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Thread: Pool Cost Houston/Kingwood

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    Pool Cost Houston/Kingwood

    Hi,

    I have received three bids for a new in-ground pool each the prices vary are +-1K from the middle bid. However, It seems the two higher cost PBs do not want to negotiate at all even with just including something extra for the current price. Is this common for them to not want to negotiate as this is their busy season. I am wondering if I should wait until the fall. I was inclined to actually go with the mid-range bid, but I asked the designer some questions to compare one of the other PBs, and he just told me that he didn't build cheaply made pools (they have similar build practices, actually the other might have an edge how they place the rebar and they use the same equipment). After that I might either ask for a new designer or just no use them at all.

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    Re: Pool Cost Houston/Kingwood

    Welcome to TFPs!!!


    Frankly I'm shocked that the bids are that close.

    I suspect they don't want to negotiate because they are very booked right now.

    As you can see PB have some strong opinions about the competition. And there are differences in construction practices that can effect long term quality.

    While its not always true, higher quality builders usually sub out less of their work. That's not to say that if they sub oiut work they are low quality. But the integrated pool builders usually build better pools in my opinion. Now if you want a really high end pool or a lot of unusual stuff then you probably want an artist with some good subs.
    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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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Cost Houston/Kingwood

    Just curious-did you straight out ask for a "gimme" ? You'd probably have better luck with that in the off season. If its important that they toss something in you'll have to wait on your pool.

    If you want a pool for use *this* summer you'll have to decide how important negotiations are to you.

    I personally would feel worried that if I went looking for a little something extra, they might be inclined to short change me elsewhere to make up for it. Just my own neurosis, I'm sure and we've often benefited when we least expected something. <shrug>
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Our pool build--> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard Skippy's Cheap Pool Cooler -->Skippy's New Fountain

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    Re: Pool Cost Houston/Kingwood

    There are only 2 gunite companies and only a few plaster companies in town. I guess I'm not surprised that various PBs have similar prices. It's not very surprising that they don't negotiate. This seems to be the norm for this industry in the Houston market.
    23' x 37' IG 18.5k gallon SWG w/ raised spa, Build Thread -->Here
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    Re: Pool Cost Houston/Kingwood

    Thanks for the replies. I had another bid almost 10k more than the other highest bid, and not a great design. He did reduce the price by about 4k after I told him the other quotes. I didn't ask straight up, or for a discount as a matter of fact with the other PBs. I just told them of the pricing for the lowest bid. from other forums i saw people got them to match prices or at least get an extra thing after they told a PB of a lower bid.To be honest with all the rain we have I would not expect them to finish until August I am sure they are behind. I am not in a hurry, but just wondering what to expect from others that have bought around my area. Maybe like Jay Bauman the Houston is just like this.

    One thing I don't like is that only one agreed to give me an itemized cost. surprisingly it was the lowest bid PB that provided me the itemized cost. This is also a cutthroat business lol all the sales guys probably spend more time talking about why the other PBs are not a good choice. They pull some much dirt on the other guys it is scary. I thought car sales guys were bad.

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    Re: Pool Cost Houston/Kingwood

    My pool was completed the end of July last year. I began looking for a PB the end of January. When I compared the bids and mentioned that I thought they might be a little high, they suggested cutting back on things - equipment size, decking, size of the pool, knock off features, etc. No one mentioned cutting their bid price for the same specs. And I didn't ask. My experience and from other local TFP members who were building last year, once you're in the process and building a positive working relationship with the PB, it wasn't unusual for the PB to throw something in when you asked for something additional. In my case, I got a larger sunshelf than I expected (not a lot, but enough to make me smile), he did the bubblers on the sunshelf for no charge, he definitely did more tile work than he planned. I did pay for some of that extra, but he didn't charge me nearly as much as he first said he would. He didn't charge for my extra steps. There may be other things, but I can't remember. The more I read on TFP, the more I realized I wanted - poor guy! I'm lucky he stuck it out with me. But we did have a good working relationship - I worked very hard not to be a pain. And having TFP around helped with that a lot - I could field many of my questions here rather than bug him with my million and one questions.

    I've heard mixed thoughts on whether or not you get better deals around here by waiting for the 'off season'. Houston really doesn't have an off season - maybe a slow season. I think it depends more on the demand for pools, and right now in the greater Houston area, the demand is HUGE. I think it is especially so in the West, Northwest, North, and Northeast due to Exxon's headquarters (people are still moving here for that - or changing homes) and the Prkway opening up -these areas are exploding with home building. It wasn't too long ago my builder (he's out of Montgomery or The Woodlands) would drive to Sugar Land to build a pool. Last summer he wouldn't. I (in Cypress) was on the outer limit of where he would travel to build.

    A positive about waiting is if the PB really does slow down in late fall and winter, you would probably get more attention from the PB. Mine was crazy busy last summer, and communication was his weak side. I've heard the down side to waiting is especially during December/January many of the subs go visit Mexico for extended vacations. Some of those guys are the better subs.

    You could post here the specs each PB has given you for comparison and see if the experts on here have any opinions that may help you decide. Sometimes, the prices may look similar but the nuts and bolts make a difference. The folks here could also give you an idea of questions to ask about things missing from the bids. Just a thought.

    Good luck! Keep in touch!
    Suz
    Suz~Cypress area~ 2015 pool build. 23K gallons. IG swcg system. 35'x18'; 573sf; 104' perim; depth 4'-7'. Bubblers, sheer descents, 7' spa. Jandy: color LEDs; 2HP 2sp pump; 1HP 2sp pump; spa pump; 580 cartridge; 400K BTU; Dolphin M500; PS8; Inline chlorinator not used; Aqua Pure 1400. Blue Granite Sheen. Travertine deck. Lightstreams Peacock Blue TF-100, K-1766, SpeedStir

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    Re: Pool Cost Houston/Kingwood

    Quote Originally Posted by jjj18 View Post
    To be honest with all the rain we have I would not expect them to finish until August I am sure they are behind. I am not in a hurry, but just wondering what to expect from others that have bought around my area. Maybe like Jay Bauman the Houston is just like this.

    One thing I don't like is that only one agreed to give me an itemized cost. surprisingly it was the lowest bid PB that provided me the itemized cost. This is also a cutthroat business lol all the sales guys probably spend more time talking about why the other PBs are not a good choice. They pull some much dirt on the other guys it is scary. I thought car sales guys were bad.
    I can't say how far behind the area PB's are now. There are some area pool builds going on with threads on TFP, but I'm behind on reading threads, so I don't have a good feel for that. Just know as Jay said, you can probably tell by any build in our huge area how it's going since they all rely on the 2-3 gunite companies and a few plaster companies. Your PB in Kingwood might be quick on his part but still have you sitting with a hole in the ground due to waiting on the gunite or plaster. At the height of the summer last year, Modern Method Gunite (MMG) was running 11 crews a day and still couldn't keep up. That was just their plaster, PebbleTec, division. I don't know how many crews they had for gunite. I had the other gunite crew in the spring because MMG was too backed up. As for rain, we are having a good bit, but it seemed worse last year. That could be because I had nothing but a huge empty hole and mud EVERYWHERE! So I can't compare the rains between last year and this (not counting our floods we had in April this year). Soooooo to get to the point I forgot I was making (old lady here), good luck finishing your pool by August. I could be very wrong, and it might be possible to complete by August (and most PB's will tell you they can). But that sure would be a different timeline from most people that I've read about on here.

    The bids I received were also a mixed bag of itemized costs. Some did a little, some did more. What bugged me was that one would give the costs for things others didn't and then not for things the other PB's did. Very hard to compare. For me, it finally came down to whom I could trust, and who seemed more flexible.

    Now.... I don't like mud slinging against opponents (imagine how I'm handling our potential presidential candidates- aughhhhhhh). That just doesn't speak integrity to me. I was lucky, all but one of the PB's I interviewed would not do that at all. In fact most had good things to say about each other. The PB I went with actually gave me his top list of PB's if he couldn't do the build for me. A couple of local TFP members actually were using 2 of his top picks and had terrific experiences, so my PB was very honest.

    This is a tough part of the build - finding the right fit in a PB. I won't say it gets easier, but I enjoyed the building part better. I like action. And as anyone here who knows me, décor or design decisions are the worst for me. But we have a few specialists here who love helping you spend your money, so don't let that worry you!!

    Let me know if I can help - just remember I'm new at this too, so I can't help with the technical stuff!!
    Suz
    Suz~Cypress area~ 2015 pool build. 23K gallons. IG swcg system. 35'x18'; 573sf; 104' perim; depth 4'-7'. Bubblers, sheer descents, 7' spa. Jandy: color LEDs; 2HP 2sp pump; 1HP 2sp pump; spa pump; 580 cartridge; 400K BTU; Dolphin M500; PS8; Inline chlorinator not used; Aqua Pure 1400. Blue Granite Sheen. Travertine deck. Lightstreams Peacock Blue TF-100, K-1766, SpeedStir

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    Re: Pool Cost Houston/Kingwood

    At this point I think I will narrow my decision to the two middle prices. I will decide which PB I ultimately like the most, both pretty much include the same things. The high bid doesn't even include pebble sheen or wet edge for the price, so the sales guy is just marking up everything really high.

    I agree Suz it's hard to compare apples to apples like the sales guy say if they don't provide itemized costs. I think I am being too naive by believing the PBs in that they can finish by August. Can you tell it is my first time building a pool lol? I remember the first time I bought a car boy did they really screw me, so guess I am a little more cautious with big purchases. I know they are not the same type of purchase, but it doesn't hurt to ask what others have experienced. I am glad members are willing to provide feedback so thanks!!

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    Re: Pool Cost Houston/Kingwood

    I asked a million questions, so ask away! It's not like you're unloading on one person. There are tons of people here to help. For most people, a pool is much more expensive than a car and more permanent. You can't trade in a pool after a few months if you hate it. I wouldn't want to do that with a car, either, but I could! A pool is well worth being cautious!!

    If you haven't already, you can Private Message me or other local members any questions about the pool builders who gave you bids. For many good reasons, TFP forum would rather you not post names of PB's, but you can name them in a Private message. It might rest your mind some if anyone has experience with them. I know we've had several members from Kingwood, The Woodlands, Humble, Spring, etc. You could ask them. Just put those community names in the search bar at the top of the page. If you PM me the names of the PB's, I can tell you if anyone I know used the builders.

    Take care,
    Suz
    Suz~Cypress area~ 2015 pool build. 23K gallons. IG swcg system. 35'x18'; 573sf; 104' perim; depth 4'-7'. Bubblers, sheer descents, 7' spa. Jandy: color LEDs; 2HP 2sp pump; 1HP 2sp pump; spa pump; 580 cartridge; 400K BTU; Dolphin M500; PS8; Inline chlorinator not used; Aqua Pure 1400. Blue Granite Sheen. Travertine deck. Lightstreams Peacock Blue TF-100, K-1766, SpeedStir

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Cost Houston/Kingwood

    jjj, we are here to help you spend your money! We LOVE to help build pools. I suggest when you have a few mins hours go read Suz's build. The link is in her siggy. It is epic!

    I really do not think you will be swimming this summer unless you start yesterday Your area is hopping with limited subs. I just want to be real with you so your hopes do not get up too high.

    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: Pool Cost Houston/Kingwood

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    jjj, we are here to help you spend your money! We LOVE to help build pools. I suggest when you have a few mins hours go read Suz's build. The link is in her siggy. It is epic!

    I really do not think you will be swimming this summer unless you start yesterday Your area is hopping with limited subs. I just want to be real with you so your hopes do not get up too high.

    Kim
    jjj, Kim is our lead specialist in spending YOUR money! She's awesome! And what's even greater is that she has so much knowledge it boggles my mind. Ask me fluff stuff, but ask Kim anything!!!

    (ps. you don't have time to read my thread. Just look at the pictures if you have some time left after hunting for a PB!)
    Suz~Cypress area~ 2015 pool build. 23K gallons. IG swcg system. 35'x18'; 573sf; 104' perim; depth 4'-7'. Bubblers, sheer descents, 7' spa. Jandy: color LEDs; 2HP 2sp pump; 1HP 2sp pump; spa pump; 580 cartridge; 400K BTU; Dolphin M500; PS8; Inline chlorinator not used; Aqua Pure 1400. Blue Granite Sheen. Travertine deck. Lightstreams Peacock Blue TF-100, K-1766, SpeedStir

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    Re: Pool Cost Houston/Kingwood

    Kim and Suz I am sure I'll ask questions soon. thanks!

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    Re: Pool Cost Houston/Kingwood

    The real time to negotiate is when you are ready with your top two choices and are ready to pull the trigger. Their reluctance to negotiate may also stem from thinking that you are in the beginning of your search for builders.

    My negotiation tactic is : I need to shave (insert number) off my total cost. What do you suggest I do. ? Sometimes, we don't realize that an LED bubbler is 1500 bucks and if that's not really important, it's on the table for your consideration. Or removing things that can be added later...like a remote control or additional decking or even a heater perhaps.

    You can ask about tile allowances, levels of plaster, etc.

    Personally, I think that the best way of saving cost on a pool is by looking for savings in many areas...instead of focusing on one area. Save a bit on tile, a bit on pumps, a bit on piping, a bit on decking, a bit on pool sizing, a bit on spa and before you know it, it adds up to many thousands of savings.
    Geometric pool with all Pentair equipment. Raised spa - 18" with Artic Lagoon 1" glass tiles. 3HP VS Pump, 2 skimmers, 6 returns, IC40 Salt system, Easy Touch 8 with LED color light in pool and spa. 1200 sqft of Marble White Pavers decking in Versailles pattern. Tiling and coping almost completed, Indigo Blue Prism Matrix plaster. Pool Build Thread: Houston (Katy) Pool Build - Started April 2016

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    Re: Pool Cost Houston/Kingwood

    jjj, we started looking for a PB in October and had a hard time finding someone who would work in my neighborhood, inside the 610 loop. Most all of the companies are north as Suz said and have plenty of work in their areas. That being said, I did find a few and a couple offered a 5% discount because it was the slower season. We didn't sign a contract til January and the company we chose offered the discount. So you might be able to get a better price if you wait til fall but no guarantee.
    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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    Re: Pool Cost Houston/Kingwood

    Hi All so here are some details on some bids.:

    PB#1 302 sq ft (I think i might have to lower size it seems it will be too close to the house 12WX21L) spa 5X5
    Pool Finish: Travertine coping, ceramic tile, and pebble sheen level 1
    Decking: 444sq ft stamped concrete
    Plumbing :Fill line manual, 7 returns, 6 spa jets, 2 Jandy skimmers, 2 sheer descent
    Equipment: Jandy ePum 2HP, Jandy filter CV460, Jandy JXI 400k heater, Jandy 2HP QT, plararis 280 (also has a 3/4hp booster pump), Nature II fusion (only concern here the other have recommended a separate pump for the water feature), 1 wight light pool 1 white light spa

    PB #2 259sq ft (I think i might have to lower size it seems it will be too close to the house 11WX29L including spa) spa is 37q ft
    Pool Finish: flagstone coping, ceramic tile, and pebble sheen level 1
    Decking: 363sq ft brushed concrete
    Plumbing :Fill line AUTO, 6 returns, 8 spa jets, 2 skimmers, 1 sheer descent
    Equipment: Jandy ePump 2HP, Jandy filter CV460, Jandy JXI 400k heater, Jandy 2HP QT, plararis 280, Nature II fusion, Jandy 2hP pump for water feature, 2 LED nitchlesess light for pool and 1 LED for spa, Aqualink PDA

    PB#3 273sq ft (I think i might have to lower size it seems it will be too close to the house 11.5WX31L) spa is 37 sq ft
    Pool Finish: Travertine coping, ceramic tile, and wet edge level 1
    Decking: 363 sq ft brushed concrete
    Plumbing :Fill line manual, 6 returns, 6 spa jets, 1 skimmers, 2 sheer descent, raised wall ( is one skimmer enough?)
    Equipment: Jandy vs 2HP, Jandy filter CV460, Jandy JXI 400k heater, polararis 9350,1.5hp jandy pump for water feature, rainbow 380, 3 LED light san d1 in the pool, iAqualink to control features with iPhone

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    Re: Pool Cost Houston/Kingwood

    on PB#1 did you mean 12W x 31L? Or 21? Because that seems like a big size difference between it and the other 2 pools.
    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: Pool Cost Houston/Kingwood

    I'll have to confirm Sham. It did seem off, but that was what the proposal had.

    Update: the swimming area is 21L and then there is a little sort of tanning edge by the spa maybe around 3 ft. so it is about 29-30ft just like the others. I like the design of PB#2 the most the other ones look a little plain, that is probably the reason it is less sq ft. The 3 PBs above are within $500 in price range. PB#1 is a company that also does other home construction things, not sure if i should be concerned since their focus is not just pools. I am sure they use the same contractors as the big guys (specially for gunite), but it is the parent company that will honor the warranty.

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    Re: Pool Cost Houston/Kingwood

    Any opinions on the pool builds?

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    Re: Pool Cost Houston/Kingwood

    Post pictures of the designs. That will help me to visualize the differences and get a better feel for how the lengths look. Or did I skip over the link for the drawings.
    Thanks!
    Suz
    Suz~Cypress area~ 2015 pool build. 23K gallons. IG swcg system. 35'x18'; 573sf; 104' perim; depth 4'-7'. Bubblers, sheer descents, 7' spa. Jandy: color LEDs; 2HP 2sp pump; 1HP 2sp pump; spa pump; 580 cartridge; 400K BTU; Dolphin M500; PS8; Inline chlorinator not used; Aqua Pure 1400. Blue Granite Sheen. Travertine deck. Lightstreams Peacock Blue TF-100, K-1766, SpeedStir

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Cost Houston/Kingwood

    For a pool that size, you could skip the spa and use the extra space for more pool.
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Our pool build--> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard Skippy's Cheap Pool Cooler -->Skippy's New Fountain

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