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Thread: A Complete IG Pool Build in 17days?

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    pragmatic's Avatar
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    A Complete IG Pool Build in 17days?

    Not trying to bash PB’s here as it appears many do a fine job! I just wanted to share information I learned during my recent build (Houston, TX area).
    Before construction, our PB estimated completion in 3-weeks ”max”! I doubted him and even said I’d prefer a realistic estimate. He then gave us reasons behind the typical 2-3 month construction jobs. The valid one’s are of course rain & inspections/city code; in his experience, Houston/Harris County (TX) being the worst. But the excuses involving lack of sub-labor or no-shows are the most surprising. He said in most all cases it’s related to the builders being financially over extended. At the time it didn’t strike me as too important. But, he explained dealing with various sub-contractors is very simple; find the “good one’s” and have 2 back-ups, treat them with respect, inspect the work on a daily basis and most important-“pay them honest” in cash after satisfactory completion "every day".
    Being bilingual helped me in many discussions with the subs (confirmed my instructions/design). I even asked their opinion on small changes and details; these were important changes (related to long-term structural soundness- waterfall construction, decking tie-in to our existing patio, coping & tile placement). But what amazed me the most was the contractor’s willingness to share the stories and bad practices of the major pool builders (most of the ones I was familiar with and interviewed). These skills / contractors have been in the business a long time, some 20+years. They know the owners, sales-guys, city- inspectors and company profit margins (sometimes even their wives/girlfriends with all their antics). It was amusing to hear them parrot some of the sales guy’s promises and quotes and how behind the scenes the company foremen instructed them to do otherwise.
    Anyway, I realize there are two-sides to every story and I admit a bit of luck in my pool construction, but I was fascinated how quickly and wide spread the dirty details of a Pool Company migrate through the sub-contractor network. It’s not always the case but I feel using a small/medium PB with a main-group of contractors (not necessarily on the pay-roll) can eliminate some of the headaches. It’s definitely something to consider in a PB interview.
    Dave My Pool Build, ODK Build
    22’X42’ Gunite Freeform 23K Gal, 10’X12’ Spa
    Diamond-Brite midnight blue, 1800sq. ft Kool Deck
    Pentair Easy-Touch 8, 2-2hp Pentair, 500lb Sand Filter, 400K btu Pentair heater

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: A Complete IG Pool Build in 17days?

    It sounds like you found a great builder!

    Completion time varies a great deal depending on availability of subs. In the current slow economic climate it isn't all that hard to line up subs who are reliable and will show up when you want them to show up. But when the economy is hot and everyone is building a pool, the good subs find themselves in very high demand and schedules start to slip. That is when you find out how much the subs really respect the builder.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    CUTiger78's Avatar
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    Re: A Complete IG Pool Build in 17days?

    17 days is miraculous! Did that include the patio around the pool & the fireplace?

    I couldn't even get a reno done in 17 days. Then, there was the law suit....

    Cheers!
    36K gallon 42X22 gunite/plaster kidney-shaped IG;
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    pragmatic's Avatar
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    Re: A Complete IG Pool Build in 17days?

    Quote Originally Posted by CUTiger78
    17 days is miraculous! Did that include the patio around the pool & the fireplace?

    I couldn't even get a reno done in 17 days. Then, there was the law suit....

    Cheers!
    Yes sir! ..with 12-15 cylindrical footers 4ft deep under the fireplace deck area (15K lb slab). But the fireplace was not constructed, it was a pre-built modular unit and delivered (only 1/2 day) and did not include landscaping; myself, the wife and son did that part. I can imagine a lawsuit is scary!!
    Dave My Pool Build, ODK Build
    22’X42’ Gunite Freeform 23K Gal, 10’X12’ Spa
    Diamond-Brite midnight blue, 1800sq. ft Kool Deck
    Pentair Easy-Touch 8, 2-2hp Pentair, 500lb Sand Filter, 400K btu Pentair heater

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    Re: A Complete IG Pool Build in 17days?

    My PB quit my job when he ran out of money and I had to finish the pool myself. He dug the hole, stub plumbed it, ran electricity to the equipment slab, shot the gunite, and did the coping and waterline tile and then quit. All of that work took 4-5 days of people actually working on the job. I later removed the tile and coping (my wife decided she didn't like it) in one day and had it replaced the next day. It took a half day for a plumber to install the equipment and the electrician took a half day to finish the electrical work. The plaster took a half day to prepare the pool and about six hours on the next day to apply the plaster.

    Unless you need a period of time for the gunite to cure you could easily finish a pool in two weeks if you had the subs lined up.
    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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    ComputerGuyInNOLA's Avatar
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    Re: A Complete IG Pool Build in 17days?

    Ours was built in less than thirty days and that included a visit from Hurricane Isaac!
    Gunite/Plaster pool at 13k gallons. All Jandy with CL340 series cartridge filter, 1.5 HP Jandy Stealth pump. Jandy 1400 SWCG and PDA4 controller. Dual waterfalls. Polaris 280. Pool installed August 2012. Southern Louisiana. And lets not forget my trusty TF100 test kit!

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    pragmatic's Avatar
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    Re: A Complete IG Pool Build in 17days?

    Quote Originally Posted by HouTex
    My PB quit my job when he ran out of money and I had to finish the pool myself. He dug the hole, stub plumbed it, ran electricity to the equipment slab, shot the gunite, and did the coping and waterline tile and then quit. All of that work took 4-5 days of people actually working on the job. I later removed the tile and coping (my wife decided she didn't like it) in one day and had it replaced the next day. It took a half day for a plumber to install the equipment and the electrician took a half day to finish the electrical work. The plaster took a half day to prepare the pool and about six hours on the next day to apply the plaster.

    Unless you need a period of time for the gunite to cure you could easily finish a pool in two weeks if you had the subs lined up.
    That was by far my worst fear in using a smaller company (more like a GC), but he proved himself early on and we quickly became friends! Sounds like you knocked it out quick. I'll bet the thought of going into business as PB crossed your mind?
    Quote Originally Posted by ComputerGuyInNOLA
    Ours was built in less than thirty days and that included a visit from Hurricane Isaac!
    Amazing how quickly things come together. What stage of the build did the rain hit you? I was concerned with rain hearing all the stories of pools floating.
    Dave My Pool Build, ODK Build
    22’X42’ Gunite Freeform 23K Gal, 10’X12’ Spa
    Diamond-Brite midnight blue, 1800sq. ft Kool Deck
    Pentair Easy-Touch 8, 2-2hp Pentair, 500lb Sand Filter, 400K btu Pentair heater

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    Re: A Complete IG Pool Build in 17days?

    The bros here do dig to swim in 1 week, yes 1 week.

    One of their quotes "We dig Monday, you swim Sunday!"

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    Re: A Complete IG Pool Build in 17days?

    Quote Originally Posted by pragmatic
    Quote Originally Posted by HouTex
    My PB quit my job when he ran out of money and I had to finish the pool myself. He dug the hole, stub plumbed it, ran electricity to the equipment slab, shot the gunite, and did the coping and waterline tile and then quit. All of that work took 4-5 days of people actually working on the job. I later removed the tile and coping (my wife decided she didn't like it) in one day and had it replaced the next day. It took a half day for a plumber to install the equipment and the electrician took a half day to finish the electrical work. The plaster took a half day to prepare the pool and about six hours on the next day to apply the plaster.

    Unless you need a period of time for the gunite to cure you could easily finish a pool in two weeks if you had the subs lined up.
    That was by far my worst fear in using a smaller company (more like a GC), but he proved himself early on and we quickly became friends! Sounds like you knocked it out quick. I'll bet the thought of going into business as PB crossed your mind?
    Quote Originally Posted by ComputerGuyInNOLA
    Ours was built in less than thirty days and that included a visit from Hurricane Isaac!
    Amazing how quickly things come together. What stage of the build did the rain hit you? I was concerned with rain hearing all the stories of pools floating.
    Actually, it wasn't quick. He got through the gunite stage pretty quickly because our contract was front loaded (my mistake) then he ran out of money and I bugged him for about three months to finish the job. After one lie after another it was clear he used my money to finish another job and he didn't have another one lined up to finish my pool. I fired him and finished it myself and it went very quickly after that. This happened in mid to late 2010 and the economy here was still recoverying from the financial crisis so it was easy to find subs who could come out on a couple of days notice. Our economy is booming again so it may not be that easy now.
    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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    Re: A Complete IG Pool Build in 17days?

    Anybody heard of concrete cure time.
    It is never wise to build a project that fast.

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    Re: A Complete IG Pool Build in 17days?

    Quote Originally Posted by Just-a-PB
    Anybody heard of concrete cure time.
    It is never wise to build a project that fast.
    Yep, read my first post above. In my case, because the PB walked the job my gunite had about three months to cure so it wasn't an issue.
    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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    pragmatic's Avatar
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    Re: A Complete IG Pool Build in 17days?

    Quote Originally Posted by Just-a-PB
    Anybody heard of concrete cure time.
    It is never wise to build a project that fast.
    Cured for 7 days and watered twice/day. Temp's in the upper 60's. Is it common/better to cure much longer?
    Dave My Pool Build, ODK Build
    22’X42’ Gunite Freeform 23K Gal, 10’X12’ Spa
    Diamond-Brite midnight blue, 1800sq. ft Kool Deck
    Pentair Easy-Touch 8, 2-2hp Pentair, 500lb Sand Filter, 400K btu Pentair heater

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    Re: A Complete IG Pool Build in 17days?

    I'm curious as well. What's the normal cure time for gunite, and how does ambient temperature affect this?

    Wes

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    ComputerGuyInNOLA's Avatar
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    Re: A Complete IG Pool Build in 17days?

    The rain hit two days after the gunite was shot. They drained the next morning and waited for it to cure. We had gunite at day five of the installation. The cure time was the biggest wait for us.
    Gunite/Plaster pool at 13k gallons. All Jandy with CL340 series cartridge filter, 1.5 HP Jandy Stealth pump. Jandy 1400 SWCG and PDA4 controller. Dual waterfalls. Polaris 280. Pool installed August 2012. Southern Louisiana. And lets not forget my trusty TF100 test kit!

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    pragmatic's Avatar
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    Re: A Complete IG Pool Build in 17days?

    I read and discussed with a few concrete experts (friends); they said with proper watering 4~7 days is sufficient. 3 days would be pushing it with temps below 55F.
    Dave My Pool Build, ODK Build
    22’X42’ Gunite Freeform 23K Gal, 10’X12’ Spa
    Diamond-Brite midnight blue, 1800sq. ft Kool Deck
    Pentair Easy-Touch 8, 2-2hp Pentair, 500lb Sand Filter, 400K btu Pentair heater

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