Backyard Makeover

by Mike
13 Materials
3 Months

We decided to add some life to our backyard with a much need makeover. Doing all the work myself with a little help from some friends I am happy to walk you through the excitement.

Step 1 our very plain backyard

We began brain storming these ideas early spring leaving the before picture fairly snow covered but you get the over all layout.

Step 2 Bring in equipment

Knowing I had never installed a pool I spent a few notes scrolling the YouTube university until I felt comfortable. I hauled in a skid loader and started to level the ground off.

Step 3 assemble

Using a level I was able to achieve a fairly level pad the remaining could be changed by hand. I started with assembling and leveling the lower trim ring for the pool. This rested on several concrete blocks which were recessed below the surface.

Step 4 Sidewalls

Once the lower ring was set I wheeled in the sand and piled this in the middle of the pool area. At this point with the help of a friend I was able to roll out and setup the steel pool side “definitely not a one man task”. Once the pool sides were up I leveled the sand across the bottom a good 3-4 sand base with a little bank up the sides.

Step 5 Liner install

Once the sand was leveled off and tamped the liner was set into place and carefully stretched and placed. Using a shop vac on this step was important it helped vacuum the liner into place and allowed me to remove wrinkles. Time to start filing with water.

Step 6 landscaping

Pool is in and filling not a hard task but not an easy DIY. At this point after grounding the base of the pool I started backfilling 2ft around the perimeter with river rock.

Step 7 Equipment

After pool filled about 6 inches below the skimmer I then cut the liner out to install the skimmer and return lines as well as hooked up the pool equipment. Then allowed pool to continue filing.

Step 8 plumbing and electrical

Using pvc and a few more YouTube videos I completed the pool plumbing and added a cool water feature. I did allow an electrician to complete the electrical portion here for me.

Step 9 Damage control

While moving around on the skid loader did I mention I totally destroyed my yard haha I swear it didn’t seem that wet back here.

Step 10 concrete patio

After relocating a few bushes from the deck I used a few concrete forms to layout a nice design (this part is my everyday work I’m used to doing)

Step 11 Adding stone base

Once forms were set and level I wheeled in some stone and graded for the base for the concrete.

Step 12 Concrete day

Concrete day came quick. You’ll see here we decided on a stamped and colored patio. This pattern is a mid evil cobble stone pattern and an antique release agent.

Step 13 Pressure wash

Next day I was able to pressure wash and seal the concrete this really shows how nice the color and pattern is.

Step 14 Grill covering

This pile of wood doesn’t look like much but I had a plan. I build 2 identical boxes at 3ft by 5ft and used 4x4 at each corner.

Step 15 Add the roof

After securing 1 box at the bottom and one at the top I was able to stand this up and add a few more 2x4 to build the roof structure. All wood used was pressure treated for outdoors.

Step 16 Build in

With the grill set I covered sides and built a door on front for easy maintenance and cleaning. Everything looked good so it was time to stain.

Step 17 Deck building time

What’s a pool without a deck. We already had our existing deck so adding on to this structure was fairly simple.

Step 18 Frame building

Using 4x4 post and 2x10 I created the main framing and layout for the deck. Post near existing deck were connected using lag bolts. Other post were placed level on concrete block.

Step 19 Decking

With framing complete and stairs in place and set each deck board was added. This is were the deck becomes solid as each board is secured.

Step 20 Railings

To keep everything safe railings were added as the main purpose of this deck was for the pool. Railing were prebuilt and only needed cut to size and installed.

Step 21 Finished

Another gate was added to match at the bottom of the stairs. This gate can be locked for security and safety. This wrapped up this portion of the deck.

Step 22 Entertainment

I did provide storage under the deck for pool supplies and floats and what better way to utilize a door than by adding an outdoor tv to entertain and watch a few games.

Step 23 Staining

Using a cedarcide product we were able to speed up the rate at which the pressure treated wood dries out. This allowed us to stain after 72 hrs.

Little night time enjoyment

Night time view is amazing definitely creating an awesome space

Step 24 Existing deck replacement

The existing deck was roughly 30 years old plenty of layers of stain created poor drainage and some of the old boards were beginning to rot. Replacement was needed. Each board was carefully removed and replaced using 2x6 pressure treated boards with proper gaps for drainage.

Step 25 water feature

Back corner of the deck had this smaller area under a nice tree that was just asking for a water feature. Using a water trough from tractor supply I made sure placement for everything would work out before ordering needed materials.

Step 26 Plumbing

Using a spillway and pump ordered on amazon I constructed a cool setup between the railings and connected everything together to recirculate the water from the trough.

Step 27 Outcome

I went into this with only a vision and couldn’t be more happy with the turnout. Love the sound of running water. The pump was placed on a timer to only run certain times.

Step 28 Prep and stain

Railings were all replaced to keep all portions of the deck matching and deck was then stained.

Step 29 Enjoy

Tried to capture everything within a post feel free to reach out for any details I would be happy to provide more pictures or instructions on.

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3 of 4 questions
  • Carolina's Art Carolina's Art on Jul 26, 2020

    Fantastic!! but with everything you did, was it less expensive than having a regular pool with concrete patio put in?

  • Rhonda Rhonda on Jul 26, 2020

    I see you used sand under the vinyl liner of your pool, did you put something else between the sand and your liner? The sand will act like sand paper and sand a hole through your liner if your didn't. My above ground pool isn't as nice as yours, but it did mention about what the sand would do to the liner. You did a beautiful backyard makeover, thank you for sharing.

  • Kelly J. Tinney Kelly J. Tinney on Jul 27, 2020

    Ok, I’ll be the one to ask since I know anyone seeing this is thinking “was what the finished cost?” I’d like to see a long shot finished picture of the entire space to compare the overall “before & after.”

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