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Thread: Where can I find REVIEWS of Installers in NJ?

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    Where can I find REVIEWS of Installers in NJ?

    Folks, I love this pool website but I just cant seem to find here, or anywhere on the net a good source of reputable and fairly priced Pool Installers in the Northern NJ area. I have done alot of research to locate various installers but there is seldom any source of Ratings or Feedback on the internet about them to give me piece of mind that I am dealing with a company I can trust.

    Surely, some of you have also experienced this?...or not?

    With the help of you great people, I have narrowed my specs down and feel a little more comfortable being able to negociate what I want. Now I just need to just find the right installers.......What can you suggest I do to get some feedback?


    Finally, does it make any sense to wait until winter or fall...are there better deals to be had?


    Thanks very much,

    Lori
    Design 14x26 (10,000 gal) in ground vinyl pool, 2 Wide Mouth Skimmers, 3 Returns
    Equip 3.0 HP Pentair VS pump motor, 48 FNS Plus DE filter, IC20 SWCG, 400Btu NG Heater
    Extras Easy Touch Automation, Pentair LED Lite, Kreepy Krawl Racer pressure cleaner
    Water pH 7.5, Total Alk 90, Free Cl 4.5, Combine Cl 0.25, CYA 65, CH 275, Salt 4100ppm, Borates (Boric Acid) 50ppm

  2. Back To Top    #2

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    Re: Where can I find REVIEWS of Installers in NJ?

    You could try google. Or PM NJpoolguy. He's a service guy not a builder, but i bet he knows a few.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: Where can I find REVIEWS of Installers in NJ?

    Bk....I've tried Google and found nothing consistent. I've tried the BBB, they only give letter ratings and no feedback or information.

    Thanks...PoolGuy would be a fantastic source but he never responded in one of my other posts...so I dont want to pester him


    Any other ideas...

    Thanks BK, you've been very helpful throughout
    Design 14x26 (10,000 gal) in ground vinyl pool, 2 Wide Mouth Skimmers, 3 Returns
    Equip 3.0 HP Pentair VS pump motor, 48 FNS Plus DE filter, IC20 SWCG, 400Btu NG Heater
    Extras Easy Touch Automation, Pentair LED Lite, Kreepy Krawl Racer pressure cleaner
    Water pH 7.5, Total Alk 90, Free Cl 4.5, Combine Cl 0.25, CYA 65, CH 275, Salt 4100ppm, Borates (Boric Acid) 50ppm

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Re: Where can I find REVIEWS of Installers in NJ?

    Quote Originally Posted by fudgebar
    Bk....I've tried Google and found nothing consistent. I've tried the BBB, they only give letter ratings and no feedback or information.

    Thanks...PoolGuy would be a fantastic source but he never responded in one of my other posts...so I dont want to pester him


    Any other ideas...

    Thanks BK, you've been very helpful throughout
    Most people respond only when they feel they can provide helpful information. Just because someone has never responded to your post does not mean they will not help. I have seen a lot of post by NJpoolguy and he seems to be a very helpful and smart person when it comes to pool stuff. I have yet to meet a rude person on this forum as compared to some others. Very friendly forum here, more than likely one of the freindliest I have been a part of.
    13,000 Plaster IG Pool approx
    Hayward C5030 Cart Filter
    Emerson 1081 EB653 1.0 HP 1.40 S.F. 3450 RPM
    Pool Calculator, Pool School, TF Test Kits

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Where can I find REVIEWS of Installers in NJ?

    @fudgebar - You might also want to check out www.gardenweb.com. They have a collection of forums for many different home related topics. They have a Pools & Spas forum located under their Home Forums section. I've used it before and I know that NJPoolGuy posts on there as well. Maybe you'll have better luck catching him there.

    I live in PA, just over the NJ (Route 78) border. PM me if you'd like info on the pool builders I interviewed - some may also do biz in NJ.
    20'6" X 38'6" (609 sqft)
    22,500 gal gunite/plaster IGP
    DE filter, Jandy 2HP pump, Nature2 Sanitizer (removed cartridge!)
    Raypak 39.9K BTU gas heater
    2 ColorLogic lights, Maytronics Dolphin pool cleaner

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    New Jersey
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    Re: Where can I find REVIEWS of Installers in NJ?

    I'm a little south and west of you. When I built my new pool in 2004 I talked to a lot of people and not one was willing to recommend the PB they had used. I went with AnthonySylvan and I am not willing to recommend them to anyone either, although the shell, coping, etc. are excellent. Puglisi have a good reputation, but they are seriously expensive. Lots of people are looking for the PB that you describe. Let us know if you find them.
    Current: 28,000G 18'x36' I/G AnthonySylvan Plaster; Waterway 60 sq.ft. DE Filter; 1.0hp x 1.65 SF Two-Speed (B2982) WhisperFlo; 2004-Present
    Previous: 40,000G 20'x40' I/G Koven unlined WWII salvage 5/8" marine steel; Lomart Stainless Sand Filter; 3/4hp Hayward SuperPump; 1946-2003 (managed by me from about 1964)
    Ancient Taylor K-2000, upgraded with Taylor CH, TA, and FAS-DPD, and TFT CYA tests.

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    North Bergen, NJ
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    Re: Where can I find REVIEWS of Installers in NJ?

    Can you be a bit more specific about what you didnt like about AnthonySylvan, I have them on my list to pitch me a pool this weekend....what should I be in store for?
    Design 14x26 (10,000 gal) in ground vinyl pool, 2 Wide Mouth Skimmers, 3 Returns
    Equip 3.0 HP Pentair VS pump motor, 48 FNS Plus DE filter, IC20 SWCG, 400Btu NG Heater
    Extras Easy Touch Automation, Pentair LED Lite, Kreepy Krawl Racer pressure cleaner
    Water pH 7.5, Total Alk 90, Free Cl 4.5, Combine Cl 0.25, CYA 65, CH 275, Salt 4100ppm, Borates (Boric Acid) 50ppm

  8. Back To Top    #8

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    Frederick County, MD
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    Re: Where can I find REVIEWS of Installers in NJ?

    You can give this guy a whirl, he is in PA and might go into N. NJ. He is the brother in law of a guy I know. He reviewed all of my quotes when I had my pool built to help me with negotiating price with my local builder.

    http://swiftwaterpools.com/
    Jim

    Southern Frederick County, MD - Leisure Moroccan 38 Fiberglass Pool - 19,800 gallons
    Pentair 1.5 hp 2 speed pump - Cartridge filter - Dolphin robot - TF-100 Test Kit - SWCG

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: Where can I find REVIEWS of Installers in NJ?

    I used Anthony & Sylvan and my pool was completed the week before Memorial Day. Overall I was actually very happy with them. But there are a few things I would note:

    1. They don't really do any of the actual work themselves - other than maybe the fence, and even that is a bit suspect. Every stage of the project was completed by a subcontractor who specialized in their own piece of the puzzle - excavator, electricians, plumbers, rebar, concrete, tile, plaster, etc. However, there is something to be said for this as well, as I felt like each crew REALLY knew their job - rather than a couple guys who were only so-so in any one area of the construction phases. As long as it is all well coordinated (which it was for me), you should have no problem.

    2. I felt like some of the equipment/parts used may be a bit substandard. While they use name brand stuff - Jandy, Polaris, Hayward, etc., I think if they can get by with the low-end stuff they will. For example, straight cut pvc returns into the pool rather than any type of threaded eyeball returns.

    3. They have a specific payment schedule and if the project shifts at all, they're very reluctant to adjust accordingly. This seemed to be a standard with all PBs. My pool build began last September with an interuption for the winter break. With over $11k worth of individual contract elements still left to deliver in the Spring, the only payment left was just under $2500. I asked if part of the last payment before the winter break could be deferred till Spring and they were very reluctant. They did finally cave in and allow me to push $3k off till Spring.

    4. Knowing absolutely nothing about pools already, I felt they could have done a bit better job educating me as to my options. My sales rep was a really nice guy, and even threw in some stuff for free - even though he forgot he told me he would at first, and when I reminded him he said "Did I say that?...OK, no problem". But if I knew then what I know now - just from reading everything on this forum (wish I found this before I built the pool) - I would have done a few things differently (i.e. no Nature2, and perhaps a SWG).

    5. The startup company will be the local pool store that services A&S pools for your area. They'll bring out all the items that go with the pool - brush, ropes, vacuum, auto-cleaner, etc., as well as a good supply of startup pool chemicals to get you going. Then they'll send you an invoice for over $400 for all the chemicals!!! Know what you're doing first and perhaps you can instruct them on exactly what chemicals you want and/or don't want. They also left out bringing my pool cover just yet, and stated they'll bring it in the Fall when they come to close the pool. That is being pretty presumptuous that I even WANT them to close my pool!!!

    I've actually heard some horror stories about A&S, but the price was right for me and I took a chance, and luckily was not disappointed. Not sure which office you'd deal with, but I dealt primarily with the Doylestown, PA office.

    Any other specific questions, please let me know.
    20'6" X 38'6" (609 sqft)
    22,500 gal gunite/plaster IGP
    DE filter, Jandy 2HP pump, Nature2 Sanitizer (removed cartridge!)
    Raypak 39.9K BTU gas heater
    2 ColorLogic lights, Maytronics Dolphin pool cleaner

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: Where can I find REVIEWS of Installers in NJ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Winger 03
    You can give this guy a whirl, he is in PA and might go into N. NJ. He is the brother in law of a guy I know. He reviewed all of my quotes when I had my pool built to help me with negotiating price with my local builder.

    http://swiftwaterpools.com/

    Uhhhmmm...just curious, why didnt you just use him??
    Design 14x26 (10,000 gal) in ground vinyl pool, 2 Wide Mouth Skimmers, 3 Returns
    Equip 3.0 HP Pentair VS pump motor, 48 FNS Plus DE filter, IC20 SWCG, 400Btu NG Heater
    Extras Easy Touch Automation, Pentair LED Lite, Kreepy Krawl Racer pressure cleaner
    Water pH 7.5, Total Alk 90, Free Cl 4.5, Combine Cl 0.25, CYA 65, CH 275, Salt 4100ppm, Borates (Boric Acid) 50ppm

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: Where can I find REVIEWS of Installers in NJ?

    Quote Originally Posted by fudgebar
    Quote Originally Posted by Winger 03
    You can give this guy a whirl, he is in PA and might go into N. NJ. He is the brother in law of a guy I know. He reviewed all of my quotes when I had my pool built to help me with negotiating price with my local builder.

    http://swiftwaterpools.com/

    Uhhhmmm...just curious, why didnt you just use him??

    Good question. He does not build where I live as I am in central MD. He looked at my quotes as a favor to a friend of mine, and was quite helpful. However.... he did seem honest and I would not have a problem with him doing my pool if I ever moved into his area.

    He does a lot of high end gunnite pools and has been doing fiberglass for a couple of years.
    Jim

    Southern Frederick County, MD - Leisure Moroccan 38 Fiberglass Pool - 19,800 gallons
    Pentair 1.5 hp 2 speed pump - Cartridge filter - Dolphin robot - TF-100 Test Kit - SWCG

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: Where can I find REVIEWS of Installers in NJ?

    cool thanks....I've already send him my interest. I think he's a bit far from me too...Im pretty close to NYC
    Design 14x26 (10,000 gal) in ground vinyl pool, 2 Wide Mouth Skimmers, 3 Returns
    Equip 3.0 HP Pentair VS pump motor, 48 FNS Plus DE filter, IC20 SWCG, 400Btu NG Heater
    Extras Easy Touch Automation, Pentair LED Lite, Kreepy Krawl Racer pressure cleaner
    Water pH 7.5, Total Alk 90, Free Cl 4.5, Combine Cl 0.25, CYA 65, CH 275, Salt 4100ppm, Borates (Boric Acid) 50ppm

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Re: Where can I find REVIEWS of Installers in NJ?

    Quote Originally Posted by fudgebar
    Can you be a bit more specific about what you didnt like about AnthonySylvan, I have them on my list to pitch me a pool this weekend....what should I be in store for?
    This was 2004, remember. They didn't know what a two-speed pump was and I got stuck with an oversized single-speed energy pig of a 1.5HP for a 28K gal pool. They built the plumbing with glue on the MPV threads and no unions, even on the pump, so any changes were major surgery. They put filter on the edge of the bank so it fell over in the first rain and then tried to blame me for it (by saying they put it where I told them to way back before the bank was there.) They put in the GD Nature2 that exploded the third week while I was traveling and released all its metal into the pool staining the new plaster.

    All this and any other follow-up correction work was handled by one guy at one extension in PA AND HE NEVER ANSWERED HIS PHONE OR RETURNED CALLS. They take your last dollar (IN CASH!!!) the day they fill and after that you are just an annoyance and everyone you used to talk to just gives you that one extension in PA.

    As far as the build, scheduling commitments were really just best case guesses and build was months late due to overbooking. Orientation was pucks all the way, baby, and no discussion of high CYA. I am sure there was more, but that's all I remember.

    EDIT: Oh yeah, they built the fence with the wire more than 4" from the ground resulting in a fail from the town. They said it wasn't their fault because my fence was on grass and not on a deck. I ended up rehanging the wire myself because I got tired of calling Pennsylvania with no result.

    I have a beautiful pool now, thanks to BBB and a lot of effort by yours truly and no thanks to those jerks.
    Current: 28,000G 18'x36' I/G AnthonySylvan Plaster; Waterway 60 sq.ft. DE Filter; 1.0hp x 1.65 SF Two-Speed (B2982) WhisperFlo; 2004-Present
    Previous: 40,000G 20'x40' I/G Koven unlined WWII salvage 5/8" marine steel; Lomart Stainless Sand Filter; 3/4hp Hayward SuperPump; 1946-2003 (managed by me from about 1964)
    Ancient Taylor K-2000, upgraded with Taylor CH, TA, and FAS-DPD, and TFT CYA tests.

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Dec 2009
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    Central Massachusetts
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    Re: Where can I find REVIEWS of Installers in NJ?

    Correct me if im wrong, but i dont think anthony sylvan des vinyl or fiberglass. A gunite pool will almost run 50%> than a vinyl or fiberglass.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Re: Where can I find REVIEWS of Installers in NJ?

    Im crossing off Anthony Sylvan off my list...they were a bit pompous during the interview, as if, any one other then them, shouldnt be qualified to build a quality pool. And their prices were outrageous to boot


    PoolGuyNJ, if you have any good advice as to other reputable Pool builders, please let me know...I'll never mention your name during the discussions...if you'd rather be a silent advisor.
    Design 14x26 (10,000 gal) in ground vinyl pool, 2 Wide Mouth Skimmers, 3 Returns
    Equip 3.0 HP Pentair VS pump motor, 48 FNS Plus DE filter, IC20 SWCG, 400Btu NG Heater
    Extras Easy Touch Automation, Pentair LED Lite, Kreepy Krawl Racer pressure cleaner
    Water pH 7.5, Total Alk 90, Free Cl 4.5, Combine Cl 0.25, CYA 65, CH 275, Salt 4100ppm, Borates (Boric Acid) 50ppm

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Re: Where can I find REVIEWS of Installers in NJ?

    PM sent with what I could add. Sorry for the delay.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

  17. Back To Top    #17

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    Re: Where can I find REVIEWS of Installers in NJ?

    Poolguy, thanks so much...it was very helpful, I responded with a few quick questions....Im already excited just to read that they advertise they use rigid 40 PVC in their installations. No one I got quotes for in North Bergen ever mentioned that...They all advertise Flexible PVC as if its superior or something...I just dont understand
    Design 14x26 (10,000 gal) in ground vinyl pool, 2 Wide Mouth Skimmers, 3 Returns
    Equip 3.0 HP Pentair VS pump motor, 48 FNS Plus DE filter, IC20 SWCG, 400Btu NG Heater
    Extras Easy Touch Automation, Pentair LED Lite, Kreepy Krawl Racer pressure cleaner
    Water pH 7.5, Total Alk 90, Free Cl 4.5, Combine Cl 0.25, CYA 65, CH 275, Salt 4100ppm, Borates (Boric Acid) 50ppm

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: Where can I find REVIEWS of Installers in NJ?

    I'm curious what type of price A&S is quoting you. PM me if you'd care to exchange quote information (I used A&S so I can tell you exactly what I paid). I signed my contract last Summer and with the way the economy was at that time, they were bending over backwards (sort of) to give me a good price. I was counting on that effect, figuring pools weren't on the top of most people's "necessity" list at that time. And likewise, once construction got underway in September, they couldn't get here fast enough as they were apparently very hungry for the work!! My guess is it's not exactly like that at this time of the year.

    BTW - My A&S pool is all rigid PVC. Only place they used some flex PVC was on the deck jets - simply due to the nature of where they had to go and how they bend up through the concrete and the run to my waterfall.
    20'6" X 38'6" (609 sqft)
    22,500 gal gunite/plaster IGP
    DE filter, Jandy 2HP pump, Nature2 Sanitizer (removed cartridge!)
    Raypak 39.9K BTU gas heater
    2 ColorLogic lights, Maytronics Dolphin pool cleaner

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    North Bergen, NJ
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    Re: Where can I find REVIEWS of Installers in NJ?

    I dont remember exactly, but they wanted something in the ballpark of 35k for just a 12x28 fiberglass install with the basic filtration and 3ft decking packaging. No Heater, no tiles, no cantilevered masonry work, etc.....While other fiberglass PBs were giving me all of that for close to that price.


    Which gets me thinking, I wonder how much markup pool builders make on vinyl and fiberglass package installations?

    It would be good to know the ballpark so I know what is fair negotiating vs what is absurd.

    Because since I have been quoting out my 14x28 pool package to different PBs, I have been getting quotes that range all over the place, moreso than anything I have ever quoted, even, the addition to my entire top floor of my house!...LOL

    I've gotten quotes that were at 36K and I've gotten quotes as low as 18K for ....approximately the same contents, I say roughly because every PB has their own customized package, but then when I discuss some of the things I want to add or change, I still have gotten requotes that were all over the place!

    So far, PoolGuyNJ, actually recommended some good PBs, I havent yet gotten into the details of their packages yet...but, they are already on the right track based on some of their listed packages they offer and I like that they use the rigid 2" PVC as opposed to the 1 1/2 flexible hosing many other builders use.
    Design 14x26 (10,000 gal) in ground vinyl pool, 2 Wide Mouth Skimmers, 3 Returns
    Equip 3.0 HP Pentair VS pump motor, 48 FNS Plus DE filter, IC20 SWCG, 400Btu NG Heater
    Extras Easy Touch Automation, Pentair LED Lite, Kreepy Krawl Racer pressure cleaner
    Water pH 7.5, Total Alk 90, Free Cl 4.5, Combine Cl 0.25, CYA 65, CH 275, Salt 4100ppm, Borates (Boric Acid) 50ppm

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Where can I find REVIEWS of Installers in NJ?

    I wish I saw this post earlier.

    A brief list of quality vinyl pool builders in your area:
    Cool Pool & Spa (expect to pay for a high-end pool from these guys. They do great work though)
    Masterson(these guys stand behind their reputation)
    Woodside (they do some beautiful landscape work)
    Acquatic(great folks--great work)
    Rio Vista (mostly service and renovation, but he builds a few pool a year. Very quality oriented and honest)

    This is just a brief list, there are a lot of great builders in the area. There are a lot of hacks out there too, so do your homework, and ask for references.

    Good luck and happy pool owning to you!
    Making Liners Since 1997
    Pool Liner Factory Outlet

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