So at this point we have now had 3 potential pool builders look at our property and give estimates.
PB#1 thought that the area was a little tight between the end of the paver patio and begining of retaining wall which is about 26-30 feet from the end of the patio. He recommened a 12-14'x32' pool. He had little concern about the fill used between the house and the retaining wall. He wants to backfill with the dirt we take out of the hole assuming its clean. He owns his own large excavating equipment. A little stand off ish like he kind of wanted the job. IGP business is way down from last year. Middle estimated price, close to PB#2
PB#2 liked the area and felt doing a 16'x32' pool would be no issue. He had great landscaping ideas and thoughts on incorporating some of our natural stone. Did not think the dirt where we want the pool would be an issue. He was far and away the most excited about the job. He loves the idea of backfilling with stone and gravel. He owns his own smaller excavating equipment and does a lot of work by hand. Seemed very inerested in the job. Just as busy as last year, does about 20 pools a year. Lowest estimated price by a little
PB#3 is worried about what he is going to find in the area where we want the pool. He said they budget in 10 hours of excavating work and then it is $225 an hour after that. He thought there could be as much as $5,000-$10,000 in additional excavation costs if he doesn't like the fill, the dirt under the fill etc. He doesn't want to backfill with rock. Didn't seem to love the idea of taking the job even though I know for a fact their IGP installation are way down this year. Highest estimate price.
Now that I'm freaked out about the quality of the fill in the backyard I picked up the phone and called the guy we bought the house from. Everything he did was great work but I wanted to double check. He told me that all the fill from the house to the retaining wall is "good clean fill" and that all the rocks and such were removed, no stumps, no volkswagons etc. He lives 1/4 of a mile from me and is a firefighter who works with and is friends with our next door neighbors who are also firefighters. I see no reason for him to lie to us.
Here is what I'm guessing each PB was thinking when we talked and please correct any of my assumptions.
PB#1 has large equipment and putting the pool where we want it will leave less room for him to work with then he prefers. The thinner the pool he can convince us to get the easier the job will be for him. He likes dirt because it is already there and easier then having stone or gravel delivered. He is not interested in doing much work by hand. Doesn't worry as much about excavation time because hes doing it and its his machine.
PB#2 has smaller equipment so the space is not an issue for him. He has to do some of the work by hand anyway so this job isn't harder then usual. He lives and works in our town and maybe knows the area and soil better? Doesn't worry as much about machine time since he owns it and he's doing the work.
PB#3 hires excavators with big equipment that cost money. He has had some bad experiences with backfilled yards in newer neghborhoods and expects the worst. Needs to be very carefull about excavation time because anything extra is extra. Bringing in stone is a hastle and added machine time cost so it is more expensive for him to deal with.
Thoughts? Is it possible PB#1 and #2 have the same fears as #3 but would rather get started and figure out the extra costs later?