Grand Forks Herald Design a Home: Addition to the design of the Grand Forks couple, swimming pool as a unique home improvement
This is a 900 square foot poolhouse and guesthouse in addition to the house they built in 2016 on the south end of town.
“We’re not really lake people, but we love to be outside in the summer,” said Mark Barclay.
He and Aly decided to build an inground pool in their backyard and provide a bathroom so people wouldn’t have to walk around the house.
The idea for the pool house “started out as an outdoor bathroom,” said Mark, who has a real estate license but no construction training. He started by looking for plans for mini-houses and cabins.
The couple kicked off the project on May 2, 2020 and “performed dozens and dozens of revisions” in the construction process. The project was completed in November. The 24ft by 18ft custom built home, with a full basement, not only accommodates people using the pool, but also serves as a private retreat for out of town guests.
“If someone needs a place to stay, they have their own privacy, they can come and go as they please,” said Mark.
“It is connected to the foundation of our house and has its own central air conditioning, so it is considered an addition,” he said. “It looks exactly like our house – in miniature.”
“I love having a project,” said Mark, who also collects pinball machines and arcade games for repair and sale. He also built a golf simulator in his garage.
For this addition, since they had to dig about seven feet to accommodate the structure’s plumbing, it made sense to create a lower level of living space, Mark said.
The pool house can also be used as a place to live to visit relatives and friends. It offers guests a private space, with all the amenities – a combination of living, dining and kitchen space furnished with two comfortable club chairs; a high table with seating for four; Full-size stainless steel appliances including stove, refrigerator and dishwasher; upper and lower cabinets; and a full size kitchen sink.
The vinyl plank flooring and other surfaces are completely waterproof, which alleviates concerns about swimmers dripping from the pool, Mark said. Nothing will be damaged “no matter how wet someone is.” ”
Two large wall mounted TV screens allow viewers to watch sporting events and other shows. The main floor also has a combined full bathroom and laundry room, as well as a pantry, which also serves as a mechanical room housing the electrical panel. The addition has an instantaneous water heater and its own furnace.
“It was difficult to find the furniture, but it still had to be functional and there was a dining area,” said Aly, who designed the interior spaces.
Her contemporary palette – anchored with cream, black, white and tan – imbues the space with a feeling of calm and relaxation.
The lower level of the addition has a queen-size bed at one end of the room, which appears spacious thanks to its high ceiling. Centered on a wall is an inviting sofa that invites the visitor to sit and relax, located directly in front of a 70-inch wall-mounted TV screen.
“We come here sometimes and watch movies,” Mark said.
Installed in the ceiling, the lighting can cast a soft glow, eliminating the need for excessive table or floor lamps and maintaining a simple, uncluttered atmosphere. An exit window, facing the pool, not only allows a generous amount of sunlight to illuminate the lower level, it also meets the city’s building code to ensure a safe exit in an emergency.
Meeting city building code requirements was one of the many considerations when planning and constructing the addition. At the planning stage, “we went through all the canals in the city,” said Mark. Neighbors were told about the project, but did not object – some even participated in some of the physical labor, he said.
One of the most daunting challenges of this project was delivering the utilities to the addition, Mark said. “The utilities had to move out of our existing house. ”
The couple had to upgrade the BTU capacity of their natural gas line from 250,000 to 1.25 million, he said.
“Trying to do the plumbing here was complicated,” he said, noting that he had worked with Economy Plumbing to find the best solution.
He also worked with True Comfort Heating and Cooling on the design of the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system. TK Construction LLC built the structure, said Mark, who was involved in some of the work, including the framing and siding.
Hiring the services of companies to work on the project was not always easy, Mark said. Some were reluctant to agree to work on aspects that were unfamiliar to them.
“It’s easier to take jobs that you know,” Mark said. “If it’s not something they do every day, they weren’t inclined to take on the job, especially when the pandemic started” and more and more people started to launch their own projects. home renovation.
Other vendors who worked on the project included All Pro Electric, Northland Custom Woodworking, Northern Lumber, and Tim Shea’s Nursery and Landscaping.
Along with the many outdoor tasks, it took putting up a fence around the backyard, protecting it as a construction area, and restoring landscaping and grass after the fact, he said.
A refreshing swimming pool
The 18 by 40 foot swimming pool, built by My Aquatic Services, was built at the same time as the addition of the pool house. It holds 25,000 gallons and is three to eight feet deep. The heated pool has been in use for a few weeks, Mark said, providing a refreshing respite from the suddenly scorching temperatures that marked June.
The electronically controlled swimming pool cover is inserted into the wall of the swimming pool by simply pressing a numeric code on a keypad. All the pool equipment “is out of sight, out of mind,” he said.
“The pool is used pretty much every day,” Mark said, noting that it is filled with salt water, which is easier to manage than a chlorine pool.
“It’s much less harsh than a typical chlorine pool,” he said.
“We even snuck into a ‘pool day’ last October,” Aly said.
The Barclays, who have an 8-year-old daughter, can predict that the pool will be used by neighborhood kids, they said.
“Children can come and, supervised, swim safely,” said Mark. The “automatic cover” of the pool also serves as a “safety cover,” he said. It can hold up to 5,000 pounds.
The area has built-in speakers throughout and is illuminated by surrounding floodlights to accommodate evening swims.
“I wanted to personalize everything,” said Mark. “It took weeks and weeks and weeks to plan the pool, from the steps to the liner to the walls, the automatic cover and the equipment to clean the pool.
Thinking back, Mark said they were lucky to have ordered building materials in March 2020, before the pandemic started, when supplies were easier to get “and before everyone started. to build swimming pools last year because of COVID “.
“We were ahead of the curve – luckily, because wood would be more expensive and harder to get now,” he said.
The project “took a lot of work to figure out the logistics of everything,” Mark said, and he didn’t take time off to do it. He received an estimate that shows the home’s value has increased “by about 85% of what we invested,” Mark said.
The two-story addition has “been used enough already,” he said. “It became his own little social gathering place. The guys sit in the pool house and watch football.
“It turned out exactly as we wanted it to.”