18,000 Gallons down the drain

18,000 Gallons down the drain

18,000 Gallons

This was in 2008. My wife had an internet shop where she sold old furniture that she restored, and she needed more space. So we bought a house with an indoor swimming pool. In the seventies they were great, but now, not so much. With a monthly heating bill of $250 and a broken humidifier, we weren't that interested in a swimming pool. We bought the house to take advantage of the floor space. Please don't cry Sacrilege, ok ? Here's the pool and it's one day after I opened the tap. Emptying the pool directly into the sewer turned out to be as prescribed. From there it would flow to the treatment plant before being released into the river.
First supply of wood

Having emptied the pool, I had one of those "what the fuck did you just do -are you completely out of your mind" -moments. I felt a little insecure about the whole thing and thought about it. You see, while I don't seek changes, I'm not afraid of them either. This is the wood, well the beginning of it anyway. It doesn't seem like much, but I trusted my napkin calculations to be correct. The plan was to build a skeleton sturdy enough to support a floor on top of the infinite void.
I nailed it. Literally

These 2by5's are going to be the upper most support for the floor. And because the void would otherwise throw around the sound and thus make it very noisy, I decided to isolate the underside of these floor joists. The isolation couldn't just float in mid air, so I had to get creative. Therefor I sawed groves for every 12 inches across, 1/8 inch deep and struck a roofing nail almost in next to each groove. Explanation follows.
So it begins

I adjusted the floor joists to rest on the sloping edge of the inside of the pool. In addition, each joist were given four legs. Two 2by4's in the middle, and because the joists was already supported by the edge, I settled for battens (38x59mm) . The 2by4's were rigid in the lateral direction but I needed something to control it longitudinally. So I made tracks that could steer the legs and hold them into position. As well as the tracks by the floor, the joists are also steered by battens at the upper outer edges. Ok, Listen now. I have now come to a point (again) where I am trying to translate concepts for which I may not even know the Danish terms. So if this makes no sense, then trust me, I'm just as confused as you are.
Half way and rising.

This is the point where my 'tracks' begins to shine. Because they rest against the end wall they can now support the columns where the floor rises. This fixes the columns and prevents them from slipping. From the start, I wanted this whole implementation to be reversible when/if someone should one day want to fill the pool with water again. And because of the tracks, there is no need to fix the columns permanently into the tiles on the floor. Also, note that there is a grille in the corner, and even though it looks shiny, it hid a totally rusted dehumidifier, that could not be repaired.
A complete skeleton

This is the completed skeleton. It takes a few splinters in your fingers to look at a monstrosity like this and think of beauty. That or a complete moron like me. The sound from the walls were not dampened by the presence of the wood, but that was also just a small wish.
Remember the nails ?

Have you ever heard of a cheap camera that made fine and crisp indoor pictures in inadequate lightning in 2007 ? Me neither. If you are lucky you can sense the steel wires running underneath the joists though. They are run through the groves I showed you in the second picture, whereupon the nails were driven in completely. The wires are only supposed to hold the weight of the insulation, so this solution turned out to work well.

From the beginning, we wanted the possibility to turn this back into a swimmingpool. For that reason we only threw away the blue bubble plastic pool cover. It had a large crack, which escalated during my 'gentle' removal. The rest of the accessories, were put into the bottom of the pool, where they would never be in the way.
Plywood cover.

Before beginning the cover of the void, I measured up the distance between the brick walls in the farthest corner and the two closest joists (correct plural ?). This would later allow me to securely measure the exact position of the floor hatch. The plywood has tongue and groove, but because I theoretically could need to disassemble the lot in years to come, I refrained from glueing them together.
The details

I had positioned the joists so that all sheets of plywood would meet end to end on top of a joist. For an amateur, that seemed like the safest thing to do. Going around the concrete column meant that I had to create something else to support the assembly. 2by4's to the rescue. Any professionals reading this might object that I secured them with screws into the end grain which does not supply enough traction. I did it anyway.

This was a milestone. Except that the edge of the pool was made by humans which meant small variations in each tile. That equaled small cracks between the plywood and the tile. And you could hear them when you walked over them. So I decided to fix the edges with frame screws, thus abandoning my principles of the reversible pool cover. This was not a big thing though, because in the case of a reversal, the holes could be covered and/or the limited number of tile affected could easily be replaced.
Quite a big space

This just changed the character of the room. Up until now, we still lived in our old house, and I went here every evening to work on the pool project, because when we finished, we would have to move out of our old house and live on the new floor space with all of our boxes and furniture, while I would start to renovate the rest of the house, one room at a time. This would also be a great test of strength with only my family's lives at stake. 🙂

We chose to put on engineered oak floor, because we got a good deal for the livingroom, the hall, the office and the pool. A quantity discount. The floor is treated with a white pigment in order to give a lighter character. As you may have guessed, this is a first for me, and I suddenly found my self making all kinds of calculations in my little head to avoid too much waste.
It's floating

You learn every day, and this day was no different. The floor is laying on foam underlayment. This probably has many reasons, but for me, it noticeably reduced the 'click-clack' noises from shoes. Besides that, the floor is floating. This means that it is not fixed to the plywood underneath or any walls. The reason is that the flooring will expand and retract by up to half an inch depending on temperature and moisture in the air. Hey, look at me, mom! Sounding all clever and shit. 😉
Flooring done

That was it. With planks so broad, progress was noticeable, fast. The only real downside was my knees. According to them, I was in bad standing, literally. Whitened oak sounds very nice and expensive, which is true, but this floor was going to live a hard life because when you sand down and paint furniture as well as dropping a screwdriver now and then, well then you're in a workshop.
A new door.

Having a 1000+ square feet workshop with only a garden and/or kitchen entrance is not optimal, So I started with a large angle grinder and cut out the outline for the door. For my 'Software developer' hands, this was hard work.
Track of time

I literally lost track of time, grinding the wall. Even though I had a dust mask on, I huffed and puffed and started feeling a little sorry for my (self) health. For those interested, this is a Casio Solar Wave Ceptor. A great watch that can charge itself when in daylight. It wasn't. (an after shot: imgur.com/yQsEz8f)
Brick removal

After the outlining, I started to remove the bricks very gently to avoid the roof tumbling down on my silly head. As you can see on the top, I have made space for a lintel beam so that the door frame doesn't have to take the heavy load from the wall above.

This a the non-DIY part of my project. There was simply wiring going straight across the door space, which I missed with the grinder, so I called the local electrician, who had it fixed in a jiffy. (super nice expression). The lintel beam is made up of hollow bricks with a steel rod inside. I helps me have a more clean look around the door. The color difference was not a problem because I intended to plaster the wall. That would also cover up the relatively ugly straight grinder lines.
The other side of the hole

I finally made a similar hole on the other side. I contrast to the inside, no plastering was planned so I removed just enough bricks to rebuild the hole to give it a professional finish. You know that my father and I look stupid, and we know it too. We just don't give a shit :-). The self irony is strong with this one. BTW, did I ever tell you how much I dislike Ivy ?
One and a half door

We decided to put in a door that would be a normal door on a daily basis with the option to open the right side for larger furniture. Good thinking (by my wife). As seen above, I put in a similar lintel beam which fit the outside brick color. I did it even though the kitchen windows to the right had lintel beams of concrete. Even though I try to sound smart, this was mainly because I didn't want to experiment with a diy-lintel beam.
Closing the dehumidifier

The hole where the dehumidifier had had been, had to go. There was no idea in replacing it with a new one. All this brick work is quite UN-reversible, and we were aware of that, but in case someone wanted a swimmingpool later it would not be as critical as if I had fixed every column to the floor in the pool.
Moving Day

Time was up, and I had completed the project to a temporary stage, where we could 'Move' into the swimming pool. It had taken 3 weeks. I could then start building a new kitchen, a new bathroom, a new living room a new office and so on. Technically this is two projects, because we gradually moved out of the pool and into the rest of the home as I finished the rest of the house. From right to left; My Wife, Helle. My friend Keld and his wife Helle. My oldest daughter Marie Sofie, and my friend Klavs. This is not even the final stage. An estimate is a few tons.
A new window section

We decided to replace the old windows, partly because they were worn out in the locks and hinges and partly because we wanted to keep the windows and doors around the house similar looking. This window section has four panels. The two in the middle opens outwards while the others are fixed. Also note that there is still no oak on the floor around the pool.
The plaster

So I started plastering the wall. We had an idea that you should be able to see the bricks through the plaster Therefor I rubbed it with a wet grouting trowel (imgur.com/RRJrmwW) after the application of each square meter.
Steady work

This was a very slow process that took several days. Days that made me so tired, that I slept as fast as I could close my eyes. As you can see, we still have some of our furniture in the 'workshop' covered with a tarp. The project seemed chaotic at times, but lots of music and coffee helped me through.
The walls.

While I don't have any pictures of me painting the walls, I can tell that I gave it a primer that anchored the plaster and acted as a barrier between the plaster and the paint. I still used 10 gallons of white paint on two layers. Between the concrete lamps on the wall, I put up thick painted pine planks. The idea was that hooks could be put in when needed for shelves, small brooms metal hearts and thing like that.
The doors.

These two doors led into the machine room (water cleaning and circulation), while the other led to the locker room where there's a bench, a toilet, a sauna and a shower. The doors were painted as well.
The floor hatch

Before covering the floor joists, I had precisely measured out where the floor hatch should be. Because this was not a living room, I drilled four holes and put my jigsaw tool into the first hole and began to saw a square hole. When the string is pulled, it looks like this; imgur.com/ERcYt3J.
Later I also put in venting holes to avoid moisture building up in the 'basement'.
The edge

The side of the pool were covered in 7 inch white plank, and the edge has a 2 inch wide . Bollocks!. I couldn't find a name for my wooden edge. Hey, wait. I also finished the lower floor.
Done, finito, the end.

This is it. The finished project filled with old furniture. Anyway, When I say white, it's because I'm a man. I don't know that many colors. My wife says that it's more like chalk white. Just to set it straight, we had fun finishing the project.
Source : TorbenBusk from Reddit