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Our Pool Remodel Before and After -- Part One

When we bought our house in coastal Florida in 2021, the market was crazy. The values were going up 30k a month and we were desperately looking to buy after moving from the Midwest and renting here for a couple years. We had our sights set on a different part of the area but by the time we were ready to buy, we were just happy to find something that fit our family, had some character, checked all the boxes on our list and was in our budget.

It was our first time owning a pool and with that came some naivete. We knew the pool deck needed some work and the wood stairs needed some stabilizing but we figured that was easy and affordable. It wasn't until after we lived here about a year that we realized we were really going to have to do a whole overhaul.

Here's what we started with and the problems we had:

The pavers around the pool were OLD and no amount of sealing was bringing them back to life again. They were also ugly and attracting mold like a moth to the flame. I could bleach them one week and the next week they would be green again.

Nothing says, "Come on in for a nice swim", like a dirty pool deck-- lol.

The stairs coming from the upstairs deck that leads to our main living area and kitchen, were rotting and worse off than we realized. They started to fall apart and weren't going to last more than another year or two.

Our pool screen (which I didn't like but wasn't able to remove for multiple reasons) was an eyesore with dozens of holes in the screen, allowing all the oak tree debris to fall in and stain the pool.

Then we realized that the pool itself was on it's last leg. Being a fiberglass pool, it had about 20-30 years of life in it before it needed re-surfaced. The pool was installed in 1987 so you can do the math on that. Little flecks of fiberglass were starting to detach from the surface and while it wasn't a major problem yet, it was going to be.

In addition to all those problems, we discovered a leak in the pool that needed fixed, had to majorly trim two huge oak trees, paint the lanai structure itself and more. It went from a minor project to a $50k+ project.

We were NOT ready to have to spend that kind of money on it but we didn't really have much of a choice. It's a space we love to use and our kids are at the prime ages for enjoying it. I also started to hate being back there because of all the mold around the pool and was excited for a forced face-lift.

So here's what we did:

  • Tore out the old dated pavers and replaced the pool decking with Shellock pavers and coping. I love the look and the flecks of shells. This was an upgrade but the less-expensive products don't come in the light color I wanted.

  • Ripped out the rotting stairs and replaced with weatherproof spiral stairs (this was super hard to find on a budget because we were also dealing with the incredibly wet and humid Florida weather and our house being so close to the salty Gulf waters. Most stairs that could handle the weather were galvanized and wouldn't or couldn't come in white, and when they were, it costed upwards of $7k! Some as high as $25k!!! It ended up being a $2500 set of stairs that we used-- which were a 6-month long nightmare to put together-- but our only option. I could write a whole post about the stair debacle but I'm so glad we switched to spiral and freed up some much-need square footage for chaise loungers and my fav umbrella.

  • Resurfaced the pool and added waterline tile to bring in some color and style. It was not easy finding someone that knows their way around a fiberglass pool but we did and it turned out very nice.

  • Painted the lanai enclosure and rescreened the entire structure. This was another huge hassle because most companies don't like working on two-story pool cages due to the liability. I found one company that would do it and had to go with them regardless of price.

  • Had our trees trimmed to let in more light and protect the pool screen. Have I mentioned how difficult it is having a tall house with a tall roof and tall trees?? No one can work on the dang thing and if they will, it costs double!

  • Replaced the dilapidated brown wood fencing with white vinyl fencing.

  • Had the pool leak fixed.

  • Furnished and decorated the space. This part is still coming along. Since these photos were taken, I have worked on the dining area and mostly finished it. BUT I broke my ankle and haven't been able to take more photos (or walk... or drive... but I digress...). Additionally, I want to add another pop of color but can't decide what one. Everything is a work in progress!

All that to say, here's how it turned out (SO FAR)!

Once I'm feeling better and it's not such a sauna outside, I will take more photos and show you the rest!

If you're interested in the products I used, click the images below to visit the sites. I adore our umbrella made from Sunbrella fabrics. The pillows are also Sunbrella and the loungers are recycled plastic-- you gotta buy what will last in this tropical climate!

Also, leave a comment and help me decide: if I add another color to the space, in addition to the yellow and green, what should I add? I've narrowed it down to: Orchid Purple (similar to the actual orchid), coral-y orange or ?? ? I want it to be FUN and bold.

Thanks for stopping by!


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