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Dear Dale:

How to Get Out of the Swim of Things

May 17, 1987|DALE BALDWIN

Question: I own a home with a pool and am tired of taking care of it. It's rarely used. What can I do to rid myself of the pool without filling it in with dirt or destroying its value?

Answer: Readers who would love to have their own swimming pools are going to read your question and weep. However, if the pool is not being used, it's understandable that you would like to use the space for another purpose.

One solution might be to build a deck over the pool area. You could build the decking in narrow (about three-foot) portable units that would spread from one side of the pool to the other. In that way, you (with a helper) could remove one or more units of decking when it becomes necessary to clean out debris or you want to wash the pool area.

The deck area could be made attractive with free-standing planters. And there's always the possibility that your Ohio or Kansas relatives will come to visit one summer and you'll want to put the pool back in action. Don't do anything rash.

Q: All the old houses I've occupied in Southern California have small windows in the clothes closets. This seems like a great idea to let your wardrobe have a little air. Why have builders stopped doing that?

A: One problem with the small windows in closets is the sunlight fades your clothes if they're exposed to the light for a long period. If your closet has a window, you might want to cover it with an opaque shade to keep the light out. A better way might be to eliminate the window and put louvered doors on the closet for ventilation.

Q: We have glass sliding doors leading out to our patio, and we also have the customary drapery that we can close at night. I'm sick of that draped look. Can you suggest some other way to close off an aluminum patio door?

A: A friend of mine installed shutters over her patio doors. She used the type that have just the frame and filled the customarily louvered part with gathered fabric panels to match the other drapes in the room. It looks good and does the job.

Luis Valentino writes that Robert Rahn can find false beams mentioned earlier in this column at Eagle Rock Hardware & Lumber Co., 2223 Fair Park Ave. in the Eagle Rock area of Los Angeles.

Robert K. Power of Laguna Beach wants to know if anyone knows of a company that makes sliding glass doors so that either side can be opened or closed. He points out that such a door would give more options in arranging furniture and better in-and-out access.

Dale Baldwin will answer remodeling questions of general interest on this page. Send your questions to Home Improvement, Real Estate Department, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053. Baldwin cannot answer questions individually. Snapshots of successful do-it-yourself projects may be submitted but cannot be returned.

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