Five years ago I had never even heard the term pool cage. Then, two years ago we began looking at homes in Florida and I knew that if we were going to have a pool down here we would definitely want one of these enclosures. Fast forward again to this summer and I am now researching the pros and cons of replacing or refurbishing an existing cage.
This was how our pool and the cage appeared in June of this year.
We bought this home about a year and a half ago but the house is fourteen years old - just old enough that it is requiring some added maintenance.
We started updating this part of the house last fall when we resurfaced the pool and replaced the tile.
We knew the cage was starting to look tired but we had turned our design thoughts and dollars toward renovating the kitchen. We thought the cage could wait another year. Then, a couple of weeks ago, a storm blew through and we were left with a sunroof in our pool enclosure.
The simple fix would be to have someone come out and repair the missing screen but the more we thought about it, the more we realized that this is the part of the house we enjoy the most. The cage had several small tears and we had noticed more bugs recently. The aluminum structure was also looking faded and a number of the support screws were rusted. Maybe we needed to think about more than a simple repair.
So we started scouring the internet for pool cage specialists in our area. We will be going with Gulf Coast Aluminum. It was interesting that they were able to give us an estimate using Google Earth software without even coming out to the house. The software zeros in on our house, the pool and lanai area, takes measurements and figures the estimated cost. Wow!
We were given two options. We could either tear down the existing cage and replace it with an entirely new structure or we could have all the screening removed, rusted bolts and screws replaced with aluminum non-rusting screws, repair and repaint the existing aluminum cage and then rescreen with new no see um screening for a little over half of the cost of a total replacement.
We went back and forth for a bit. This is one of our favorite places to relax so we want to be happy with the end result but we also want to spend our dollars wisely.
There are some options in the new cages, like these picture window size openings that I would love to have.
Photo courtesy of Gulf Coast Aluminum
But, we will be returning to our coastal home in about a month and we would like to be able to use the lanai. We really don't mind the existing structure. It just needs some TLC.
I am one of those people that mosquitoes just seem to be drawn to, so a pool without a cage or an enclosure with a gaping hole is not an option I want to think about.
News of the Zika virus, while perhaps overblown, is an added concern. Totally replacing the cage would require building permits and it would be about three months before the project would begin. Whereas repairing, repainting, and rescreening can be done within the next two weeks. Cost is always a concern but for us, timing is everything and we will be going the restoration route.
Interestingly enough, the biggest cost of either starting over or rescreening is the screens themselves. Maybe because we are going with the no see um option which is a finer, more bug- resistant screen.
I hope this company pulls through for us. They are very well rated on the various social networking sites and with the BBB.
I will follow up as this project moves forward.
In the meantime, I will be staying inside or bathing in DEET.
This image is from the real estate listing we found on the internet when we were looking for our home. We thought it was amazing and fell in love with the property before we had actually even set foot in the home. Lucky us. Six months later we were moving in.
The home and the pool are about fourteen years old. The pool heater had just been replaced so it was new but everything else was original.
At first glance, the pool looked great but what the photos didn't show was the tile was oxidized, the grout was discolored and the surface of this concrete pool was beginning to fade and had several stains along the bottom.
We were moving from the Midwest where pools are seasonal and hard to justify. As a result, we had never had a pool before and knew very little about them or what was current or "cool" when it came to pool design. So we made the decision to contact a pool professional.
I had really liked the glass block wall between the spa and the pool itself.
I especially liked it at night when it allowed the glow from the spa light to shine through the block into the pool.
But what do I know about what is cool for a pool? Apparently, nothing. I quickly learned that along with the institutional type railing in the shallow end of the pool, that glass block is a dated look. The pool company also pointed out where the block had already been repaired once. It was only a matter of time before it would leak again so while we were resurfacing the interior of the pool we decided we would also rebuild the spa wall.
The pool was drained in a day.
Within several more days, the tile was chiseled off.
I learned that the pool has a hydrostatic relief valve that keeps the pool from floating up after the pool water is drained off.
The result was some muddy underground water entering the pool. About this point I began to worry that we had made a big mistake.
They began constructing the waterfall wall where the glass block had been.
Then they began tiling the water line and the spa.
I really did like the retro look of the original tile but we wanted to replace it with something a bit more updated with a modern clean appearance. We chose a glass tile in blue that has a few iridescent tiles that create some sparkle and interest.
Next, they covered the tile, cleaned the interior, and began applying the Pebble Tec finish which is a cement with pebbles and colored glass mixed together. Pebble Tec will last twenty years or more and is much more fade and stain resistant than a traditional plaster finish.
The Pebble Tec is sprayed on first and then hand- troweled for an even smooth coating. We went with the blue color and infused it with blue glass beads for an added shimmer.
We also added a new pool filter, new LED pool lights that can change the color of the pool, and the drain covers were replaced with new ones that meet current safety standards.
It has only been a couple of months, but we noticed that after we put in the new pool filter that our electric bill decreased by about $70 a month. Our electric bills here are not big so that has been a significant change for the better.
By the end of the week, they were refilling the pool using two garden hoses. A pool the size of this one took about a day to refill.
It was rather scary looking on Wednesday but by Saturday night, it looked amazing.
( the lines are the shadows of the pool cage)
I'm lovin' it!
Have a great week. I am sharing my pool restoration post here
As a Midwesterner that has recently relocated to a coastal state, I am inspired by color and elegant but casual coastal design. I'd love to have you follow along as we update our home one colorful project at a time.
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