Taking care of the house is a responsibility I take seriously.  It took my husband  and I four  years to pay for the lot and another two years after the house was built to pay for the construction of our home.  Every two years I would have the façade repainted. The elements are really harsh and take its toll.   Every time I had extra money I would do a home improvement project like  replacing the bamboo fence with steel frames and wires or putting decorative stones around my garden (because I couldn’ t stand the  whacked-up painting job that was causing the walls to chip).

Last summer though, I undertook my most ambitious project to date.  I decided to transform our garden into a pool.  Couples who have experienced building a house on a tight budget know that  sacrifices have to be made.  I wanted bigger rooms but since the budget wouldn’t permit, I opted instead to have one third of the lot landscaped.

Our garden was featured in MY HOME Magazine. For a time it was beautiful , well-maintained and functional.


When undertaking a home improvement project, YOU have to be on top of things. From budget, security, and the final look. It took me a long time to decide to let go of my garden— but I’m glad I did.



Years after, though, the garden was no longer being used as much and the househelp made it into a big “sampayan” area.  The neighborhood cats found nocturnal resting places in my lanai which was really bad because the children are asthmatic and allergic to animal hair.  So just like that, I told my trusty driver/BG/PA  “Randy,  puntahan mo yung kapitbahay natin. Itanong mo kung sino ang contractor nila sa pool.”  Within a week, there was a big hole in my garden!

One of the risks in this project is that the workers had to be careful not to hit existing pipes underneath and to damage the surrounding tiles. In the end I had to re-tile everything because there was simply no way to save the existing ones.



Be sure to do your research before any project. I am a certified OC so I knew exactly what I wanted : a lap pool with wooden planks to complement the modern Asian look of my house, a smaller shallow pool for my three year old and a water feature. I showed these pictures to my pool contractor and told him how I want everything executed.



After two weeks of digging, the pool started to take shape. Two walls of hollow blocks fortified with steel held up the site and prevented the soil from caving in. Then a humongous truck (which occupied our house’s facade and half of my neighbor’s) rolled in and wet cement was poured on the pool floor.



While tiling was being done on the pool, the house was given a fresh coat of paint– hence, the scaffoldings on the side.



In the blazing summer sun, these workers dug dirt, lifted gravel and sand, tiled, polished and painted. We acknowledge their efforts and would treat them to CHOWKING Halo-halo every weekend. Sometimes, there would also be grilled chicken for lunch. Remember to TREAT YOUR WORKERS KINDLY. Thank you so much boys!



For this project, I had to put my invisible glittery tiara off and put my hardhat on.  I made countless trips to construction depots and hardware stores to get the best deals.  I familiarized myself with the cost of hollow blocks, gravel and sand, tiles etc.  The pool project turned into a landscape project and a total paint job of the house.  I dealt with the contractor,  took control of the budget and made sure everything I wanted was done.  Taking on a project like this is no small feat.  Prepare to handle problems everyday. Breathe in , breathe out….

My advice is to get a fair and trusted contractor.  The one I chose had already made several pools in my village which I visited prior to the construction of my own. There is no average pool cost. It will all depend on the size, depth, materials to be used and the features you want added.  Don’t be bullied into spending more than you have to.  HAGGLE!  Buy your own materials if you can.  Make sure the pool is SAFE.  Most of all, TREAT THE WORKERS KINDLY.  Happy workers will do a great job.  🙂

I’m very proud of the result of my DIY project.  The husband taught himself how to swim, the children are happily splashing in the pool whenever time permits.  My son M even had friends over for a small pool party on his last birthday.

The boys enjoying themselves while playing their own version of water polo.


Love the cascading water feature!




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  1. Treating people who work for in a nice way motivates them to work better because they feel appreciated. Good PR & human resources skills, BQP!

  2. Another interesting feature BQP! It shows how kind hearted and humble you are. I truly admire that trait of yours…Keep it up! Thank you for sharing this to us. You really inspire your followers.

  3. Great decision to have a pool! We have a pool too. I enjoy hanging out in the water with family and friends. Too many memories!

    Add a brick oven next to the pool and tadah! best party venue! 😉

  4. I truly admire you for the success of your DIY Pool Project. It’s a winner! You’re indeed a perfect Engineer 🙂 When I read your feature, I really like the way you plan it. Good Job BQP!

  5. Wow, very nice pool; very classy. 🙂

    I wonder around how much construction of a pool would cost? Would the size of the pool affect the cost?

    Not everyone can afford to have their own pool at home. But I feel lucky where I am renting now, Chateau Elysee, that there is a shared pool for residents.

    I think it would be nice if more villages and subdivisions have a shared pool for residents. 🙂

  6. Hi Alex. The size, depth, material used, water system, water feauture, and add-ons (like blowers, pool lights, jacuzzi) all contribute to the final cost of the pool. Ours is a little bigger than a lap pool with a kiddie pool/jacuzzi on the side and is non-chlorinated. I used thick tiles and added a water feature with a shower in the back.

    We also have an Aquapark in the village… but its nice that the kids can just jump in the water whenever they want! 🙂 I have water babies. 🙂

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