Our Stealth Semi Inground Pool Story- Post 4

We were so busy enjoying our pool this summer I didn’t get around to showing you the area now that its completely finished. It was such a fun summer! Relaxing in the pool, surrounded by beautiful plants, left me feeling a bit like I’m in Florida instead of Tennessee. Sitting here on a cold January night makes me long for those days. I guess there isn’t a better time to reminisce about it then right now. So here we go!

Welcome to our pool!

To save money on fencing we ended up buying two huge bundles of raw cedar. We hand planed every single piece. This fence was my husband’s design. We incorporated cedar, cattle panel, and 4″ round fence posts. For the amount of fencing we installed, I can’t imagine being able to do it cheaper then this! It was a TON of work processing each piece of cedar by hand, but I think it will weather nicely and last a long time!

Here’s another look at all the fencing! We wanted to fence enough area to have three raised planter beds in the rocks, a fire pit and maybe one day a little pergola area.

Another thing we used that raw cedar for was to build this cute little pump house.

We wanted to make sure our pump and other equipment was out of the weather so it could last as long as possible.


Also from a design perspective, I really didn’t love the look of those big pumps out in the open. An added bonus, I have one more space to decorate!

My goal for this space was for it to be a tropical retreat.

A space where we could entertain, and feel like we were on vacation. Our natural environment, while beautiful, doesn’t lend itself to a tropical feel. So we did A LOT of landscaping.

We added big planters to hold our banana and palm trees.

I found all our outdoor furniture second hand on Facebook Marketplace! I could hardly believe my luck that all the pieces match even though they were bought at different times and from different people! I added the striped cushions from Walmart to pull everything together.

The stone we installed around the sides of the pool is holding up well!

Thank you for being patient and following along with this journey. From beginning to end this project took us about 6 months. We did everything ourselves with exception of the pool installation and the concrete. I’m still so thrilled that my dreams of having our very own pool came true!



Our Stealth Semi Inground Pool Story- Post 3

This has been a fun week for us! I would say the progress of the pool itself is about 90% complete and I can’t wait to show you what we did! Originally we planned on saving money and trying to install chunks of cedar (Somehow?? We never did get around to figuring out how it would actually work) around the exterior of the pool to hide the metal sides. After the concrete was completed, we quickly ditched that idea! Instead we headed to Home Depot and bought a few pallets of stone. Building a stone wall around the exterior was so much easier to wrap our minds around. The cost was actually not as terrible as I feared it would be.


Directly opposite of this picture is the concrete patio. This side is obviously a lot higher! It’s actually buried probably close to 18 inches, with 36 inches sticking above ground. Our situation is a little unique because of the slope of the hill we installed on. Typically with semi inground pools, the entire pool would be above ground close to the same height. So that leads me to our stone wall! (Did I call it a brick wall in the last post? Ahh I can’t remember!) We had quite the span of metal that needed covering. Curt’s first step was to install horse panel wire that we had leftover from our fence project to the sides of the pool using zip ties…nothing fancy here! The wall we built is floating, so it doesn’t touch the pool at all! The metal served only as a stable backing when we began stacking the stones upon each other.


Curt and I kept commenting on how INSANELY easy this project was! It was like building with heavy, life size toy blocks! Once we decided on a pattern, we used Quikcrete commercial grade construction adhesive to glue all of the stones together. Stacking one stone on top of another stone until we reached the top row. Seriously, that’s it! Like I said, the stones don’t touch the pool at all. We simply built a little wall in front of the pool’s sides.

While we were planning the pattern, we had to keep in mind the top metal ring of the pool needed to be covered as well. We found the height to work perfectly if we laid the smaller bricks sideways on top of the larger blocks. Do you guys remember the patio side of the pool where we laid the bricks on the metal ring in a linear fashion all the way around? Well, since the stone wall sticks out farther from the pool sides, we simply turned the bricks 90 degrees and we able to connect the top metal ring to the stone wall seamlessly. So half the pool’s “ring” is covered with bricks lined up front to back, and the other half has bricks lined up side by side. I don’t mind the transition between the two at all.

You can see the transition in the top bricks a little bit in this photo. You can also see the differing heights from the concrete to the gravel! It’s quite a drop.

And here she is all stoned up and looking fine! I’m so happy we went this route. It was the pricier option, but I think the longevity of the stone will be worth it.



So what’s next you ask? Well, next we are building retaining walls…LOTS of them! The entire exterior edge of this patio will have a retaining wall. To save on supplies, we are using cinderblocks to build the wall. On top of the cinder blocks we will use the same stone to “cap” them off in the pattern above. I think it will be a nice balance between cost and beauty!



Our Stealth Semi Inground Pool Story- Post 1

Hi Friends! I haven’t been the best about updating my blog lately. As always, I am aiming to change that! I want to do a series on our semi inground pool that we had installed this past September.

Have you guys ever heard of these? They are pretty neat! We looked into having a fully inground- real deal- pool installed but that price point was WAY beyond our budget. I began looking around at local pool businesses and found the semi inground option. They are a bit pricier then an above ground pool. But they could be fully buried inground if you so choose (or if your landscape allows it). So we settled on a 24 foot round that is 54 inches deep. They had other fun shapes like kidney bean or oval, but round was the cheapest, so we went that route. Are you sensing a pattern here? We were wanting a tropical backyard oasis that didn’t break the bank!

After waiting several months it was finally install day! Which quickly turned into a nightmare. As it turned out, our pool company has quite a sneaky way of making extra money. We paid to have the pool as deep as it could go, but they hit rock. The mother load of blue limestone! The pool company doesn’t dig out rock unless you have DEEP pockets…I mean DEEP. So we hired a local county man to come break up the rock for us. He was very kind and didn’t charge nearly as much as the pool company wanted! After several more costly hiccups, and a few weeks, we finally had the pool installed! Since then we have busy working on a massive fence project around the pool, installing tons of crushed rock, making ONE cedar planter box (5 more are to come!).

Tomorrow we are scheduled to get a big concrete patio poured around the pool. We had several quotes ranging anywhere from 5-6k, but the man we went with is less then half that. We took a chance on him… next time I pop on here I’ll tell you how it went. Ha! I’m hopeful he will do an amazing job!

All that back story brings me to today. We needed to do a small project on the pool before the patio could be poured. You know how above ground pools come with that plastic ring around the top?


With semi in ground pools, this ring can come right off and be replaced with stone! Visually, it makes the pool more like an inground one. This little project couldn’t be easier. You just pop the little plastic screw covers off and remove all the screws. The large plastic ring will lift off, one section at a time.

I’ve had several people wonder about how a semi inground pool actually works. It’s basically a metal shell and a thick, plastic liner. Believe it or not, this is actually a very popular way to do fully inground pools as well! Of course those are a bit deeper, but the process is the same. The liner is the only thing that will need maintained. It should last at least 10 years before it needs to be changed. The liner is stretched up and sits under the thin metal ring, so you can add stone right up to that ring without disturbing anything.


This is what it looks like under the plastic ring. We are going to lay our stone down right on top of that outside metal so we added a little liquid nails to secure them.


What a difference right? And there is literally no construction involved. You simply take the ring off, and glue the stones down! All the rock to the left in these photos will be concrete tomorrow. The concrete will come right up to the very edge, level with the stone.

I’m so excited to get the patio poured tomorrow! It’s really going to kick start us into finishing this big outdoor project.