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A Step-by-Step Guide to Buying an Above-Ground Pool

A Step-by-Step Guide to Buying an Above-Ground Pool

When I was about seven, my parents put in an above-ground pool. It was only April, and the water was freezing, but I swam until my lips were blue. I loved it.

As soon as my dad got everything set up for the year, I swam every day. I would beg my parents to keep the pool open just another week, and not close up for the winter. As soon as I was old enough, my dad taught me how to check the chemicals, and it became one of my chores.

It was probably a huge expense for my parents to put in a pool, but I would recommend it to anyone who is considering adding one to their backyard… especially if they have a kid like me.

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    1. Find Out if It’s Legal

    It’s always a good idea to check local zoning laws or, if applicable, ask your homeowner’s association. For example, some neighborhoods have pools, but the HOA doesn’t allow people to place one on their property.

    Also, make sure to have the city come out and mark where the power lines in your yard are, so the installation crew doesn’t hit them if they do any digging.

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    2. Decide Where to Put It

    Assuming everything checks out legally, you have to think about where you’re going to put the pool in the backyard. It’s important to consider the layout of the yard. Some yards have a slope that will have to be leveled.

    Also, make sure that enough sunlight will hit the pool during the day to make the water warm enough to be pleasant. Try to work around any trees, or consider cutting them back if they give too much shade (they can also dump leaves in the pool, which isn’t fun to clean up).

    Additionally, be careful when you are considering how to arrange the deck. If you’re planning a whole yard overhaul with a deck that runs from the house to pool, there may be certain zoning restrictions or laws. This kind of goes with the first point: you have to be aware of laws that dictate how close a pool can be to the house.

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    Your contractor should know this and abide by these laws, but it’s not a bad idea to do some of your own research ahead of time, when you’re deciding where to place the pool.

    Swimmer

      3. Size Matters

      Pools come in various shapes and diameters — there are oval pools and round pools — and they vary in depth as well. Consider what would work best for your yard and your budget.

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      Obviously, bigger pools are going to cost more, and oval pools also tend to be more expensive. You also have to think in terms of how much water the pool will require: if it’s going to take longer to fill, you’ll need more chemicals to make sure the water is safe for the family.

      The shape of the pool might also be determined by the shape of your yard. If the backyard is long and skinny, an oval pool might be your only option. If the yard is more squat, you may be limited to a round pool.

      4. Consider It an Investment

      Despite what you might think, pools generally don’t add value to your house when you go to sell it. What they do add value to is the time you spend in your backyard with your family.

      Pools are not something you should install casually; they can mean a lot of upkeep for little return. But there’s nothing better than hanging out in the backyard, floating around on a pool noodle, and watching your kid cannonball off the porch in a fit of glee.

      One of my favorite pictures from my older brother’s graduation is one of him and me in the pool: me in my dress and him in his graduation robes. Pools create memories, and that can make them worth any expense.

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      Last Updated on March 13, 2019

      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

      Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

      You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

      Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

      1. Work on the small tasks.

      When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

      Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

      2. Take a break from your work desk.

      Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

      Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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      3. Upgrade yourself

      Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

      The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

      4. Talk to a friend.

      Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

      Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

      5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

      If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

      Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

      Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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      6. Paint a vision to work towards.

      If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

      Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

      Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

      7. Read a book (or blog).

      The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

      Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

      Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

      8. Have a quick nap.

      If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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      9. Remember why you are doing this.

      Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

      What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

      10. Find some competition.

      Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

      Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

      11. Go exercise.

      Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

      Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

      As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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      Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

      12. Take a good break.

      Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

      Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

      Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

      Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

      More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

      Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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