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Thread: Uneven Waterline/Cap tile

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    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    Uneven Waterline/Cap tile

    Hello everyone,

    Frequent lurker, first time poster. We bought our house about a year an a half ago not knowing anything about pool care. I thankfully found this site fairly early on and learned a lot. However, the pool's plaster was already degraded, with gouges and crumbly bits all over and black algae an ever recurrent problem. I got the algae in check, but once the pool pump died, we decided to dive in and remodel to our tastes and our budget. We raised the depth, resurfaced with pebble sheen, and got a VS pump and SWG, all of which should be in my signature. The company we hired to do all of this quoted an outrageous (but probably typical) price to redo our deck with pavers, which is something we also wanted as our current kool deck is chipping away and stained. We decided to hold off on the deck and get everything else done, as with a dead pump our green pool/swamp was becoming a nuisance.

    The remodel experience was frustrating, but when is it not when contractors are constantly on your property. They did, however, leave our deck in very poor condition, but we decided to let bygones be bygones as we had found a locally acclaimed independent concrete guy to resurface our deck with stamped concrete. He had told us previously that pouring concrete over a cantilevered coping (what we previously had) was difficult, so we had the first company saw-cut the cantilever coping and replace with a cap tile. Now that the independent concrete guy has seen the cap tile for the first time, he says it's not level and it'll require 2-3 days more work so that he can level it out, additional bond coat, etc... (something about flash drying...?) and an additional $1200-$1500.

    The deep end cap tile is visibly above the level of the current concrete deck while the shallow end is not, and I measure about half an inch different from the top of the waterline tile to the actual water line from the shallow end to the deep end. He says there is an inch and a half difference for his purposes (I don't know what he's measuring exactly, and i'm obviously no expert). I know our deck could have been un-level to begin with, but I would have hoped the first company would have compensated for this when placing the waterline/cap tile. If this is actually a problem I am looking to pursue monetary compensation for the additional cost from the first company, if they, in fact, did it wrong. I wasn't particularly happy with their work to begin with and am more inclined to believe the independent concrete guy who actually informed me of a problem, disrupted his schedule to do so, and is willing to put his opinion out to the other company to help my case. However, I thought I'd try here first, to get an an unbiased opinion from someone who doesn't have a monetary interest in my property! I've attached a few pictures, to get an idea of the overall pool, and a couple shots of the saw cuts and raised cap tiles. Keep in mind the concrete guy cleaned the deck while he was here, so it looks much better than it was.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    ~14,000 gallons, outdoor with screen enclosure, mostly rectangular, pebble sheen finish (Resurfaced/Raised depth 01/2016). Hayward Tristar VS (01/2016) pump, Hayward Aqua plus SWG (01/2016), Pentair FNS Plus DE filter 36 sq. ft (old...), Taylor k-2006 test kit.

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Jun 2011
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    Re: Uneven Waterline/Cap tile

    Welcome!

    I'm sorry to sound pessimistic, but I think you'll have great difficulty getting any monetary compensation from the original builder or otherwise.
    TFP Moderator
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Uneven Waterline/Cap tile

    Welcome to TFP!

    It looks like the deck was not level to begin with. When attempting to repair or remodel a pool everything has to be re-leveled to the waterline as the the water will always be level. So, the waterline tile is done first to the water, then the coping is done next and finally the deck. In your case it seems like the waterline tile has been set correctly. Now the coping bed needs to be built up and the coping placed above the waterline tile if you are going to use coping. Then the deck can be poured to the coping level or the cap tile level.

    I don't see what the original company could have done differently. The waterline level is where it is and everyone has to work to it.

    I do agree that pretty much all renovations are painful no matter how good the outcome. Just try to keep your eye toward the final outcome and a great summer!
    TFP Moderator
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    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    Re: Uneven Waterline/Cap tile

    Thanks for the response,

    The original builder did say the deck was unlevel to begin with (which I'm not surprised by given it's probable 20+ year age). I guess the deck guy didn't account for this when he gave us his original quote. We've had bad luck with contractors in the past, so I just wanted to make sure we weren't getting ripped off somehow. Monetary outcome was only if they truly messed something up, it sounds like just a misunderstanding after talking to them and your responses, but it is nice to have some verification.

    This will be the first time we really get to use our pool, so i'm definitely looking forward to a great summer! This site has been awesome, thanks for the help
    ~14,000 gallons, outdoor with screen enclosure, mostly rectangular, pebble sheen finish (Resurfaced/Raised depth 01/2016). Hayward Tristar VS (01/2016) pump, Hayward Aqua plus SWG (01/2016), Pentair FNS Plus DE filter 36 sq. ft (old...), Taylor k-2006 test kit.

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