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Thread: Help me with Bids!--Austin,TX

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    Help me with Bids!--Austin,TX

    Hi everyone! Just got my first bid for an inground pool here in Austin. I would love to know what you think!

    31x16 freeform gunite
    82 feet perimeter
    407 sqft pool
    3 ft -5 ft depth
    12,271 gallons
    Tanning Ledge
    3 returns
    6" waterline tile
    Oklahoma flagstone coping
    500 sqft concrete decking with Kool Kote
    Mini pebble interior
    Pump: 1.5 hp Jandy (not sure how many speeds?--doesn't specify)
    Filter: Jandy 460 sqft cartridge
    Cleaner: Polaris 280
    Sanitizer: Fusion Chlorine/Nature2 (i argued with the PB that Nature 2 was supposed to be crappy/staining lol--he wasn't having it)
    Light: (1) Hayward color changing LED (Already planning to tell him to up this! He told us one was plenty...)

    Initial Bid: $45,900
    Add-ons:
    Woodburning fire pit with flagstone facing and coping $2100

    10' stone weeping wall waterfall $3300
    OR
    Sheer descent waterfall raised wall with flagstone facing 12", 18", 12" (in design now as pictured) $1100

    hoffman_004.jpghoffman_005.jpg
    Just getting started! Inground freeform gunite pool, 17x32, 3.5-5ft depth, SWCG, French Grey mini pebble Stonescapes, NPT Arctic Lagoon glass tile, raised wall with 3 sheers, Polaris robotic cleaner, Cartridge filter, 550 sqft concrete/Kool-dek; Dig to begin 10/2017!

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: My First Bid--Austin,TX!

    Welcome to TFP!

    Not bad..., and that's going to be a nice pool.

    Refuse the Nature2 without question, and replace the 280 with a good Robot. Get credit back for each, but ask the breakdown cost on them first. Discuss whether or not the price includes hitting rock. Is there a rock clause in the contract, and if so, how is that outlined? Chances are very good that you hit rock down there, so you want to know up front.

    I do like the mountains in the background however...nice touch.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: My First Bid--Austin,TX!

    Robot is cheaper than the 280?
    When I was arguing about the Nature2 he was really telling me I needed the system and I could put a dummy cartridge in after it wore out. I knew better. Should I just demand a different system altogether or should I go with that one and just never put in the mineral cartridge?

    There may be rock but the part of town we live in shouldn't be too bad. They dig no matter what and it is the same price.

    Thanks! Yeah I think the Mountains are going to be a huge investment but worth it for the view.
    Just getting started! Inground freeform gunite pool, 17x32, 3.5-5ft depth, SWCG, French Grey mini pebble Stonescapes, NPT Arctic Lagoon glass tile, raised wall with 3 sheers, Polaris robotic cleaner, Cartridge filter, 550 sqft concrete/Kool-dek; Dig to begin 10/2017!

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    Re: My First Bid--Austin,TX!

    The Polaris 280 is the vacuum device, booster pump, and plumbing. It should be close to the price of the robot if you include all that. The problem is your builder basically has no way of subtracting that because they are such a large builder and probably won't give you more than say a few hundred off for the 280 even though it costs them more.

    I would tell them you don't want the nature2 equipment and if they won't listen to you then you will not go with them as a pool builder. I ended up not using your builder because they weren't listening to me about what I wanted from my pool. If you are happy with what they are proposing then that is probably great but I think they don't know how to build anything other than what they normally quote. They build so many pools that I bet even if you tell them you don't want the nature2 there is a high probability you'll still get it haha.
    Pool is done! Only took 17 months! - Natural shape in-ground pool: 37x23, 505sq ft, 96ft perimeter, 7ft deep end, 18,950 gallons, tanning ledge, blue surf pebble sheen/luminous blue blend, Belgard coping, 910 sqft paver deck/walkways, retaining walls out the yinyang. Jandy SWG, 2 LED Color lights, VS 2HP Pump, 460sqft cartridge filter, PDA RS P8 controller. My build

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    Re: My First Bid--Austin,TX!

    Haha I was like---how do they know who I'm using?? Then DUH I saw the pic had it on there. Oops!

    Yeah I have a feeling they just go with a standard set of everything and don't really divert from the "list" much. We have several other builders on the table, this just happened to be the first who sent us an actual quote and didn't do the whole "Nope, you gotta come into my office and meet with me so we can see it on a big screen! You're not buying a Ford pickup, you're spending a lot of money on a swimming pool, Dummy!" Ok maybe not that last part, but that's how the guy made me feel. Sorry, with three little boys I don' t need to schedule a babysitter just so I can walk into your office and you can try to trap me with a hard sell

    Mind me asking what builder you went with??
    Just getting started! Inground freeform gunite pool, 17x32, 3.5-5ft depth, SWCG, French Grey mini pebble Stonescapes, NPT Arctic Lagoon glass tile, raised wall with 3 sheers, Polaris robotic cleaner, Cartridge filter, 550 sqft concrete/Kool-dek; Dig to begin 10/2017!

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    Re: My First Bid--Austin,TX!

    As a followup question, I had my heart set on the ease of use and feel of a salt system, but my husband really wants the natural look of stone. One builder told us it was not a problem to do Oklahoma flagstone with salt and its what he has on his pool. I should preface this with the fact that my husband OWNS a stone restoration company and has seen dozens of sandy-bottomed pools with natural stone and salt and isn't into it, but he has access to all the best stone sealing products and would be able to easily do it whenever the idea struck. Thoughts?
    Just getting started! Inground freeform gunite pool, 17x32, 3.5-5ft depth, SWCG, French Grey mini pebble Stonescapes, NPT Arctic Lagoon glass tile, raised wall with 3 sheers, Polaris robotic cleaner, Cartridge filter, 550 sqft concrete/Kool-dek; Dig to begin 10/2017!

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    Re: My First Bid--Austin,TX!

    I have read on here that you can seal the rock and get away with it but might have to re seal every so often. Or you could go with stamped concrete or the like and it wouldn't be a problem.
    15,000 gallon free form Viking fiberglass pool. Hayward Star-Clear Plus C12002 cartridge filter. Hayward Swim Pure Plus T-15 SWG. Testing with TF-100 Kit. 2 speed 1.5HP Supreme pump. Dolphin Nautilus robotic cleaner

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    Re: My First Bid--Austin,TX!

    Quote Originally Posted by alliecat View Post
    As a followup question, I had my heart set on the ease of use and feel of a salt system, but my husband really wants the natural look of stone. One builder told us it was not a problem to do Oklahoma flagstone with salt and its what he has on his pool. I should preface this with the fact that my husband OWNS a stone restoration company and has seen dozens of sandy-bottomed pools with natural stone and salt and isn't into it, but he has access to all the best stone sealing products and would be able to easily do it whenever the idea struck. Thoughts?
    So what I have been told is you can get away with this. Some stones are more brittle than others and you will find some get eaten away more than others. If your builder is diligent and gets the hardest stone that isn't flaking then you probably will have better success. I know about this because I had a flagstone patio and some of the stones flaked like crazy and others were solid and didn't do anything if I used a pressure washer per say. I really haven't heard long term success/failure with the stone. Definitely stay away from the Limestone Lueders. There is a guy in Austin with SWG and Oklahoma Flagstone and is very friendly. His username is skylar18 if you want to PM him.

    I'll PM you my builder.
    Pool is done! Only took 17 months! - Natural shape in-ground pool: 37x23, 505sq ft, 96ft perimeter, 7ft deep end, 18,950 gallons, tanning ledge, blue surf pebble sheen/luminous blue blend, Belgard coping, 910 sqft paver deck/walkways, retaining walls out the yinyang. Jandy SWG, 2 LED Color lights, VS 2HP Pump, 460sqft cartridge filter, PDA RS P8 controller. My build

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    Re: My First Bid--Austin,TX!

    I am going to PM you. We are in the middle of our build in the Austin area and our pool is very similar in size and features.
    Gunite Phase || 16500 gal FreeForm 33'x18' IG, 89 perim, 491 sq ft. || Blue Surf Pebble Sheen || Pentair Intelliflo VS || Pentail C&C 520 || 2 Pentair Intellibrite 5G
    Previous Pool || 13500 gal. FreeForm 31'x19' IG, 87' perim, 481 sq ft.|| Pebble Sheen || Pentair IntelliFlo VS || Pentair C&C 420 || Pentair Intellibrite 5G

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    Re: My First Bid--Austin,TX!

    Go for both I say. Sounds like you have an "in" with special knowledge and material access. I honestly don't think salt is all that bad unless the stone is pretty flaky/sedimentary.
    TFP Moderator
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    28K Gal IG FreeForm, CLI Quartz, Pentair 36"SF & VS Pump, Dolphin M5, Rheem

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    Re: My First Bid--Austin,TX!

    I would get credit for Fusion Chlorine/Nature2 and either you or PB install Stenner pump and 15 gallon container for bleach ( $300 for self install ). You will not have to worry about bleach ( chlorine ) harming your stone!
    8500 gallon IG Pebble Sheen with Spa. 3hp Pentair VS Intelliflo ( pool ), 3/4 hp WhisperFlo ( water feature ),Pentair Racer, 400K Pentair heater, Pentair 500sqft Cartridge filter, EasyTouch 8, Stenner 45mp2 15gallon wired to ET8

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    Re: My First Bid--Austin,TX!

    I am really interested in doing this, actually. Do PB know about this? If I went to Anthony&Sylvan would they look at me like I was crazy? You should have seen the look I got when I mentioned pouring liquid bleach into the pool every day.
    Just getting started! Inground freeform gunite pool, 17x32, 3.5-5ft depth, SWCG, French Grey mini pebble Stonescapes, NPT Arctic Lagoon glass tile, raised wall with 3 sheers, Polaris robotic cleaner, Cartridge filter, 550 sqft concrete/Kool-dek; Dig to begin 10/2017!

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Re: My First Bid--Austin,TX!

    Did you get any other quotes? Check out Texas Pools and Patios, New Wave and OceanQuest.
    36 x 16 IG, SWG, FAFCO Solar Heating System, WetEdge Primera Stone Sky Blue Treasure, 8.5' - 3.5' depth, 6' S.R. Smith Flyte-Deck II Dive Stand, Interfab X-Stream slide, 27k gallons, doggy tanning ledge w/ 2 bubblers, 2.75 Hayward Tristar pump, Hayward 425 cart filter, Hayward T-15 Salt Cell, Hayward ColorLogic 4.0 light, Dolphin Z5

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    Re: My First Bid--Austin,TX!

    Waiting on TX Pools and Patios to send one, haven't talked to New Wave or Ocean Quest but I'll put them on the list. I've had 6 guys out here and my husband is so over it. He's ready to just take the best offer from the nicest guy who seems to know the most, but I'm leery of people who are talking about how great Ozone, Nature2, Uv, etc all are and want to put pucks of chlorine in. Its like I know too much.
    Just getting started! Inground freeform gunite pool, 17x32, 3.5-5ft depth, SWCG, French Grey mini pebble Stonescapes, NPT Arctic Lagoon glass tile, raised wall with 3 sheers, Polaris robotic cleaner, Cartridge filter, 550 sqft concrete/Kool-dek; Dig to begin 10/2017!

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    Re: My First Bid--Austin,TX!

    Our build is very similar to yours. Just make sure the PB's are bidding similar things. Not only size, perimeter ft., square feet of water, etc. but also interior finishes and equipment. We had bids from many of the same builders that you seem to be contacting and while the final price was similar for similar sizes there were ranges of equipment and finishes. Some companies house brand pebble was nothing like that of the brand names while others were real brand name. Some quoted with all traditional timers and no automation. Some quoted with variable speed pumps. Some of these things add up big time and while the bottom line may have been similar the equipment and finish was not. Read some of the other build threads from Austin here on TFP by some of the members that posted on your thread here. You will learn a lot about the builder by following some of the build threads here.
    Gunite Phase || 16500 gal FreeForm 33'x18' IG, 89 perim, 491 sq ft. || Blue Surf Pebble Sheen || Pentair Intelliflo VS || Pentail C&C 520 || 2 Pentair Intellibrite 5G
    Previous Pool || 13500 gal. FreeForm 31'x19' IG, 87' perim, 481 sq ft.|| Pebble Sheen || Pentair IntelliFlo VS || Pentair C&C 420 || Pentair Intellibrite 5G

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    Re: My First Bid--Austin,TX!

    Quote Originally Posted by alliecat View Post
    Waiting on TX Pools and Patios to send one, haven't talked to New Wave or Ocean Quest but I'll put them on the list. I've had 6 guys out here and my husband is so over it. He's ready to just take the best offer from the nicest guy who seems to know the most, but I'm leery of people who are talking about how great Ozone, Nature2, Uv, etc all are and want to put pucks of chlorine in. Its like I know too much.
    Texas P&P did mine. It has taken a long time and there were a lot of delays, but I would have paid 10-20% more for this same pool setup from anyone else. If you can work with Danielle, she is great.
    36 x 16 IG, SWG, FAFCO Solar Heating System, WetEdge Primera Stone Sky Blue Treasure, 8.5' - 3.5' depth, 6' S.R. Smith Flyte-Deck II Dive Stand, Interfab X-Stream slide, 27k gallons, doggy tanning ledge w/ 2 bubblers, 2.75 Hayward Tristar pump, Hayward 425 cart filter, Hayward T-15 Salt Cell, Hayward ColorLogic 4.0 light, Dolphin Z5

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    Re: My First Bid--Austin,TX!

    I have Oklahoma Flagstone and Salt Water and the stone is holding up great. No degradation at this point. My Salt Water Chlorinator makes things so easy. I pretty much have a pool that takes care of itself. Pretty much just put in some muriatic acid to keep the PH down.

    I agonized about having both to the point that I had 2 signed contracts with our pool builder because I kept changing my mind because I was so leery about salt and stone. I am glad I did it! So far it has really worked out well.

    I do seal every year. It doesn't take much time at all now that I have gotten good at applying it.

    Here is the thread I started several months ago about my stone.

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...l-looking-good
    43 x 19 Gunite Pool w/ spa and fire pit, 19,000 gallons, Pebble Sheen Aqua Blue finish, Jandy 2 HP VS E-pump, Jandy 580 sq ft Cartridge Filter, Jandy LXI 400k Heater, Jandy Aquapure 1400 SWCG, 4 Jandy LED color lights, Aqualink PDA and Iaqualink, Polaris 280 with Booster Pump. Polaris 9550 Robot Cleaner. 1 HP Silencer Air Blower for Spa http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...NAL-INSPECTION

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    Re: My First Bid--Austin,TX!

    Thank you everyone for all the input! This is such a valuable resource. I admit I tend to really DIVE IN (ha) when I am getting involved with something, and this has been no different. You should see me planning a Disney trip! Yikes!
    Anyway, I'm glad I have. I think most people just say, "I want a pool!" and kind of talk to builders and take whatever offer is the best looking, maybe cheapest, so it boils down to who is the best salesman. Well, I know too much now and I just mistrust everyone! Ha!

    The bid I posted above I had many questions about, mostly inspired by what you all commented. I went to the builder and asked the following things, and then I put in his answers. GEEZ. You'll see.

    1. Will you do salt water with oklahoma flagstone coping? The more I read, the more I think it is an option for us. I know we briefly discussed this but I don't think we said definitively that we'd do it.
    If you go with the SWG and choose flagstone it will be a risk of product degradation if not sealed. Sealing it will significantly reduce the corrosive effect. If you do the concrete edge you do not have to worry.

    2. Will you get rid of the Nature 2 and change to a different SWG? I'm not interested in adding copper to the water.
    You have the option not to use the Nature 2. Basically you do not put the cartridge in. The SWG still work the same.


    3. How much for automation? I don't see one on the quote. Is the pump a single speed pump? I've read about equipment options to know we want at least a 2 speed or variable speed pump for energy savings.
    As far as the pump and automation goes, you just do not have enough water demands or features to justify the expense. The pool I presented to you guys will have about 70 gallons/min demand including the waterfall. The 1.5 hp single speed has about a 120gal/min output. That means it will running way below the specifications limit resulting in an average consumption of electricity.

    4. If we forgo the Polaris 280 and whatever comes with it, what credit can we get if we go with a robot cleaner instead?
    The Polaris 280 is a robotic cleaner, just water driven. If you want the electrical type check the Polaris 9450 on line. It will be the same as the 280 as pricing goes.


    Help me out with this. What he's saying about the pump is just not right, is it? Like he's saving me money on a pump and automation without considering that that is one thing I would be willing to spend more on? When I asked about a second light he had the same type answer. Also, instead of "lets look at a different swg we don't HAVE to use the one with Nature2", it is just THE swg they install, and there's no room for discussion. Leading me away from using this builder.

    - - - Updated - - -

    And I'd love to hear how other women feel when they're talking to builders. Some have made me feel like I'm so ditzy/dingy for asking so many questions and questioning their opinions about pool stuff. My husband works all day and hasn't had time to look into this stuff as much, and he trusts me, so when we sit down with these guys, I'm the one doing most of the talking and throwing in of the proverbial two cents.
    Just getting started! Inground freeform gunite pool, 17x32, 3.5-5ft depth, SWCG, French Grey mini pebble Stonescapes, NPT Arctic Lagoon glass tile, raised wall with 3 sheers, Polaris robotic cleaner, Cartridge filter, 550 sqft concrete/Kool-dek; Dig to begin 10/2017!

  19. Back To Top    #19
    skylar18's Avatar
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    Re: My First Bid--Austin,TX!

    1 LED light for sure is not enough. I'll let the experts chime in on the pump size.

    I will share one story. During our build my wife was working with the head of the masonry company designing a stone bench. We are all fairly short so my wife wanted to place the bench by the fire pit in a position so it was really comfortable for our daughter who was the shortest. The Masonry guy said the bench needed to be a certain distance from the fire pit. My wife said no, she had already spent a ton of time measuring the arc distance and had actually taped it out already. He said it was to close. My wife said, "I don't care what is the usual placement, we are short and we want it to be comfortable for us, not everyone else, we live here."

    They went back and forth for a minute then he said to her, "Shouldn't your husband be making important decisions like this"? Needless to say she erupted for several minutes. I hear the screaming and come outside. My wife tells me what he said. I laughed and looked at him and said "Dude, you just made the rest of your day miserable", then I walked back into the house. I heard her screaming at him for several minutes after that.

    She came in the house then, looked at me, burst out laughing, and said, "Man that felt good"!
    43 x 19 Gunite Pool w/ spa and fire pit, 19,000 gallons, Pebble Sheen Aqua Blue finish, Jandy 2 HP VS E-pump, Jandy 580 sq ft Cartridge Filter, Jandy LXI 400k Heater, Jandy Aquapure 1400 SWCG, 4 Jandy LED color lights, Aqualink PDA and Iaqualink, Polaris 280 with Booster Pump. Polaris 9550 Robot Cleaner. 1 HP Silencer Air Blower for Spa http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...NAL-INSPECTION

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: My First Bid--Austin,TX!

    1. I think LED lights are worth the cost.

    2. I don't use my nature 2 -- The PB just sells them to get good pricing on zodiac jandy products. I use a stener pump-- a liquidator would work great on this size pool without a vs pump.

    3. I agree you probably don't need a vs pump but just about everyone should have a two speed. Daily filtering with a single speed pump is giving $$$ away.

    4. I like the polaris 380 --- it doesn't need a booster pump -- but the future is robots. They take less energy and do a better job.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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