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Thread: New Pool San Antonio, TX - Proposal Review

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    New Pool San Antonio, TX - Proposal Review

    Hello everybody, great to be part of this forum.
    We recently got our first bid proposal and I wanted to present it to the experts here for review and recommendations. We are waiting for one other proposal, but we are extremely impressed with this builders presentation. Our budget was 50k:

    32'x18'x11' custom freeform gunite, 374 sq ft not including spa
    Appx 12,000 gal
    87' perimeter incl spa
    3' - 6' depth
    baha shelf (last minute change, no sq ft yet)
    five 12" flagstone scupper falls on 18" raised wall with separate pump
    beam faced and capped with flagstone
    extra rock pre-grading as needed
    drainage PVC sleeves under decking where needed w/ irrigation access

    #4 steel bar throughout, 9" center
    #4 steel bar bond beam at least 3" from soil
    all cross sections tied
    7-sack dry gunite mix to meet local & state coddes
    floors min 9" thick
    walls 6' to 9" thick at top and 12" deep at back
    tapered 45 deg to pool wall section
    Gemstone plaster at least 1/4" thick
    6x6 frost proof tile waterline
    overflow line included
    Automatic Pour A Lid fill line

    1 Pentair 4-speed Intelliflow for pool and spa
    1 Rainbow 320
    Borate Pool Harmonizer
    1 Pentair 60 sq ft Quad DE filter
    2 Pentair 500W w/ 4 color caps
    1 Pentair Kreepy Krauley with separate 3/4hp booster pump
    2 deep end main drains
    6 adjustable returns incl vac return jet
    2 Bermuda surface skimmers
    Sched 40 2" rigid only throughout
    start up chems
    Accessories; 18" curved nyl brush, leaf skimmer, tele pole, test kit, 40' vacuum hose, vac head, thermometer, 50' backwash hose, Borate test strips

    29 sq. custom gunite spa (6' dia)
    Compool wired 4 button spa-side control
    raised 18" above pool w/ exposed wall faced and capped with flagstone
    3' flagstone multi-tiered spillway
    1hp blower
    400,000 BTU Master temp Heater, incl connection to meter
    2 main drains in spa
    1 Pentair 100W w/ niche and 2 color caps
    Sched 40 2"
    air line and water line looped for max water and air pressure
    insulated suction and return lines
    6 Waterway Massaging jets with 2.5" upgraded suction

    325 sq ft sundek spray decking
    248 sq ft existing pation to be topped with Sundek Monterey Texture
    2"-4" PVC drain sleeves and drains under walk/deck where necessary
    2"-4" PVC drain sleeves in planters
    35' Decco Drain where existing patio and house meet pool deck
    access pipes for irrigation incl
    concrete pad for equip

    pentair Easy-Touch 8 function wireless
    Compool wired 4-button sap-side control

    PB purchases all necessary permits (city, county)
    PB pays all taxes on supplies and equipment
    PB and subs $1,000,00 liability

    $56,360

    price includes any and all rock excavation

    Lifetime structural
    3 yr pentair

    Payment sched: 10% down, 40% at excavation, 45% at gunite, 5% plaster


    So, the one thing I noticed right off the bat is there is no pump listed in the equipment specs for the flagstone scupper falls (but there is a Whisperflow brochure in the proposal packet)

    The other thing is I really wanted the Intellibrite LEDs

    I have done a ton of research and viewed several pools this company has done. I am very impressed so far. If this would have come in at or under my budget, i would have signed right there.
    I will figure out how to post an image of the design asap.

    Meanwhile I appreciate ANY comments & thanks in advance.
    12K Gal IG, Gemstone pebble, Intelliflow VF, Whisperflow, Quad 60 DE, Easy Touch 8, Intellibrites, Platinum Legend.

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    Re: New Pool San Antonio, TX - Proposal Review

    Satx66, that sounds like one fabulous pool and all the details of the build are above my pay grade. I will also admit I have never had a complete pool built by one pool builder so I dont know what the typical draw schedule looks like.

    That said I have a ton of experience with contractors and subcontractors and any contract that has only 5% of the money as a final payment makes me very nervous. And if you read carefully if just states plaster and not even completion. Suppose things get out of sequence and he plasters the pool before he pours the deck? Technically you would owe final payment before the job is completed. In my experience when they draw too much too early that is when things start going bad. Human nature is to go where the most money is. If your job has 5% comming and someone else is due a 40% draw soon they tend to focus on the big money and not the little. I'm not saying they don't come plaster, I'm just saying they tend to grab this 40% this week and yours next week, or the next or whatever. Heaven forbid, if something goes wrong and you need a lawyer, the first thing he will say is why did you agree to a small final payment. In this part of the country In a post Katrina environment contractors with no operating capital became an epidemic.

    I'm not trying to make you nervous, this guy might be the best contractor in the world, i'm just a cover your ***** kind of guy. All things are negotiable and you may be able to alter the draw schedule. And I would certainly want the last draw to be on completion.

    The last thing is insurance. It may be different in state, as I live in Louisiana and when you here valid in 49 states we are the other 1. But what about workers comp? Here you would need it. If one of his emplyees or subs gets hurt and he doesn't have it, it may be a problem for you. And always have the insurance company fax you proof of insurance before you sign the contract. Don't just let the contractor give you a a copy or say "I renewed it, I just don't have a copy of the current proof." A good contractor who has all the proper insurance will be quick to prove it. If he is insulted you don't trust him that is a red flag.

    Again I am not trying to be an alarmist I'm just saying a little prep now can help you sleep a lot better later.
    10,800 gallons Gunite/Plaster
    Hayward 244t 24" Sand Filter with Zeo
    1 1/2 HP Challenger
    Digital Pool Pilot DIG-220 SC-48
    Located in NOLA

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    Re: New Pool San Antonio, TX - Proposal Review

    great advice! thanks
    12K Gal IG, Gemstone pebble, Intelliflow VF, Whisperflow, Quad 60 DE, Easy Touch 8, Intellibrites, Platinum Legend.

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    Re: New Pool San Antonio, TX - Proposal Review

    i wouldn't be comfortable paying the builder 95% of the total after gunite is finished. there's a lot of stuff left to do after gunite. if he up and left after gunite you'd be screwed imo.

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    Re: New Pool San Antonio, TX - Proposal Review

    Quote Originally Posted by brg88tx
    i wouldn't be comfortable paying the builder 95% of the total after gunite is finished. there's a lot of stuff left to do after gunite. if he up and left after gunite you'd be screwed imo.
    That's my point. He has no insentive to finish the job, and especially not in a timely manner. I like to keep 'em hungry. I want to owe him enough that he is bugging me to finish. And whatever you do, if he only has a screw to put in a light fixture don't give him the final draw. If you have luck like mine it turns out the screw is not in because the threads in the light are stripped and somebody threw it away because he was to lazy to fix it and you'll be paying someone else to tap it. It also gives you more time to find undiscovered defects.
    10,800 gallons Gunite/Plaster
    Hayward 244t 24" Sand Filter with Zeo
    1 1/2 HP Challenger
    Digital Pool Pilot DIG-220 SC-48
    Located in NOLA

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool San Antonio, TX - Proposal Review

    Sorry I can't help satx but wanted to say welcome to the forum.

    My best friends live out near La Vernia, and Im down that way fairly often.
    TFP Moderator
    Essential Links:
    ABC's Of Pool Chemistry, Test Kits, SLAM Your Pool
    28K Gal IG FreeForm, CLI Quartz, Pentair 36"SF & VS Pump, Dolphin M5, Rheem

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    Re: New Pool San Antonio, TX - Proposal Review

    i am almost finished, my pool was $33,250...here was our pay schedule:
    no down payment
    $10,000 after excavation
    $11,000 after gunite
    $9,750 after decking
    $2,500 after punch out list

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    Re: New Pool San Antonio, TX - Proposal Review

    Quote Originally Posted by brg88tx
    i am almost finished, my pool was $33,250...here was our pay schedule:
    no down payment
    $10,000 after excavation
    $11,000 after gunite
    $9,750 after decking
    $2,500 after punch out list
    That sounds much more reasonable. You have pay what maybe < 2/3 when satx' first bidder will have drawn 95%. Some negotiating is in order if this bidder is the builder of choice.
    10,800 gallons Gunite/Plaster
    Hayward 244t 24" Sand Filter with Zeo
    1 1/2 HP Challenger
    Digital Pool Pilot DIG-220 SC-48
    Located in NOLA

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    Re: New Pool San Antonio, TX - Proposal Review

    X2 on the different payment schedule, with larger draws later and smaller payments earlier. You also want, as was suggested before, to make sure the payments are at specific intervals. Such as, excivation, gunite, equipment install, plaster, decking, final punch list. I made my last payment about two weeks after our pool had been running baceuse the pb was to maintain the chemicals during the start up.
    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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    Re: New Pool San Antonio, TX - Proposal Review

    I definitely have that down as something to take back to the table. I was supposed to get the other bid today...I'll have to follow up tomorrow (Strike 1). But I definitely want to have another proposal (and better draw sched hopefully) before I go back in.

    It's interesting between the two PB's, the first ignores your budget and lists all top-of-the-line specs and the second told me they would come in lower than I expect and I get to upgrade myself into over budget...LMAO
    PB1 - pentair & gemstone
    PB2 - hayward & plaster w/ upgrade into Jandy & PebbleTec
    Both have very good reputations though...
    Thanks for the fedback so far!
    12K Gal IG, Gemstone pebble, Intelliflow VF, Whisperflow, Quad 60 DE, Easy Touch 8, Intellibrites, Platinum Legend.

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    Re: New Pool San Antonio, TX - Proposal Review

    Is a 6' spa too small? I laid it out in the yard with electrical cord and it seems impossibly small...
    12K Gal IG, Gemstone pebble, Intelliflow VF, Whisperflow, Quad 60 DE, Easy Touch 8, Intellibrites, Platinum Legend.

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    Re: New Pool San Antonio, TX - Proposal Review

    satx66, I am starting the process in San Antonio aswell and have talked to 2 PB's so far. would be interested to know who you got your bids with. I am getting bids from Gary's Pools (Set up by my new home builders) and Reynalds pools that was suggested by a friend. Any input would be helpful.
    24' Round,Vinyl, 13500 gal AG/Haywood 200S Filter/not sure of size or flow rate/TF100 Test Kit

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    Re: New Pool San Antonio, TX - Proposal Review

    We're looking at Pool Concepts and Keith Zars Pools....Gary Pools is owned by Keith Zars' father and I have heard good things about them. Have not heard of the other PB... I was planning on contacting several others, including Gary Pools....But my next door neighbor has a 15 year-old Zars (still going strong and looking great) and then some friends down the street used Pool Concepts and were blown away by the quality...their pool is stunning.
    12K Gal IG, Gemstone pebble, Intelliflow VF, Whisperflow, Quad 60 DE, Easy Touch 8, Intellibrites, Platinum Legend.

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    coog61's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool San Antonio, TX - Proposal Review

    Sounds great. My only comment is I too would have liked the LED lights. We also have the colored caps, but they have never stayed on. Either were bumped by the pool cleaner or just came off after a short time. So now, unless swimming at night, don't put the lights on. Instead "invested" in professional landscaping lighting.
    Good Luck.
    17,500 Gallon, SWG 33' x 21' freeform w/ Sunstone Cobalt Plaster. Attached 6 X 6 Spa raised 12" w/ 6 Jets with Moss Rock Spillover. 25' Moss Rock Waterfall. Pentair Intelliflo VS-3050 for Pool, 2 HP Whisperflo for Waterfall, Pentair Clean & Clear Cartridge 320, Pentair 400K BTU Max-E-Therm heater, Pentair Intellichor, Pentair EasyTouch 4P, Pentair Legend Platinum Cleaner w/ 3/4 hp pump, autofill system, nat gas fire pit. BBB convert

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/new-tx-pool-t17907.html

  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Re: New Pool San Antonio, TX - Proposal Review

    I am definitely doing the LEds....Just working on how I'm gonna cut something out to get them in... PB has been very receptive to my budget concerns so far...
    12K Gal IG, Gemstone pebble, Intelliflow VF, Whisperflow, Quad 60 DE, Easy Touch 8, Intellibrites, Platinum Legend.

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Re: New Pool San Antonio, TX - Proposal Review

    Received proposal from PB#2 today...
    Freeform 17' X 29, 13,700 gal, flagstone coping
    700 sq ft decking, rainbow pebble
    7' spa, 8 jets, 18" elevated flagstone, venturi instead of blower
    all Jandy
    PebbleSheen
    Hayward controller
    2 Hayward LEDs pool, 1 spa
    Polaris 3900

    $64,200
    Same [unfavorable] draw schedule as PB#1 - 10%, 65%, 20%, 5%

    Positives:
    incredible design center w/ design coordinator
    Brass skimmer lids, huge baskets with deep net type of basket thing - impressive (prefilter)
    PebbleSheen is very nice texture
    No subs except elec and gas, PB owns all
    Polaris
    very nice welded steel & painted equipment rack w/ light (our controller etc will have to be mounted away from the home)

    Negatives:
    $10G more than PB#1 (!)
    no baha shelf
    no spa blower
    no auto-fill
    2" instead of 2.5# spa suction
    Bit of a 'cocky' attitude...."We're the best in town....we do all the Spurs' players pools, we don't 'talk' on price", etc..
    no 18" raised beam wall with scuppers
    If I downgrade equipment to save money, I get Hayward equipment and am not eligible for the Lifetime warranty plan @ $844 per year (see below)

    Unknowns:
    Warranty - Lifetime structural, 3 year equipment, $844 per year (after first) for 3 preventative maint. visits per year, all pool equipment covered except for damage due to electrical outage (beyond mfr's warranty).

    I was hoping PB#2 would be closer in cost because they do indeed have a very good reputation. Leaning toward PB#1 at this point.
    12K Gal IG, Gemstone pebble, Intelliflow VF, Whisperflow, Quad 60 DE, Easy Touch 8, Intellibrites, Platinum Legend.

  17. Back To Top    #17
    Lershac's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool San Antonio, TX - Proposal Review

    You gotta get a better draw schedule there. IMO thats just unaceptable. Keep at least 20% until its swimmable, and a 10% holdback for punch list.
    (DIY):16K Gal 20X30 rectangular IG Gunite, w/spa, CCP 520 filter,2 Pentair VS pumps, 400KBTU Pentair gas heater, Heat Pump for cooling, **update5.25.2013** added an intellichem with acid pump that will control existing SWG. My Build Thread Here

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    Re: New Pool San Antonio, TX - Proposal Review

    I talk to the PB that I first mentioned in earlier post and they said thier draw is 5% @ ex, 70% completion of Gunite, 15% comp decking and tile, 10% after comp of pool school. The 70% at once is steep but was wondering if it was un heard of. they priced a pool that is roughly at 39K for us. That had all the upgraded equip for a 420 sf freeform 3,5,4 depth 81 sf perimeter with salt rock concrete decking (300 sf), baha platform, small waterfall,volleyball net and a swim out. This was a verbal est during a first sit down. Thoughts
    24' Round,Vinyl, 13500 gal AG/Haywood 200S Filter/not sure of size or flow rate/TF100 Test Kit

  19. Back To Top    #19
    Lershac's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool San Antonio, TX - Proposal Review

    Ask him to split the 70 between gunite and plaster 45, 25, thats his heavy hitter expenses.
    (DIY):16K Gal 20X30 rectangular IG Gunite, w/spa, CCP 520 filter,2 Pentair VS pumps, 400KBTU Pentair gas heater, Heat Pump for cooling, **update5.25.2013** added an intellichem with acid pump that will control existing SWG. My Build Thread Here

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: New Pool San Antonio, TX - Proposal Review

    His draw schedule is typical of the pool builders who bid my pool in Houston last year. Basically, the builders try to get almost all of your money before the pool is finished and before they even get the invoices from their subs.

    I ended up agreeing to a similar draw schedule and the builder used my money to finish someone elses pool and when he ran out of new jobs he didn't have the money to finish my pool. After giving him about 3 months to finish the pool I fired him and finished the pool myself (which went very well--you'd be amazed at how easy it is to find subs in this economy), but my damages were about $10k.

    The lesson is to never let your PB get behind in what you've paid him vs. the work performed on the pool. He'll try to tell you that he's out of pocket and he needs to be paid up front, but everyone of my subs gave me credit without even asking--they just sent me an invoice after the job was done.

    If you have to agree on his draw schedule (or something like it) insist on seeing evidence of the construction account he is required to establish under the Texas Property Code section 162.006 (assuming the pool is being built on your homestead). The funds are trust funds under Texas law and there are fairly serious consequences if he misapplies the funds. See Texas Property Code section 162.032.
    9,200 gal. Gunite Luna Quartz French Grey pool with spill over spa, two fountains on tanning ledge (rarely used)
    Pentair Whisperflo 2HP, Pentair CCP Cartridge 420 Sq. Ft., Polaris 280 with booster pump
    Pentair EasyTouch 4, RayPak LoNox 266k Natural Gas heater, Aqua Rite SWCG T Cell 9, Borates, TF-100 test kit

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