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Thread: Worried Im being taken by my pool builder

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    Worried Im being taken by my pool builder

    Hi all,
    We just broke ground 2 weeks ago with our pool. It is a freeform shotcrete 12,000 gallon pool with oversized spilloverspa, 6 jets, 6 foot sunshelf, pcc 2000, SWG, 1.5hp jandy pump, electric heater, spa remote, pebblesheen. This is our first pool so we dont really know much about building a pool. We did our homework and got 4 estimates and chose a company that was BBB a+, Angie's list top rated and the salesman just blew us away with knowledge. And.. that is where it stops. It took a month to get the permit and finally they broke ground the last week of May. There have been a series of mishaps since then, walls caving in after dig because they forgot to tell us to shut off the sprinklers, They finally shot the shotcrete last week but to me it looks terrible. It is very rough with large craters, the edges of the steps and sunshelf are crumbly, the vertical corners are crumbly and are not at all straight. There are very large cracks in the floor. I have brought it to the attention of the builder but they assure me that is how it is supposed to be. Here are some pictures of the shotcrete, maybe some experienced people here can tell me if this is normal or if Im being taken.
    [attachment=2:16eef4o1]photo 3.JPG[/attachment:16eef4o1]
    [attachment=1:16eef4o1]photo 2.JPG[/attachment:16eef4o1]
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: Worried Im being taken by my pool builder

    Having walls collapse before gunite is applied is common enough.

    That looks terrible. If anything is crumbling away, it is just straight up unacceptable. The entire pool should have been troweled smooth. There is an oval area on the right of your first photo that looks alright, most of the rest looks pretty bad. The uneven surface can be covered up when plaster is applied. But anything that is crumbling is going to cause serious problems.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Worried Im being taken by my pool builder

    That does not look right at all.
    15000 Salt Water, Hydrazzo plaster, all Jandy equipment. SWG, Polaris 280, booster pump, raised spa
    Houston, Texas -- It's a 105 in the shade.

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: Worried Im being taken by my pool builder

    I almost hate to write this, as it is not good.

    We just had ours done 3 weeks ago or so, and it does not look anything like that. Ours came out fairly smooth. Not plaster smooth, but definitely not as rough as what I saw in your pics.

    I'm no concrete guy, but it almost looks like they didn't use enough water to bond every thing together.....

    Good luck!
    IG ~12,500 gallon, Hayward Cartridge Filter, Wetedge Luna Quartz plaster (Pacific/Aruba), Pool Pump: 1.0 HP Tristar by Hayward, Waterfall Pump: 1.0 HP Super II by Hayward

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Flower Mound, TX

    Re: Worried Im being taken by my pool builder

    Until you hand over your final check, you still hold a great deal of influence over what your PB does and doesn't do. Stand firm.
    10K gallon IG gunite with waterfall; Pentair CC320P filter; WhisperFlo 2 HP pump
    TF Test Kits - Pool Math - Pool School
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  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Calera, Al

    Re: Worried Im being taken by my pool builder

    It appears to be a very poorly done job. Our pool was rough also, but not as rough as your shotcrete. As roughness can be ground down, but crumbling concrete base will surely effect the longevity of the plaster much less the structural integrity of the pool it self. It appears to be a rush job that they ran out of daylight and did not finish smoothing and troweling the concrete. IMHO
    17,000 gal, IG Gunite Diamond Brite plaster Kidneybean,w/7x11 tanning ledge& 3x5 swimout bench,244T 300lb Hayward Pro high rate sand filter(63 GPM) , Hayward 1Hp Super Pump w/3/4 hp booster pump, Polaris 280, Laars Lite 2 175k N/G Heater, Tf-100, Speed stir

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Houston, Texas

    Re: Worried Im being taken by my pool builder

    I would agree that the shotcrete doesn't look right, but I am no expert with pool construction. We have several members with experience in pool construction that can give you a more educated opinion. Hopefully one will be along tonight to weigh in. Until you hear otherwise, withhold further payment until you are satisfied.
    TFP Moderator
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  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Re: Worried Im being taken by my pool builder

    There is a difference in shotcrete and gunite.

    Gunite pools are typically very smooth, level and look great. Shotcrete can look very ridgid. They should not however, have cracks. They will have holes and look rough. I would take pictures as you've done, document your concern via. a simple letter (or email but keep the email) to the pool builder and see what he says. DO NOT take his word for it. I'm now in the pool business because my builder screwed me so bad I fired him and am finishing the pool myself. Thank God I have been studying pools for years before finally pulling the trigger. My build, after I fired my builder has been a joy. Anyway, good luck and if I could give you one piece of advice it would be relax.....but watch them closely and document.
    34 x 19 salt water free form. 7.5" inside diameter raised spa. 24" raised beam in back. 3 moss rock waterfalls off raised beam and moss rock waterfall out of the spa. (2) Intelliflo VF pumps, 420 Cartridge Filter, 400 BTU Pentair low nox heater. 2.5" suction and 2" returns throughout.

  9. Back To Top    #9
    nutjob's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011

    Re: Worried Im being taken by my pool builder

    My pool was also shotcrete and had a rather rough appearance:

    See also:

    But the finished product seems OK (see the full gallery), though admittedly I'm knocking on wood—now.
    I laugh—to disguise the tears.
    Size 15,000 gal 510′² | Filtration DE 48′² | Sanitation SWG+O₃ | Placement in-ground (IG) | Finish pebble
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