When we bought Chataigne, the whole place had been empty for about two years. It was early Spring, and we hoped that we could get the place ready for letting that summer.
The swimming pool had to be the crowning glory of the place. It is what attracts guests, and what sets the place apart from others. I knew it needed to be special, so I made it something of a priority.
Of course, we live in a normal house in the North of England, and before that we were in Scotland – swimming pools were not our area of expertise, so we knew we’d need some help and advice.
The surrounding area of the pool used to have decking, as the marketing photos testified. However, all that remained were piles of rotting wood by the side of the pool where the old decking had obviously been torn up, and a whole area of broken tiles and plant pots which looked like it might have been the start of hardcore for a patio. It was like a weedy, overgrown rubbish tip. Therefore, we had to start again with a paved patio area and a grassed area with picnic tables.
We employed help here with the earth removal, levelling, and landscaping. We are really pleased with the results, and the work on the landscaping here continues, with some tree surgery, fencing, planting, and improving the pool verandah.
The pool itself also needed work. I employed a pool expert and tried to learn as much as possible from him regarding chemicals and pool maintenance. It is important to keep the chemical balance right for safety as well as visual appeal, and pool maintenance, as we had been warned by other swimming pool owners, is a demanding and ongoing chore. I’ve written a separate post about the pool improvement and ongoing maintenance as it is a complex area.
The old paving slabs have now been cleaned too, to help them blend in with the new ones. We used a chemical cleaner (a bleach solution agitated in with a brush), then jet washed it off (away from the direction of the pool!)
The verandah has tables and chairs, bar stools and a beer fridge, plus an illuminated beer sign I picked up at a local brocante – my pride and joy!
I know, you want to dive right in! Me too. Here’s the link to our gites in France http://www.gitesenfrance.co.uk
Proud to be linking up with: