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  • Writer's pictureJessica Doberneck

Update on the Pool, Roof, Solar, and Interior Projects

There are so many big things going on at our house that I can hardly keep up! So, today's blog post will be an update on everything! Here we go.


They began digging our pool today! I can hear them drilling as I type. Its exciting and terrifying all at once! I hope I designed it well and don't have too many regrets. It's also such a big financial decision! We've spent years going back and forth on getting a pool, and here we are! There's no going back now. Eek!!!

We had a 3-week delay because I made some changes (typical) after seeing the pool dimensions painted on the ground.

Change 1: I realized we didn't have any benches aside from our large shelf and steps. I wanted to keep the pool very minimal and clean-lined, I also wanted to leave as much space as possible for playing! But after seeing the pool painted on the ground, I realized that benches are part of the pool play. I added one in the deep end, one in the shallow end, and one in the play area next to the hot tub. These will all enhance conversational areas, play areas, more easy-entry points, and more safety zones for kids to swim to.

Change 2: The spa was originally 8 ft by 8 ft. However, it really encroached on the deep end. I was worried if someone jumped off the 2' tall waterfall wall that they might hit into the hot tub. To give more space, I reshaped the spa into a 9 ft by 7 ft rectangle. I actually love this so much better because it helps keep the pool more symetrical and better mirrors the shelf on the other side.

I'm very pleased with these changes and am SO glad we made them!


This was an unexpected, unwanted, and unplanned repair that comes with a backstory. About a year ago we were considering getting solar. When I say "we," I mostly mean Tyson. He is very intrigued by the idea of solar, however, the price never seemed like it could justify the investment. One company circled back with Tyson and asked him what would it take to get him to consider solar. He said, "You'd have to cut the price in half to make it worth it for us." After some back and forth they agreed to match our price. But in order to install solar, they want to make sure you have a sustainable roof. Otherwise, when it comes time to replace/repair the roof, you'd have to pay a fee to have them remove and reinstall the panels.

Our roof is 20-ish years old and although we don't have any leaks or issues, I know (as a realtor who sees this in my everyday work) that we would need to replace the underlayment.

Lesson on Roofs: If you have a terracotta tile roof you need to know 2 things. 1) the terracotta tiles last forever! At least 50 years. They are awesome for the Arizona sun and heat. However, about every 20 years you will need to replace the underlayment (the protecting layer between your terracotta tiles and your plywood roof).

We had a roof inspection performed and it was confirmed that our underlayment was in pretty bad shape. I almost convinced Tyson to just do half the roof now and half later (just to preserve our funds), but we got a discount if we did the whole roof at once.

So, yes! We have an all-new roof! It all happened within 3 days. It was very loud, very quick, and we were very uninvolved haha.


Which leads me to solar. Tyson has always wanted to get solar, and with us installing an electrically heated pool, it seemed like a smart investment worth looking into.

If I'm going to pay a ton of money for a pool, I want to be able to use it year-round. If I want to use the pool year-round, it needs to be heated. But I don't want to worry about the cost of heating a pool! One of our goals in shopping for solar was to esentially heat our pool for free.

Another reason solar felt right for us is that our electric company just raised their prices again. Where as solar would be a fixed payment.

We found a company that requires no money down, they were able to match our previous quote (which was a very low loan amount considering), our monthly solar payments would be less than what we are paying now for electricity, and now we can run and heat our pool with no regrets!

We ran the numbers a million times a million different ways to make sure this was a financially smart investment. We talked to APS (our electric company), sat down with our friend who is an electrician and works for APS, and I crunched the numbers from a real estate standpoint, all to make sure we came out on top. We negotiated, and there was a lot of back and forth. After all was said and done, we got a killer deal and feel great about this decision!

Interior Projects

It is such a strange feeling sitting comfortably inside my home while roofers, pool diggers, and soon-to-be solar installers work on our property. We are not used to this! We almost always DIY our projects. It also feels weird from a financial standpoint to be committing to 3 large home projects at one time. Tyson and I discuss our finances multiple times a week, but lately, it feels like multiple times a day. We are often checking in with each other to make sure we still feel good about our decisions and aren't going to pass out ;)

However, all these exterior projects got me motivated to finish up some interior projects! There's also something about the holiday's that is so motivating; I want to paint, purge, donate things, buy things, and make my home as cozy and dreamy as possible. If you have followed my track record, we have done a project every holiday season:

Year one: fireplace remodel.

Year two: custom mantle and sconses.

Year three: dining room remodel.

Year four (this year): paint paint paint!

(My sweet 4-year-old insisted on sitting on my ladder and taking photos of me painting, so now I have a stop motion collection photo series on my camera roll. I love kids, they are so funny!)

We remodeled our kitchen 2 and a half years ago. In that remodel we took down walls and pillars; the ceiling was patched but never painted. I will tell you right now, I LOVE a good DIY project, but do you know what sounds terrible?? PAINTING A CEILING!!!

Doesn't this just look back breaking? Let me tell you... it is!

But, I can't go another year with my patchy ceiling. So, I began painting this past Monday and am pleased to announce that our living room portion is finished! Now I just need to do the entry, kitchen, and dining room...... yaaaaayyy.....

I always say that home projects are like the book, "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie." If I paint my ceilings, I'll realize I now need to paint my off-white doors to match the pure white ceiling. If I paint my doors, I need to paint my baseboards and door trim... and the list goes on and on.

I will not be touching up my baseboards and door trim (cringe!), because we will hopefully be getting new floors sometime early next year (fingers crossed), and that's when we will get all new baseboards too.

However, I will be painting our back french doors black and we've ordered new matte black hardware! I'm super excited about the hardware because the current handle is not only hideous, but it's also sticking really bad and the girls struggle opening it from the outside. I even struggle with the locking mechanism. It's time to swap it out!

I'm not sure what I'll tackle next, the door or the rest of the ceiling. I'm leaning more toward the door, just to give my neck and back a break! Stay tuned for those updates and check for daily progress in stories (Instagram or Facebook).

Stay Tuned

I believe the pool will be finished sometime in February, solar will be tackled in December, and we are hosting a birthday party for a friend next week, so my interior painting will need to be done before then.

Lots going on! Thanks for coming along for the ride, and stay tuned for more progress! Let me know if you have any questions about these projects. Although this is a summary blog post of these projects, we have spent hours upon hours diving into the technicalities, financials, and thoroughly evaluated every project from a design and real estate perspective. We'd love to hear from you!


Jessica Doberneck of

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