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Thread: Making a counteroffer

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Making a counteroffer

    I've found a builder that suits me. He gave me a preliminary quote showing base price and options, and we've hashed out the options we want.

    Now I'm ready to make a counteroffer. Is there a usual way to do this? I'm thinking of offering a lump sum price for everything that can be known up front, with model numbers or other specs. I'd also list specific allowances for extras (additional gravel at cost, more concrete at his rate per sq. ft., etc.).

    Has anyone tried this? How did it work out?

    Thanks,

    Sim

    Edit: Ok, you asked for it Hope the code tag is ok, I wanted to keep the spacing. I'm aware that some of the pricing is out of sync with what I've seen online, and the point of the counteroffer is to address that.
    Code:
    $30,000     20' X 40' X 8'6" Pacific Pools rectangular polymer-wall pool with 8' end step
     $2,200     Pentair IntelliChlor IC40 SWCG
       $800     Upgrade to Pentair IntelliFlow VS+SVRS pump
        N/C     Pentair CCP520 cartridge filter
       $500     Dish out shallow end of pool to allow for up to 44" of water
       $650     Pentair IntelliBrite White LED light
     $1,650     2 x Pentair Deck Jet
     $1,150     Curtain drain around pool
     $1,650     Upgrade to winter safety cover (after credit from standard cover)
       $450     Solar cover & reel
        N/C     4' of sidewalk around pool + 4'x8' equipment pad
     $5,000     Additional concrete ($9.25 per sq. ft.)
        N/C     5 x returns (3 in pool, 2 in step), 2 x skimmers, 2 x main drains
       $225     Upgrade suction lines to 2" flexpipe
        N/C     Separate return lines back to pad
        N/C     Fill pool from pond (yech, but he says it will work)
        N/C     28 mil vinyl liner
    ======
    $44,275     TOTAL
    Hydraulically mundane 20x40 rectangular polymer (~30K gal.), IntelliFlo VS+SVRS pump, IntelliChlor IC40 SWCG, Pentair CCP520 cartridge filter, LED light, 2xDeck Jets, SR Smith Turbo Twister slide

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Central Massachusetts
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    Re: Making a counteroffer

    Your going to get lots of opinions here.
    It would be helpful if you could list in detail your quote with all specs.
    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

    Re: Making a counteroffer

    What I did- told the pb that I had narrowed it down to two builders and was wondering if he could give it to me for "x" and he accepted. The basic package for a 20 x 40 double Roman was as follows:

    1 h.p. Pentair pump
    Filter (earth, cartridge or sand)
    Heater (250,000)
    1 110V pool light
    Automatic Timer at Pad
    4 x 7 Equpiment pad
    In-line chlorine feeder
    Mineral Purifier
    4' Concrete all around
    3 Skimmers/4 Returns
    2 Main Drains (w/ VGB Complaint Covers)
    Thermoplastic sit-n-step (w/ stair jets)
    3 Tread Ladder
    20ml Liner - Merlin or Platiymid
    Mesh Winter Cover (blue, black, tan or green)
    Water Balancing 2011 Winterization
    Startup Kit (crook, thermometer, skimmer net, test kit, buoy, saety rope, brush, vaccuum, etc.)
    Extra concrete @ $7.00/sq. ft.
    The walls are steel concrete placed at base and backfilled with stone.

    Total: $34,500

    My offer was as follows: The above equipment with a salt water chlorine generator, concrete coping to the edge, 2" plumbing (rigid pvc), and extra concrete @ $5.25/sq. ft. for $31,000. They accepted. From our first meeting I waited for about a month before making the offer and that probably helped. But it can't hurt to just ask and see what shakes loose.

    If it were me- $9.25/sq ft. for concrete seems high, prob. depends on location. Maybe ask for a concession on the lights and deck jets? Be creative and have fun with it!

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
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    Central Massachusetts
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    Re: Making a counteroffer

    Quote Originally Posted by Simbilis
    Code:
    $30,000     20' X 40' X 8'6" Pacific Pools rectangular polymer-wall pool with 8' end step
     $2,200     Pentair IntelliChlor IC40 SWCG
       $800     Upgrade to Pentair IntelliFlow VS+SVRS pump
        N/C     Pentair CCP520 cartridge filter
       $500     Dish out shallow end of pool to allow for up to 44" of water
       $650     Pentair IntelliBrite White LED light
     $1,650     2 x Pentair Deck Jet
     $1,150     Curtain drain around pool
     $1,650     Upgrade to winter safety cover (after credit from standard cover)
       $450     Solar cover & reel
        N/C     4' of sidewalk around pool + 4'x8' equipment pad
     $5,000     Additional concrete ($9.25 per sq. ft.)
        N/C     5 x returns (3 in pool, 2 in step), 2 x skimmers, 2 x main drains
       $225     Upgrade suction lines to 2" flexpipe
        N/C     Separate return lines back to pad
        N/C     Fill pool from pond (yech, but he says it will work)
        N/C     28 mil vinyl liner
    ======
    $44,275     TOTAL
    Ok, first off, where are you located? That makes a big difference. Everything is relative to location. Whats expensive in one area, may be just fine in another. You will get opinions as varied as the day is long, so you hsve to be able to sift out what you think is reasonable.

    Another couple of questions. What does the 30k include?

    1)Is that everything installed including excavation, hauling out the dirt, backfill, etc.
    2), how many skimmers,returns,main drain, is included in the quote
    3) Does the IC 40 SWCG include a Pentair automation system (i.e Easytouch, intellitouch). If it doesnt, $2200 is high. Even with an automation box, that shouldnt be more than $1700 or so.
    4) Does that 30k included electrical work?

    One the surface, the bid seems high.

    The solar cover and reel at $450 is reasonable. 100 bucks for the cover and 350 for the reel is ok, depending on the brand of reel. The deck jest, not sure of. I dont have any and didnt want any. Just another thing to break, IMO. The $500 he has for dishing out the shallow end is non-sense. The excavator is already there. Thats really a matter of digging out a few more yards of dirt. I wouldnt pay that.
    The 30k also includes the concrete work. He says there is N/C, buts thats baloney. It costs something. Honestly, I would have the builder ditch the deck and hire your own guy. Thats roughly $3000 for concrete work figuring 480 sq ft of deck at $6 per sq ft.

    All in all, depending where you are, he's about 10-12 k too high, if you dont include the deck. And, there is no heater either, so yea,44k is way to expensive. I'd get another bid, maybe 2 more.
    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.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Making a counteroffer

    @bk406:

    I'm in northern Vermont, where everything costs more. The $30K includes everything except what's listed separately in the options, the additional concrete, and the electrical (which is my problem). Included are 5 returns (2 in the steps), 2 skimmers, 2 main drains, and a pump-out drain in gravel below the deep end. No automation equipment is included.

    Sorry about the concrete, I explained that poorly. 4' of decking around the pool and the 4x8 pad (total about 576 sq. ft.) are included in the $30K. The rest (540 sq ft, about $5,000) is at $9.25 per sq ft. His charge for concrete is on par with the other bids, which is a shame - it seems very expensive compared to what I see on the forum.

    I actually got 5 bids, and only stopped when I couldn't find anymore local builders. This builder had the middle bid, significantly (15-25%) lower than the two highest, not much more than his next competitor. He has at least 7 references that love him. He used to build for a local pool & spa place, and went out on his own when they got out of the business. It happens that he usually sells the equipment and style I wanted anyway, so it's a reasonable fit.

    I know the quote is grossly high on some items, but I don't want to have a haggling match over each option. I'm going to make him a lump sum offer for the entire package. I don't really care how he arrives at his pricing - if he wants to sell me the chlorinator for $35K and do everything else for free, I'm fine with that too, as long as the warranty doesn't change. Since I'm ready to build today, and he's got a gap in his schedule, he may decide it's worthwhile. If not, I'll take the package to my other favorite builder and see what he says...

    @Deaconfrost

    Thanks, I like that approach. It has the virtue of being true, too What part of the country are you located in? Some of the price delta may be regional.
    Hydraulically mundane 20x40 rectangular polymer (~30K gal.), IntelliFlo VS+SVRS pump, IntelliChlor IC40 SWCG, Pentair CCP520 cartridge filter, LED light, 2xDeck Jets, SR Smith Turbo Twister slide

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
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    Central Massachusetts
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    Re: Making a counteroffer

    Wow, yea, that is high. i'm in Massachusetts and that pool package would be closer to 28-30k. $2200 is way out of line for a basic IC 40. That, with a simple power supply would be around 1k, maybe. No electrical is nasty too. For 44k, it should be included. I know materials are not thqt much more expensive. Neither is labor. i'm not sure what is making a pool up there so high. If that bid is in the ballpark, not much you can do. Offer him 34 k and see what he says. I still think he's about 10k too high, but if thats the going rate, he might not move much.
    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.

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Making a counteroffer

    Simbilis-

    Located in Northern Indiana- have family in Boston and I know everything is pricey. Good luck!

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: Making a counteroffer

    Thanks, guys! I'm going to see what each builder I talked to says to this.

    For $35K, provide:
    • 20' x 40' x 8'6" deep rectangular vinyl liner pool with 8' end sit-n-step[/*:m:2jifl3sn]
    • Pentair IntelliChlor IC40 Salt Chlorinator & Power Center[/*:m:2jifl3sn]
    • Pentair IntelliFlo VS+SVRS variable speed pump[/*:m:2jifl3sn]
    • Pentair CCP520 cartridge filter[/*:m:2jifl3sn]
    • Curtain drain around pool[/*:m:2jifl3sn]
    • Dish shallow end to 44" depth[/*:m:2jifl3sn]
    • 1116 sq. ft. concrete deck as shown in attached drawing, including 4' deck allowance and 4'x8' equipment pad[/*:m:2jifl3sn]
    • Solar cover & reel[/*:m:2jifl3sn]
    • Winter safety cover[/*:m:2jifl3sn]
    • 2 x Pentair Deck Jet[/*:m:2jifl3sn]
    • Pentair IntelliBrite White LED 120V underwater light (& control center if required)[/*:m:2jifl3sn]
    • 2 x Main drain[/*:m:2jifl3sn]
    • 2 x Skimmer[/*:m:2jifl3sn]
    • 3 x Pool return[/*:m:2jifl3sn]
    • 2 x Stair return/jet[/*:m:2jifl3sn]
    • Separate flex pipe run to equipment pad for stair jets (one run)[/*:m:2jifl3sn]
    • Separate flex pipe runs to equipment pad for each pool return (three runs)[/*:m:2jifl3sn]
    • Plumbing for deck jets and pool slide (but no slide)[/*:m:2jifl3sn]
    • All lines (suction and return) upgraded to 2" flex pipe[/*:m:2jifl3sn]
    • 2010 Closing/winterization[/*:m:2jifl3sn]


    Payment schedule as follows:
    • 10% at start/in advance ($3,500)[/*:m:2jifl3sn]
    • 20% after excavation complete ($7,000)[/*:m:2jifl3sn]
    • 35% after water in the pool ($12,250)[/*:m:2jifl3sn]
    • 20% after deck poured ($7,000)[/*:m:2jifl3sn]
    • 15% at completion ($5,250)[/*:m:2jifl3sn]


    Do I have the language and order of operations roughly right? What other things I should specify? I know roughly what I want for (e.g.) concrete composition and reinforcement, but I'm not sure if specifying it at this point is appropriate.

    Thanks,

    Sim
    Hydraulically mundane 20x40 rectangular polymer (~30K gal.), IntelliFlo VS+SVRS pump, IntelliChlor IC40 SWCG, Pentair CCP520 cartridge filter, LED light, 2xDeck Jets, SR Smith Turbo Twister slide

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Join Date
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    Location
    Central Massachusetts
    Posts
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    Re: Making a counteroffer

    Looks about right to me. You could get that done in metro/suburban boston/central Massachusetts for that.

    They usually want some money after the pool package is delivered.
    The ones i dealt with wanted

    10% up front
    10% after excavation
    40% when the pool was delivered
    20% when the liner goes in
    20% on satisfactory completion

    What you have is pretty close.
    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.

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