Alternative post title: The Best COVID Purchase We’ve Made.
We bought a hot tub. It took all summer to get here, but she’s perfect. We love it. She’s the best purchase we’ve ever made. Except for the house. And our wedding rings. Up for debate, though.
Before we go any further, let’s back this bus up. Our backyard still has a longgggggg way to go, but our patio area? We’re crossing that one off the list. Here’s what our backyard area looked when we closed on the house in January 2019 (and our majestic baby girl).
And then here’s what it looked like a few months later when grass weeds started taking over.
And then we had the house painted, and hauled this home. A coworker put on Facebook that her dad had a hot tub he wanted to get rid of, so we jumped on the opportunity. It was free. A 50/50 shot if it would work or not, but free. We were over the moon to have a hot tub to relax in at the end of a long day!
And then we realize this piece of shit didn’t work, which we were totally okay with, as we didn’t pay even a dime for it.
And then this spring, when we were starting to go a little batshit crazy in our house during COVID-19, we went for it. We knew this was a big purchase, but we also knew we would use it almost every day. Yes, it was an investment. But it seems like every night when we get it in it, one of us says “Damn, this was a great purchase.” We went with a Bullfrog X8 Premier Spa from Macksoods, and we have no regrets.
We bought our spa on May 13. I remember the day exactly as I made numerous calls to the store checking on the status of the spa. When we bought it, we were told anywhere from four to six weeks until delivery. We left the store with a few things we needed to cross off the to do list before it’s debut like lay a concrete slab, and figure out the electrical. We waited a few weeks, and it was startin’ to get REAL. Pressure was on. We had shit to do. At one point, we were nervous that our concrete wouldn’t have enough time to cure because we had put it off for so long.
Don’t worry, we didn’t attempt the electrical or the concrete ourselves. No way in hell. And if you’re in the area and need recommendations, hit us up. For the cement, we decided to go with a stamped concrete that resembled planks of wood with a brown stamping release, and we love it.
And then, we waited.
Our original delivery date got pushed back. And back again, And then pushed back a third time. And so on. We started getting cranky. [Sorry for sounding like stuck up brats here, we were just gettin’ antsy for our hot tub!] She finally rolled in just after Labor Day Weekend. It was love at first site.
Her maiden voyage(?) was, umm, a bit chilly. Who knew it took so long for 500+ gallons of water to get to 104°? I think the first night we hopped in around 1 AM. It only made it to about 90° or so, but it was perfect(ish).
The following weekend, we went to work getting a few more projects done back here, including building a privacy wall, staining the back porch, and hanging the string lights and installing an outdoor smart outlet.
But first let’s talk about that wall.
Ya’ll. I know it doesn’t seem like us, but you should know that sometimes Laryssa and I accidentally drop some filthy words here at the Beck Street House. We try to help it, but we can’t. Okay, actually we don’t try to help it. Anyway, this project went so damn smooth. I only swore once (and it was honestly because I dropped the bucket of nails on the ground, and sarcastically dropped the bomb as I hadn’t done so yet.) Seriously, SO SMOOTH!
We were too excited for how the wall was going to take any pictures (slap on the head). We went from picking up the materials to having a finished wall in less than 48 hours. We didn’t really follow a specific tutorial, but if you want to build your own, here’s one that explains it pretty well. We put the pine fence pickets on both sides, and then used a combination of full size boards and half-size boards to give it some character. We just ripped some of the boards in half on the table saw to get the thin strips. We then sealed the wood with Thompson’s WaterSeal Deck and Siding Stain in Solid Canyon Brown.
And then we finished the privacy wall with four of these bad boys. They’re perfect here. They weren’t quite our style inside the house, and we knew we couldn’t toss ’em. We’re hoping the previous family gets a kick out of these. The ducks live on…
Another favorite thing we did back here was hang string lights over the hot tub. We ordered two sets of these outdoor string lights from Amazon, and just used some cup hooks to string them back and forth between the privacy wall and the edge of the roof on the other side.
Here’s what they look like at night. Sighh….
Oh, and we set them up on an outdoor smart outlet too, so we can control them from our Amazon Dot inside. We love being able to just say “Hey Alexa, turn off the patio lights” verse having to deal with unplugging the lights at the end of the night. The smart outlet has three sockets; we use one for our insect zapper, and then we’re hoping to find a bluetooth outdoor speaker that we could mount up here.
We didn’t really want to see the cord or the smart outlet. Our only outlet out here is behind the bench on our porch, so we ran the cord underneath the stones to the left of the hot tub, up the crack in between the wood planks and the siding, and tucked the smart outlet behind one of the beams. It’s hardly noticeable to the naked eye, especially if you didn’t know it was there.
Okay, and finally, the last thing that we did back here that we think is just genius is we hung up a retractable clothesline on the porch so we have a spot to hang our towels and our bathing suits to dry. It comes in a shiny chrome finish, but we just spray painted it a matte black to hide it a bit. Such a smart and easy idea!
We still have a few more things to do back here like put in another concrete step off the back porch, landscape, and plant some grass, but we are so excited about how this summer-long project turned out.
Ya’ll, treat yourself. 2020’s been a helluva year. Find something or do something that will help you relax. You deserve this.