How to Renovate a Run Down Pool Area

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.

Chataigne House Pool Garden/Picnic area before renovation
Chataigne House Pool Garden/Picnic area before renovation
Debris in the pool and picnic area when we viewed it
Debris in the pool and picnic area when we viewed it

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.

Chataigne House Pool Area – Before

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.

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Earth moving equipment
Land cleared and levelled, ready for landscaping
Land cleared and levelled, ready for landscaping
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Patio being laid, pool starting to improve too

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.

Pool area with patio laid, picnic area laid, and grass seed down
Pool area with patio laid, picnic area laid, and grass seed down

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!)

Swimming pool area ready for visitors
Swimming pool area ready for visitors
Swimming pool illuminated beautifully for a spot of night swimming
Swimming pool illuminated beautifully for a spot of night swimming

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:

My Random MusingsPink Pear BearMonkey and MouseRun Jump Scrap!themumproject
Lou Messugo

23 Replies to “How to Renovate a Run Down Pool Area”

  1. Oh my! I’m seriously jealous. Of the pool, of France, of the mini fridge 😉 Seriously it looks like it was a lot of hard work but it was worth it, it looks stunning and I do completely want to dive in! #fortheloveofBLOG

    1. Familymakes says: Reply

      Thanks, you’re right it has been hard work and continues to be! You’re always welcome to come and stay though, we make our visitors very welcome!

  2. Oh wow!! It looks absolutely wonderful!!!!! I’m so envious-I love France, and me and my husband have talked about doing something like this many times!! I’m sure it must be really hard work, but it’s a great idea to have your blog to remind you of what you’ve achieved, and also to do some great promotion for the business! You must be really proud of this!! Thanks for sharing with #bigpinklink

  3. The pool looks good! We have a pool and never had one previously and was and still is a learning curve! #bigpinklink

    1. Familymakes says: Reply

      Oh really, where are you? We’re still learning too, and adding to our resources. We now have a heater, and would love a pool robot when we can afford it!

  4. The Pramshed says: Reply

    This has some wow-factor! I could dive in there right now. You must be so pleased with all the hard work that has gone in, to create such a stunning outlook. You’re right the pool is always at the heart of where you stay on holiday, it definitely what I look for in the brochures. I hope that your guest love it, as much as I love looking at it. I am intrigued to read your other posts and find out what you have been up to in France. Thanks so much for joining us at #fortheloveofBLOG, hope you come back next week. Claire x

    1. Familymakes says: Reply

      Thank you for your kind comments Claire, and I’d love to come back for sure – your linky looks to have been a huge success, I’m delighted for you x

  5. I definitely do want to dive in and I am about to check out your gites! We holiday in the Dordogne every year, although last year we also spent 10 days in La Rochelle. Absolutely love the area. Thanks for linking up and hope to see you pop by again! #bestandworst

    1. Familymakes says: Reply

      Oh wow that’s exciting Helen! We’re definitely in the right area for you – maybe we’ll see you some time soon? Thanks for coming by, and for the great linky #bestandworst

  6. Visiting from #stayclassy linky. Not many pools here in America’s midwest but I spent years in Phoenix and miss pools so much. Enjoy yours – the reno looks great!

    1. Familymakes says: Reply

      Thank you for coming all the way from America Katy! There aren’t many pools here in the UK either, it’s too cold! Plenty in France though, I’m really looking forward to visiting again soon!

  7. Wow it looks fabulous – I bet you are really pleased 😀

    1. Familymakes says: Reply

      Thanks Sam, it’s a constant work in progress, but we’re happy with it so far.

  8. What a huge task, but you have done so well! It looks amazing now 🙂
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes
    Debbie

    1. Familymakes says: Reply

      Thank you Debbie, we’re getting there!!

  9. Aww, this looks amazing! What a transformation, you really did have to work hard, but it’s paid off. I bet you will get a lot of use out the pool now for you and your guests. Thanks for linking up to #HowtoSunday 🙂 x

    1. Familymakes says: Reply

      Thanks Jenny, that was only part of it! The transformation continues to the whole property…

  10. The Mum Project says: Reply

    OMG this looks amazing! A verandah, bar stools, a beer fridge, AND an illuminated beer sign, I am jealous. Especially about the beer sign (I heart beer…in particular, beer pong haha, I know I’m too old for it but whatevs). Thanks so much for sharing with #StayClassy!

    1. Familymakes says: Reply

      I’m so old I had to google beer pong! Thanks for reading!

  11. Phoebe @ Lou Messugo says: Reply

    You did a great job transforming your pool area, I’m sure your gîte guests will love using it now, but you’re so right about the maintenance being a chore. We’ve had a pool for 9 years now and still have times when getting the chemicals right is hard, especially in very hot weather or after a storm. Good luck learning all about yours, it’s definitely worth it! Thanks for linking to #AllAboutFrance

    1. Familymakes says: Reply

      Hi Phoebe, thanks for coming over! This is year 3 for us now, last year we also installed a pool heater and this year we are working more on landscaping. It’s never ending, is it?

  12. Wow impressive! Looks like a great place to holiday! #stayclassy

    1. Familymakes says: Reply

      Thank you Sarah, and thanks for coming over!

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