30 January 2015

A rush of blood to the head... the slightly embarrassing story of how we bought and sold a pool in a day!

Not every idea turns out to be a good idea.

Mark and I consider ourselves to be fairly measured and considered in most of the decisions we make in daily life. We aren't prone to rash purchases and usually put in a fair amount of research and thought before making long-term purchases.

That's why it turned out to be completely counter intuitive and crazy that we bought a pool and then sold it again almost within a day!

Here's how it happened:

We'd been looking at paddling pools online and Mark liked the look of this one...

Then the boys went and stayed the night at our friend's house - their neighbour had just bought a slightly bigger pool than this and it got us thinking that actually we might be able to fit in a bigger pool in our somewhat small back yard.

When we got home out came the measuring tape and we figured that we could fit in a bigger 10 foot metal frame pool that was about 76 cm tall on our concreted outdoor area. After ringing around a bajillion stores it turned out that the only store that had them in the greater Wellington region was Bunnings in Lyall Bay so off went the two boys (Mark and Mylo) to get one whilst Noah and I went off on a hike in the local bush.

Much excitement ensued on their return as we set about building the pool - and then cue a dash for me down to the local Mitre 10 to buy a tarpaulin to lay down first as the liner at the bottom of the pool wasn't as thick was we'd expected and we didn't want it tearing on the rough aggregate concrete we have outside.

By the time I got home, the pool was basically built and ready to fill. So in went the hose and we started the slow (2.5 hour process) of filling it up with 4,000 litres of water. We also wanted to figure out how often we should run the pool filter (cue looking online and mathematical calculations from me based on the litres of water and the filter rate (how many litres it would filter per hour). With this knowledge we would be set!

Noah was terribly excited about the whole process - he'd said to us when we'd made the decision to buy the pool that 'this is my dream come true' and so he couldn't help showing off our new addition to all the kids in the neighbourhood while it was still filling up.

We sat down to dinner with Mark and Noah calculating the pool should be ready for a swim straight afterward.

It was then that it all turned a bit pear shaped.

I'm not sure what made me do it - but a sudden thought after seeing the kids go out the back gate and leave it open after looking at the pool made me suddenly think to check the NZ pool fencing laws. I'm not entirely sure why this thought hadn't occurred to us earlier but quite obviously it didn't!

And.....uh oh.

It turns out that even though our entire property is fenced that the pool area itself would need to be fully fenced without any other part of the back yard inside it and as it took up the entire patio space this was not an option. Even if we moved it to the grass (less sunny) and erected another fence on the grass this wouldn't suffice as the trampoline would still be in the same area as the pool.

Reality sunk in and it hurt. Noah and Mark in particular were absolutely GUTTED when they realised there was no way we could keep the pool.

And in fact even if we'd bought that smaller silly looking paddling pool up above would also have needed a fence would you believe - the NZ law states that any pool structure over 40 cm needs its own fence whether it's a swimming pool, paddling pool or spa pool. So something to bear in mind if you are thinking of buying a paddling pool or spa pool anytime soon - or if you in fact already have one! You can be fined $500 plus $50 for every day your pool is non-compliant - in our opinion it was not worth the risk!

Not that you probably care too much but all the information on pool fencing is here: NZ Pool Fencing Laws. I know friends who do have pools in their backyards that aren't fenced and that's because they have a big enough space to have a pool that's at least 1.2m high and has a removable ladder (and then it doesn't HAVE to be fenced) so is essentially self-fenced.

The boys decided that they might as well have one swim (since the pool was completely full by then) and then Mark spent the entire night emptying the pool while I tried to dry off all the bits to then sell it on Trade Me. What an expensive swim that turned out to be! And don't get me started on how bad I felt about wasting 4,000 litres of water in one day.....sigh.

Luckily in the end we managed to sell the pool for an OK price (we did lose out on about $40 plus the cost of the massive tarpaulin which we also no longer needed - another $45).

As a bit of an apology to the boys after dashing their hopes, we bought a slip n slide to go in the garden - it's not quite the same as having your own pool I'll admit but it's better than nothing, and we've also been putting the sprinkler under the trampoline most days while the boys and various neighbours' kids come over and jump and slip all over the place whilst shrieking at their top of their lungs!

We also bought body boards for the boys so they can make the most of any trips to the beach we make this year!

And we've also booked tickets to the Monster Slide that's coming to Wellington on Saturday 28 Feb - a giant 300m long water slide that's going to be down on the water front - how fun does this look - riding a waterslide that's the length of 3 rugby fields! It's going to other spots around the country like Christchurch, Nelson, Dunedin, Auckland and New Plymouth as well during February - so if that sounds like something fun for your family, you should definitely check out ticket options on the Monster Slide site.

So while it was a bit of a shame that we didn't get to keep the pool, we are still making sure we get plenty of water sport action during this glorious summer!

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