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Thread: Frustration with contractors

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    Frustration with contractors

    Our 30 year old pool had major issues this spring, so we laid out plans for an overhaul. New landscaping, new deck, new liner, new coping, new plumbing.

    Today we have most of the landscaping in, and the plumbing complete, but we cannot for the life of us find a pool guy locally who will get back to us with a quote for the liner, coping and a concrete pour for the deck. This is doubly frustrating since we are walking in with plans already drawn, a liner selection made, and basically asking for a straight install.

    So far 4 pool companies have come out and measured our pool, but then never got back to us with a build quote or date. I am starting to consider DIYing the works. This is not a complicated build, just a rectangular pool, stock dimensions, nothing special.

    Is there somethign I am missing? How do I get these guys to actually get back in touch with a contract to sign? Is the industry so healthy that everyone is passing up cash money on a job? The last guy we talked to, we offered a deposit for a start date, and pulled out cash. He turned it down until 'after the quote was ready'. Most of the folks we've dealt with have told us this is a 4 day job at best, so I'm quite confused. We have already removed the old concrete deck, and need someone soon. The original PB we had coming in to rebuild the pool 'lost' our paperwork, and we are left in the lurch.

    Maybe some of the guys here who do pools for a living can point me in the right direction to getting a signed contract from a reputable pool builder. If a liner and coping is DIY-able, I may just start off on my own, but this is getting beyond my comfort zone. A concrete pour I can manage.
    Reluctant Owner of 32 X 16 ft Hole in the ground that leaks, drinks money, and turns green faster than you can say "Dangnabit!"
    Current Project: Retaining wall rebuild, Landscaping Reno, and Deck & Coping Replacement.
    Next Project: Liner Replacement
    Visit the blog: www.frosthaus.blogspot.com

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Frustration with contractors

    There a very few pool builders on this forum.
    Dave S.
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    MiaOKC's Avatar
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    Re: Frustration with contractors

    Prospector, we have had nearly zero luck getting anyone to come look at our pool remodel, either, and have been trying for several months. Out of 7 PBs, only two even returned my inquiry, one with a "call us back in the fall" and one with a "we'll send someone out, let's check our schedule for tomorrow" (a week ago, no follow up call). My theory is that new builds are where the money is, and renos get short shrift in a booming economy where plenty of new builds are happening. Not sure of your weather in Toronto, but in a short season, perhaps PBs are trying to pack in the new builds now and might be more responsive in the fall. I'm hoping our area will show that's the case.
    35,000 gallon gunite pool, semi-T-shaped, 29x15 shallow end and 16x22 deep end, built in the mid-1970s and renovated 2013-2014 // Polaris 9300 Sport robotic cleaner // Taylor K-2006 ... Learning as we go and so grateful to everyone here for their help! Our reno thread

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    Re: Frustration with contractors

    Well, we finally got someone to commit to the project.

    New liner, coping and poured concrete deck will be $10,000. Thats $3500 more than the last bid we got, and $4500 more than what we were told at the spring home shows.

    It would be easier to just fill the sucker in.
    Reluctant Owner of 32 X 16 ft Hole in the ground that leaks, drinks money, and turns green faster than you can say "Dangnabit!"
    Current Project: Retaining wall rebuild, Landscaping Reno, and Deck & Coping Replacement.
    Next Project: Liner Replacement
    Visit the blog: www.frosthaus.blogspot.com

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    Join Date
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    Re: Frustration with contractors

    Sorry to hear you've had so much trouble finding a contractor.

    Hubby and I remodel/flip and rent homes on the side. Occasionally we come against something that would take us too long to do or that we are not experienced with so we have looked for contractors. Unfortunately, it seems, all the ones we have used for a job do a poor job and/or end up charging more than they quoted on every job they do, or they simply do not get back with us to even give us a quote. I don't understand how general contractors make any money when they don't submit bids. We did have one that admitted to us that the scope of work we needed done, was foundation work, was beyond his expertise and he wasn't comfortable doing it.

    My guess is that with pools, they would rather do new builds if they have the work then to try and deal with how someone else put a pool together. Unfortunate, but probably the case. If you can catch them when the season isn't so busy, you might have a little better luck... but do be sure to get references and look at other jobs they have done. That's an expensive project you don't want to be doing again in a couple of years.
    Indiana, ABG 24'x52" Galveston by Blue Cascade (Craigslist buy w/part of deck included), 13,500 gallons, Intex SWG, solar panels mix 2, TF-100 test kit.

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    cramar's Avatar
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    Re: Frustration with contractors

    Prospector, your in TO, I wonder if it's because the season is short in our province so perhaps pool companies are full bore into construction projects and, as bad as it sounds, your project simply dosn't present enough profit for them to put off other projects.
    The high bid may also speak to that, if they are really busy the only way to get them to your site is to make it worth their while.

    Locally were in the middle of major residential/commercial construction run, I tried to get estimates on a small addition to my house. One contractor came by, measured a few things and never called back, another guy gave me an absurd price.
    I know for a fact it's simply that with so much other high paying work, my little project just can't compete, which is ok because when they are starving in a few years I'll get it done for a fraction of the cost

    If that is the problem your up against one option may be to wait until early next year and get in the queue as soon as possible, you may get more luck if you approach these guys in winter and plan an early spring project.

    Just a thought.
    20' X 54" Sharkline Matrix Resin AGP, 9400 Gallons, Sta-Rite 1 HP Dynamo Pump, 150 lb Pentair Sand Filter, Gorilla Pad,
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    Re: Frustration with contractors

    I wish we could do that Cramar, except that in order to prepare for the first company, we have already cut away much of the concrete decking around the pool and it is very exposed right now.

    Looking at teh $10K bid, DIYing the sucker is looking really appealing, but I just don't have the time/energy for it.
    Reluctant Owner of 32 X 16 ft Hole in the ground that leaks, drinks money, and turns green faster than you can say "Dangnabit!"
    Current Project: Retaining wall rebuild, Landscaping Reno, and Deck & Coping Replacement.
    Next Project: Liner Replacement
    Visit the blog: www.frosthaus.blogspot.com

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    prosper's Avatar
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    Re: Frustration with contractors

    $10k for a new liner, coping and deck pour seems very reasonable to me.

    How big is the deck?
    35k gallon 20x45 inground concrete with vinyl liner - Stamped Concrete deck
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    Re: Frustration with contractors

    Its a 16X32 pool, and the pour is an 8" wide ribbon around th epool. after that I have to find a landscaper to fix the rest.

    I've negotiatied the PB downwards to $7700. That is some relief, but I will have to do more work. They came out yesterday and pulled out the liner.
    Reluctant Owner of 32 X 16 ft Hole in the ground that leaks, drinks money, and turns green faster than you can say "Dangnabit!"
    Current Project: Retaining wall rebuild, Landscaping Reno, and Deck & Coping Replacement.
    Next Project: Liner Replacement
    Visit the blog: www.frosthaus.blogspot.com

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: Frustration with contractors

    Good news - the PB we signed on with showed up and stripped out the old liner. Yay. Progress!
    Reluctant Owner of 32 X 16 ft Hole in the ground that leaks, drinks money, and turns green faster than you can say "Dangnabit!"
    Current Project: Retaining wall rebuild, Landscaping Reno, and Deck & Coping Replacement.
    Next Project: Liner Replacement
    Visit the blog: www.frosthaus.blogspot.com

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    Re: Frustration with contractors

    Very glad that you were able to negotiate that price down, and that they are making progress! Good luck!!!
    16x32 in-ground vinyl-lined pool
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    Re: Frustration with contractors

    An update...

    New liner is in but thunderstorms have prevented the concrete pour and landscaping work from progressing. Oh well. This will be behind us soon.
    Reluctant Owner of 32 X 16 ft Hole in the ground that leaks, drinks money, and turns green faster than you can say "Dangnabit!"
    Current Project: Retaining wall rebuild, Landscaping Reno, and Deck & Coping Replacement.
    Next Project: Liner Replacement
    Visit the blog: www.frosthaus.blogspot.com

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