiling, which was once an eve. Then if you look close at the pool pic (I spotted it in the larger version in the listing), you can see where it looks like they poured a new deck, right over the old coping, right over the old expansion joint. They poured it right over the entry, too. That expansion joint is still moving which cracked the deck along the same line. So it used to be an open stairway to the pool, and then they DIY'd the deck and the room right over it, so that they could walk around the pool without jumping the entry way. Maybe they just left the hatch so that they could clean that area, otherwise it would be an algae cave. Definitely dangerous looking.
 
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Rossterman

Well-known member
Jun 5, 2016
510
Martinez, CA
Run, don’t walk, that house likely has so much hidden not to code work it will be a nightmare to any buyer. Anyone who,would blatantly cut corners like that has zero regard to following the buildng, electrical, or plumbing code.
 
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riny

Active member
Aug 20, 2020
28
Poughkeepsie, NY
I think you're definitely right that the room used to be outside. You can tell by the framing that the wall (which now has a sliding glass door) was originally an exterior wall, and the small window in that room doesn't match the rest of the house. If that were the original pool entry, it looks like it would be VERY close to the house though, with the steps practically coming right off the back of the house!

One curious thing: if they did re-shape the pool at some point, they did an unusually good job matching those blue tiles. They're obviously original since the same tiles are in the hole. But from outside, you can't see a spot where it looks like new tiles were added.

Personally, I have no desire to move to Florida, but if I ever did, I'd stay far away from this house. I'm just in it for the novelty factor at this point. The whole thing has a very Frankenhouse vibe. Like that bizarre 2nd floor master bedroom addition. The fancy-looking bathroom? It's just... in the bedroom.



I did find one additional picture of that pool area:



Here you can more clearly see the "tunnel" leading to that hatch. If anything, I think this makes it more bizarre though.

Also, what is that T-shaped PVC thing sticking up from the pool at a funny angle? It's in both sets of photos so it must be permanent?
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,193
Central California
Ha, that PVC looks to be one of our pH-rising aerator gizmos! That pic shows the crack I was referring too. That was my clue that the pool was remodeled and the deck was poured over some previous surface. I'm guessing they left the old coping and the pool is pulling away from the deck now with no expansion joint. Another huge problem for the next owner. I think the tile in the hole could be explained, assuming I'm right that it was once an entry, because there wouldn't have been any old tile across that one surface nearest the pool. They re-tiled that hatchway to match the pool when they retiled the pool to meet the higher layer of decking. Something like that. I do feel for the next owners. I remember once walking away from a house purchase. It was old, and the insides were immaculately painted with a fresh coat. All I could think of was "What did they just hide with patching and paint?!?"

If entryway, then yes, very close to house. It would have been under the patio overhang. I was thinking someone physically-challenged needed some sort of special entry? Or maybe, pre-screen room, they wanted to be able to use that shaded area of water? Some kooky idea that a previous owner turned into reality. That was later "hidden" by a subsequent owner who didn't want to spring for properly filling it all in with concrete. Just layers and layers and layers of building code violations!!

Can't help but wonder about the original PB and the remodel PB. I'm picturing them both just shrugging, saying "Sure, whatever you want. I'll need that check up front, please."

Crazy that none of that roster of owners thought to secure that hatch. I don't see any locking or screw-down evidence. Some curious little kid... Yikes...
 
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JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
21,101
The crack suggests that the pool might have floated at some point. If you look on the map, the house is very close to a major body of water (St. John’s river). I’m sure that the ground water is probably very high. Definitely need a thorough inspection including the pool.