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Thread: Deciding between PB and Owner Build! Help with prices inside...

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    ellsian's Avatar
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    Deciding between PB and Owner Build! Help with prices inside...

    Hi all, I need some owner builder opinions here! I've been really racking my brain on whether to go the pool builder or owner builder route. I recently got a price out from the local PB, and I do not know whether it's worthwhile to go with the PB or to try it on my own. If I'm only going to save $5k or so, I think I'd rather just pay the PB. Share your thoughts?

    Here's my pricing from the PB. Please let me know what you think of the features and pricing and whether I would be able to save significantly more going owner build:

    Size:
    33' long x 15' wide and 19' wide by the baja step,
    92 perimeter/468 Surface area, 8'6" deep, baja step is 4'x9'

    priceout.jpgDesign1.jpg

    I actually want the pool a bit larger, maybe 35' and 16' wide, so that would add even more to the cost, and it doesn't have pebble tec (has infloor cleaning though). Design wise, I would ask for the steps to be done differently, so as not to take up as much room.

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    JamieP's Avatar
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    Re: Deciding between PB and Owner Build! Help with prices inside...

    I'm not sure about how much going OB would save you in your area, but I would encourage you to get several bids and designs to compare before you make the decision. Better still would be to have the exact design and equipment in mind that you like and have multiple builders bid on it. Then you can compare those PBs to each other before beginning to decide how much you'd save and if it would be worth it.

    OB has lots of benefits, but in the end, you may find you don't actually spend less, you just get more for your money. It's hard to resist the upgrades that aren't included in the PB's bids, but that you can afford now that you are doing it yourself.
    28,000 gallon freeform, Stonescapes Tropics Blue Minipebble with abalone, 3.5' to 8.5' depth. 2 skimmers, 5 returns, dedicated vacuum port, Dolphin Z5 robot. All Pentair equip: EasyTouch 8, IC60 SWG, VS pump, 520 Cartridge Filter, 3 Intellibrites, 2 Color Cascade Bubblers. TurboTwister Slide and 8' Salt System Jump Board. TF-100. My Jan-Mar 2016 build:
    Waxahachie, TX Owner Build - A race to beat the baby!!

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    Re: Deciding between PB and Owner Build! Help with prices inside...

    I don't think you could build it yourself and save much. He charges less for some items than my guy, but adds other costs that mine included. All in all it seems like a pretty square deal.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Deciding between PB and Owner Build! Help with prices inside...

    Does your job allow you to take time off so you can be there when you need to be? It will be quite often so......

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    ellsian's Avatar
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    Re: Deciding between PB and Owner Build! Help with prices inside...

    Well I just spoke to the PB again, and he knocked off another $2k+ off the price and gave an extra 2.5' in length!

    I'm thinking I'm not going to be beating that sort of deal: $33k for a 35' 6" x 16', 8'6 deep gunite pool with tan ledge and water fall Even if I went Owner Builder I doubt I would save enough money to be worth the amount of time and hassle (especially as a complete construction noob!). I'm a stay at home parent, but with a 2 year old, it would add to the difficulty

    So I think I'm going to sign off on this offer with the PB! Wish me luck guys.

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    Re: Deciding between PB and Owner Build! Help with prices inside...

    That sounds like a great price!!
    18 x 38 gunite, 39-7 deep, 8 x 12 tanning ledge with 8 deep water, umbrella sleeve, 2 LED bubblers.
    2 Pentair LED lights, 16 long fiberglass hill slide and jump rock. Sand dune pavers/coping. TF-100. My build: Georgia Pool Build.... No Longer O/B :))

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    ellsian's Avatar
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    Re: Deciding between PB and Owner Build! Help with prices inside...

    Now I'm really worried about getting an unlucky "hard dig" and adding an extra 2-4k to the price. Being in the west valley of Arizona, I think it's a coin flip on odds. We'll see!

    Thank you guys for your input. I had 2-3 other bids from last year that were more expensive, so this was the lowest bid, and now even lower with the discount (and from one of the bigger builders in the area). There are so many builders here in AZ, that the competition must help keep the prices somewhat reasonable, and not as worthwhile (for me at least) to go OB on a rather basic pool. I look forward to making my construction topic in the weeks to come

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    Re: Deciding between PB and Owner Build! Help with prices inside...

    Quote Originally Posted by ellsian View Post
    Now I'm really worried about getting an unlucky "hard dig" and adding an extra 2-4k to the price. Being in the west valley of Arizona, I think it's a coin flip on odds. We'll see!

    Thank you guys for your input. I had 2-3 other bids from last year that were more expensive, so this was the lowest bid, and now even lower with the discount (and from one of the bigger builders in the area). There are so many builders here in AZ, that the competition must help keep the prices somewhat reasonable, and not as worthwhile (for me at least) to go OB on a rather basic pool. I look forward to making my construction topic in the weeks to come
    It sounds like you've got a great option there! Don't worry about the hard dig in terms of making your decision. It will be what it will be no matter if you do OB or use a PB. Of course, an easy dig is better on the wallet, but if you want a pool, you've got to dig in the ground you have. Good luck! Ours was pretty much solid rock, but we knew that going in. We've been happy with our OB, but sometimes it would have been nice to have someone else to whom we could pass the buck!
    28,000 gallon freeform, Stonescapes Tropics Blue Minipebble with abalone, 3.5' to 8.5' depth. 2 skimmers, 5 returns, dedicated vacuum port, Dolphin Z5 robot. All Pentair equip: EasyTouch 8, IC60 SWG, VS pump, 520 Cartridge Filter, 3 Intellibrites, 2 Color Cascade Bubblers. TurboTwister Slide and 8' Salt System Jump Board. TF-100. My Jan-Mar 2016 build:
    Waxahachie, TX Owner Build - A race to beat the baby!!

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    Re: Deciding between PB and Owner Build! Help with prices inside...

    The only way you know is if you get competing bids for a comparable pool.

    Owner builder can save you up to 1/3 if you get competing bids. Many subs like owner builders because they get paid faster. But Owner builder is a lot of work and it helps to have construction experience.

    Generally in floor systems are frowned upon here-- they are getting better but they are an expensive way to clean your pool and the older ones didn't work too well. With an infloor system you have to run your variable speed pump at high rpms to move the water every day. Why get the VS pump if you never use the low speed? Say no to the infloor and get a robot. They do just as well and will cost you very little to operate.


    Why is he using 1/2 inch conduit? Thats b#^$#&$#. Ok I'm not supposed to say that. 1/2 inch electrical conduit for a pool is not the industry standard and is frowned upon by electricians doing this work. All conduit near a pool should be 3/4 minimum.That is especially true of the runs from the pool light to the light junction box and the run from the subpanel to the service entrance panel. Is he installing a sub panel? That is not clear. Even if the service entrance panel is right next to the equipment pad he should install a subpanel. Why the off brand lights? (because its less expensive) Why not Pentair? You want to keep the brand on all the equipment the same. Are you getting the Pentair 3 year warranty or a one year warranty? This pool needs two lights by the way. Installed on the wall next to the main seating area so they shine in the pool not the seating area.

    Where is the equipment pad going? I don't like this the way its written because it appears the price can go up if the plumbing runs and or electrical runs are greater than the allowance. Ask him will the price go up if the runs are longer?

    Is there a main drain? Is it plumbed to the skimmer? I personally don't think it matters that much but others on here have a different view.

    What size pipe is he using? 2.5" for the suction side if just from the skimmer? 2" for the returns?

    OK that list will keep you busy.
    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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    ellsian's Avatar
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    Re: Deciding between PB and Owner Build! Help with prices inside...

    Quote Originally Posted by gwegan View Post
    The only way you know is if you get competing bids for a comparable pool.

    Owner builder can save you up to 1/3 if you get competing bids. Many subs like owner builders because they get paid faster. But Owner builder is a lot of work and it helps to have construction experience.

    Generally in floor systems are frowned upon here-- they are getting better but they are an expensive way to clean your pool and the older ones didn't work too well. With an infloor system you have to run your variable speed pump at high rpms to move the water every day. Why get the VS pump if you never use the low speed? Say no to the infloor and get a robot. They do just as well and will cost you very little to operate.


    Why is he using 1/2 inch conduit? Thats b#^$#&$#. Ok I'm not supposed to say that. 1/2 inch electrical conduit for a pool is not the industry standard and is frowned upon by electricians doing this work. All conduit near a pool should be 3/4 minimum.That is especially true of the runs from the pool light to the light junction box and the run from the subpanel to the service entrance panel. Is he installing a sub panel? That is not clear. Even if the service entrance panel is right next to the equipment pad he should install a subpanel. Why the off brand lights? (because its less expensive) Why not Pentair? You want to keep the brand on all the equipment the same. Are you getting the Pentair 3 year warranty or a one year warranty? This pool needs two lights by the way. Installed on the wall next to the main seating area so they shine in the pool not the seating area.

    Where is the equipment pad going? I don't like this the way its written because it appears the price can go up if the plumbing runs and or electrical runs are greater than the allowance. Ask him will the price go up if the runs are longer?

    Is there a main drain? Is it plumbed to the skimmer? I personally don't think it matters that much but others on here have a different view.

    What size pipe is he using? 2.5" for the suction side if just from the skimmer? 2" for the returns?

    OK that list will keep you busy.
    Oh wow, thank you for this! I desperately needed someone with know-how to check through that listing and give me a heads up. I'm going to ask all of that! Thank you!

    Just to add: I decided to go with in-floors because in AZ the consensus seems to be they work pretty well in this part of the country. We have zero leafy trees, just all dust and dirt, so I think it may work for our situation, as long as it's installed well. Plus the builder offers lifetime warranty on the system and heads. Also it's 3 yr warranty on the Pentair equipment. The light is Spectrum 360 low voltage white LED (dont know if thats good of bad). General PB brochure mentions 50' of 1/2" electrical conduit (equipment to electric panel), so I'l have to ask about a subpanel.

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    ellsian's Avatar
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    Re: Deciding between PB and Owner Build! Help with prices inside...

    Dang guys, I got a really competitive new offer today, similar sized pool, and what looks like almost the same equipment/features as the one I first posted, but they included a pebble sheen for the same price! $33,900

    I really want to sign this tomorrow with a deposit, please look through it and tell me of any red flags~!

    Pool size: 35 x 17
    Perimeter: 99
    Depth: 8.5
    Gallons: 22.8k
    Area: 553 sqft

    In floor cleaners, Pebble sheen, 8'6 depth, waterfall, baja ledge, bubbler, salt chlorination + ozone, LED light, 2 skimmers, 3 year warranty on hayward equipment

    Is there anything wrong here? I feel bad for the other pool guy, should I tell him that another company 1-upped him with pebble sheen??? Feels bad to have used his time!

    newnewpic.jpg

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    ellsian's Avatar
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    Re: Deciding between PB and Owner Build! Help with prices inside...

    So... should I bother telling the 1st PB that his competition offered me the same pool with better features and at the same price? I feel bad about turning him down, but he did say "this is the best I can do." So perhaps I shouldn't tell him why...

    This is the part that's really uncomfortable

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Deciding between PB and Owner Build! Help with prices inside...

    Make sure the equipment is the EXACT same down to the model numbers. You do NOT want to cheap out on this.

    I would tell the first guy and see what he says. Give him a chance. There is NOTHING wrong with playing them against each other.

    BUT you really need to check references. Ask to talk to their last three builds. See what the pool owners have to say. Check their records on BBB and Yelp.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Deciding between PB and Owner Build! Help with prices inside...

    Hi. While the price difference is considerable do you have feedback on either of them? That would decide it for me (and the vibe I got from them). I don't know how much pebble sheen is but if the total price diff is 5k it's not enough to make me choose the less expensive one if I had better references and a better feel about the first. I'm with you feeling bad. It can be an uncomfortable conversation but I wouldn't offer a reason unless they ask. He did say it was the best he could do. Plus maybe it's his best b/c he's got other jobs lined up in which case he won't feel bad given that he'd make more $ on the other jobs vs. knocking 5k off this one. Keep us updated
    Inground, vinyl liner, 16 x 32 (approx. 21k gallons), roman end w/ bench, 2 Jandy LED lights
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    Deciding between PB and Owner Build! Help with prices inside...

    Getting a quote today and signing tomorrow, regardless of your work to date, seems too fast. You seem to have questions still in your head. I''d slow down the process. I think you want to be fair but not at your expense. IF you like PB 1, give him a chance to match or beat the new one. It's a competitive bid process. They expect to be worked, or at least should.
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
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    Re: Deciding between PB and Owner Build! Help with prices inside...

    +1 what Bmore said. My first thought was why do you need to sign tomorrow? If the offer is only good for 24 hrs then I'd pass on that PB.
    Marla
    No longer living vicariously through other people's pool builds. Pool build is complete on my IG SWCG pool, approx 10,000 gallons. All Jandy equipment - VS 1.5 hp pump, 580 cartridge filter, AquaPure 1400 salt cell, AquaLink PDA system. Dolphin m500. PebbleSheen Blue Surf with shells and beads added. TF-100 w/ SpeedStir. A Houston Pool Build Inside the Loop

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    ellsian's Avatar
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    Re: Deciding between PB and Owner Build! Help with prices inside...



    Thanks guys, yeah, I'm going to slow it down some. lol. I have a lot of questions for the builder before I can sign.

    I guess I'll contact PB1 and tell him I just received a better offer, but thank him for the time. And if he asks I'll tell him what PB2 beat him on. PB1 is one of the largest in the state, so I'm thinking he's not hurting for work and won't mind too much. Still, I feel like a heel. I'm terrible at car shopping for the same reason, always feeling guilty for the salesman putting in time with me but not getting the sale

    kimkats, nectar, it seems to be the same equipment, just different brands: hayward vs pentair, and both builders are A+ BBB, well known, long time builders in the area. I have 2 neighbors that each built with them.

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    Re: Deciding between PB and Owner Build! Help with prices inside...

    Does anybody know how in the world pools are so substantially lower in that part of the country? I know that pricing is very regional, but how is it that this pool is so cheap? Labor, dig, supply, what is the difference between Arizona and Texas?
    Construction underway.

    33x23 freeform 16k gallon IG pool, pebblesheen, SWG in Austin, TX
    Pentair 3HP VS pump, Hayward 30" sand filter
    Build thread: New Austin, TX Owner Build

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    Re: Deciding between PB and Owner Build! Help with prices inside...

    Quote Originally Posted by And5555 View Post
    Does anybody know how in the world pools are so substantially lower in that part of the country? I know that pricing is very regional, but how is it that this pool is so cheap? Labor, dig, supply, what is the difference between Arizona and Texas?
    About $20,000-30,000???
    Marla
    No longer living vicariously through other people's pool builds. Pool build is complete on my IG SWCG pool, approx 10,000 gallons. All Jandy equipment - VS 1.5 hp pump, 580 cartridge filter, AquaPure 1400 salt cell, AquaLink PDA system. Dolphin m500. PebbleSheen Blue Surf with shells and beads added. TF-100 w/ SpeedStir. A Houston Pool Build Inside the Loop

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    ellsian's Avatar
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    Re: Deciding between PB and Owner Build! Help with prices inside...

    Quote Originally Posted by And5555 View Post
    Does anybody know how in the world pools are so substantially lower in that part of the country? I know that pricing is very regional, but how is it that this pool is so cheap? Labor, dig, supply, what is the difference between Arizona and Texas?
    I think it's because we have like 20 or more pool builders out here between Phoenix, Mesa, and Tucson. Many very competitive and experienced and a lot have been here for 20+ years. So lots and lots of pools everywhere. Even in my neighborhood, which has 3+ community HOA pools already, has about 30-40% of the houses with their own pools.

    So maybe we're just a really big market because of the very hot long summers and spring, short temperate winters (no need to winterize pools)? Competition is good! That's my only guess.


    Edit: Hey you're further east in Texas, couldn't you get away with making a cheaper vinyl liner pool? I would have loved to do a cheaper vinyl pool like I had when I lived in Georgia, but apparently they melt in AZ???? lol

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