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Thread: New Vinyl Pool Build – PA – Decision Time

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    New Vinyl Pool Build – PA – Decision Time

    New Vinyl Pool Build – PA – Decision Time

    3 very different proposals somewhat complete – details vary by builder. There are so many details, decisions and hard to keep everything straight!! I don’t have all the specific part numbers yet. I am trying to finalize decisions, details and check references. It seems the more I know, the more questions and decisions need to be made. LOL There are things I like and dislike about each builder. Each has been building pools for 20-50 years.

    I would love to make a decision soon… appreciate any help and comments! How long was your decision process? How did you choose?

    Builder 1- is a bit upscale and has polymer walls, French drain, Wider concrete deck, large equipment pad and provided a fairly detailed proposal

    Builder 2 has hand written proposal and everything else verbal/email so far.

    Builder 3 didn’t even come to the house. Provided an estimate by phone, but no details behind it. He is recommended by friends and is a high quality builder. He is slow to communicate back.

    14x28 free form vinyl pool
    - Steel 48 inch walls
    - External steps in shallow and deep end (dogs!)
    - 5’ 6” deep end
    - 2 skimmers
    - 3 returns
    - 2 main drains
    - 2 Color LED lights
    - Safety cover with drain
    - Cantilever coping
    - 36inch Gray brushed concrete
    - Timer
    - Union Fittings
    - DE or Cartridge
    - Hayward (single speed) or Pentair (Intelliflo)
    - AquaRite SWG
    - Auto pool cleaner – one PB includes Dolphin. I am leaning toward Aquabot if buying myself.
    South Phila PA area.

    Sundance Spa; Chelsea (468 gallons). Former 28ft AGP owner for 20 years.

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    Nectarologist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    New York

    Re: New Vinyl Pool Build – PA – Decision Time

    My decision process was done at the time the pb was here. I got there by 1) knowing exactly what I wanted as far as vinyl, shape, approx size, features (bench). 2) I had bought an above ground pool 14 yrs prior from the same person. I respected him b/c the IG was going to be more than I expected he never tried to pressure me to by the AG. In fact he told me if I was unsure the AG would be the way to go so I don't resent my decision due to the expense. He said "I'd rather you be happy than spend more money." I always said he'd get first shot if I went with an IG pool. 14 years later I called him. He came over looked at the property and we sat down. He gave me what I considered a fair price and I gave him a deposit (just under 10%). The process was good. When I had an issue with a landscaper he recommended (hired separately) he fixed it with one call in about 7 minutes.

    Don't rule out builder # 3 (even though it may seem odd he didn't even come out). If you're serious about him ask him to come over. I'd personally rule one of them out and then go with the one of the remaining two who communicates the best because you need that if questions or issues arise. Probably rely on references too. Most PB won't give you the names of people they had trouble with though. On the other hand people will tell you things that could be improved looking back (not necessarily deal breakers). One thing I'd have in the contract is "extras" pricing. For example, concrete will be x$ per sq ft over the included price. Know exactly what you want before you start the project. Add ons can really add up and it can be hard to know if you're paying a fair price or not for them if you didn't compare the item in bidding process. Also, consider what you need to do now (lights, bench, liner covered stairs) vs what you'd like. You can always add a heater, change out the filter etc. I knew that I wasn't going to finish the decking until season #2. Just know it's a construction project and things will go wrong but that ok. They just need to be corrected. Also if you can get it done this year do it. If they can't do it until the fall don't put it off until next spring.
    Inground, vinyl liner, 16 x 32 (approx. 21k gallons), roman end w/ bench, 2 Jandy LEG lights
    Pump: Jandy Flopro, 1.5 hp Heater: Raypak, 266k btu (P-R266-A-EN-C; nat gas) Filter: Jandy C340 (cartridge filter)

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    bmoreswim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Central MD

    Re: New Vinyl Pool Build – PA – Decision Time

    Here is what I posted back when we started regarding the process timeline...

    "Spent last summer researching, interviewed five builders in early October, received quotes from 4 of them, selected the builder we wanted to work with in late October (didn't tell him that) and spent the next two months working out the details. Signed our contract on 12/14/12."

    Our project analysis from a cost perspective was on total cost, not focusing on individual components/features, unless it was for purposes of possibly removing them. Otherwise, only one of the PB's was licensed to install a certain type of concrete retaining wall. Our site had a large slope to it so the hardscape aspect was of top importance to us. So he had a big plus on his side. Otherwise, it was personality and willingness to listen.

    Seeing your question/comment elsewhere about locating your pool...

    You can also view our build thread from my signature for an example of a destination pool, i.e. one not right out the back door. Last weekend I spent 4 hours at the pool one afternoon/evening and never came back to the house. It's a great getaway for us.
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. Saltwater w/ gray plaster
    Hayward equipment (cartridge filter, 2-speed pump, salt cell, automation) View Our Build
    Coverstar automatic pool cover | StoneMakers concrete retaining wall and decking
    Groundbreaking: 2/14/13 | Plaster: 5/21/2013 | First Swim: 5/30/2013

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