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Thread: Another DFW Pool Build from beg to end!

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    Another DFW Pool Build from beg to end!

    All,

    Looking to do a pool/spa/grotto in lovely DFW area.

    Meeting with 6 (talked with 7) PBs in the area.

    This is my first pool build so I would absolutely love if you can dissect all of the pool bids I am going to post and make sure I am not getting ripped.

    Thank you!

    - - - Updated - - -

    PB #1
    Attachment 47714

    Design: Pool/Spa/Grotto... hopefully get the design soon.

    Price difference: $- (this is the base index)

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    Re: Another DFW Pool Build from beg to end!

    PB#2

    Attachment 47718

    Don't forget the optional stuff

    Attachment 47719

    Pool Build Design

    Attachment 47720

    Price: -$3,368 less than PB1 ..........No Grotto, No Sprinkler Reroute, No Sod, basic Plaster .........

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Another DFW Pool Build from beg to end!

    There are two things I see:

    -All lines run & Valved separately- that is GOOD BUT what kind of valves? Make sure they are the high end never lube ones. Hayward and Penteir make them.

    -Chemical test kit-what kind and which one? See if they can and will do the Taylor 2006 (NOT 2005).

    We would love to see a pic of the area it is going in.

    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: Another DFW Pool Build from beg to end!

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    There are two things I see:

    -All lines run & Valved separately- that is GOOD BUT what kind of valves? Make sure they are the high end never lube ones. Hayward and Penteir make them.

    -Chemical test kit-what kind and which one? See if they can and will do the Taylor 2006 (NOT 2005).

    We would love to see a pic of the area it is going in.

    Kim
    I will take a pic of my backyard soon and post it in the OP.

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    Re: Another DFW Pool Build from beg to end!

    Just a couple thoughts for now.

    -Don't consider the ozone system. Use a salt chlorination system.
    -I am not sure the details on the Quartz finish but I would at least look at the pebble based products. After now having just finished Pebblesheen by PebbleTec, it is really the nicest finish I have ever seen on a pool. Others might be great too but that is my recent personal experience.
    -Definitely go with the LED lights. I think all of the companies charge too much for them but they are definitely nicer.
    -Bubblers are nice on the sun shelf, not sure that LED light version is worth the extra though. Otherwise, it is just plumbing and a valve.
    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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    Re: Another DFW Pool Build from beg to end!

    Quote Originally Posted by mgmoore7 View Post
    Just a couple thoughts for now.

    -Don't consider the ozone system. Use a salt chlorination system.
    -I am not sure the details on the Quartz finish but I would at least look at the pebble based products. After now having just finished Pebblesheen by PebbleTec, it is really the nicest finish I have ever seen on a pool. Others might be great too but that is my recent personal experience.
    -Definitely go with the LED lights. I think all of the companies charge too much for them but they are definitely nicer.
    -Bubblers are nice on the sun shelf, not sure that LED light version is worth the extra though. Otherwise, it is just plumbing and a valve.
    Just got off a design call with PB#1. He is "very open" about costs and where he puts mark up/margin.

    So he builds in a 10% markup on all of his equipment. He has two tier pricing models "Winter and Summer". He, of course, gave me the "Winter" pricing. That makes me believe it is just a smokescreen to feel like I win. He had a Company Margin built in at the bottom line, looked like it was 12%. However, I feel like he just builds in a 10% margin on every single other line item to get it to 22% margin for him anyways.

    He did mention that he uses Shot-Crete vs Dry Gunite and he is says it is defintely more expensive but it is WAY better than Dry Gunite. Not sure if that is true or not.

    He said Quartz is terrible and is about the same cost as Pebble Tec Lvl 1 hence he goes up to Pebble Tec. Looks like you agree with him.

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    Re: Another DFW Pool Build from beg to end!

    Just keep in mind that generally after meeting with 10 builders and talking to numerous contractors during our build:

    -They use the same subs for the most part.
    -Each will bad-mouth the products that they don't use and some will bad-mouth other builders.
    -Some of them are "old-school" and will try to talk you out of newer stuff. It seemed to me like it was just more about their lack of desire to embrace change and new than the idea that older is always better than new...
    -Some new stuff makes more margin for them because it sounds fancy and is something new.
    -Expect some unknowns
    -Expect to want to upgrade the tile. That could be a notable difference in cost. They don't want to do the 1st bid though with upgraded tile.
    -Keep in mind that they do need to make a profit and you want them too otherwise they may not be in business.
    -In hours and hours of research and talking to contractors, it seems that shot-crete might be better but if either is done well, likely it does not matter.
    -In my area, most of the builders that I spoke with did not even quote a non-pebble finish. It seems like it is almost standard for the larger builders at least that I dealt with.
    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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    Re: Another DFW Pool Build from beg to end!

    Quote Originally Posted by mgmoore7 View Post
    Just keep in mind that generally after meeting with 10 builders and talking to numerous contractors during our build:

    -They use the same subs for the most part.
    -Each will bad-mouth the products that they don't use and some will bad-mouth other builders.
    -Some of them are "old-school" and will try to talk you out of newer stuff. It seemed to me like it was just more about their lack of desire to embrace change and new than the idea that older is always better than new...
    -Some new stuff makes more margin for them because it sounds fancy and is something new.
    -Expect some unknowns
    -Expect to want to upgrade the tile. That could be a notable difference in cost. They don't want to do the 1st bid though with upgraded tile.
    -Keep in mind that they do need to make a profit and you want them too otherwise they may not be in business.
    -In hours and hours of research and talking to contractors, it seems that shot-crete might be better but if either is done well, likely it does not matter.
    -In my area, most of the builders that I spoke with did not even quote a non-pebble finish. It seems like it is almost standard for the larger builders at least that I dealt with.
    I understand that businesses need to turn a profit to exist but there needs to a limit to the gouging. I will be able to see the price differences when I compare PB X to PB Y by materials and equipment. The rest will be the margin.

    So what was the deciding factor for you?

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    Re: Another DFW Pool Build from beg to end!

    For me I did a hybrid self-build. I hired one PB to do the dig, shell, plumbing, tile and electric and then hired out the rest myself or did the work myself. In the end, the pool I got would have cost alot more if one PB did it and I don't believe it would have been done as well.

    What I did is not for everyone though. It took alot of extra time and was extra stress as well.
    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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    Re: Another DFW Pool Build from beg to end!

    Quote Originally Posted by mgmoore7 View Post
    For me I did a hybrid self-build. I hired one PB to do the dig, shell, plumbing, tile and electric and then hired out the rest myself or did the work myself. In the end, the pool I got would have cost alot more if one PB did it and I don't believe it would have been done as well.

    What I did is not for everyone though. It took alot of extra time and was extra stress as well.
    I see.... Yeah... I don't need a second job. I will pay the mark up happily for the right job.

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    Re: Another DFW Pool Build from beg to end!

    So yesterday, I met with another PB. I almost cancelled the meeting because I have already met with 5 PBs, but I am so glad I kept the meeting.

    Few comments:

    1. He recommended going with concrete pavers vs concrete... he said they are cheaper than stamped concrete and they are much easier to replace/repair down the road. I believe him on the maintenance factor but I would assume it would be more expensive??

    2. He is a Jandy supplier but said he can do whatever I want. I really think I want Pentair Pump and I think I like the Pentair Easytouch over Jandy iAqualink. He mentioned that Jandy is coming out with some technology that allows the PB to tap into the system remotely and diagnose the problem instantly?? I presume all of the Big 3 will have this at the same time. Thoughts?

    3. To add on to #2, he claimed if I went a Pentair Pump plus everything else Jandy, it will muddy up the warranty servicing as Jandy will blame the Pentair pump and Pentair will blame the Jandy equipment. Legit?

    4. Pentair vs Jandy heater? Thoughts?

    5. Smart idea to run electrical outlet to the far back side of the pool?

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    Re: Another DFW Pool Build from beg to end!

    1. I would go with pavers too. For me, I like the look alot better and you will get many options. Additionally, they don't crack and you can replace them or if they settle you can pull them up, put some sand down and reset.
    2. I would go with all of one or the other. I would not make a decision based on version 1 of the "remotely tab into".
    3. Pentair will only provide one year warranty if you only buy their pump. If you buy multiple (3 I think, such as pump, filter and controller), then you get 3 years.
    4. don't know
    5. probably
    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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    Re: Another DFW Pool Build from beg to end!

    Quote Originally Posted by mgmoore7 View Post
    1. I would go with pavers too. For me, I like the look alot better and you will get many options. Additionally, they don't crack and you can replace them or if they settle you can pull them up, put some sand down and reset.
    2. I would go with all of one or the other. I would not make a decision based on version 1 of the "remotely tab into".
    3. Pentair will only provide one year warranty if you only buy their pump. If you buy multiple (3 I think, such as pump, filter and controller), then you get 3 years.
    4. don't know
    5. probably
    Thank you... He just said Jandy is always innovating/cutting edge and Pentair/Heyward just copy it a year later. I really was leaning towards Pentair honestly.

    He also explained it that Jandy has much better service technicians to, he said "Heyward will be your standard joe blow service guy, Pentair will be middle of the road, and Jandy will send out very professional, button shirt/polo technicians and you will have a great experience with them if you have an issue."

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    Re: Another DFW Pool Build from beg to end!

    My PB did Hayward most of the time but said I could do whatever I wanted. I chose Pentair mostly due to the VS pump since it appears to be known as the best pump and has been around the longest.

    I also thought that any of the above would probably be fine.
    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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    Re: Another DFW Pool Build from beg to end!

    Quote Originally Posted by mgmoore7 View Post
    My PB did Hayward most of the time but said I could do whatever I wanted. I chose Pentair mostly due to the VS pump since it appears to be known as the best pump and has been around the longest.

    I also thought that any of the above would probably be fine.
    Excellent.. Thank you for the feedback.

    The only other thing is that where I live the one PB said if the engineer says we need to inject chemicals into the ground, then we are going to have to. I guess they shoot sulfuric acid into the ground that moves above a 3 plasticity? and it gets it down to less than 1.

    I have heard this really doesn't work but he said you don't want you pool coming out of the ground, do you? or something like that.

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    Re: Another DFW Pool Build from beg to end!

    Sounds like we met with some of the same builders. We had that one PB tell us the same thing about the injections, but none of the other 4 mentioned it. I think there is one area around here that had problems with the ground, but not supposed to be a problem here in McKinney.

    We are going with pavers too, (travertine) because we may want to expand our deck later. Neighbor behind us has concrete ones that are beautiful.
    17K gallon, 18x40, 107 perimeter, 550 sq ft gunite inground pool with raised spa. 3.5 ft. - 5.0 ft. - 4.0 ft depth. Pentair equipment. DE filter. English Walnut travertine paver decking, lueders limestone coping. Wet Edge Primera Stone Sapphire Treasure plaster.

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    Re: Another DFW Pool Build from beg to end!

    Quote Originally Posted by sham View Post
    Sounds like we met with some of the same builders. We had that one PB tell us the same thing about the injections, but none of the other 4 mentioned it. I think there is one area around here that had problems with the ground, but not supposed to be a problem here in McKinney.

    We are going with pavers too, (travertine) because we may want to expand our deck later. Neighbor behind us has concrete ones that are beautiful.
    Really like considering pavers now however I also need to think about the budget. I'm sure patterned or stamped concrete is not the end of the world.

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    Re: Another DFW Pool Build from beg to end!

    Quote Originally Posted by gocubs418 View Post
    Really like considering pavers now however I also need to think about the budget. I'm sure patterned or stamped concrete is not the end of the world.
    I really love the stamped concrete that has a textured look to it. That's what I would have chosen, but my husband really wanted the travertine.
    17K gallon, 18x40, 107 perimeter, 550 sq ft gunite inground pool with raised spa. 3.5 ft. - 5.0 ft. - 4.0 ft depth. Pentair equipment. DE filter. English Walnut travertine paver decking, lueders limestone coping. Wet Edge Primera Stone Sapphire Treasure plaster.

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    Re: Another DFW Pool Build from beg to end!

    Met with PB #3.

    Bid was nearly identical to PB #1. However, design was much better and the pool was HUGE. I get the design and bid tomorrow so I will post it. I don't believe PB#1 had a retainer wall.

    Pool was measuring at 16'x40". Around a 104' perimeter. He recommended Stonescape for the plaster however he said he will find someone to do PebbleSheen if I so choose. I think I prefer PebbleSheen Blue Granite if it's the same price.

    He is using 1 Intellibrite (could be wrong) in the pool and 1 in the spa. He said that will be plenty of lightning for my entire pool. He said they are far more powerful than Globrite.

    I am hoping to cut the length down by 4 feet and see if I can save some money.

    He showed me a 7x7 Spa today and WOW! I had no fricking idea they were that large. Holy smokes. It's going to be a dream.

    He recommended Pentair Clean and Clear Cartridge filter over the Pentair DE filter. He said it is far easier to maintain.

    He put me down for an Easytouch 8. Is that any different than the Easytouch 4SC that PB #1 quoted me?

    He also is recommending a Pentair Racer for the cleaner. Think it was $1,600. Seems like that is double what they sell for online? Is that normal? I hope he will give me the prices tomorrow.

    Thoughts? Absolutely love the design he chose.

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    Another DFW Pool Build from beg to end!

    Quote Originally Posted by gocubs418 View Post
    He is using 1 Intellibrite (could be wrong) in the pool and 1 in the spa. He said that will be plenty of lightning for my entire pool. He said they are far more powerful than Globrite.
    He is not correct that one LED light in the pool will be enough for a pool of 16x40. That would be a dark mistake to make. Two placed appropriately will light it pretty well. In retrospect three would be awesome in ours, though I'm satisfied with two.

    The comment regarding Globrite comparison is of no regard to whether an Intellibrite is bright enough for your pool.
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
    Hayward equipment (cartridge filter, 2-speed pump, SWCG, automation) View Our Build
    Coverstar automatic pool cover | StoneMakers concrete retaining wall and decking
    Spring 2013 Build | Dolphin Active 20 robot cleaner | Support TFP!

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