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Thread: DFW mid cities pool remodel

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    DFW mid cities pool remodel

    Hello all,

    Looking for some advice on choosing a remodeler for our 20 yr old pool. We've had a mixed experience interviewing 4 companies for bids and very ambivalent about choosing due to our experience.

    Dolce Pools - Tyler came out to see & measure the pool well over a week ago. No communication back. Got the impression He likes to do high end pool installs as he mentioned several times about his $70-80,000 jobs in North Dallas. We are definitely in the $20 range and the vibe i got made me feel I might not hear from him again (which so far has been true). Plus read a really bad review online that someone recently posted about his company though he gets great Angie's list reviews.

    Claffey Pools - came out after a few delays & reschedules for consult. Did not measure on their consult day due to time constraints on both our parts - even though I had to leave, he could have stayed to measure but told me he was out of time & would return the next day. He didn't show but tried to reschedule a few days later. But I put him off for the time being since I don't want to waste either of our time if we are leaning away from using them. I liked him & his ideas from our first meeting, but i became concerned about his timing & missed appointments and what that might mean to the timing of my job if I selected them. They have some great reviews online & some not so great.

    TruBlu Pool Renovations - Mark came out very promptly & gave a quote that day. We liked him & that he supervises each job. He remained in touch over that last few weeks while we were interviewing others. We did want to use Pebble Tec but he uses Stonescapes. This was our one big hesitation due to reading that PTec was easier to resolve product issues with if they occurred. The company has great Angie's list reviews but a bad review on the BBB last year concerning a pool finish - seemed to be a bad plaster job that the owner had trouble getting fixed.

    Classic Tile & Plaster - Came out immediately, measured & had a quote a few days later. Loved the rep & his down to earth nature, seemed like a straight shooter. Liked that they install PTec. Called a week later to sit down & finalize the bid (he had given us options) with more specific requests. He spent 2+ hrs with us talking. But I expected a revised bid within a day (per him as he left) - 3 days (4 today) & nothing yet. I also asked to see some pools with granite blue PebbleSheen. He called the office a few times but couldn't get an address. He told us he would get back to us the next day but nothing. So I texted & he said he would call the next day with the info on seeing the pool - nothing, no communication. They also have great Angie's reviews but mixed on the Internet & a negative review on the BBB site even though an A+ rating. Once again - wondering if this I attention carries over to my pool remodel.

    I was all set to use Classic but now undecided. We aren't concerned about getting the lowest bid. We just don't want to be put at the end of the line because we are not a $40,000+ pool build. Timing is a concern. I would like to know if I started my job now that it would be done in 4-6 weeks barring horrible weather. And thatmy job would be treated in a timely matter as all custoners deserve regardkess of size.

    What length of remodel could I expect if I am replacing decking, coping, tile, new Pebbletec, and a wall with water feature at one end of the pool? Is timing ever put into a contract? I'm not feeling certain about any of these interviews and got very nebulous start times - "about a week". I was told a few times that this was a great time to do a pool remodel/build but I'm doubting that due to the amount of time it is taking to get responses & follow-up.

    Can anyone give me any advice on deciding or choosing? Any opinions or advice is greatly appreciated in advance!
    Pool Installed 1990, Equipment upgraded 2012, Rest of Pool Remodel planned by end of 2013 (hopefully!)
    23K gal, 36' x 16', Depth 3' to 8', Lazy L Shaped IG plaster, Semi-Circular Spa, 3 HP Pentair Variable-speed pump, Hayward Pro Grid DE Filter (DE4820), Hayward 400K BTU Gas Heater, Polaris 3900 Sport Cleaner, Dolphin Dynamic Robotic Cleaner (as backup)

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    bmoreswim's Avatar
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    Re: DFW mid cities pool remodel

    My only thought is that you might be being a little unrealistic on your expectations of super timely responses. It is not what the industry is known for. That said, some do a great job with it, but most it seems, are just ok. I guess my point would be that, having just gone through a build, I wouldn't put time to respond and not having to reschedule at the very top of the list. A lot of it is a gut feel. If I think someone wants to do a good job, that means a lot to me. That it may happen a bit late, or it was a little frustrating to get to the endpoint, so be it. But hopefully they do a good job and can work with you on the issues.

    If you happen to find it all in one, then .

    Just don't let them talk you into something you don't really want. The pool building experience will eventually fade away, you are left to stare at all of your other decisions.
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
    Hayward equipment (cartridge filter, 2-speed pump, SWCG, automation) View Our Build
    Coverstar automatic pool cover | StoneMakers concrete retaining wall and decking
    Spring 2013 Build | Dolphin Active 20 robot cleaner | Support TFP!

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: DFW mid cities pool remodel

    I agree, a lot of it is feel, but do ask for references. In choosing my builder, I went out to some builds in progress, and it was a tremendous help in my decision making. I cannot stress enough on the references and importance of talking to owners to see how they were handled. this helped me a lot too, and most are very willing to share with you. A good builder will be very willing to provide references. Also, find out what the draw schedule is. Accept no LESS than 10% final draw once complete, and you are satisfied. I would suggest getting more if possible. One selling point with my builder is that his last draw will be 25% and that is his standard offer. I turned one down flat because his last draw was 5% and he was in my final cut of PB's we considered. He offered to negotiate it after I told him I was going with someone else though.

    Based on what you said, I would ditch that first guy for sure. Hi end at 70-80 is not so high end if you ask me...especially in DFW. 150k up is what I think entry level high end would be, but big deal...I don't like that attitude. Check references as you have, alsewhere, and here on the forum too as there are tons of builds from DFW all the time. If you want PebblTec, then by all means find someone who likes installing it, but don't let it sway you from somone who sells other products too. A proper application of another brand could absolutely be better than a crummy install of PT or any other finish for that matter. Properly done, the top brands will last just as long anyway. PT is a fine product, but they aren't the only one my any means. Getting a high quality installer is paramount when it comes to the interior finish and IMO more important when you are talking top brands. You might even consider a different company just for that. If I lived in DFW and was doing what you are, that I would research and fully consider. It isn't easy choosing a builder, but if you take some time and research it hard, you'll come up with someone good. They are slowing down now some, so one will come through before too long I bet.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: DFW mid cities pool remodel

    We interviewed 4 builders before deciding to go with Christopher with Christopher Signature Pools in Grand Prairie. We have been extrememly impressed by him. He's very hands on, constantly in touch with us, & is a perfectionist

    Maybe give him a call. We were,by far, most impressed with him.
    Tracy

    35' X 19' pool (pool depth: 3.5', 5.5', 4'. Perimeter 97) 2 HP Jandy (2 speed)
    Spa 9.6' X 7.4' (10 jets total- 4 on circ, 6 on 2hp booster, 6' cascade spillway to pool). Heater: 400 BTU LXi
    Tanning ledge and benches covered with stone. 2 LED pool lights, 1 LED spa light.
    PebbleSheen finish in Aqua Blue
    30" gas fire pit raised 18".

  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Re: DFW mid cities pool remodel

    Thanks so much to all for the input. I agree that it might take a bit more time and research before selecting a remodeler. Of the 4 interviews, I only ruled out the one builder who seemed more interested in only pool builds and gave me the weird vibe. LOL, I must be out of the loop, $70-$80K seems to be a high end pool to me. I have friends locally who have built what I would consider a very nice mid-range pool for $38-$45 in the last few years here in the DFW burbs.

    Since my husband and I have done a lot of major remodeling of our older home over the last few years, so we are pretty accustomed to the delays and bid process of different contractors. I really wasn't expecting super-timely responses, I am only a bit confused that they are giving me times verbally that they will contact me ("the next day", "within a few days", or "by the end of the week") and then I don't hear anything until I contact them again. Also the issue of not showing up for appointments with no text or call. The only reasonable expectation I have had was that their communication schedule with me would be what they have told me it would be.

    I agree about the gut feeling but I do wonder if the lack of communication in the beginning is indicative of what happens in the process of the build/remodel. I honestly liked the 3 other guys that came and each seemed interested and wanting to do a good job, so the lack of contact was disappointing. This dampened my gut feeling for the guy we had chosen after all the meetings. We are limited to what we can do because it is a remodel and we have to work with an existing pool shape. But I know changing decking, coping, tile and adding a water feature will totally change the appearance, so I am excited about that.

    I agree we must check individual references from clients. I have done lots of internet research and have not found one company that is totally free of complaints so I think hearing individuals give their experiences would be helpful.

    We do like Pebble Tec's colors more than Stonescapes and there are only 2 licensed installers in this area that I can find through the PebbleTec site, one of them is Classic Tile and Plaster, the other is A&B Gunite in Fort Worth. Classic has several of their own in-house crews, so even if we went to another builder like Claffey, they actually use Classic to install the Pebble anyway. So I am not sure how to go about checking the quality of their installers. I asked Classic's rep and was assured they are all inhouse and very experienced. As far as I can tell, those two companies are you're only choices here if you want Pebble Tec in DFW. Just not sure how to compare the two. I know a lot of pool builders use Classic for their Pebble.

    Thanks tracyne, I will look up Christopher Signature Pools, their name is new to me. But thanks for the referral.

    Thanks again, everyone! I will keep working on it and hopefully be posting pics soon!
    Pool Installed 1990, Equipment upgraded 2012, Rest of Pool Remodel planned by end of 2013 (hopefully!)
    23K gal, 36' x 16', Depth 3' to 8', Lazy L Shaped IG plaster, Semi-Circular Spa, 3 HP Pentair Variable-speed pump, Hayward Pro Grid DE Filter (DE4820), Hayward 400K BTU Gas Heater, Polaris 3900 Sport Cleaner, Dolphin Dynamic Robotic Cleaner (as backup)

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    Re: DFW mid cities pool remodel

    Chris is a smaller company, ran by him & his wife. He's great. He calls when he says he will, he shows up when he says he will, & oversees every single step. He even took us around & showed us several of the pools that he has built.

    Good luck! I know it's hard to choose with a lot of $$ being involved.
    Tracy

    35' X 19' pool (pool depth: 3.5', 5.5', 4'. Perimeter 97) 2 HP Jandy (2 speed)
    Spa 9.6' X 7.4' (10 jets total- 4 on circ, 6 on 2hp booster, 6' cascade spillway to pool). Heater: 400 BTU LXi
    Tanning ledge and benches covered with stone. 2 LED pool lights, 1 LED spa light.
    PebbleSheen finish in Aqua Blue
    30" gas fire pit raised 18".

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: DFW mid cities pool remodel

    I've commented recently a lot this summer and complained about pool prices here (Midland) compared to DFW. 38-45 gets you nothing here, unless you want a tiny, plan Jane pool and I'm honestly not sure you'd get a good one in that range. I think competition out there keeps the prices much further down. We were hearing 60-70 right off the bat but wound up doing a good bit better than that, and we aren't getting anything fancy. Nice, but nothing that just blows you away. I know someone close who built a pool about the same size/depth we want, hot tub, big water fall, a small sunken bar area, and it was around 150K. It's very nice, but when you get to that level here, you're at 100 pretty easy.

    I've heard to stay away from Wylie plastering in DFW, but have heard Pool Environments is another good one. I say this a lot too, and will encourage you to look at Wet Edge products. I think you will find they have all the color choices you could hope for and it is a fine product. The WE guys left PT and started their own company. I agree that NPT and CLI are lacking in the color choice department, and it's why I really would like Wet Edge myself. But, no one here installs it since they have to be company certified like PT installers. I've obsessed over this choice more than any other on my build and talked to a lot of reputable people on the subject. The one common thread when I ask is something like....if you go with one of the top tier names, there is very little if any difference in the quality if they are installed properly. I really wish I had the Wet Edge option, because they have a ton of choices in all their finishes. More than anyone, PT included. Something to consider anyway....
    TFP Moderator
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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: DFW mid cities pool remodel

    My PB was recommended to me from a friend he built a pool for.
    I got the run around too with PB cancelling appt or not following up on phone calls. It took him a month to get the building permits. I do understand he is busy may take a couple days to get back to me if I call, but unreasonable amount of time was not acceptable to me. My remedy - I told him I had a pocket full of money to spend on a pool and and if he wanted any of it, he blankety blankety well better be just a bit more prompt - or else!

    Ever since, he has been excellent!

    Supposed to start digging on Wednesday, depending on weather forecast for rain.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: DFW mid cities pool remodel

    Quote Originally Posted by tracyne
    Chris is a smaller company, ran by him & his wife. He's great. He calls when he says he will, he shows up when he says he will, & oversees every single step. He even took us around & showed us several of the pools that he has built.

    Good luck! I know it's hard to choose with a lot of $$ being involved.
    This is exactly what I would be looking for and I would try talking with you if I were looking in DFW. My PB gets most of his business word of mouth and he's done builds for a lot of wealthy people here. The above you mention are not always the qualities you find in a PB for some reason. Says a lot IMO.
    TFP Moderator
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    28K Gal IG FreeForm, CLI Quartz, Pentair 36"SF & VS Pump, Dolphin M5, Rheem

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    Re: DFW mid cities pool remodel

    Romo Plastering and Pool Environments have been highly recommended to me. Pool Environments is a pool builder and can do all sorts of stuff, Romo just does the replastering. Romo is doing my replaster job this year, once the tile comes in.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
    If TFP has helped you, please click to SUPPORT TFP!

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    Seanhan's Avatar
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    Re: DFW mid cities pool remodel

    G&S renovations !!
    they brought my 30 year old pool back to life with the fibertech system ..
    Awesome company... there in Ft- Worth
    Sean Hannon
    30,000 Gallons gunite pool Coated by Fibertech
    Hayward Pro Grid 72 / Hayward multiport
    Circupool V3 VS pump
    CirCupool SWG RJ 60, 400.000 btu raypak , Built in SPA

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