About to tackle that swimming pool renovation project in your backyard? As far as home improvement projects go, this is a big one. While it’s not a DIY project, you will have to be involved with the process. I’m going to walk you through the process of how I ultimately picked the finishes we used on our swimming pool renovation and hopefully you will get some swimming pool renovation ideas for your own project. I am also going to talk about pool surface options, pool finishes with pebble, pool tile ideas, and pool renovation cost.
Last summer when we figured out we weren’t going anywhere any time soon, we decided it was finally time for us to tackle the dreaded swimming pool renovation, resurfacing and remodel. We had been needing to tackle this project for several years, but we dreaded spending the money. I was also afraid of picking the wrong finishes. I mean, if you mess that up, you just have to live with it for about 20 years. You can’t just paint over it. In fact, I had started looking for pool renovation ideas a couple of times and just couldn’t figure it out.
After years of putting off the inevitable, finally, we just couldn’t keep it clean. The plaster was down to nothing and it was like it was holding on to mold. It looked terrible. We had no choice.
Our house was built in the late 80’s. So, the plaster in the pool was probably original to the house. The coping and the tile might have been replaced at some point. The plaster was originally white and when the pool was clean, it made the water blue and very bright in the sunlight. The tile was falling off around the edges and the seams between the coping and the deck were looking pretty gummy.
Step1: Find an Inspiration Pool
Once you know you are going to have to renovate your pool, you have to figure out what it’s going to look like when it’s done. You have to decide what look you want to accomplish. So, you will need to gather your swimming pool renovation ideas and consider your options. The company that did our renovation dropped off catalogs of pool tile ideas along with samples of pool tile, coping, pool surface options and pool finishes with pebble. It was a little overwhelming. So, I looked at pictures of completed pools in the catalogs and on Pinterest and I picked out the ones I liked. This inspiration pool is at www.nobletile.com.
My backyard is full of warm tones, so I kept that in consideration. I knew I was keeping our exposed aggregate deck which reads brown. Also, I have a red brick house and red brick columns in my fence and brown wooden fencing. All of this has a warm tone and I wanted whatever I chose to also have a warm tone. When I found this inspiration pool, it had a warm tone with a pop of white and I really liked the color combination. I thought it would go well with my exposed aggregate deck and I loved this pool tile idea when I saw it in person.
Step 2: Pool Tile Ideas
After you have an inspiration pool, the first actual choice you are going to make is your pool tile. Plan everything else around your pool tile. For me, I loved the pool tile idea above in the inspiration pool. It had all the colors I needed to tie the whole backyard together – brown, blue, white, cream. The tile looks like different cuts of an agate. It has about ten or so different tiles in the collection. I like that the tiles varied.
Step 3: Choose Your Coping
The coping is the stone that sits on top of the pool and goes around the edge of the pool and the hot tub. When you are choosing this material, you have to consider the color, but you also have to consider the shape of your pool. I kept choosing material that couldn’t be easily shaped or cut, and as you can see we have a pretty curvy pool. So, that really left me with the choice of flagstone or flagstone. I knew I didn’t want to go through this renovation and spend a ton of money for a pool that looked the same when it was done. So, I obviously didn’t choose the brown flagstone. I chose the gray flagstone that had a bit of shimmer and varied tones.
My biggest concern was how the gray would look against my brown deck. My other coping option was basically to redo the brown flagstone. I wanted it to look different than before and I do love a contrast. So, I went for it and the pool tile ties the deck and the coping together nicely.
Step 4: Pool Surface Options
There are many things to consider when looking at pool surface options. The color of the pool surface is important. However, you also have to consider the type of pool finish you want, i.e. pebble or no pebble. Our options were just plain plaster, Stone Scapes, or Quartz Scapes. We didn’t want plain plaster again, so it was down to the Stone Scapes or Quartz Scapes. Quartz Scapes is plaster with small little sand like pebbles. While, the Stone Scapes has larger pebble stones mixed in with the plaster. We were told that the latter would last longer.
Choosing Pool Finishes with Pebble
I was concerned with how the pool surface would feel on our feet. Also, would it look like our aggregate deck? I can say that the small pebble pool surface or finish is not uncomfortable on our feet. No one has complained at all. As for how the pool surface looks with the deck, it’s great. Since it is blue and the deck is brown, it just doesn’t look the same at all. The water also softens the look of the pool finishes with pebble.
When you think about what color to choose for your pool surface with pebble, you should be thinking in terms of water color, not necessarily what color is the pool surface sample. My biggest fear was that I would choose a blue pool surface color and my trees, fence, and house would all cast a green color cast on my pool and my pool water would end up looking green. Or, what if I managed to choose a pool surface color and actually get blue water, but it clashed with blue pool tile. Ahhhh! The pool surface color and finish was the hardest thing to choose, but in the end I just went with their most popular blue surface option, Cerulean Blue. I had a few friends with that pool surface color and I thought it would make the water blue and it did.
I resisted my urge to choose a gray pool surface color. If I was just choosing color based on the samples, I would have chosen gray all day long. However, I was worried that the water would look green if the house, fence, and trees ended up casting a color on the water. Not that green is a bad color, there are some beautiful pools that have a greenish water color. I was just trying to choose a pool surface with pebbles that would yield a blue water color.
Pool Renovation Cost
Last but not least, you will have to consider the cost for your pool renovation. We did this swimming pool renovation in the spring of 2020 at the begining of COVID. Pool companies didn’t have a lot of business, but we were finally staying home for the summer. We were already in touch with a pool renovation company and they were able to start right away. Our total cost was roughly $16,000 for the coping, tile, resurfacing, deck mastic, and hot tub remodel. We did not rip out our aggregate deck which was just too expensive of a project for me.
Since we have done this pool renovation, our area of Texas had an unusual winter snow storm where many homes were without power for a week or more. This storm did lots of damage to our are pools. I have had friends that have had to do a pool renovation because of this storm. They had tons of trouble getting a company and they paid almost double what we paid.
The cost of a pool renovation will depend on many things, the size of your pool, the shape of your pool, and what is happening in your area for the pool companies. We definitely timed our pool renovation well and were able to keep our cost at a reasonable price.
At first, I considered a super dark pool surface color. However, I decided I wanted to look out the window and be able to see the bottom of the pool. I wanted to be able to make sure no one was on the bottom.
If you are about to resurface or renovate your pool, don’t get overwhelmed with all of the decisions. Consider these swimming pool renovation ideas, and take it step by step, starting with your pool tile ideas. Work your way around the tile. It will all come together in the end.
If you liked this post, check out some of my other post about my backyard.