My name is Brandon. I'm a writer, cartoonist, husband, and father. This is the online space where I talk about life, family, art, videogames, and anything else that interests me. Disclaimer: a lot of things interest me.

I Am Aquaman!

I’ve gotten pretty damn good at turning a swamp into clean water. If NASA finds a swamp planet to colonize, I should totes be on that mission.

When we first decided to open the pool, Lauren convinced me to hire a pool maintenance company to do the job. When the pool guys got there, we learned that the pool was in pretty wretched shape. They hypothesized that the former owners didn’t properly shut the pool down and that it was going to cost us $750 for them to get it into swimming shape.

“No. No, it isn’t.”

This has been my mantra since moving into the new house. I first learned it when a plumber told me it was going to cost $500 for him to snake a line. With the help of my step-dad we did the job in a couple of hours and it cost me $30. It’s taken me almost three weeks of constant maintenance, but I can officially say the pool is open for summer. I don’t begrudge the price that was quoted me. This has been like a second job for the past few weeks. But I’m very much a hands-on kind of person. I like to learn how to do new things, and I’m a bit obsessed with being self-reliant. Doing this myself taught me everything I need to know to keep the pool looking great all summer, and it cost me $230 in chemicals and supplies. It’s my hope that next summer will be easier, because I’ll know what I’m doing and be able to keep the pool from getting in such bad shape through the fall and winter months.

Home ownership can be a bit of a money sink. Maintenance costs money, and your abode is one place you really shouldn’t skimp on. That said, home maintenance is largely a task that the home owner can wrangle with caution, gumption, and the proper knowledge resources. I’ve developed a bit of a system in researching how to do things myself. I read a lot of articles and watch 5 or six different videos on the subject on YouTube before assessing if it is a job I can safely attempt myself. I do this, because pulling from multiple sources decreases the likelihood that I’m missing out on a key piece of information that will determine how I should proceed. Also, by watching several people do the same task, I pick up tricks and techniques unique to each that I can then combine to make it even easier on myself.

The biggest help in opening the pool was the YouTube channel SwimUniversity. If you own a pool or hot tub, you should check them out and save yourself a few hundred dollars.

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