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Thread: Gunite Pool - 4" too shallow! Need advice please.

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    Gunite Pool - 4" too shallow! Need advice please.

    Apologies if this is in the wrong section of the forum.

    My pool builder poured my pool 4" higher out of ground than the plan called for. The pool is elevated 12' off the ground to run flush with my patio. The yard slopes down and away from the house. We discovered the issue when we went to measure for a wood deck that will run flush between the patio and the edge of the pool. The plan is to have it all at the same elevation. The pool builder proceeded to jack hammer the entire perimeter of the pool down 4". The issue now is the pool depth is 4" shallower than planned (it was supposed to be 4'6" at center and 3'6" at each end). If we keep it as-is I will have 3'2" at each end and 4'2" at center. My question is should I have them jackhammer the bottom of the pool down 4" or will that compromise the integrity of the pool? Having a shallower pool is one thing but having a pool which leaks down the road is even worse. Thank you.

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    Re: Gunite Pool - 4" too shallow! Need advice please.

    Welcome to the forum. Perfect section for this question BTW.

    My suggestion is to not make a bad situation worse by jack hammering on the pool bottom. The shell thickness is a key component of shell strength - though maybe it is 4" thicker than it needed to be - but I'm sure he's done no calculation to that effect. Doing it on the bond beam is bad enough since it has made the rebar now very close to the gunite surface. Gunite should generally be fully encased in concrete by several inches for maximum strength. I am not an expert and the above are my personal opinions. Hopefully others will join the conversation and give you a sense one way or the other as to the efficacy of his plan.

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    Re: Gunite Pool - 4" too shallow! Need advice please.

    Welcome to the forum. So the PB has already lowered the sidewalls, correct? And that leaves your pool 4" shallower, correct?

    Has he proposed to lower the bottom as well?
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    Re: Gunite Pool - 4" too shallow! Need advice please.

    Did they expose and cut out rebar when they did the sides?

    I doubt you can get 4 inches on the bottom. I can tell you you don't want to.

    The rebar is only 2 to 3 inches below the surface so you will definitely hit some. Jackhammering is not a precision sport.

    I doubt you will notice the difference in depth much once the pool is done.
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    Re: Gunite Pool - 4" too shallow! Need advice please.

    Was the depth and final elevation on the contract?

    If it was, I would make him start over.
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    Re: Gunite Pool - 4" too shallow! Need advice please.

    I had a similar issue, see my built thread and comment in Dec 2015. I consulted with a engineer about this issue. Mine was 3" too shallow.
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    Re: Gunite Pool - 4" too shallow! Need advice please.

    I think those differences are dramatic. If you were going from 4 feet six to 4 feet two on the shallow end that would be tolerable, but you were starting so shallow to begin with. I assume the three feet two is sloping gradually so it will be extra shallow for a long run. I would ask and demand him to redo the pool, as I agree he likely can't fix the bottom due to rebar. He will certainly decline, but for me that would ruin my pool.
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    Re: Gunite Pool - 4" too shallow! Need advice please.

    You have a bigger issue if the bond beam of the pool was jackhammered down 4". How was this done without hitting rebar?

    The bond beam of the pool sees a significant amount of stress and should have been designed/built/engineered to withstand typical and potential forces. Yours has certainly been compromised.
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    Re: Gunite Pool - 4" too shallow! Need advice please.

    First, thank you to everyone who has replied. I'm not an engineer but the thought of chipping away at the floor of my pool has me feeling very nervous. The pool builder has a lifetime warranty on the structure so do I just roll the dice and lean on that? Or do I get an independent engineer to come assess that as a viable option before I proceed? At this point I will ask them to start over but I have a pretty good idea where that will go.

    To answer someone's question, yes the sides were already chipped down by 4" as was a large shallow shelf area.

    Any other thoughts or recommendations? Appreciate the help. What a mess.

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    Re: Gunite Pool - 4" too shallow! Need advice please.

    Quote Originally Posted by Titan7 View Post
    I had a similar issue, see my built thread and comment in Dec 2015. I consulted with a engineer about this issue. Mine was 3" too shallow.
    Thanks for the link Titan. I think if it was just one end of a sloped pool I could deal but this is more of a sports pool with shallow ends on both sides so the issue is that much more noticeable. I hope they have some alternative options for me but I don't hold out much hope for that.

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    Re: Gunite Pool - 4" too shallow! Need advice please.

    A "Lifetime Warranty" is only as good as the pool builder staying in business....yes?
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    Re: Gunite Pool - 4" too shallow! Need advice please.

    Quote Originally Posted by YippeeSkippy View Post
    A "Lifetime Warranty" is only as good as the pool builder staying in business....yes?
    Yup

    That is something some people do not realize about "lifetime" warranties. In fact often, that term could have an actual time limit associated with it maybe in the contract even ... what "they" consider the typical "life" of the product to be.
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    Re: Gunite Pool - 4" too shallow! Need advice please.

    The pool builder is a national and large builder so I think they'll be around. After sleeping on it I'm back to just living with it if they won't agree to fix it correctly (start over).

    Any other ideas?

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    Re: Gunite Pool - 4" too shallow! Need advice please.

    I would at least ask for a refund of some sort. You didn't get what you paid for.
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    Re: Gunite Pool - 4" too shallow! Need advice please.

    Quote Originally Posted by PAGirl View Post
    I would at least ask for a refund of some sort. You didn't get what you paid for.
    That's what we did today. We agreed that messing with the pool floor was a recipe for disaster. The owner got involved and offered to comp several high dollar changes we were considering but weren't sure we wanted to pay for. A major factor here I failed to mention earlier was that the pool is tied to a construction loan and our closing date is coming up in 3 weeks. Sooo, if I pushed for a rebuild, even if they would agree to do it without getting litigators involved, I would be delaying my closing and continue paying on an interest only loan and living in an apartment for who knows how long. The pool isn't exactly what I wanted but this compromise is probably as good as it will get considering the circumstances.

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    Re: Gunite Pool - 4" too shallow! Need advice please.

    I glad to hear they were receptive to reason.
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