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Archive for April, 2008

In a past blog (see archives) we did a piece on painting your block fence as a way to add color and pizazz to your yard.  Paint can make an ordinary cement or tan colored block fence pop; it’s amazing what a little color can do.
Michelle, a client (and now very good friend) took it a step further after she bought her new Tukee home.  She loved the idea of bold color but first added texture by applying stucco to the wall followed by her rich color.  Her entire wall cost around $500 to resurface and paint. She thought of doing it all herself but adding texture can be tricky so she opted to hire out the application.  Work like this is charged by the linear foot. 
After the stucco was applied and cured, she needed about 5 gallons of exterior stucco paint which cost around $100. Keep in mind, her yard is a little smaller than the average 7,000 square foot lot (just shy of 5,000) so a larger yard/more fence will obviously run you more.  Michelle painted it herself with a high density paint roller that’s specifically designed for highly textured surfaces. She admits the painting was a lot of work and would be easier with a paint sprayer but if you use one of those it’s a trade off because they can make a mess.  I know that from personal experience when my nephew painted our block wall.
Check out Michelle’s before and after photos; her backyard was literally transformed. Thanks for the tip, Michelle!
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Conserving water is a must for all of us.  Pools are a huge drain on our water supply but there are ways we can minimize how much we use if we tweak how we care for them.  I came across an article last summer that identifies some great tips you should consider putting in place:

  • Use a pool cover when can.  It reduces evaporation.  Obviously the winter months are a time you’re more likely to do this when the pool is not in use as much, if at all.  But think about using one in the summer, when evaporation can be at its highest.
  • Use cartridge filters instead of sand filters.  You can avoid backwashing.  Better yet, use backwash filters that tell you when and for how long to backwash. 
  • If you must backwash, use the water to water plants around the yard.  In comparison to the amount of water in your pool, backwashing may seem like an insignificant amount of water. But in reality, it can use more than 100 gallons of water.  That’s a lot of water.
  • Keep close tabs on the water chemistry of your pool.  Keeping it properly balanced means you can reduce the times when you have to refill it.
  • Eliminate or avoid installing (if it’s a new-build pool) waterfalls, fountains or aerators.  They just waste water via evaporation.

The next list of tips relates to conserving electricity as a pool owner.  Conserving our energy and reducing the amount of C02 we pump into the environment is something we all need to be mindful of and work to conserve.  Here are tips on reducing the amount of electricity used as it relates to your pool:

  • Use a timer on your pool filter motor so it runs late in the day or early in the morning.  This avoids running the filter at mid-day peak electrical times.
  • Replace your pump motor with a more efficient two-speed or variable-speed motor.  Both are more expensive than your standard grade (variable speed being the most expensive costing $2,000 and up) but if you’re serious about conservation, that’s a small price to pay.

Chemicals play a part in our conservation as well.  Obviously they’re needed to keep a pool from turning, well, green.  Chlorine and acid are key ingredients to keeping your pool clear but there is an alternative.  Ozone generators, or ozonators, can be used instead of chlorine.  You may still occasionally need to use chlorine but you’ll significantly reduce the amount by switching to an ozonator.

Some counties in Arizona have placed restrictions on pools, putting in place laws that either require all pools (new and existing) to have a cover when not in use.  Payson has actually banned construction of outdoor pools in homes and businesses to conserve water.  No pools, period. 

We don’t have a pool at our home and likely never will.  I can’t, with a clear conscience, have a pool knowing water is such a limited and valuable resource.  We live in a development with three community pools.  There’s no reason (other than convenience to us as a family) to have one in our own backyard to take up more of earth’s precious water.

We should all do our part to conserve water (and energy).  As unbelievable as it may seem, someday our water supply could run out. 

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Tukee Trivia

Tukee Home Tour attendees – be the first to answer the Tukee Trivia question correctly and you’ll win the $25 gift certificate to Florencia!

Respond by clicking ‘comment’.  Give me your answer (only those who attended the Tour know the question….) and I’ll announce the winner on Sunday.

Hope you enjoyed the inagural Tukee Home Tour!

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