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A perfect backyard for summer entertaining

Albert Lea family’s space includes pool, fountain, fireplace

 

Dan and Ann Glazier’s pool started as a DIY challenge from a wife to her husband.

“I said, ‘I bet you can’t,’ and he said, ‘I bet I can,’” Ann Glazier said.

There was at least one mark in Dan Glazier’s favor already: He does concrete for a living. About six summers since the pool was put in, the Glaziers have a backyard that features not only a pool — with a fountain — but also a bar, pool house, fireplace, hot tub, rock staircase and a space to shoot some hoops. Between them all, it features six different styles of decorative concrete.

The space also allows Dan Glazier to bring clients down to visualize a concrete they may be considering for their own projects.

Because he did the engineering and design himself, it took a few years to complete, Dan Glazier said. But both the Glaziers agreed that was the beauty of doing it themselves: the opportunity to do what works for them.

“As it went, we made changes, and it just evolved,” Dan Glazier said.

This is also how the family ended up with an approximately 10 foot by 10 foot concrete mural of the USA Wrestling logo at the west end of the pool patio. Dan Glazier set aside a diamond-shaped space in which he said he knew he wanted something decorative. At first, he wasn’t sure what.

Their sons, both wrestlers, asked if the USA Wrestling logo could go on it.

“That fits us,” Dan Glazier said. “Let’s do it.”

The fountain was a less unanimous decision. Ann Glazier called it her husband’s baby.

“Nobody wanted the waterfall,” Dan Glazier said.

He said he thought it would be cool and easy to do. A waterfall flows over a pile of rocks in the southeast corner of the pool, trickling into the water and recycling back up into the fountain.

“Honestly, I saw in the huge pile of rocks that we had, I just, I saw the right pieces that I thought would fit to make it,” Dan Glazier said.

The pool itself is managed thanks to plumbing all routed to the basement of the poolhouse, where the pool pump, heater and filter are protected from weather, can be serviced and accessed easily while still being out of sight.

“Some of the coolest things about it nobody sees or knows,” Dan Glazier said.

The rocks highlighted in the fountain are companions in aesthetic to the ones that make up both pillars supporting the concrete bar in the northeast corner of the patio. Its larger siblings make up a boulder staircase that leads from the southwest corner of the patio to a grass field below that doubles as a dirt bike course.

While Ann Glazier has seating set up in six different spots around the pool deck, toward the end of the night, it all tends to be grabbed and moved to a central location. Keeping the furniture easy allows people to recongregate in different places, she said. Oftentimes, everyone ends up around the fireplace on the south side of the pool.

But separate spaces can also increase the area’s usability, Dan Glazier said. When the sun is beating down, the bar doesn’t always provide as much shade as underneath the overhang of the pool house.

“It depends on the time of the day or what’s going on, there’s someplace to be that fits,” he said.

The family has bean bag boards, a basketball hoop on the pool’s edge (with a movable decorative concrete base) and a full-size hoop on the patio, a ping-pong table and a TV in the pool house for anyone who would like to watch sporting events while they’re over.

“Keeping things simple is the best,” Ann Glazier said. “You want to enjoy your time, and summer is so short.”

Food typically consists of a taco bar, hamburgers and hot dogs or pizza served inside. Ann Glazier said she tries to keep it easy and kid-friendly.

Her sons often have friends over in the summer to use the pool, so Ann Glazier will keep a spigot container filled with juice and glasses in the fridge for them to avoid half-empty Gatorade bottles.

Dan Glazier’s work means the family doesn’t always have the chance to get away during the summer, his wife said. Instead, they have their backyard. Dan Glazier said it is nice to sit back and see the fruition of his work, which was a big process.

“On those miserable days when it’s 95, there’s no better place to be than just jump in the pool,” he said.

 

About Sarah Kocher

Sarah covers education and arts and culture for the Tribune.

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