Minnesota family enjoys new paver patio, pool and firepit
Angie’s List member Emmett G. of Lakeville, Minn., and his family inhabit a multi-generational household in the east-central area of the state, where the prairie winds blow 12 months a year, the winters are brutal and the summers are beautiful.
Emmett and his family were looking for a way to improve their home’s outdoor space in a way that would benefit the whole family: four adults and four children ages 4 through 14.
“For the most part, Minnesotans love being outdoors all year around, but especially in summer as much as possible,” Emmett says. “The genesis of our patio and pool project began with that goal in mind.”
A dinner conversation regarding the cost of a pool started the ball rolling. Several months of research regarding the pros and cons of above ground versus in ground pools, city code requirements and site reviews of the property’s topography and soil type followed the discussion.
The family came to the conclusion that an in-ground pool would be cost-prohibitive, considering the relatively short five-month summer season. On the other hand, the option of an above-ground pool would not boost the home’s value and presented the family with concerns about quality.
The solution was a semi in-ground pool with insulated walls for extended use during the spring and into the fall. The construction of the pool began in June 2012 and was completed in less than a week.
Once the pool was finished, the family needed another solution: How could they access the new pool, keep dirt and grass out, tie the construction into the home’s existing deck and meet city code at the same time?
“We knew what we didn’t want,” Emmett says. “The typical wood deck and deck railing around the pool normally dictated to the homeowner by city codes.”
The final plan was a combination of three various sizes of circular paver designs to tie to the circular pool. The features include a semicircular raised pool access area, a large circular fire pit area and a circular design under the existing deck steps. The pool was surrounded with quartz landscape rock, which was chosen to keep the pool access limited to one area.
The paver design has greatly improved the space, and the pavers, he notes, hold the heat from the sun, so the area is accessible even on mild winter days.
The expanded patio also provides plenty of area for gatherings and connects to the existing two-story house deck. The stone benches surrounding the fire ring area eliminate the need to carry clumsy folding camp chairs to the backyard every time the family has a campfire: There's seating for 12 to 16 adults, and the pool steps provide more fixed seating.
“The end result was just what we wanted,” Emmett says. “Our backyard has been transformed into an outdoor living area that has added long-term value to the home and a constant source of outdoor living and entertainment enjoyment.”