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Thread: Arizona Pool Builders - Recommendations?

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    Arizona Pool Builders - Recommendations?

    Hi all - we are finally ready to move fwd, after about 3 years of saving $$$$, to build our pool. We plan on a larger pool, with waterfall/grotto, spa, and sunken bar. Pretty fancy but we've lived in AZ 15 years and it's about time we did this, and did it right!

    A year ago, we thought we were close, and started to meet with pool companies and get design ideas. We met with Shasta, Premier, and California pools. Premier was easily the best to work with and tried very hard to earn our business. Shasta the least. We have also heard of Presidential and Paddock, Cameo, and a few others. We have a friend who had theirs built by CalPools and loved it, and we are copying their design quite a bit frankly.

    Any recommendations out there, and if you have a name of the actual salesperson to work with, please list as I know that makes a huge difference as well. We live in Goodyear if that is helpful. Hope this isn't against forum rules btw. Please let me know if it is.

    Thanks all!
    RawhideKid
    Phoenix, AZ (Goodyear actually)
    Pool finally complete!!! IG, 40,635 gallons w/2080 gallon spa with 16 jets. Pool is 40x21 ft with 10 ft deep end; two baja steps
    Pentair Cartridge filter - 520 SQ. PebbleSheen interior. 2 Pentair VS pumps. Pentair Intellichlor SWG
    4 deck jets, 2 bubblers, fake rock grotto/waterfall with wet steps. 3 surrounding half-pergola's with misters in future
    Sunken covered ramada with cabinets, fridge, and wood fireplace. (soon to have big screen TV)
    Basically, 14 years of planning on how to survive this blistering AZ summer!!! WAHOOOOO!!!!!!

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Guest

    Re: Arizona Pool Builders - Recommendations?

    Have you considered owner/builder? A couple of my good friends moved to Arizona some years back, and between them have built some of the most difficult and beautiful pools in San Diego. Combined pool experience is probably 50 years between just two of them!

    I don't know if you would be interested in this option, or even if they would consider it, but PM me if you are and I will be happy to ask them. I know they live in Maricopa County, but I don't know how far from Goodyear that is. Let me know if you'd like me to ask them for you.

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Buckeye, AZ 85326
    Posts
    618

    Re: Arizona Pool Builders - Recommendations?

    We went with Carribean Pools, our sales person was Josh. We had bids from several places and Carribean had the best design and worked with our budget the best. They met all thier obligations and all the tradesmen that came for the build were knowledgable and respectfull. The pool has been trouble free so far other than a premature pump faliure which was covered with out issue under the three year warranty. I would use them again with out hesitation.
    We have some good friends that went with Shasta and they got great results as well.
    11,872 Gallon IG Shotcrete play pool
    Blue Granite Pebble Sheen finish
    Hayward SwimClear c4025, Navigator & Tristar 1.75hp pump
    2' Powerfall

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: Arizona Pool Builders - Recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by simicrintz
    Have you considered owner/builder? A couple of my good friends moved to Arizona some years back, and between them have built some of the most difficult and beautiful pools in San Diego. Combined pool experience is probably 50 years between just two of them!

    I don't know if you would be interested in this option, or even if they would consider it, but PM me if you are and I will be happy to ask them. I know they live in Maricopa County, but I don't know how far from Goodyear that is. Let me know if you'd like me to ask them for you.
    Bruce - if I wasn't gone from home so much, I'd definitely go this route. I simply can't burden my wife (with 4 school aged children) to monitor contractors coming and going in my absence.

    Thanks for the offer though. I've even considered hiring someone to manage the process as well, but I think the cost would exceed the benefit.
    RawhideKid
    Phoenix, AZ (Goodyear actually)
    Pool finally complete!!! IG, 40,635 gallons w/2080 gallon spa with 16 jets. Pool is 40x21 ft with 10 ft deep end; two baja steps
    Pentair Cartridge filter - 520 SQ. PebbleSheen interior. 2 Pentair VS pumps. Pentair Intellichlor SWG
    4 deck jets, 2 bubblers, fake rock grotto/waterfall with wet steps. 3 surrounding half-pergola's with misters in future
    Sunken covered ramada with cabinets, fridge, and wood fireplace. (soon to have big screen TV)
    Basically, 14 years of planning on how to survive this blistering AZ summer!!! WAHOOOOO!!!!!!

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    South Central NJ
    Posts
    3,192

    Re: Arizona Pool Builders - Recommendations?

    I've hear Shasta referred to as Shaftya in the past.
    On the Gardenweb pool forum, is just-a-pb. You really want to talk to him. Here's how you can contact him.
    http://www.gardenweb.com/auth/nph-login ... /just-a-pb

    You may have to register (it's free) to email him. He walks the walk. He'll be competative but not the cheapest and hist quality is as good as it gets. If I win the Mega-Millions jackpot (290 Mil!), I would buy a home just to have him build one for me. There are only 2 or 3 in the USA I would say that about.

    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.

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: Arizona Pool Builders - Recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shane1
    We went with Carribean Pools, our sales person was Josh.....
    Is it a bad sign that the Buckeye office of Caribbean Pools is not functional at this time? Wonder if they closed that office?
    RawhideKid
    Phoenix, AZ (Goodyear actually)
    Pool finally complete!!! IG, 40,635 gallons w/2080 gallon spa with 16 jets. Pool is 40x21 ft with 10 ft deep end; two baja steps
    Pentair Cartridge filter - 520 SQ. PebbleSheen interior. 2 Pentair VS pumps. Pentair Intellichlor SWG
    4 deck jets, 2 bubblers, fake rock grotto/waterfall with wet steps. 3 surrounding half-pergola's with misters in future
    Sunken covered ramada with cabinets, fridge, and wood fireplace. (soon to have big screen TV)
    Basically, 14 years of planning on how to survive this blistering AZ summer!!! WAHOOOOO!!!!!!

  7. Back To Top    #7
    Guest

    Re: Arizona Pool Builders - Recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by RawhideKid
    Quote Originally Posted by simicrintz
    Have you considered owner/builder? A couple of my good friends moved to Arizona some years back, and between them have built some of the most difficult and beautiful pools in San Diego. Combined pool experience is probably 50 years between just two of them!

    I don't know if you would be interested in this option, or even if they would consider it, but PM me if you are and I will be happy to ask them. I know they live in Maricopa County, but I don't know how far from Goodyear that is. Let me know if you'd like me to ask them for you.
    Bruce - if I wasn't gone from home so much, I'd definitely go this route. I simply can't burden my wife (with 4 school aged children) to monitor contractors coming and going in my absence.

    Thanks for the offer though. I've even considered hiring someone to manage the process as well, but I think the cost would exceed the benefit.
    No problem, and completely understood! FWIW, if you decide to go with Shasta, one of the guys I would have referred you to is now there (and has been for about 4 years now). He was personally responsible for the "biggest and best" pools in San Diego during his time here (I learned most everything that I know about pool building from him), and only does the most complicated pools for Shasta now. If you go that route, PM me and I will share his name with you. You'd do well to insist that he runs your project

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Buckeye, AZ 85326
    Posts
    618

    Re: Arizona Pool Builders - Recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by RawhideKid
    Quote Originally Posted by Shane1
    We went with Carribean Pools, our sales person was Josh.....
    Is it a bad sign that the Buckeye office of Caribbean Pools is not functional at this time? Wonder if they closed that office?
    That office is closed. It could be a bad sign or it could just be a sign of the times. There isnt that much residential construction going on out this was so they might just be trimming the fat.
    11,872 Gallon IG Shotcrete play pool
    Blue Granite Pebble Sheen finish
    Hayward SwimClear c4025, Navigator & Tristar 1.75hp pump
    2' Powerfall

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: Arizona Pool Builders - Recommendations?

    Met with Presidential Pools tonight. Fairly impressed but we'll see what their design looks like and their first shot at a pricetag...
    RawhideKid
    Phoenix, AZ (Goodyear actually)
    Pool finally complete!!! IG, 40,635 gallons w/2080 gallon spa with 16 jets. Pool is 40x21 ft with 10 ft deep end; two baja steps
    Pentair Cartridge filter - 520 SQ. PebbleSheen interior. 2 Pentair VS pumps. Pentair Intellichlor SWG
    4 deck jets, 2 bubblers, fake rock grotto/waterfall with wet steps. 3 surrounding half-pergola's with misters in future
    Sunken covered ramada with cabinets, fridge, and wood fireplace. (soon to have big screen TV)
    Basically, 14 years of planning on how to survive this blistering AZ summer!!! WAHOOOOO!!!!!!

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Vail, AZ
    Posts
    10

    Re: Arizona Pool Builders - Recommendations?

    While I am down near Tucson, I ended up going with Presidential. They were 5-6K under everyone else, and gave a few upgrades the others weren't offering. In saying that, if they are one of your serious considerations, I can give you my thoughts on what I would do differently that wasn't really disclosed by presidential. One problem I might have caused though is I went to them with my list of desires/plans, and in some cases that's what they gave me, instead of letting them bring their own plan to the table. If I knew about this site prior to start of build, I would have been better informed.
    POOL:10350 gal, 29'X16' freeform IG, Blue Granite Pebble sheen, 30sqft waterfall, T-15 SWG, PV-3 cleaner, 2ea Pristine LED's, skimmer, aerator, no surface returns, Acylic deck, 8 HCAD's Heliocol solar, 425 Hayward cart filter, 2HP VS hayward pump, TF-100 test kit
    SPA: 2005 Jacuzzi model J385 550 Gallon, Bromine for now, love it but loads of problems!!

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: Arizona Pool Builders - Recommendations?

    EJ - happy to have any thoughts on Presidential. Send me PM if you'd like.

    This weekend we reduced the list of 5 to a list of 3, but still a ways to go. Changing a few design criteria and probably 95% happy with current design. Still imagine a few more changes but nothing tremendously major. Big decision to eliminate the in-floor pop up cleaner system. That will save a lot of dough...and with four kids, I'll put them to work keeping the pool cleaned.

    It's a bit of an apples to oranges comparison on the 3 current bids...but if I adjust as best as I can, it seems like the results are:

    1. Boulder Creek - cheapest. Smallest company at only 20 pool builds per year. This is the "cost plus" builder. So his bid could be high, or well, low. So this is a crapshoot. He verbally tells me that, in the end, he'll probably come in thousands cheaper than what he has provided, but can't guarantee it. I pay only the actual costs at each stage, and 20% more for his management/oversight costs. He has refused to tell me who his sub's are, while the two companies below have been much more open about who they work with. This is probably because he worries I'll just sub this out directly and manage it myself, so I don't blame him for not telling me. Yet I like to check the ROC's of the sub's as well. He said that any issues will go to him to manage, and his ROC is at risk - not his sub's. I suppose this is true....I'll put some thoughts in how to narrow this down...maybe ask for a "not to exceed" quote. (Best of both worlds?) His warranty is less than other two of course, and the chance of him being out of business compared to other two is higher of course. His ROC is clean; unknown rep. I will call references for all 3 companies.

    2. Presidential Pools - About $3k higher than #1. Better warranty but they charge $85 per visit for "fixes." Least supportive salesperson of the 3 and least imagination/creativity so far. No cost estimate on our sunken bar part so I need them to commit to that part. (I used the same cost that BC gave me to compare bids) I think they have only 8 year warranty on pebblesheen. Least cooperative on the fancy in-ground spa that we want. But ROC and rep is fairly solid.

    3. California Pools - I like them the best, but wow, they came in a solid 10k higher than Presidential, so 13k higher than BC. They have a fantastic warranty, including lifetime on pebblesheen. 3 year bumper to bumper with no visit charge. Pretty solid designer/salesperson (after I switched from two I didn't like). Solid ROC and reputation. They use Hayward rather than Pentair equipment but I can live with it. Is the warranty worth 13k? Tough to say. Probably not.

    Next steps: (am I missing anything?)
    1. Send revised requirements list tonight and changes such as no in-floor cleaning system.
    2. Ask for revised bids from each by next Friday. Call references this week and next.
    3. Review warranties and contracts very carefully and send clarifying questions by Wed.
    4. Ask CalPool for reduced price submission (try to get preferred company to reduce price) - by Feb. 1st.
    5. Make final decision by ~mid feb. Make final edits to design. Sign contract after careful review.
    6. Submit plans to HOA committee by mid feb (ugh!!!)
    7. Start dig by March 1.
    8. PARTY ~May 15? (2 1/2 month process)

    I can dream, can't I?????? (just don't let it be a nightmare...)

    RK

    (on separate note; very distracted today. Had to take our 14 year old dog to Vet to be put to sleep. RIP, Snicker. We'll miss you forever)
    RawhideKid
    Phoenix, AZ (Goodyear actually)
    Pool finally complete!!! IG, 40,635 gallons w/2080 gallon spa with 16 jets. Pool is 40x21 ft with 10 ft deep end; two baja steps
    Pentair Cartridge filter - 520 SQ. PebbleSheen interior. 2 Pentair VS pumps. Pentair Intellichlor SWG
    4 deck jets, 2 bubblers, fake rock grotto/waterfall with wet steps. 3 surrounding half-pergola's with misters in future
    Sunken covered ramada with cabinets, fridge, and wood fireplace. (soon to have big screen TV)
    Basically, 14 years of planning on how to survive this blistering AZ summer!!! WAHOOOOO!!!!!!

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: Arizona Pool Builders - Recommendations?

    Did a closer review of warranties....All cover the shell of the pool per ROC standards.

    1. BC: 2 year bumper to bumper.
    2. Presidential: 2 year bumper to bumper. 1 more year bumper to bumper but $85 trip charge. 5 year on pebblesheen. Some strange restrictions like no plants, trees, grass or even drip lines within 2 feet of deck or deck warranty is void. Crazy stipulation.
    3. California: 3 year bumper to bumper. Basically no restrictions (little to no fine print compared to Presidential). Lifetime on pebblesheen as well.

    Not sure what is normal on a new pool. Wonder what it costs to repair pebblesheen, or if it happens much. Not sure of the value here....
    RawhideKid
    Phoenix, AZ (Goodyear actually)
    Pool finally complete!!! IG, 40,635 gallons w/2080 gallon spa with 16 jets. Pool is 40x21 ft with 10 ft deep end; two baja steps
    Pentair Cartridge filter - 520 SQ. PebbleSheen interior. 2 Pentair VS pumps. Pentair Intellichlor SWG
    4 deck jets, 2 bubblers, fake rock grotto/waterfall with wet steps. 3 surrounding half-pergola's with misters in future
    Sunken covered ramada with cabinets, fridge, and wood fireplace. (soon to have big screen TV)
    Basically, 14 years of planning on how to survive this blistering AZ summer!!! WAHOOOOO!!!!!!

  13. Back To Top    #13
    Guest

    Re: Arizona Pool Builders - Recommendations?

    The PebbleSheen repair, if needed, would depend on the size/complexity of the patch. A small patch is usually not much, but if you get a spa bench that delaminates from having rebound in it, then the whole spa could need to be redone to match properly, for example.

    Do me (and yourself) a favor and get some clarification on what the "lifetime warranty" is they are offering. I've heard that on the rocks, but I doubt that they are saying that they will warrant the entire finish for a lifetime. I'd just like you to be clear as to what to expect, if you need something down the line. My opinion is that California Pools and PebbleTec are both excellent, stand up companies, but there is some clarity needed here.

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: Arizona Pool Builders - Recommendations?

    Here's a paste from their website. (http://calpool.com/for-current-owners/w ... tion.shtml) and on that same cite it has a link to download the full document. Looks pretty solid to me...
    Warranty Information - California Pools
    Years after your pool is finished, you’ll remember why you chose California Pools. We’re confident in our product, and that gives us the confidence to provide a hassle-free warranty on every pool we build. Our warranty is the strongest we know of in the industry and adds value to our pools. In fact, clients who have come to us with a problem provide some of our most enthusiastic referrals.

    Your warranty is printed on your purchase document. Here are some of the highlights of our warranty agreement.

    ◦Pool Shell & Rust Bleed-Through: Guaranteed For Life (transferable with fee)
    ◦Pebble Tec® Interior*: Guaranteed For Life
    ◦Artistic Stone*: ten years
    ◦All Underground Electrical, Plumbing, Gas*: three years
    ◦All Deck, Masonry, Rock*: three years
    ◦Plaster Interior Surface*: three years
    ◦Pool Equipment And Cleaning Systems*: three years
    *Original Owner


    Seems pretty clear, but happy to have your thoughts as always Bruce. Again, I'm not sure it is worth the ~10k add'l cost to go with Calpool. That seems like a lot, but I have zero experience with risk of the pebble tech (I'm getting sheen so I need to clarify it covers that as well) breaking down.....or the cost of the patching or "whole spa" re-sheening" that you mention above. Is that a $2000 job for a whole spa, or a $5,000 job for an 8x8 foot spa? If less than $2k, and odds are unlilkly that it'll happen, then perhaps better to take my chances than pay 10k more up front....where's an actuary when I need one????
    RK
    RawhideKid
    Phoenix, AZ (Goodyear actually)
    Pool finally complete!!! IG, 40,635 gallons w/2080 gallon spa with 16 jets. Pool is 40x21 ft with 10 ft deep end; two baja steps
    Pentair Cartridge filter - 520 SQ. PebbleSheen interior. 2 Pentair VS pumps. Pentair Intellichlor SWG
    4 deck jets, 2 bubblers, fake rock grotto/waterfall with wet steps. 3 surrounding half-pergola's with misters in future
    Sunken covered ramada with cabinets, fridge, and wood fireplace. (soon to have big screen TV)
    Basically, 14 years of planning on how to survive this blistering AZ summer!!! WAHOOOOO!!!!!!

  15. Back To Top    #15
    Guest

    Re: Arizona Pool Builders - Recommendations?

    I just saw a bid to redo a P-Tec spa that delam'ed, and it was about $2,600.00. The shotcrete let loose and the P-Tec came with it. The cost is to rebuilld the spa bench and redo the spa (they do not think a patch will match, so the whole spa needs to be redone).

    Knowing what I know, and if you go with CP, I would get some clarity on the warranty. Again, CP is a stand up company, and you will get a quality product if you go that route, but I have questions on what that lifetime warranty includes and what your responsibilities are to maintain it. Just trying to cover your back!!

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: Arizona Pool Builders - Recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by simicrintz
    ...Knowing what I know, and if you go with CP, I would get some clarity on the warranty. Again, CP is a stand up company, and you will get a quality product if you go that route, but I have questions on what that lifetime warranty includes and what your responsibilities are to maintain it. Just trying to cover your back!!
    My back is getting nervous. Just what do you know?

    I'll definitely ask for clarification - no matter who I go with. I'm big on clarity, with contracts, warranties, architectural designs, and most especially - pool water...
    RawhideKid
    Phoenix, AZ (Goodyear actually)
    Pool finally complete!!! IG, 40,635 gallons w/2080 gallon spa with 16 jets. Pool is 40x21 ft with 10 ft deep end; two baja steps
    Pentair Cartridge filter - 520 SQ. PebbleSheen interior. 2 Pentair VS pumps. Pentair Intellichlor SWG
    4 deck jets, 2 bubblers, fake rock grotto/waterfall with wet steps. 3 surrounding half-pergola's with misters in future
    Sunken covered ramada with cabinets, fridge, and wood fireplace. (soon to have big screen TV)
    Basically, 14 years of planning on how to survive this blistering AZ summer!!! WAHOOOOO!!!!!!

  17. Back To Top    #17
    Guest

    Re: Arizona Pool Builders - Recommendations?

    I know that they are a stand up company (I was once on a old job (13 years after the build) of theirs and the customer had a bench delaminating. I called the owner of CP and he told me he would pay for the repair, as he understood that the shotcrete was the culprit. He said that was covered under their structural warranty, so he was responsible. No argument.).

    I also know that nobody provide true "lifetime" warranties on anything Additionally, there are very specific milestones and notes that you need to provide (water chemistry regularly, for example. If it is you doing it, then they will want to know what makes you qualified) or the warranty is void. I know one company that provides lifetime structural warranties, but if you have an issue and call them on it, the first thing they will ask for is your soils report, which almost nobody has. Once you admit you don't have it, and they show you the area where you signed and stated that you had 91% compacted soil or greater, you are done.

    P-Tec is a great company, but I know they do not offer a lifetime warranty themselves. I've put a call in to my contact over there, and I will verify exactly what they do offer for you. I just don't want you to think that you are getting something that you may not be getting (I love P-Tec-even though I do some work for their competitor-and I use it on some of the pools I build, but I wouldn't offer you a lifetime warranty if the company wasn't going to back me up!). I'll post up what I learn when I hear back!

  18. Back To Top    #18
    Guest

    Re: Arizona Pool Builders - Recommendations?

    OK, I spoke to P-Tec earlier today, and here is what I learned. P-Tec provides the standard 5 year warranty on their product, which basically covers the stones. However, California Pools covers, and I was told at quite a bit of expense at times, the finish for the lifetime that you have the pool. They are so confident in their building practices and installation that they have stepped up to offer this to their customers.

    This is a nice peace of mind item to me, and I think speaks volumes about the company. I know that I have a small delam going in my spa now, and even being in the business and watching every step of construction, things like this happen. If I was a homeowner and knew that this was covered, I'd feel much better than having to spend a couple grand to have the work done. Something to consider going forward.

  19. Back To Top    #19
    Guest

    Re: Arizona Pool Builders - Recommendations?

    If you still haven't decided, and if I might throw a monkey wrench in the mix, I spoke to a buddy in AZ earlier today who works for a good outfit and would take care of you. I think he will provide the level of service you are looking for. PM me if you want the info.

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Arizona Pool Builders - Recommendations?

    Thanks Bruce. Just sent you PM. And thanks for the Pebble warranty info. Very helpful!
    RawhideKid
    Phoenix, AZ (Goodyear actually)
    Pool finally complete!!! IG, 40,635 gallons w/2080 gallon spa with 16 jets. Pool is 40x21 ft with 10 ft deep end; two baja steps
    Pentair Cartridge filter - 520 SQ. PebbleSheen interior. 2 Pentair VS pumps. Pentair Intellichlor SWG
    4 deck jets, 2 bubblers, fake rock grotto/waterfall with wet steps. 3 surrounding half-pergola's with misters in future
    Sunken covered ramada with cabinets, fridge, and wood fireplace. (soon to have big screen TV)
    Basically, 14 years of planning on how to survive this blistering AZ summer!!! WAHOOOOO!!!!!!

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