Last year my wife and I built our dream home south of Houston (Manvel) and this year we're putting a pool. It will be the first for either of us. I've visited friends and family in the area with pools, gotten recommendations on builders to talk to, and spent a number of days going through these forums.
I'm glad to see that the Houston area appears to be well represented and I've already found some good info in some of the area specific threads.
I'm curious if anyone has a good bid tab spreadsheet setup to evaluate the different bids we'll be looking at? I've read through a lot of the pool school topics and the one thing I'd like some more pointers on is comparing the different bids. We've got general ideas of what we want the pool to have (raised oversized hot tub, rock waterfall with slide, SWCG, multi-color LED pool lighting, etc) and a pretty good idea of the overall shape, location, and decking area. So, I expect the bids to be similar in that regard. But, I know they each will have differences in the "back end" equipment that makes it all run and that's what I'm going to need to dig into during the evaluation.
We had our first builder come out on Saturday (he's actually a member of our church) and he spent a good hour and half with us. He uses Pentair equipment and gave us brochures. I've been reading up on their site and seeing here on the forum that they make good stuff and offer an extended warranty for a system that uses at least three pieces of their hardware. I must confess, being a geek, the easytouch control with the screenlogic PC and Ipad/Iphone control catches my attention.
We've got meetings with other builders tomorrow and Wednesday and I expect next week some time I'll have the proposals to consider. We want to get moving so we can have the pool for this spring/summer. We finally sold our old house, so the cash from that sale is going into getting the new pool.
So, that's we're I'm at now. Looking forward to being able to post pictures in the "Under Construction" section in the near future.