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Thread: Austin TX - a few question for new build

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    69

    Austin TX - a few question for new build

    Hi all. My wife and I live in the Austin, TX area. We have been planning to build a pool for a couple of years and we are getting more serious. We are planning for an IGP approx 35x20 with a spa. We are getting several bids and learning about the process (this forum is helping a lot!). We have a few questions that we haven't found answers to yet.

    Will we save money if we wait until fall or winter to start the build? We are debating on whether we want to sign a contract soon or wait and see how negotiable the PB's will get after summer?

    What about negotiating? Any tips on how to negotiate w/ these PBs? I've created a spreadsheet so I can compare each builder 'apples to apples' as much as possible and I guess I'll just leverage them against each other, but if anyone has any other tips or recommendations, I'd appreciate it.

    And we have a question about the deck. We are asking the PB's to bid with and without decking. We considering all the options. Kool Cote, stamped/textured concrete, flagstone (our favorite choice), and pavers. It seems the PB's charge a real premium for the decking as compared to non-PB contractors. When we mention to the PB's we are considering doing our own deck, we get mixed reactions. Some PB's seem totally open to the idea, some say we may have problems with the coping if the deck was done incorrectly, and they mention that if they do the deck, their warranty will cover it all. I know it's a realistic possibility because my parents in law recently had their 35 year old pool resurfaced and had the deck/coping redone. The deck contractor did not do a good job with the expansion joint and their coping started to crack. So - has anybody done a deck separately from the PB? Is there a way to manage the deck separately without causing problems?

    Also a question on warranties. Some of the PB's have a lifetime warranty on the plaster/pebble finish and others have a 15 year warranty. The PB w/ the 15 year warranty claims that PB's who have lifetime warranties only warranty the pebble material, not the plaster itself. Any thoughts or experience with this?

    Any thoughts or help on are appreciated.
    34x17 Freeform Gunite IGP and spa (approx 17k gal)
    Hayward 2HP/2SP TriStar Filter Pump & Tristar Booster
    ProLogic PS-8 and AquaPod
    400k Heater
    CLI Sunstone Quartz Plaster

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Dallas, Tx
    Posts
    128

    Re: A few questions - deck and when to build and warranty?

    I had my pool built without including the deck as I wanted travertine pavers and the builder I chose did not do pavers. The biggest issue I came across was the 'that's not my job' attitude. The builder felt he had no obligation to do any grading and the paver co. was dumbfounded when they saw the job- said they'd never had a builder turn a job over to them in that state (piles of dirt, parts of the pool weren't even backfilled.)

    After that I decided to have the builder complete the pool prior to the pavers going in. Last thing I needed was a broken plumbing line, found after the pavers had been installed and pool started up for the first time, and the 2 companies pointing the finger at the other.

    My pavers haven't gone in yet due to the rain that insists on re-appearing the day after it finally dries up, and I anticipate I may also have an issue with some of the stone work on the pool being at the wrong height. So if you do break it out, consider the order that everything will be completed, make sure you specify which contractor will be doing what, and try to get your decking contractor on the jobsite while the build is in process.
    20k white plaster with blue quartz, IntelliFlo VS, Quad DE 100
    1000 gal spa with natural stone waterfall
    Beach entry with 2 bubblers. Pool built Spring 2013

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    69

    Re: A few questions - deck and when to build and warranty?

    Thanks Terry! Great points and insight. I appreciate the help.
    34x17 Freeform Gunite IGP and spa (approx 17k gal)
    Hayward 2HP/2SP TriStar Filter Pump & Tristar Booster
    ProLogic PS-8 and AquaPod
    400k Heater
    CLI Sunstone Quartz Plaster

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    27

    Re: Austin TX - a few question for new build

    we're wrapping up our first (and hopefully last) pool in Austin.

    My advice is to go with a good builder that uses the equipment/materials you want (in my case, Pentair) and don't worry about lifetime warranties. The reality is they simply aren't going to fix something 15-30 or even 80 yrs down the road without a fight (they also likely won't be in business or at least not under the same name). They should have a strong opinion about why they use company X and what they'll do if things aren't right. If it's done correctly, you'll have no need for warranty work.

    I approached it like buying a car - I'm paying a bit more for an experienced builder using the best equipment and I hopefully won't have to worry about warranty work.

    Meet with each builder
    ask about number of and types of pools do they build per yr
    look at customers' pools to get a feel for quality, fit/finish
    get engineering specs - details - thickness of gunite, rebar spacing
    ask about working in irrigation system repair, sod replacement or at least getting the contact info of guys they trust.
    check BBB (minimum), Angie's list, and this forum for leads on builders.

    Regarding your decking question, my situation is a little different, but I am doing decking separately from the pool build, but am using the guys that did the tile/coping work. They're solid and I can get your their info. They could look at your layout and give you a good estimate - just make sure you tell the builder how things need to be cleaned up/graded after.
    My current plans...
    11 x 32 IGP w/ spa ~10000 gal
    Gunite w/ NPT Quartscapes Luederstone coping
    Badu Stream II Pkg A Swim Jets
    Pentair VS pumps with Intellitouch/ScreenLogic controls

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    69

    Re: Austin TX - a few question for new build

    Thanks very much! I appreciate the advice. I'll send you a PM for that contact info.

    Quote Originally Posted by dperque
    we're wrapping up our first (and hopefully last) pool in Austin.

    My advice is to go with a good builder that uses the equipment/materials you want (in my case, Pentair) and don't worry about lifetime warranties. The reality is they simply aren't going to fix something 15-30 or even 80 yrs down the road without a fight (they also likely won't be in business or at least not under the same name). They should have a strong opinion about why they use company X and what they'll do if things aren't right. If it's done correctly, you'll have no need for warranty work.

    I approached it like buying a car - I'm paying a bit more for an experienced builder using the best equipment and I hopefully won't have to worry about warranty work.

    Meet with each builder
    ask about number of and types of pools do they build per yr
    look at customers' pools to get a feel for quality, fit/finish
    get engineering specs - details - thickness of gunite, rebar spacing
    ask about working in irrigation system repair, sod replacement or at least getting the contact info of guys they trust.
    check BBB (minimum), Angie's list, and this forum for leads on builders.

    Regarding your decking question, my situation is a little different, but I am doing decking separately from the pool build, but am using the guys that did the tile/coping work. They're solid and I can get your their info. They could look at your layout and give you a good estimate - just make sure you tell the builder how things need to be cleaned up/graded after.
    34x17 Freeform Gunite IGP and spa (approx 17k gal)
    Hayward 2HP/2SP TriStar Filter Pump & Tristar Booster
    ProLogic PS-8 and AquaPod
    400k Heater
    CLI Sunstone Quartz Plaster

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Central Texas
    Posts
    42

    Re: Austin TX - a few question for new build

    Just wrapping up ours in the Austin area and our builder has been good. No upsale and gave us what we wanted at a very reasonable price.

    Things to watch for right off:

    -Make sure they include Rock excavation - likley you are in it and they already know it.
    -Determine what the deck square footage they are providing
    -Determine the material cost for the type of deck you are looking for

    While some are not that open, you can usually figure it out by asking what the upcharge is. For example, one builder was charging $10/SF vs $30/SF for flagstone. The stone only costs so much per ton, so you can figure out who was overcharging.
    +/-16k gallon IG pebblesheen pool with SWG, spa and waterfall, Hayward 2HP 2-speed Tri-star, Hayward 1.5HP Tri-star, Hayward 5030 Cartridge filter, Hayward H400 Heater, Sharkvac Robotic Cleaner

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Austin TX - a few question for new build

    For those of you close to wrapping up in Austin, would you mind sharing the PB you are using and some photos when complete. We had looked into buidling a pool last year (in Austin) but postponed and are now back into it. Just starting discussions with two builders - Jaida and Bayside.

    Thank you!

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    27

    Re: Austin TX - a few question for new build

    Went with Millennium Pools (Blake French) - still don't have the final from COA, but pretty much done. Blake's been good to work with and he's done a lot of stuff at cost for me (automation/wireless pieces). I compared with OceanQuest (my runner up) and they were pretty much in line, but all the extras Blake did made difference.

    I like the Pentair equipment and especially impressed with the Glo-brites (lights) we used. They are super low energy and very bright. I use ipad/iphone app to switch into spa mode or turn on the deck jets.

    One thing I wish I had done is factor in irrigation repair into the bid. The PB won't know how much damage or the cost to repair, but you could include language like "up to $2000 in irrigation repair costs by contractor of builder's choice".
    Here's what happens - if they break the main line of the system, you will get rocks in the line and those rocks will make their way down the line and clog the valves. I would make sure that you don't make final payment to the PB until the system is functioning correctly.
    My current plans...
    11 x 32 IGP w/ spa ~10000 gal
    Gunite w/ NPT Quartscapes Luederstone coping
    Badu Stream II Pkg A Swim Jets
    Pentair VS pumps with Intellitouch/ScreenLogic controls

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    69

    Re: Austin TX - a few question for new build

    Good advice on the sprinkler. I've planned for repairs and already talked to my sprinkler guy but didn't think about rocks damaging other stuff down the line!
    34x17 Freeform Gunite IGP and spa (approx 17k gal)
    Hayward 2HP/2SP TriStar Filter Pump & Tristar Booster
    ProLogic PS-8 and AquaPod
    400k Heater
    CLI Sunstone Quartz Plaster

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Central Texas
    Posts
    42

    Re: Austin TX - a few question for new build

    I added 30% to the total cost to cover landscaping, irrigation repairs, furniture, and general misc items. We are probably atypical and want to just get it done....
    +/-16k gallon IG pebblesheen pool with SWG, spa and waterfall, Hayward 2HP 2-speed Tri-star, Hayward 1.5HP Tri-star, Hayward 5030 Cartridge filter, Hayward H400 Heater, Sharkvac Robotic Cleaner

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