Category Archives: Hire a professional

The Diamond Brite™ Pool Resurfacing Project

17 April 2015

The pool at Silk Cotton Villa has been here since the original home was built sometime in the 50s. Of course, it has been resurfaced many times over the years and it was due again since the last resurfacing was about 12 years ago. The owners told us it needed resurfacing when we arrived last year and planned to have it done in 2015. Well, this big project finally rolled around.

Thankfully, this project was above our pay grade and expertise level so all we had to do was some prep work and seal the villa off as best as possible to keep grinding dust out. After watching the professionals who did the job, I can honestly say I would never choose this line of work. Nasty and hard work, to say the least.  It got resurfaced with Diamond Brite™ finish which is a blend of selected quartz aggregates and fortified white portland cement.

The owners awarded the contract to the same fellow and company, Rick Rossie, who did the resurfacing 12 years ago. However, he has learned a lot since that time and the products have improved, too.

One very valuable lesson he learned on this big job last time was to be prepared for rain during the application process. Last time he was not and it caused some issues with the final product. As you review the “work in progress” photo gallery below, you will see the big tarp that was erected to cover the entire project for protection against any possible rain storms during application.

This is a big pool – about 18′ x 48′ with a big bath tub-type indention to create the deep areas. About 19,000 gallons of water. But one good design element is that you can walk all the way around the pool while in it – there is a ledge about 4 feet deep along the entire outer edge. Makes for a great poolside refreshment area anywhere along the edge.

The contractor said he would have it done in less than a week and he did. They started on shedule on March 31 and were done late on the night of April 4. They did come back by on April 5 (Easter Sunday) and wrapped up the cleaning of the entire pool patio area.

The contractor has some locals he uses on a regular basis but he had 3-4 big pool resurfacing jobs all in a row so he brought in some help from Tampa, FL. He has used these fellows before. Hard workers, all of them – locals and outside guys. The refinishing part started at 0700 Saturday morning and they departed about 9 pm that evening. And water was going into the pool on Saturday night. Simply amazing!

The pool is swimmable now but it has to be brushed daily with a stainless steel pool brush to make sure all the loose cement coating is removed from the Diamond Brite™ finish as it slowly cures. And who gets to brush the pool? Me. Hopefully I’m doing a good job and helping to make sure the finish stays on another 10 years or so.

This project was an education for me as I had never witnessed a pool resurfacing. And it made me appreciate folks even more who have trade skills that help to keep our economy churning. Skilled trades people are tops in my book.  And these guys did an outstanding job!

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A Job for a Professional

18 March 2015

Well, our really busy season is about over. High season in the USVIs is winding down. We have had guests in the villa almost every week and day since mid-January. A wedding party departed this past Tuesday so we’re in a little lull now until mid-April

Time to get a few projects knocked out.

Right before the last group arrived, we had an open weekend and I decided to clear some weeds that were growing up a water pipe on the south wall of the villa – the fresh water cistern outside wall. Evidently, I pulled too hard and the pipe broke right where it entered the wall and a little water came out of the break. Unbeknownst to me at the time, this was the main fresh water outflow pipe for the entire villa. OOPS!  We discovered this fact quickly when we realized we had no water flowing in the villa.

Luckily, the wedding party group was not arriving until the following Thursday so we had a few days to get this broken water line fixed. Sunday evening I decided to call in a professional who has done some work around the villa in past years – Joey Ledee. Second generation plumber family on St Thomas. Great reputation.

Joey showed up on time Tuesday morning and had the issue resolved and totally fixed in an hour. Yeah Joey! I probably could have done it but it would have taken me 3-4 hours between going to get parts needed and not having the right tools for the job. And a lot of frustration.

Richard’s Rule: Know when a project is above your pay grade and call in a professional.