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Apr 29, 2011, 06:53 AM
I am installing a backyard pool and my neighbors and their children ask about it constantly, with the clear expectation that they will be swimming here... A lot. They seem preoccupied with the progress of construction and talk a lot about "parties," which I rarely attend or host. I am a single man and envision my pool as a refuge where I can relax and quietly enjoy a private oasis, not another source of anxiety.
A friend suggested chemically "shocking" the pool every Friday to help manage weekend swimming expectations. I have considered a declaration that the pool "may" be contaminated with Impetigo; and, suggesting a difficult series of vaccinations prior to swimming.
It seems like this should be a small thing, but it is really starting to feel intrusive. I am probably overreacting, but want a socially painless way out when worlds inevitably collide this summer.
Must I be a prisoner to my neighbor's expectations in my own back yard? I like thee people and don't want things to become weird or hurt their feelings. What can I do that will not make me resent both the neighbors and the pool in the long run?
Apr 29, 2011, 07:05 AM
You will likely be required by law to have a Fence around it with a locked gate. I hope you put a high privacy type fence up around it. You have the say about who can and can't swim.
If they are real friends they aren't going to keep pushing the issue. And if they do continue...simply view it for what it is....someone that's using you for their own gain.
The more people in the pool the more work it takes and the more it costs to maintain the pool. Of course that's YOUR time, and YOUR money.
The best way is to take charge from the beginning...don't let them do it.
Any parties IF they occur....are when YOU decide to have them...YOU decide who and how many will attend....YOU decide when the party is over. YOU decide who if anyone ever gets invited back in the future.
Trust me....show a spine...take charge and be the one who calls the shots...and they will get the hint....let them walk all over you and you can only expect them to do it more.
You can do it, and be nice without rolling over and being pushed around. You can be assertive without being mean. And in the end of the day....what person without kids wants someone else's kids in their face all the time tearing up your stuff. And it WILL happen.
Set the tone and the limits down up front. NEVER let anyone use it when you are gone. Because the instant someone gets hurt....guess what they aren't going to think twice about suing you, maybe for all you are worth.
Apr 29, 2011, 07:08 AM
Oh, I'm really not the party type. I was planning on using the pool to get some rest and relaxation from the stress of the outside world. But if I do plan to throw a party I'll be sure to invite you!
Apr 29, 2011, 12:53 PM
You should indeed shock the pool each week, but do it at 24 hours before you expect to use it again.
As for pushy neighbors wanting to use your pool: it should be clear to all that yout pool is on your property and people may use it at your invitation. But you may actually find that it's kind of fun to have people over more than you're used to. It really doesn't create more work for you - the aggravation factor is really just that (a) it can get noisy, especially if there are teenagers involved, and (b) if any kids want to use the pool their parent must be present and the parent is responsible for their kids' safety. Be sure early on to set the rules - things like no swimming alone, no running, no glass bottles or cups, no diving. And yes, you need a fence and feel free to keep the gate locked.
Apr 29, 2011, 01:02 PM
I've never had a pool, but a friend of mine did and she had this problem a lot. In fact, she would have friends from out of town vacation at her home, mainly because of her pool.
She ended up filling it in when the liner had to be replaced because it was cheaper to fill then replace the liner, and she was tired of everyone in the neighborhood and everyone she knew constantly asking to use the pool.
Personally, the next time one of the neighbors mentions using your pool, I'd say "hmmmm, I actually didn't plan on opening a public pool. I'm not sure that I like the idea of having everyone over all the time, and there's a chance that something could happen. I wouldn't feel comfortable with that. I actually built it so I could have a peaceful relaxing place all to myself. I'm sure I'll invite you all over occasionally, but it won't be as often as you seem to think, and it will be by invite only."
Make sure they know that just because a neighbor has a pool, that doesn't make it a neighborhood pool. That's what the local swimming hole is for.
If you don't feel like you can stand up for yourself, charge them to use the pool. Two dollars more then the neighborhood pool charges. That should do the trick. ;)
May 1, 2011, 02:23 AM
I think you unfortunately need to be clear with the kids somehow. YOu can get a big point across by speaking to the parents - "I wanted to mention to you that Joey has been really excited that I'm getting a pool, and I'm worried that he will be disappointed - see, I would not be comfortable having the neighbor kids to swim - its not the right appearance for a man without children to have other chlidren over to play, and of course, it's a lot of responsibility to watch someone else's children swimming - I wonder if you could explain to him that this is for my own personal relaxation and exercise, and not for the neighborhood?"
If you choose to have people over, never have the kids without the parents - and don't invite people you don't want to invite. If they invite you over at times, it would be nice to reciprocate, but if these are not your friends, you simply do not invite them.
May 2, 2011, 10:01 AM
Keep uin mind also.....if you think its going to be difficult to not let something start.....then try to stop something once they get accustomed to it, and even expect it.
It will be easier and far less difficult to "nip it in the butt" than it will be to reverse course later after they have taken advantage of you.
Aug 3, 2011, 02:46 PM
I have a pool in my backyard, I'm single with no children but there sweet & boisterous neighborhood kids around me. I have a rule: kids cannot swim in my pool (only when parents are present) because I do not want to be responsible for someone's child in my pool. That is the sensible answer I give to any of the parents that ask me and haven't had any of them misunderstand. You need to be upfront, not rude, just upfront. You could always start a few convos about your pool with them and say to them exactly what you said here: "Geez, I can't wait until my pool gets done because I intend to use it as a RELAXING....etc.' Throw in how you work really hard and see the pool as your after work escape from STRESS. You get the drift. When they mention the big pool parties you'll be hosting, say with a chuckle -- 'Oh no, no. I plan on quiet evenings in my pool, maybe a party once or twice a year though.'You need to counter (politely) the things they are saying with the correct information. Basically get it straightened out before the construction is done and you have hurt neighbors and uncomfortable feelings floating around. No pun intended.
Aug 3, 2011, 02:56 PM
I had to actually file tresspass charges against some of the neighborhood children, They would come in and climb my nice chain link fence when no one was home and swim.
I found out for sure when someone asked my about my blonde daughter in the back yard when they came by to see me and I was not home.
I would have at least a 6 foot high fence around it, and the gate needs to be locked. But at least a regular fence for sure.
Next you need to post signs, believe it or not, even with a fence and locked gate, if they tresspass ( at least in GA) the police only warn them the first time and they are not charged to the next time they are caught.
But NOW, you need to be clear, this is not a public pool, that they are not to come over asking to swim, and if they do you will say no. You need to be clear with the parents, if invited, fine, but if the kids are not invited, not to come over.
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