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Thread: Please comment on my estimate...seems unreasonably high

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    Please comment on my estimate...seems unreasonably high

    Just got an estimate from a reputable pool builder in southern Louisiana. I nearly passed out. Seems off-the-charts high. Give me your thoughts:
    Overall
    A 20' x 40' shotcrete (not gunite) rectangle pool 3 1/2' to 9', a bench along one 40' edge and tanning ledge adjacent to a 7' x 6' spa. Spa is raised 18" and spills into pool. 850' (@$10.6/ft) of Sundek with integrated 3" drainage, brick border and coping. He's included 2 skimmers, 6 returns and a pair of main drains in the pool. In the spa there will be 7 jets fed from one of the two blowers while the other bubbles from the floor. Pair of main drains included.

    His quote includes "light grey" plaster but he said he'd upgrade to Diamond Brite for $2,000.

    Note that I've already got a 240v, 60A box available at the pool equipment site. All equipment will be located about 15' from the pool.

    Equipment
    Pentair InelliFlo 3HP variable speed pump for pool and spa
    Pentair Clean and Clear Plus 420ft^2 cartridge filter
    Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3 with the Mobile Touch wireless control
    Pentair Legend cleaner and booster pump
    Pentair MasterTemp 400K BTU natural gas heater
    Pentair Rainbow chlorinator
    Pentair IntelliBrite colored LED lights - 2 in the pool, 1 in the spa
    Zodiac Nature 2 mineral sanitizer
    Auto Leveler - in the estimate but no model indicated
    Blower - nothing specified other than a quantity of 2

    Not Included:
    Plumbing from gas meter to heater (~60' @ $20/ft), fencing, landscaping

    He's comes recommended, has been in business for 25+ years and seems to have specified top-end equipment. Does $71,200 seem a little high for this or is he in the ballpark? I could save $4,400 if I reduce the size to 18x36.

    This is in an upscale subdivision and I suspect there's some profit-padding going on. Is there a way to smoke that out?

    Do you see any omissions or anything that looks off-kilter? I'm lukewarm on the Nature2. Any feedback on that?
    IG,15k, Pentair Variable speed pump, Hayward C17502 Star-Clear Plus 175-Square-Foot Cartridge Filter, Rainbow c320, plaster, British-Texan!

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
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    Houston, Texas
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    Re: Please comment on my estimate...seems unreasonably high

    I can't comment on the pricing, but I would skip the chlorinater and the nature2 and go with a saltwater chlorine generator.
    TFP Moderator
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    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Silver Spring, MD
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    Re: Please comment on my estimate...seems unreasonably high

    Welcome to TFP!

    Yes, that seems high, though not off the charts high. I am not familiar with the details of pricing in your area, but in most of the country that price would only be reasonable if it also included a lot of natural stone work.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Please comment on my estimate...seems unreasonably high

    Quote Originally Posted by txx3ddq442
    Just got an estimate from a reputable pool builder in southern Louisiana. I nearly passed out. Seems off-the-charts high. Give me your thoughts:
    Overall
    A 20' x 40' shotcrete (not gunite) rectangle pool 3 1/2' to 9', a bench along one 40' edge and tanning ledge adjacent to a 7' x 6' spa. Spa is raised 18" and spills into pool. 850' (@$10.6/ft) of Sundek with integrated 3" drainage, brick border and coping. He's included 2 skimmers, 6 returns and a pair of main drains in the pool. In the spa there will be 7 jets fed from one of the two blowers while the other bubbles from the floor. Pair of main drains included.

    His quote includes "light grey" plaster but he said he'd upgrade to Diamond Brite for $2,000.

    Note that I've already got a 240v, 60A box available at the pool equipment site. All equipment will be located about 15' from the pool.

    Equipment
    Pentair InelliFlo 3HP variable speed pump for pool and spa
    Pentair Clean and Clear Plus 420ft^2 cartridge filter
    Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3 with the Mobile Touch wireless control
    Pentair Legend cleaner and booster pump
    Pentair MasterTemp 400K BTU natural gas heater
    Pentair Rainbow chlorinator
    Pentair IntelliBrite colored LED lights - 2 in the pool, 1 in the spa
    Zodiac Nature 2 mineral sanitizer
    Auto Leveler - in the estimate but no model indicated
    Blower - nothing specified other than a quantity of 2

    Not Included:
    Plumbing from gas meter to heater (~60' @ $20/ft), fencing, landscaping

    He's comes recommended, has been in business for 25+ years and seems to have specified top-end equipment. Does $71,200 seem a little high for this or is he in the ballpark? I could save $4,400 if I reduce the size to 18x36.

    This is in an upscale subdivision and I suspect there's some profit-padding going on. Is there a way to smoke that out?

    Do you see any omissions or anything that looks off-kilter? I'm lukewarm on the Nature2. Any feedback on that?
    Seems like it could be about 15K too high.

    Im not in your area but my pool build was 17X34, only 4'-5' deep, only one pump and was 63K. You can search for austin, tx pool build for the exact specs.

    Does the filter need to be bigger? Mine is a hayward 525 sq ft filter.

    I had leuders limestone (natural stone coping) 2 8 footx3foot planters, stairs to the house, 525 sq ft of paver decking, 225 sq ft poured concrete decking and a 225 sq patio cover with metal roof and tongue and groove in the ceiling.

    We also dug through solid limestone the whole way.

    After talking to the subs I figured the PB was getting about a 50% gross margin on each of the subcontractors. I thought I had these written down but cant find them

    dig - 500/day if it is just dirt in my case it took 6 days to dig so maybe 2000-3000
    steel for framing - 1 day, <1000-2000
    gunite - around 300/truck less than 7 trucks + crew of 3 for a day - 3000
    Stone - 300/pallet - 8 pallets + 5 days of 5 people labor to cut it and lay it (coping and face of pool) (3500 in total)
    concrete decking - forget, probably like $500 in materials and labor
    planters - 500 each
    plumbing 1K ish
    equipment 3500 + .5 day to setup
    patio cover - prob about 3500 in labor and materials.
    polished black river rock between pavers - 150 ton, probably 1500 total
    plaster - ?? dont know didnt ask the crew
    17,800 gallon, IG pool, 595 sq feet (17x35x4.5 avg rectangle), Hayward 525 cartridge filter, diamondbrite, 2 hp 2 speed hayward tristar filter, Stenner 45mhp10 automatically chlorinating

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    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Cypress, TX
    Posts
    130

    Re: Please comment on my estimate...seems unreasonably high

    I agree, a little high but not off the charts. The only way to check would be to get a few more bids on similar spec'd pools. Our first round of bids ranged from 60K to 110K. Once we found a design we liked and we got the builders to use that as a basis for their new design, the bids generally were within 5-10k of each other.
    23x40 freeform w/spa, 28,000 gal. PCC-2000 in-floor cleaning. Pebble Sheen w/flagstone coping. 14' weeping wall, (2) 18" sheer descents. Sta Rite- cart 400 sqft. filter, Intellipro VS pump, 1hp (cleaning)2hp (water feature)Max E Pro's. Easy Touch 8 function w/IPod. Rainbow chlorinator, Paramount Clear O3 (I know, I know), Max-E-Therm 400K heater.

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    5

    Re: Please comment on my estimate...seems unreasonably high

    Your pool is extremely similar to ours that was just completed in the Houston area. We are 18x37, 3 1/2 to 8 feet deep, flagstone coping, 8 foot spa 12" raised, with very similar equipment (Jandy). Also have a control system, but is Jandy not Intellitouch so ours is lower. We worked with three builders originally and had bids ranging from $55k to $60k. Wound up contracting for $51k and didn't have any additional cost during the build. Louisiana and Texas would seem simliar markets, so I would get multiple estimates and exert pricing pressure on your desired builder. Good luck!

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