Related Media: Pool

Silenzio! The Pool Whisperer at Work Installing the Pool Liner

Kevin reports that work has begun to install the liner in the pool. He says that the leader of the installation team requires silence while he works. Interesting.

Signore Silenzio
Signore Silenzio
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An Update

It must have been quiet these last few days, as the liner is partially complete.

Working on Pool Liner Near Stairs
Working on Pool Liner Near Stairs
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Another Update

The liner is in and they have started to fill the pool as a test. Next will be work on the tiles that edge the pool.

Filling the Pool as Part of Liner Installation
Filling the Pool as Part of Liner Installation
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In the slideshow, there are a couple of other pictures.

Source:
All images: Copyright © Our Big Italian Adventure

Redoing the Pool New Base Structure, New Concrete for Shallow End

As I wrote about before, we made a mistake when we designed the pool and didn’t realize it until well after the concrete had been poured (which was last December.) During our July visit, Anne walked down the steps into the pool and almost disappeared. We had made the shallow end not very shallow.

Our only remedy was to rebuild the base of the pool, which as you can expect isn’t cheap, adding about 10% to the cost of the pool. But we feel that at 140cm (54in – 4.5ft) it’s just too deep. After considering what we’d like to have, about 90cm (3ft) and what Kevin thought made sense to him (120cm, 4ft), we settled on 110cm (44in).

To make sure the pool is one solid structure, the new “bottom” needs to tie into the existing pool walls and floor using steel rebar surrounded by concrete, just the way the pool was built originally.

Here’s Kevin’s note explaining the work and giving us the cost.

This one hurts.

In order to execute the pool depth change to 110cm some significant work is needed.

They will essentially be drilling down into the current base. They will insert steel rods and steel lathe. They will then build a perimeter in reinforced concrete whose top will be at the new depth (allowing for skim coat and liner). They will then essentially pour a new foundation. Note that Primo has calculated the details on this and provided Francisc with the plan. Keep in mind they are probably going for some OVERKILL on this, but, they have emphasized that water is heavy and invasive and overkill is a good strategy for this type on issue.

They’ve started this work, laying some concrete blocks linked with rebar. Kevin says the rest of the work will be done in a few days.

Looking Down the Pool
New Pool Base Structure
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An Update

The new bottom for the shallow end has been poured on the base structure. Now, we should have it ready for the liner and the finishing of the surround.

New Pool Base Poured
New Pool Base Poured
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The pictures:

Source:
All images: Copyright © Our Big Italian Adventure

Land Slope Redux The Problem that Won't Go Away

It seems we keep circling back on this issue, looking for a really good solution that probably doesn’t exist, given our constraints.

During our trip in May, we had come face-to-face with the problems the slope of the land was causing, both in front and behind the house. While there, we outlined a solution for the problem in back and discussed various options in front.

After that visit, Alessandra had proposed a solution for the front of the house. Paula, the landscape designer, had chimed in with another attractive solution, adding an additional level to allow a car to be parked right next to the kitchen. (My knees liked that idea.) Kevin cautioned us that Paula’s solution was likely to be expensive, as we’d need serious earth reinforcement to support a car in that location.

Kevin started getting bids on both Alessandra’s and Paula’s solutions. He passed on renderings of Alessandra’s approach, which used the terra armata reinforcing technique on the slope above the house.

Side view of Terra Armata
Side view of Terra Armata
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Terra Armata Rendering
Terra Armata Rendering
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This terra armata solution seemed to be the best, but Anne had raised a concern about whether we could plant on top and sides of the terra armata structure, given its internal reinforcement.

Reinforced earth for parking
Building Method to Support Car Near Kitchen
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Paula was in agreement on the terra armata above the house, but wanted the cemento armato technique — the same method used the build the house — used to build a “shelf” for the car near the kitchen.

Kevin’s cost estimates confirmed that adding the parking shelf would be expensive, on the order of €15,000, on top of the costs for the terra armata in front of the house. (He also told us that Francisc had worked a great deal to supply both the earth and the earth-moving to implement the solutions front and back.)

So we all gather at the property to work this out.

First, Kevin and Paula assured Anne that we wouldn’t be limited in what we could plant by the terra armata technique. Second, we decided that we needed to forgo to lower parking space, as it was just too expensive.

One new issue popped up. In Alessandra’s solution, the path from the parking down to the house was on the right side, where the slope was more shallow. This made sense, but directed visitors to the kitchen door, rather than the front door.

I proposed adding an access, via stairs, that would go from the parking directly to the front door. While this path might not be as practical for everyday use, it did return the focus to the center of the house and the front door. We decided to build this new access into the landscape plan.

Alessandra's Plan with Added Stairs
Alessandra’s Plan with Added Stairs
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So, I think we have the overall plan settled. Next steps will be for Francisc to get the earth moving done and for Jimmy to draw the resulting levels, which will be input to Paula’s landscape plan. I hope we can make this move quickly.

Other Topics

Next, we went inside for a look-see. Having seen the pictures from just a few days before, not much had changed on the ground floor and without the stairs or a ladder in place, we weren’t able to see the top floor.

Fireplace

We did discuss the design on the fireplace. I was interested in having a curved front rather than just a straight line. After reviewing some options, we settled on a mostly straight front, but with the corners tapered, to make it more interesting. We’ll have a raised hearth, wood storage below, arched firebox. brick and stone below mantle, old wood piece as mantle, and a tapered plaster wall above. Rather traditional, overall.

Pool

After we had finished our pow wow, Anne and I walked the property down to the pool, to see what it looked like and to see what the house looked like from down there. Anne climbed down into the pool and made an important discovery: the shallow end of the pool isn’t very shallow.

Pool photo

When we had designed the pool, our concern had been with the depth of the deep end. For safety and legal reasons, we couldn’t go past 180cm (71in). This took our focus off the shallow end, planned at 140cm (55in).

When Anne stood at the bottom of the shallow end, we realized just what 140cm was. She wouldn’t be able to stand up without the water coming up to her nose. Hmm. Clearly, we needed to address this and make the pool less deep at this end.

When we raised this with Kevin, he said that 140cm was a standard depth in Italy. (Anne discovered on line that a US pool would typically be just 90cm (36in) in the shallow end.) He promised to discuss with Francisc if we could adjust this depth.

Stone Wall Grout

After we returned up the hill, Anne raised another interesting point: did we want the grout on the interior stone wall to be the same as the outside stone, or would it look better if it were a little lighter? Lighter seemed right, but we decided to get Alessandra’s view.

An Update

Kevin has reported that we can reduce the pool depth, but it takes more than just pouring in some more concrete. It will require some rebar work to tie the new concrete to the old. We decided 120cm (47in) would be OK, but I’m still wondering if we shouldn’t reduce it to no more than 100cm (39in).

On the grout, we decided that a shade lighter inside was the way to go.

Source:
All images: Copyright © Our Big Italian Adventure

Pool Nearly Complete Concrete for Surround in Place

All the concrete work for the pool is done. Kevin says they could finish the whole thing in a week or so, but clearly there is no time pressure.

I do have to say the view from the pool is quite nice.

View from the Pool Terrazza
View from the Pool Terrazza

Source:
All images: Copyright © Our Big Italian Adventure

Stone Halfway Up the Ground Floor Also: Pouring the Pool Surround

Stone work is continuing on the ground floor exterior walls. They are building up the walls equally around the house, rather than finishing one section and moving on. I wonder if this is to not put too much lateral pressure on the brick corners during construction.

Our Walls So Far
Our Walls So Far
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Halfway Up the Master Bathroom Wall
Wall Section
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After seeing the pictures, Anne wondered if the walls were too “regular” in the stone laying pattern and not a caso, or done somewhat randomly. We sent a question off to Kevin.

The other work in progress today is the concrete for the base of the pool surround.

Some Pool Concrete in Place
Pouring the Pool Surround

Here are all the pictures.

Source:
All images: Copyright © Our Big Italian Adventure