Outdoor Area HELP Please

kcmonarch55

Active member
Apr 17, 2018
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NAZARETH
#1
Hi everyone! I'm a newbie here and really appreciate all of the insight you all have on this forum....such a great resource!!
We just purchased a house at the end of last summer so this will be our first full summer with the outdoor area.
My question to all of you is this....how can I improve this outdoor area?
This is what I would like to do:
1. Have an outdoor pavilion with a bar underneath
2. Get rid of the white rocks that surround the pool area.....I dont really like them, especially with 2 year old twins around haha.
3. Update the pool house (would REALLY love ideas on how to do this!)
4. Have flat area for seating (lounge chairs, pub tables, bar games, furniture) I am getting estimates on concrete right now, but it is pretty expensive, especially with a retaining wall needed.
5. New landscaping ideas to replace some of the things you see right now.
I really value all of the insight you have in here, so thank you for all of the advice in advance. I am attaching a couple more photos below
 

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Jul 24, 2017
24
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Rochester NY
#3
The only limits to the space are budget and imagination. If the list you provided was prioritized the next step is to come up with a budget. I would remove the rocks and put some sort of decking in. I believe that you can never have enough deck space . In the pics I don't see a reason for a retaining wall. Those are expensive and really don't give you anything but if its necessary ya gotta do it. I hate that!!!!!
 

kcmonarch55

Active member
Apr 17, 2018
30
0
NAZARETH
#4
The only limits to the space are budget and imagination. If the list you provided was prioritized the next step is to come up with a budget. I would remove the rocks and put some sort of decking in. I believe that you can never have enough deck space . In the pics I don't see a reason for a retaining wall. Those are expensive and really don't give you anything but if its necessary ya gotta do it. I hate that!!!!!
Thanks for the reply! My first step is to definitely get rid of the rocks. So, my thought was to get concrete in to replace them. The quotes I have received have been around $13,000 to $14,000 for about 30 yards of concrete, which is out of my range right now. I think in order to get the bar in, I need footers which is why I would like to do the concrete first.
Are there any recommendations on how to fix up that pool house I have in the corner?
 

kimkats

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Jul 11, 2012
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Tallahassee, FL
#5
What fun! Yeah you DO need to get rid of those rocks with 2yr old twins!!! What fun they must be as they throw the rocks LOL I am thinking paver/stepping stones for now. To be replaced with concrete with your wallet is fatter. Fake grass is another idea to think about.

Pool house-what is inside it? What don't you like about it. It look good to me but that is only from one pic so...........

Kim:kim:
 

kcmonarch55

Active member
Apr 17, 2018
30
0
NAZARETH
#6
What fun! Yeah you DO need to get rid of those rocks with 2yr old twins!!! What fun they must be as they throw the rocks LOL I am thinking paver/stepping stones for now. To be replaced with concrete with your wallet is fatter. Fake grass is another idea to think about.

Pool house-what is inside it? What don't you like about it. It look good to me but that is only from one pic so...........

Kim:kim:
Thank you Kim :) I REALLY need to get rid of those rocks with these twins haha. The pool will be filled with them if not!
I will think about those ideas with the pavers as well.....thank you! I would really like to get concrete in there so it's flat and a little more stable.

SO, in the pool house, there are pipes I am fixing because the last owner let them go in the winter and they burst. There is a sink, toilet, and shower in there. I will have the sink and toilet working this summer. I also use it to store the floats and pool supplies. It needs a face lift inside and outside, just dont know the best way to go about it :/
 

kimkats

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Jul 11, 2012
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Tallahassee, FL
#9
Okay so the pool house works so lets put it on the back burner for now. We can/will make it pretty but the rocks have got to go!!! Once we settle on those then we can work on the house.

Kim:kim:
 

kimkats

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Jul 11, 2012
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Tallahassee, FL
#11
Okay here is one way......put an ad on Craig's list for "free white rocks but must help rake and remove".

Or you can rake them up yourself and put them by the side of the road with a "free" sign on them.

Or you can ask a neighbor teen to do it for you for $??

Ohhhhhhh call a landscape company and see if they would send a crew out to get them! They can have them for free so long as they take them all! They can reuse them on one of their jobs!!

Combo-neighbor teen + Landscape company trailer to put them on to take them away!

So there some of my wild idea. I tend to throw ideas out there to see what sticks.

Kim:kim:
 

kcmonarch55

Active member
Apr 17, 2018
30
0
NAZARETH
#12
Okay here is one way......put an ad on Craig's list for "free white rocks but must help rake and remove".

Or you can rake them up yourself and put them by the side of the road with a "free" sign on them.

Or you can ask a neighbor teen to do it for you for $??

Ohhhhhhh call a landscape company and see if they would send a crew out to get them! They can have them for free so long as they take them all! They can reuse them on one of their jobs!!

Combo-neighbor teen + Landscape company trailer to put them on to take them away!

So there some of my wild idea. I tend to throw ideas out there to see what sticks.

Kim:kim:
I do like your thinking and I really appreciate your ideas :)
I have a guy coming out to give me an estimate tomorrow for just the concrete...in hoping it goes well.
I need ideas on how to give the pool house a face lift.
 

kimkats

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Jul 11, 2012
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Tallahassee, FL
#13
okay, okay, okay.................so give us some pics of the pool house. From the front and both sides. Tell us what you do not like about it now and we will go from there. I will get my "design team" on it when we have the pics to work with.

Kim:kim: (you saw some of my "ideas" about the rocks are you SURE you want ME or any of my friends working on the cute pool house?? LOL)
 

kcmonarch55

Active member
Apr 17, 2018
30
0
NAZARETH
#14
okay, okay, okay.................so give us some pics of the pool house. From the front and both sides. Tell us what you do not like about it now and we will go from there. I will get my "design team" on it when we have the pics to work with.

Kim:kim: (you saw some of my "ideas" about the rocks are you SURE you want ME or any of my friends working on the cute pool house?? LOL)
Haha okay Im on it. I'll take some pics and get them on here.
Estimate today fire 55 yards of concrete plus excavating for the fence and drainage and footers will be around $15,000.
 

kcmonarch55

Active member
Apr 17, 2018
30
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NAZARETH
#15
Okay so here are some pictures of the Pool House that I would like to update. Any suggestions are very appreciated.
It may be hard to see because I have a lot of things stored in there right now since this weather cannot make up its mind in NE Penn.
I'm hoping the way I have the pics in here works, because it's not letting me upload any and I'm not quite sure how to get them on here, so I just posted the album link.


Pool House - Album on Imgur
 

YippeeSkippy

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Jan 17, 2012
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Evans, Georgia
Do you currently work in the pool industry?
No
#16
That pool house needs a nice wooden Dutch door! That vinyl screen door is...umm... not so good. A Dutch door would keep the kids out (or in?) yet allow for conversation in and outside, as well as maybe a small top ledge on the door for placing things.

And how about a couple of small windows? Or not... but put a flower window box up on each side as if there were a window there. But windows seem perfect.

Oh yeah.... walls for the bathroom for privacy!! Ooops!

Pinterest[
Maddie :flower:
 

kimkats

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Jul 11, 2012
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#17
Oh,oh,oh,oh Go to the link Maddie shared. Look on the left hand side, go down to the 4th pic from the top............the window serving area!!! NICE! You would have to move the fence so it hits the back wall instead of the front but would be SO worth it! You could put the serving window to the right of the door if you wanted as well. That way it will be protected from the elements.

I agree with her about up dating the door. I like a whole glass door to bring in more natural light.

Move the potty to the little cut out on the same wall as the shower. That will allow you to put up a door in front of it.

So what do you think of the base ideas so far?

Kim:kim:
 

Dirk

TFP Guide
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Nov 13, 2017
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Central California
#18
Can I offer a different slant?

You are asking for and about design ideas, and some are emerging, all seemingly specific to one particular area or aspect of your yard. A deck. A door. Some windows. You've also expressed some budget constraints. And if you piecemeal your yard together like that, as budget allows, without any sort of overall plan, you might find the end result less than you hoped for. I encourage you to step back a bit from gathering specific ideas, and take a look at the bigger picture. You should have a theme in mind. A grand plan. You can still build it piecemeal, and as budget allows, but each piece will fit together, and as you add more pieces, your vision, your theme, will start to come alive. As you think of or gather ideas, you'll weigh each against the theme, and see if it'll work before you buy/install/build/etc.

Theme? First, what do you want your yard to evoke, to you or family or guests, when they first view it, and after they spend some time in it? Is it a pool party? An oasis? Fun? Serene? Active? Relaxing? (And not all of those are mutually exclusive, you can achieve more than one.) Once you decide on what your yard should evoke, then you can think about a theme that makes you feel that. Modern? Tropical? Asian? Grecian? Ranch style? European? Adobe? Whatever. Then you you can work on a color scheme, including textures and materials. And after all that, you can start buying windows and doors and plants and furniture, choosing deck surfaces and paint, etc. If you do it backwards, you'll find it much harder to achieve something cohesive. And if you're like most people, you'll struggle to decide on any one thing, and that's because you don't really have a good idea of how that one thing will work in to the overall picture, because you don't have an overall picture clear in your mind.

Use design magazines or google searches to help you with each of these phases. Clip stuff out, stick 'em on a wall or window that faces your yard. Walk by and look at them often, see how things feel after a day or two, make adjustments. I'd do all that before I started taking bids for $15K concrete installs.

When you see a beautiful yard, or house, or anything with a design that makes you go "Wow!", that's how it was done...
 

riley00dog

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Nov 14, 2017
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Brisbane, Qld, Australia
#19
I agree with Dirk. Start by finding the look you are going for. It will be a personal thing. Look at pool builders websites, magazines, Pinterest etc. Print out the things that appeal to you and make a mood board with all your preferences. You will be able to clearly see it all together. It will give you a clear vision of where you are going. Do you like lots of colour and pretty things or do you like neutral and understated? Once you have done that, prioritise what is going to be done first. By the sounds of it, it will be your decking. When you go ahead with your decking, make sure it ties in to your overall vision since it is a main feature. As for your pool house, I think functionally you need to really just separate the bathroom area from the rest. You could do a lovely bar or sitting area. I would just do the basics in here as I think it doesn’t need too much to be a nice place to be. Landscaping, I’m no help. We cleared all our trees and most of our shrubs. Didn’t want them making a mess. I might do some large pots if we have the space.