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Thread: PB Comparison Time - Help me decide

  1. Back To Top    #1

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    PB Comparison Time - Help me decide

    Ok, its PB comparison time. Time to make a decision.

    If money were not an issue, I would go with PB 1 for sure but we are already well beyond what we initially thought. We can do them all but the most expensive one will dig more into our savings than we want to. My hesitation with the PB 2 and PB 3 is just that the customer service is lacking and they use all contractors and working with sales person has not been so good and the are just volume builders. I don't have much confidence in what they say vs what we will get and if anything goes wrong....

    PB 4 does 1" pavers over a poured concrete. He likes to do that so that there is no settling or weeds and stays cleaner... Not sure if this is good or bad. He would do thick pavers but they are too thick to use all the same vs thick (around pool) and thin (under lania).

    PB 3 - I think I haved rule this one out as I really want pebblesheen. They use Wet Edge and it seems fine but is a much newer company.

    Shape, size and equipment are all pretty much the same since we dictated these.

    Pool size is 28 x 14. We only have 21 feet to work with behind the house.


    Feature PB 1 - GV PB 2 - GS PB 3 - NS PB 4 - HP
    Rating - FB, Angies List, Google 3.5 5 4 n/a
    Pump Jandy VS Hayward VS Jandy VS Hayward VS
    Filter Jandy DE Hayward Cartridge Jandy Filter Hayward Cartridge
    Salt System Jandy AP400 Aqua-rite Jandy Aquapure [p]Hayward for 25k pool[/p]
    Light LED LED LED LED
    Deck Pavers Pavers Pavers Pavers over poured concrete
    Shell & Finish Gunite - Pebblesheen Shotcrete - Pebblesheen Gunite - Wet Edge Satin Shotcrete 8" - Pebblesheen
    Returns 3 5
    Piping 2 in ? 2 in
    Drains 2 mains 2 mains ?
    Cleaner none none none Hayward Navigator
    Coping Brick Bullnose Brick Bullnose Brick Bullnose Brick Bullnose
    General Notes Excellent Customer Service, feel very comfortable with him, Smaller company, owner is salesperson and heaviliy involved. Some of the work is his own employees. Large company, big showroom, 100% sub-contracted including project managers. Proabably will be fine in the end, just more of a careless contractor churning pools out. Good reputation in area but have received terrible service from sales person. Does 12 pools a year. He is a sub contractor for several other large pool companies in the area. Nice guy, does dig, steel, plumbing, tile, electric and other misc himself. Was recommended by another in the industry. Only one that pours concrete and then puts pavers on that to keep them from settling.
    Pool Price 38,150 32,227 33,750 31,608
    Screen, baby fence, misc, sod, solar 12,900 12,900 12,900 12,900
    Total 51,050 45,127 45,546 44,805

    Other consideration - If we go with PB4, since the price is the best we could add a sheer and stepped wall along the back for some design. We would like this but it definitely is not a option with PB1.

    Your thoughts, ideas, comments, whatever is welcome.

    On the pic below, the fence on the right will be moved so we can use the whole back of the house.
    BackOfHouse.jpg

    This is the design that they all are. PB 4 basically told us that we could add more shelfs, seats, etc as long as we stay the same overall size and there will be no additional cost.
    Design.jpg
    Matt
    2016 Pool Build: 12k IG Blue Granite Pebblesheen, Travertine Coping & Pavers, Pentair IntelliFlo, Intellichlor, Easytouch, Clean & Clear 320, Heliocol Solar - TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    SWG Run Time Calculator

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Dreynolds's Avatar
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    Re: PB Comparison Time - Help me decide

    I'm just getting started on my pool. As far as PB 3 is concerned have you meet with anyone esle from the company? I'm not sure how much interaction you are going to have with the saleman during construction. So I'm not sure I would let that stop me from using them if there reputations a good. We are going a fence with window and door alarms and no baby gate. We are in south Florida. 17x30 3ft to 6ft rectangular pool with raised spa with spill over. 1300 ft on ivory travertine. We haven't pick the pool finish yet. Still going back and forth on that one. No sunshelf as we what to be able to do laps in the pool. And ours is $41,000 with Diamond bright or Florida gem. And our PB has no saleman. Smaller company. And I've seen some of his work it's Beautiful. In the end go with the one you feel most comfortable with. Looks like you did all your homework. And good luck! It's all so overwhelming.

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: PB Comparison Time - Help me decide

    I dont see a lot of difference between 2,3, and 4. The small price difference is negligible.
    The questions is, why is PB 1 so much higher for basically all the same stuff? Hummmm....

    I would ask all of the contenders to provide their payment plan. How many and a % amount of each payment.
    It payment due prior to or after work is complete? How much is the LAST payment. It should be high enough for you to use as leverage in case you are unhappy with some workmanship and need something re-done. Many times, this is the tell of the tale between which PB to choose. Tell them you want to hold 10% until it is 100 percent finished and you are happy. If they wont agree, move on. Most times, a PB will move on from a 5% last payment. That low, and it may be to the PB beniefit to wallk away.

    I kind of like number 4. If he is doing the work himself, then there is less chance of a less experienced subcontractor worker really messing something up. Since he does it himself, his level of quality will probably be higher than the others.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: PB Comparison Time - Help me decide

    Very good comments, Dave. My wife and I are trying to sort through the same questions right now. Thanks

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    Re: PB Comparison Time - Help me decide

    If I had to do it again, I would look for someone who only does about 12 pools a year. The PB will only be at your property about 8 days (one to dig, one to put in rebar, one to gunite, one to put in plumbing, one to put in equipment, one to back fill, one to to put in plaster, one to start up). Having the owner there each day (and I assume that would be the case with PB number 4 - if not I would insist upon it) will go a long way to avoiding careless mistakes. Workers generally don't care too much about cutting corners or doing good work, but the owner will since he is the one responsible for any warranty service.

    I don't believe putting pavers over concrete is necessary (and I don't believe it will prevent weeds any more than polymeric sand), but I think it is considerably more expensive (I assume you will have 4 inches of concrete). It does limit you somewhat if you have to get under that concrete to fix anythibng, so I opted to do it without it.

    The brick bullnose will get very hot - youmay wish to upgrade that.
    1200 Sq Ft 41,000 Gal. Gunite, JANDY SVRS VS pump, JANDY JXI 400,000 BTU, Polaris 280 w/ 3/4 BP, Rockwall and Grotto (w/6 jets and blower), 2 JANDY Lam Jets, 2 LED Bubblers, 5 Ledlights, AQUALINK P16 RS, 90% Quartz, SWF 185 GMP BP, SWF 125 BP, Levelor K1100 Autofill, AP Digital SWG, 2 skim and 5 returns, and mostly 3 inch piping

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    SuzfromTexas's Avatar
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    Re: PB Comparison Time - Help me decide

    I swam in a pool last summer with brick bullnose coping. I could not grab onto it without first splashing a lot of water on it. It was incredibly hot. Now, it was a dark red, so maybe that makes a difference. But if you have any wiggle room at all, I agree with Grottoguy - upgrade the coping. You might be able to do travertine since the coping only goes around the perimeter. It stays nice and cool to the touch. Whatever you end up getting, go for a lighter color.

    I also agree with Grottoguy about the pavers. To me, that was the beauty of using pavers - to more easily remove and replace if below deck repairs are ever needed. To keep them from shifting, the installers should follow the usual method for installation - building a base of crushed stone with a layer of sand on top, pouring a concrete border around the paver perimeter, and using the polymeric sand. Pavers are definitely more expensive than a concrete deck. If you're on a budget consider having a concrete type of decking. There are many varieties and are probably less expensive than pavers.

    I'm eager to know what all you decide to do!!! Keep us posted!
    Suz.
    Suz~Cypress area~ 2015 pool build. 23K gallons. IG swcg system. 35'x18'; 573sf; 104' perim; depth 4'-7'. Bubblers, sheer descents, 7' spa. Jandy: color LEDs; 2HP 2sp pump; 1HP 2sp pump; spa pump; 580 cartridge; 400K BTU; Dolphin M500; PS8; Inline chlorinator not used; Aqua Pure 1400. Blue Granite Sheen. Travertine deck. Lightstreams Peacock Blue TF-100, K-1766, SpeedStir

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: PB Comparison Time - Help me decide

    RE: Pavers. Hmm. He said it would be ok to do it without the concrete underneath and we could just get someone else to do it because he does not want to warranty it. He does not do the paver install anyway and I have a good friend that is a contractor and has a good paver crew that does other PBs too. He has had a few bad experiences with pavers settling and the owner called him back years later. He is the 2nd PB that wanted to do the concrete underneath.

    RE: Coping. We will check into that. All of the PBs offer brick coping as standard. We would do a lighter color. Really have not considered something else. Anything else that we should consider other than travertine?

    RE: Pool Builder 1. I am not sure why he is so higher other than the notes that I already put forth but he is not having any difficulty in getting business. He limits what he does from a volume perspective so that he can stay involved. Had to wait 2 months to get a meeting with him but he was up front about that. He is almost fully booked for 2016 and already has 3 booked for Jan.

    Payments:
    PB 1 - Payment Terms: Deposit $1,000.00 Concrete Shell 35% - Paver Deck Completion 35% - Final County Inspection 30%
    PB 2 - not sure, will have to find out
    PB 3 - not sure, will have to find out
    PB 4 - 50% on shell completion, 25% on plumbing completion, 25% on swim (will dictate final county inspection)

    Other: PB 4 also includes 1 month of pool maintenance.

    We are leaning toward PB 4 for some of the same reasons that yall have listed and we will have some room in the budget to do a stepped up wall on the back and a water feature and maybe the upgraded coping if we want to.

    Here is a new design that my wife and I came up with today and really like it. We had not considered anything like this until today since all of this cost more with the other builders but PB 4 said that he does not charge more for shelfs, steps, etc. Just as long as the total size is under 400sq feet. We met with PB 4 today.

    NewDesign - small.jpg
    Matt
    2016 Pool Build: 12k IG Blue Granite Pebblesheen, Travertine Coping & Pavers, Pentair IntelliFlo, Intellichlor, Easytouch, Clean & Clear 320, Heliocol Solar - TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    SWG Run Time Calculator

  8. Back To Top    #8

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    Re: PB Comparison Time - Help me decide

    I ordered a marble coping (very similar to travertine) that was whitish rose from stonehardscapes.com. It was on sale at the time and very cheap. It cost me almost as much to ship it. It was 2 1/4 inch thick and never gets hot even in 109 degrees. Why don't you want travertine? They are located in Florida so it would probably be cheap to ship to you. You might want to give them a look. My PB didn't charge me any extra for the install and gave me a credit for the standard bullnose he owed me.

    I think your be design is very nice. I would go with that.
    1200 Sq Ft 41,000 Gal. Gunite, JANDY SVRS VS pump, JANDY JXI 400,000 BTU, Polaris 280 w/ 3/4 BP, Rockwall and Grotto (w/6 jets and blower), 2 JANDY Lam Jets, 2 LED Bubblers, 5 Ledlights, AQUALINK P16 RS, 90% Quartz, SWF 185 GMP BP, SWF 125 BP, Levelor K1100 Autofill, AP Digital SWG, 2 skim and 5 returns, and mostly 3 inch piping

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: PB Comparison Time - Help me decide

    Quote Originally Posted by grottoguy View Post
    I ordered a marble coping (very similar to travertine) that was whitish rose from stonehardscapes.com. It was on sale at the time and very cheap. It cost me almost as much to ship it. It was 2 1/4 inch thick and never gets hot even in 109 degrees. Why don't you want travertine? They are located in Florida so it would probably be cheap to ship to you. You might want to give them a look. My PB didn't charge me any extra for the install and gave me a credit for the standard bullnose he owed me.

    I think your be design is very nice. I would go with that.
    I have no inclination of travertine or not at this point. Just had not looked into it yet for budget reasons.
    Matt
    2016 Pool Build: 12k IG Blue Granite Pebblesheen, Travertine Coping & Pavers, Pentair IntelliFlo, Intellichlor, Easytouch, Clean & Clear 320, Heliocol Solar - TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    SWG Run Time Calculator

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: PB Comparison Time - Help me decide

    I am also a newbie and wanting a lot of info or advise. I had 3 estimate's and live in SWF. I thought moving here it would be easy to find a good one. If you ask in general at grocery, gas station, pool cleaners, pool supplier. Every one said I don't know any one. Now wait a minute in all the neighborhoods I see pools every where but no people in them. My new neighbor was in for first 3 months and that is it unless company comes over.

    So I would like to know equipment reviews or advice for a 14X28 Gunite Pool. Please also We have decided to go with a smaller PB who lives in our town. Keeps it simple took us to other customer home's and they were all satisfied. The price is in the ball park of your PB pricing so that makes us feel good. I think we are just worried because we lived in a small country town. Didn't have a lot of choice's when we put our fiberglass pool in but that was Indiana and this is Florida. We want to enjoy it for years
    Roman Style IG 14X28, Gunite Pool and Screen Cage
    11600 gallons, 3.5 ft - 6.0 ft SWG TF100 Kit:)
    Spa with spill over, tanning ledge, swim bench
    Finish TBD, along with equipment and paver's
    Water trucked in were on well system in Florida:)

  11. Back To Top    #11
    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: PB Comparison Time - Help me decide

    Sounds like the last payment of 25% is on issue of occupancy. Many states/counties/cities do a final inspection (others dont), to make sure all of the saftety features are in place.
    Final Inspection as far as us homeowners can mean something entirely different than what the PB definition of it is. Its quite possible the final inspection will take place before the deck is even finished, as the deck has nothing to do with the actual safety of the pool....... so.... if that's the case, you would have zero leverage.

    Of course, that may be the standard norm in your area, but I would like that spelled out a whole lot clearer before accepting it.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: PB Comparison Time - Help me decide

    Quote Originally Posted by Divin Dave View Post
    Sounds like the last payment of 25% is on issue of occupancy. Many states/counties/cities do a final inspection (others dont), to make sure all of the saftety features are in place.
    Final Inspection as far as us homeowners can mean something entirely different that was the PB definition of it is. Its quite possible the final inspection will take place before the deck is even finished, as the deck has nothing to do with the actual safety of the pool....... so....

    Of course, that may be the standard norm in your area, but I would like that spelled out a whole lot clearer before accepting it.
    Thanks, I will be sure to stipulate this part. I believe in this area, a final inspection is required after everything is finished because their are child safety laws and all of that would not be complete until the screen, pavers, and child fence is put up.
    Matt
    2016 Pool Build: 12k IG Blue Granite Pebblesheen, Travertine Coping & Pavers, Pentair IntelliFlo, Intellichlor, Easytouch, Clean & Clear 320, Heliocol Solar - TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    currentking's Avatar
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    Re: PB Comparison Time - Help me decide

    what are you getting for the $12,900 for the screen? is it solar also along with replacing sod? is there any automation? My screen was $9200 for a 28'x48'. Are you planning on going with basic tile? My glass tile was a $2200 upgrade so be ready if you are wanting to go with glass or something that is not part of the PB basic list.

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    Re: PB Comparison Time - Help me decide

    $1,000 to move 2 AC units
    $1,000 miscellaneous
    $250 misc electrical (DIY for some extra lighting around deck)
    $650 sod
    $700 for baby fence
    $5,500 for screen (21' x 40') Half Mansard -
    $3,750 solar (need to get real estimate but a neighbor paid $3500 a about a year ago for the same size pool)
    -------
    $12,900

    From what we have seen, we will be happy with the base tiles and a few accent tiles that might end up adding a few hundred but should not be thousands.

    No automation. We will only have a few bubblers and maybe sheer descents. We will have auto controller for the solar but that will be separate. I am not sure that we have anything that really needs any automation. The equipment will be close to the pool.

    I am expecting that there will be a few unexpected items and maybe a few upgrades. All the more reason I really can't go to the high end builder....

    I am actually thinking the PB4 after meeting with him today is a bit like doing a modified owner build. He is going to make his money on the things that would be hard for me to manage, have knowledge of and get bids for such as the dig, concrete, shotcrete, etc. Then I am going can self contract screen, baby fence, deck (if I don't want to use the concrete base) and probably the pebblesheen finish since he does not do that normally. He was not concerned about it though.

    PB 4 has been in the pool business his whole life and was working for his fathers pool company. His father unexpectedly died and things did not work out. He decided to do a small # of pools on the side and be a sub for the rest. He does not like chasing the business (not a sales person) but does like doing the pools as a whole.

    Thanks for all your comments and ideas.
    Matt
    2016 Pool Build: 12k IG Blue Granite Pebblesheen, Travertine Coping & Pavers, Pentair IntelliFlo, Intellichlor, Easytouch, Clean & Clear 320, Heliocol Solar - TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    SWG Run Time Calculator

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: PB Comparison Time - Help me decide

    It sounds like a good plan to me Matt. Keep us posted on how it goes.
    And, I like your pool deisgn too. It looks like it will be very nice.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Re: PB Comparison Time - Help me decide

    Went to a travertine supplier today to take a look and some home models that had pools. One model has pavers and the other travertine. It was mostly sunny today. The Travertine is definitely cooler by a noticeable amount even for the light colors. Medium to Dark colors on travertine or concrete pavers are much hotter. A difference could even be felt on darker travertine.

    We like the travertine for sure for the deck and coping. We will just need to work on pricing to see if it is doable in the budget. If we use the travertine pavers for the coping that might save a little because they seem to charge more for the coping.

    We like concrete pavers as well but travertine definitely looks richer.
    Matt
    2016 Pool Build: 12k IG Blue Granite Pebblesheen, Travertine Coping & Pavers, Pentair IntelliFlo, Intellichlor, Easytouch, Clean & Clear 320, Heliocol Solar - TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    SWG Run Time Calculator

  17. Back To Top    #17
    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: PB Comparison Time - Help me decide

    If you can swing the budget, Travertine is definitely the way to go. Its stunningly beautiful.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: PB Comparison Time - Help me decide

    I will only say this about your pool/ Shelves adn benches are great. But your pool is not very big to begin with. Just make sure that you sont get focused on "gadgets" adn forget what you truly need, which in many cases is space.

    WIth that beign said, your new hadn drawn sketch looks great.
    IG W/Vinyl Liner Oval 18x40, 21K gal, Oval 3'-8'
    Pentair Intelliflo VS Pump, Sand Filter

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: PB Comparison Time - Help me decide

    First thanks for posting pricing. A lot of build threads are totally silent about that. It really helps in evaluating bids to see what others are charging especially in a similar geographic area. I would go with builder 4 based on what u posted.
    34x17, IG gunite pool, Cathedral shape, Hayward Pro-Logic automation, 40,000 gal T-cell 15, Hayward EcoStar VFD, Hayward Star-Clear Plus C1200 Cartridge Filter, Hayward ColorLogic LED lights x 2

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: PB Comparison Time - Help me decide

    I didn't see it listed, I may have missed it: how much square footage of decking is included in that price?
    I come up with 448 but I am not counting the existing patio.
    Last edited by Dldave1978; 08-17-2015 at 06:43 AM. Reason: To add my math in

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