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Thread: Reasonable Consultant's Fee for O/B

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    Join Date
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    Reasonable Consultant's Fee for O/B

    Any opinions on fair compensation to pay a consultant to help guide an owner-builder pool build? I like the idea of having a consultant, and realize fair compensation may depend a lot on what services they provide. Assuming they are providing a list of potential subs and are a source of advice throughout the build, is 8-10% of the total cost fair? Too much or too little?

    I've learned the best advice comes from this forum, but sometimes you need someone who will come to your pool-build on your schedule, and who you can pass the blame to for problems.

    Thanks in advance to the collective wisdom...
    Owner Build. 32x16, with 6x8 raised spa. Broke ground April 1, 2016, swimming July 18. Pentair Intelliflo VS + Whisperflo for Water features; Clean & Clear Filter 420; Master Temp Heater 400k BTU; Intellibrite 120V pool and spa lights; Regular ol' plaster.

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    Re: Reasonable Consultant's Fee for O/B

    O/B here who didn't use a consultant. Won't comment on whether to use one or not as all of our needs are different.

    I suppose it would depend on what the consultant is doing for you. If the consultant was providing a sub list of at least three reputable per phase and showing-up to inspect each subs work after completion (8 - 10 visits), maybe $1,000. Figure that's $100 per visit and I guarantee he/she isn't going to be there an entire hour looking at the work, my city inspectors weren't at my site more than 5 minutes each inspection and they were inspecting multiple phases at a time.

    Now, if they were managing getting quotes for you, scheduling subs, getting your permits, helping with the design the cost would be much more.

    BTW, there's no guarantees with consultants either. I recently met a local O/B who hired a consultant and just made the decision not to work with him. When he told me how much he'd paid the guy and what he delivered I told him he could have saved all that money (more than what I quoted above) and been much further ahead money and information wise.

    My .02, interested in others thoughts.

    PS if you'd like to pick my brain regarding O/B I'd be happy to have a phone call with you, just shoot me a PM.
    SUMMER 2015 BUILD IG gunite 38 x 31, 28,000 gal, 110' perimeter, Intelliflo VS, Whisperflow 3hp, Intellibrite LED x2, Clean & Clear 520, Screen Logic, Intelichlor 40, Quartzscape Blue, K-2006C, Speedstir, Aquanaut 400 (4 wheel The Pool Cleaner)

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    Re: Reasonable Consultant's Fee for O/B

    Thanks QingGuy. That's exactly the type of opinion I am looking for. I know there are no guarantees with consultants, and I'm just trying to figure out how much to value the "piece of mind" that might come with a consultant being involved.
    Owner Build. 32x16, with 6x8 raised spa. Broke ground April 1, 2016, swimming July 18. Pentair Intelliflo VS + Whisperflo for Water features; Clean & Clear Filter 420; Master Temp Heater 400k BTU; Intellibrite 120V pool and spa lights; Regular ol' plaster.

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    Re: Reasonable Consultant's Fee for O/B

    Im using the same consultant that QingGuy's local friend called and his cost is that he asked me to buy the equipment thru him. Thats it. I'll pay retail for the equipment, but he'll extend the warranty to 2 or 3 years (I'm going Jandy). I have not done a lot of research, so I'm sorry - I'm not sure what that actual cost is, to me it was minimal. He's bidding most subs 3 deep and I'm getting separate bids on some of the trades to double-check. I had a permit expediter help me with the City of LA permit process and that was an additional $350 - maybe a little bit more because I need a variance due to an easement I did not know about.

    I checked around and most "consultants" in LA were hourly plus reimbursables and mileage from $125 all the way up to $250 an hour 6 months ago. A couple of them (if I recall correctly) were Architects and after speaking to them, I was not convinced they were really knowledgeable.
    .
    O/B Woodland Hills, CA : O/B12x30 inground with 6x6 10-jet spa, 10,500gal, 6' Baja deck, 42" spillway, All Jandy: 400k heater, 2.7 HP VS pump, 1.5HP booster spa pump, SWG, Intellelink controls, (4) LED lights, cartridge filter and BlueSquareQ360 infloor cleaning system, Eclipse drain, glass tiles, Zanzibar white pebble finish. Broke ground 2/18/2016, completed 8/16/2016. TFT 100 kit.

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    Re: Reasonable Consultant's Fee for O/B

    I'd look for a retired pool builder, preferably one who's license is still in effect. If your consultant doesn't have a license, you might as well hire a stranger off of Craig's List.

    You could also do your own plans and spec's and put it out to bid in a "plan room" just like custom home builders do. What you are trying to do is be a contractor. The pool builder has most of the "big" subs under his own roof - permitting, excavation, plumbing, etc. I thing you are hopeing to get free lancers to do the work cheaper, and not make a mess. But who settles "scope of work" disputes between trades? You do.

    A pool is too big of an investment to leave to amateurs.
    SWG: CircuPool (May 2014) SI30+Plus; 3000ppm seems ideal;
    My Ideal Specs:
    FC 5; PH 7.4-7.6; TA 90; CH 350; CYA 75; = SI ~ 0.19
    14,000 gal, in ground, plaster, Cartridge filter, Borates
    TAYLOR K - 2006

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    Helen203's Avatar
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    Re: Reasonable Consultant's Fee for O/B

    All of the PBs we interviewed (and we interviewed five of them) all were basically "pool consultants", in that during the last recession they moved from having in-house trades to subbing every build aspect out. This could be a regional thing?
    My Pool Build (2015): inground 12K gals gunite/plaster pool, SWG, 2-speed pump, cartridge filter, gas heater, and polaris cleaner (Jandy). TF-100 Test Kit w/ Speed Stir

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    Re: Reasonable Consultant's Fee for O/B

    I used a friend who used to build pools and has shifted to luxury home remodels. He still had all his relationships with the subs etc etc. He handled all the engineering, subs and managed everything throughout the build. I paid him about 8 %. I just had to handle the startup etc.
    Freeform /620 Surface/110 perimeter/20k gal/ Raised bond beam/Baja shelf (2)//Pentair- Intelliflo VS pump, Pentair Whisperflo 1hp// Easytouch, C&C 520 Cartridge, Intellichlor SWCG// A&A- Magnasweep in-floor, LeafVac, Venturi Skimmer,// Mini-pebble (Aqua Blue w abalone shell)//4 Pentair Globrite LEDs//3 sheer descents//Travertine coping and decking.

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