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Thread: Gulp! Signing a contract on Monday!

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    Gulp! Signing a contract on Monday!

    Hi everyone
    First, let me say thank you to everyone for all of the information on this forum. I've learned so much already, after lurking for a couple of weeks. I really appreciate it!
    So, my hubby and I are on the cusp of signing a contract for a new pool build in Winnipeg Manitoba, Canada. We're building a flat backed kidney (they call it a 'fiji') 16 X 28 ft. vinyl liner pool. We're putting in a SWCG (forgoing the Nature2 Fusion mineral system, to the bewilderment of our PB, but thanks to the advice on this forum), and a natural gas heater. The pool will have a RicoRock 4 piece ledger waterfall. We have 1HP Jandy pool pump and a cartridge filtration system. Other specs are as follows:
    Structural components:
    Heavy gauge galvanized steel wall and A frame system
    A frame construction at wall joints
    U and L channel stiffeners built into steel panels for straight walls
    Steel rod for bracing the wall and A frame system
    Steel rod reinforcing the 3' walkway around the pool
    4-6" slump concrete, for anchoring the wall system
    sand and cement non-abrasive pool floor
    stamped and stained concrete deck
    broom finished concrete equipment pad
    backfill sand, sufficient to fill the over dig around the pool wall system
    skimmer, main drain and two directional flow returns
    CSA approved plumbing components rated at 75 psi or better

    premium solar blanket and roller
    drain line connection on filter with 50ft roll of hose
    vacuum hose, vacuum pole and head, wall brush, thermometer, wall hangers and water test kit
    electrical and gas connection allowance
    6 foot walk in french curve steps

    So, experts, how does that sound? The contract also includes all excavation and removal of fill, and filling of the pool. Because they are anxious for work this fall, they have also agreed to close the pool for us, and open it in the spring.

    Any concerns or details I should confirm or change before we commit?
    This is the second biggest commitment of dollars we have ever made so we are super nervous! Well, hubby isn't, but I am. I just want to get this right!
    Any comments or suggestions are most welcome, and we'll be sure to post pictures as we build.
    KB in WPG
    15,000 gallon plaster pool, 30 years old with no damages. Below ground with a big pump (I don't know horsepower) single speed, 4 cartridges. Regular (not salt) system. We use this pool for private swim lessons and church fellowships/baptisms etc. In short, we use it a lot and con't have it out of commission. We are in Sacramento CA that is known for its terrible pollen content.

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Re: Gulp! Signing a contract on Monday!

    My view is one has to be careful with the contract. In most cases, a PB's contract is written such that the buyer assumes all the risk, and, there are not many performance items in the contract for the PB.

    Some things to consider:

    Agree to a payment schedule which leaves adequate incentive for the PB to finish. The final payment should be released when all work is complete AND the buyer is completely satisfied. Should the contract have an escape clause, in case the PB does not get the project done in a reasonable amount of time?

    Identify which subs will be utilized on the job. Add wording to the contract such that subs are paid with in 5 business days of the work, and the buyer receives proof of payment to the sub from the PB (a release from each sub).

    Do you have proof that the PB and subs are insured? Are the amounts of coverage adequate? Has the PB added a rider for your address? Most buyers think a standard homeowners policy will cover injury to a worker, but in many (most?) instances it does not.

    Not to be too critical, but the "specs" you cite are not well defined. No doubt wording taken from the PB's bid. For example:

    > What is the minimum thickness of the concrete deck? What type of rebar will be used? How will the bed for the concrete deck be prepared (usually a combination of compacted gravel perhaps also sand)? Will a sealer be applied to the stained concrete deck? If yes, which one? How will concrete expansion be accommodated? What does the contract say about cracks in the decking? Will you be happy if random cracks appear in the deck the day after the pour? What happens if the stain color or stamping pattern is not what you asked for or not consistent? If the appearance of the "finish" on anything is important to you, specify what is expected in the contract. Also important: what remedy is agreed to if things don't turn out right?

    > Specifically which manufacturers and which part numbers (model numbers) for the pool and equipment (pump, filter, heater, SWCG, solar cover, etc.)? Is the warranty for the pool and equipment called out somewhere?

    > What's the minimum depth for buried plumbing, gas, and/or electrical lines? What type of electrical conduit will be used? How will electrical service be provided to the equipment pad? What voltages, how many amps? Similar questions for the heater gas.

    > Make sure there is a buyer cancelation clause in the contract. If you find some reason to cancel the project before it is finished, how much do you owe? The way most contracts are written, you owe the PB the full amount if you cancel at anytime for any reason.

    > Make sure site drainage, restoring/adding irrigation, and restoring/adding a fence up to code is covered.

    > If the nature of the soil is questionable, or a retaining wall is involved, who is responsible for the engineering? If the PB says he is not responsible but does not foresee any issues, then spend a few hundred dollars before signing the contract and get an engineer to look over the plans or evaluate the soil.

    Also, don't ever agree to binding arbitration to resolve disputes. Not agreeing to BA still allows the buyer to settle disputes outside the legal system, but also affords the buyer access to the legal system to resolve disputes (including full disclosure of facts and evidence).

    I could go on about these contracts for hours, but you get the idea. Hope this helps. Good luck.
    18,000 Gallon IG, Pebble Sheen, Quartzite coping
    Pentair 420 Cartridge Filter, 2HP Silencer, 400,000 BTU Heater, Platinum Legend Cleaner
    2x IntelliFlo VS pumps - Screenlogic Interface - Stenner 45MPHP10 15 Gal Bleach Injection
    TF100 + PoolCalculator + This Site!

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Gulp! Signing a contract on Monday!

    Wow! Your username is really ironic! What an incredibly thorough and helpful response!
    You're right, I found the contract a bit vague myself. There was a lot more in it that I didn't type, but even so, the details around plumbing, depth of burying plumbing and electrical, manufacturers and part numbers etc. weren't in there.

    As I mentioned, there were clauses for payment schedule, which I will ask to amend. He really wants to build this fall so he was willing to take a smaller than usual deposit (long story, but we're waiting for proceeds from a property sale, which in our province takes 3 weeks to be released after closing). Due to our unpredictable and cold winters, they may not be able to do the concrete decking this year and may have to wait until the spring. With that possibility, I want to ask for a 10% holdback instead of 5%.

    As for workers compensation insurance, I happen to work for our provincial Board, and certainly know the importance of coverage. They are required by law to have coverage, but you're right, I will get confirmation.
    Buyer cancelation: if I cancel I have to pay all costs incurred by the PB or 10% of the contract amount, whichever is higher.
    Thanks for your excellent response! Will be really helpful when I meet with the PB on Monday.
    KB in WPG
    15,000 gallon plaster pool, 30 years old with no damages. Below ground with a big pump (I don't know horsepower) single speed, 4 cartridges. Regular (not salt) system. We use this pool for private swim lessons and church fellowships/baptisms etc. In short, we use it a lot and con't have it out of commission. We are in Sacramento CA that is known for its terrible pollen content.

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: Gulp! Signing a contract on Monday!

    I should have mentioned that the questions in my previous post were rhetorical.

    Glad to be of service. Good luck.


    P.S. My previous post was edited to add a comment about binding arbitration.
    18,000 Gallon IG, Pebble Sheen, Quartzite coping
    Pentair 420 Cartridge Filter, 2HP Silencer, 400,000 BTU Heater, Platinum Legend Cleaner
    2x IntelliFlo VS pumps - Screenlogic Interface - Stenner 45MPHP10 15 Gal Bleach Injection
    TF100 + PoolCalculator + This Site!

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