Thursday, July 22, 2010

Nothing a grenade can't fix??

We have a problem. It's not a terribly important problem in the grand scheme of things. (You know, those BIG problems like "Will the philosopher find a permanent teaching position next year?" and "What kind of ice cream should I have for dessert?") But it's something we'd rather not deal with right now regardless.

When we moved to the southeast, we bought a house that has an in-ground pool. (Nota bene: we didn't buy the house because it had a pool - we bought the house despite the fact that it had a pool.) This pool is about 30 years old, and has now degenerated to the point where we must either replace the liner and repair the liner track, or remove the whole dadgum thing completely. The repair job will cost upwards of $6000 according to the bids we've received. ::shudder::

We're still waiting on estimates from a few landscapers to find out how much it will cost to remove it altogether - busting up the concrete skirt, ripping out the vinyl, filling in the hole, and regrading the back yard. (Now, before you start making suggestions - a grenade would actually be too small, and a small nuclear device might just be overkill. And the philosopher driving a bobcat with a jackhammer attachment scares the living daylights out of me!) So that leaves us with finding a contractor who does reliable bobcat work. We've called a couple of "official" landscapers, one of which came out to our place last week and one who's coming out tomorrow. I figure they're going to be on the high end of the bids because they're landscapers - they'll do the pool work, of course, and THEN they'll want to make some shrub beds and plant some trees and lay a fancy cobblestone patio (called an "outdoor living space" these days) and screen in the porch because that's really how they make their money. I don't mind someone doing the hardscape work - pouring and leveling a bunch of concrete is Not Fun. But I think I'd like to do the beds and pick the shrubs and choose the perennials and dig in the dirt.

Anyway, we're also making some calls to excavation and grading contractors. My dad knows a guy named "Snake" who does bobcat work, and someone at work recommended a company nearby called "Dirt Cheap". (You do recall that we live in Alabama, right?) I'm thinking if I can get an estimate from either Snake or the Dirt Cheap folks, they'll be the best in terms of cost. I'm just not sure I want someone named Snake working in my back yard! ::heh::

So if you couldn't tell, my vote is for removal even if it costs nearly the same as repair. (I don't think it will cost as much, but that might be just wishful thinking!) Why, you ask? I don't like the pool. Well, it's pretty to look at, but I don't swim in it, and I don't think it's worth the upkeep. And really, I don't think it adds that much value to the house as a selling point, either. I think a really nice area with a path and trees and shrubs and such would add just as much value, and cost a lot less for a homeowner to maintain.

Now if I can just convince the philosopher!

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