I just returned to my home in Mexico and saw for the first time all the work done on my walkways and pool. Thanks to the sale of part of my property, I could afford to correct a couple of eyesores. Mistakes of mine, made because I built on the cheap, determined to stay within my budget. Only to spend even more on the fixes a few years later.
Take the walkways. Originally I went with a rustic look, copied from a yoga retreat center up the road in Sayulita. Logs dug into the ground with gravel foot beds.
“It’s so natural and easy to maintain,” said the guy at retreat center. “All you have to do is throw on some more gravel at the end of each rainy season.”
Not quite. Tropical sun quickly destroyed the logs, which shed bark until they whittled down to the size of thick broom handles. Fierce rains eroded the soil around them, left gaping holes, and carried away the gravel as well. A walk down my hill now called for vigilance and sturdy shoes.
Then there was the pool. It had been my bright idea to surround it with cement, stamped and stained to look like tile. Which it did, for the first few months. Then the cement began to crack and chip away, while the color faded from terra cotta to sickly salmon.
I could go on. But you are probably thinking, Oh to have your happy problems, Lady Got-Rocks, in this time of foreclosures and short sales. I know, I know. Bear with me. Anyway, I am content now that the place looks great. And we will see if I have learned once and for all that you get what you pay for.