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Thread: National Chain vs. Local Pool Builder

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    National Chain vs. Local Pool Builder

    Hi,

    I received a proposal on a new IG Gunite pool. The national chain is $1672 higher in price. The local builder is offering an additional LED light, EP Henry or Bluestone coping vs. standard brick. The local pool builder is also offering an additional 100 SF of brushed concrete decking and 1 year of opening and closing. The local pool builder is also offering Diamond Brite plaster vs. the national of CLL's Sunstone Select. FInally, the local pool builder is offering a Custom Meyco cover solid or mesh with pump.

    The national chain indicates that we should go with them because they will still be around in 30 years. The local pool builder indicates that he can do things cheaper because he doesn't have all the sales middle men.

    In addition to the differences noted above, here are additional features plus cost (National $47172; Local $45,500). The total cost of the pool with the following features is as follows:

    809 SF
    Diving board
    Fusion Salt System
    Aqua Cal heat pump 125
    DE filter
    Cover
    16 LF bench in deep end
    6 LF swim out bench in deep end in lieu of ladder

    It is very difficult to figure this out as each criticizes each other's approach, style, product, etc. Thanks for your thoughts on what might be a better deal.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: National Chain vs. Local Pool Builder

    Those prices are close enough that it's really a wash. I would go with the one that you feel best about.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    Re: National Chain vs. Local Pool Builder

    Ask for references from both.
    20X36 IG vinyl (18,000 gal), 3 sheer descents, Max-Flo 1.5hp VS 2300, Aquarite T15 SWG, C3030 filter, 250,000 BTU heater, Sharkvac XL (Hayward equip)

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: National Chain vs. Local Pool Builder

    I really would not bet money that any national chain would still be around in 30 years, and even if they are if they would stand behind their product.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: National Chain vs. Local Pool Builder

    I like local or near local with the best references, best reputation, and as Bama said, the one you feel best about. That really is important. IMO, 5K wouldn't be enough to go with one or the other on a Pool Build. If I felt significantly better about one with plenty of vetting, I'd pay that much more for the one I liked, or wait till I could. Just one person's view...Whatever you decide, good luck on your build project.

    Welcome to TFP.
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    Re: National Chain vs. Local Pool Builder

    I am a local, little guy supporter. If I can go with them I usually will for anything, but you need to do what your gut tells you. Good luck in whatever you decide.
    18k: IG: Black Granite Liner: Aspen: 16x33.5: SWG: Polaris 280

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    bhargraves's Avatar
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    Re: National Chain vs. Local Pool Builder

    I went with a smaller company because I felt I would get more personal attention vs the larger builders that have 10s of builds going on at the same time. So far I have not been disappointed. I did make sure I chose one with significant (about 30 yrs) experience, so that makes me feel good about their longevity.


    Build Complete! : 111ft pool + 8.5x5.5ft spa (12" raised), ~22k gallons, Shotcrete, Stonescapes MiniPebble (Aqua Blue), 3 scuppers, 3 bubblers, Large Tanning Ledge, Long Bench, Pentair: Intelliflow 3050 VS, 1.5HP WhisperFlow (scuppers), Quad 100 DE filter, MasterTemp 400k, IC60 SWG, Intellichem+Acid Tank, 2HP Silencer Blower, travertine decking (~680ft2), dry stack flagstone raised wall / spa spillway

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    Vegas Kid's Avatar
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    Re: National Chain vs. Local Pool Builder

    Quote Originally Posted by bhargraves View Post
    I went with a smaller company because I felt I would get more personal attention vs the larger builders that have 10s of builds going on at the same time. So far I have not been disappointed. I did make sure I chose one with significant (about 30 yrs) experience, so that makes me feel good about their longevity.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    ^^^This. All about customer service for me and I'd much rather pay a little extra for more personnel attention.

    Ultimately I'd pick the person you have the best feel for as others mentioned. Just imagine how each company would deal with you if you had a problem.

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    cbink's Avatar
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    Re: National Chain vs. Local Pool Builder

    I too went local because that's who I felt comfortable with.
    As others have said, go with the one that sets you at ease. Good luck!!
    38'x24' freeform IG gunite, 26k gallons, 3.5' - 7'
    8t Moss rock waterfall with gunite slide
    SWCG, 2 x 2.7hp Hayward Tristar pumps, booster pump, 425 sqft cartridge, 400,000 BTU heater, Polaris Black Max 280, ProLogic PS8 & Aquapod

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    Re: National Chain vs. Local Pool Builder

    I agree - go with who you feel most comfortable with. Troubleshooting something a year later - you might get more response from the local builder, but make sure you check references and find out how long he has been in business.

    Vegas Kid and cbrink - all three of us have used Grand Isle. Just to let you know, we had our pool filled in August 2012 and just a few weeks ago I noticed a slight leak when the freeze protection was on at the outlet of our pump for our water features. I texted John and he gave me a few things to try and said that he would come out and fix it for me if I could not get it stopped. I haven't looked at it yet due to weather and that we don't really run that pump during the winter, but that shows the follow up support that we have with John.

    Steve
    20,000 IG WetEdge Satin Matrix Northshore Plum, Filled 8/24/12

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    Re: National Chain vs. Local Pool Builder

    I agree with everyone here. Talk to prev. customers of each. Follow your gut. I tend to go local vs national, but that's just a tendency. I had some back and forth in my decision on which builder to go with. I ended up going with the guy who I personally knew 2 prev. customers of.
    IG gunite/plaster pool/spa Started 1/17/14, Plastered 5/16/14
    Size: 12'-21'x39' free form, depth ranging from 4' to 7, attached 6 person spa with spillover.
    Equipment: Whisperflo 2hp pump, Pentair 30" sand filter, Pentair Mastertemp 400k BTU heater, 1hp Whisperflo for waterfalls, and a blower for spa floor

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    Re: National Chain vs. Local Pool Builder

    Well.....I'm back to ground zero. I signed on the spot with a national chain 6 days ago after I had received 3 quotes. The salesman gave me a 7 day time period in which to rescind the contract. About two days later, when he asked if he could get the process started by ordering the topographical survey, I said sure, but wait until I send the signed addendum to the contract. I sent the addendum, but then an hour after I sent it, I told him to hold off on the topo as I wanted a few more days to interview other companies. He gave me considerable flack on various levels. He started accusing me of going back on my word and how giving him the go ahead was an implied consent to the contract even though I had a legal right to rescind within 7 days. I ignored this tantrum and high pressure sales tactics.

    It has been a busy week, and I did not get the chance to speak with one additional builder. Today, I asked for a few day extension to the contract (until Tuesday). He once again questioned why I needed additional time and said he needed to speak with his general manager the extension. He also questioned why I wanted the extension and again brought up the "gentlemen's agreement" he apparently felt we had. Unfortunately, his high pressure, manipulative, guilt riden sales tactics blew the deal for him because I was 80% going with his company.

    I guess I now understand what you all mean by going with your gut when selecting a pool builder. I backed out of the contract tonight--too high pressure, too much manipulation and guilt, and too much headache before the project even started!

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    Re: National Chain vs. Local Pool Builder

    Good idea. I wouldn't stand for those tactics either. We put in a pool at our first house about 9 years ago. We signed a contract with one company. As we were driving home, they called and asked if we could come back because they forgot to charge us for something - about $1k worth - and sign an addendum. We told them to go ahead and tear up that contract, because we weren't going to tolerate the bait and switch tactics. He then begged us to reconsider and said he would eat the $1k. Too little too late. I really appreciated the PBs that I interviewed who refused to use high pressure sales. Though one of those places pretended to be low pressure, until I called them and told them I was going with another builder. Then the claws came out. All that did was solidify my choice.

    Good luck! You'll find someone to build a great pool, and eventually this will all be a distant memory.


    Build Complete! : 111ft pool + 8.5x5.5ft spa (12" raised), ~22k gallons, Shotcrete, Stonescapes MiniPebble (Aqua Blue), 3 scuppers, 3 bubblers, Large Tanning Ledge, Long Bench, Pentair: Intelliflow 3050 VS, 1.5HP WhisperFlow (scuppers), Quad 100 DE filter, MasterTemp 400k, IC60 SWG, Intellichem+Acid Tank, 2HP Silencer Blower, travertine decking (~680ft2), dry stack flagstone raised wall / spa spillway

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: National Chain vs. Local Pool Builder

    I knew by your user name that nobody was going to get anything past you!

    Glad you found out how they were before the contract began. The biggest thing is to take your time and listen to your gut!
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: National Chain vs. Local Pool Builder

    Good for you sticking to your gut in the end. Best of luck choosing another, you'll find one you like and be very happy you did.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: National Chain vs. Local Pool Builder

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler View Post
    I knew by your user name that nobody was going to get anything past you!

    Glad you found out how they were before the contract began. The biggest thing is to take your time and listen to your gut!
    Ah..Yes. You get the obscure username.

    - - - Updated - - -

    One other question--and perhaps it is not appropriate for this thread--is it worthwhile to get a spa with a pool? If so, I'd have to go with the higher cost heating option (gas heater) over the heat pump. I want my pool set at 85 degrees June through September, but this might become expensive on a 40,000 pool during the fringe months. However, if we went with a spa, then we would have no choice but to get a gas heater.

    My pool will only be open from about Memorial Day through Sept. 30th. Thanks for your thoughts.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: National Chain vs. Local Pool Builder

    It is worth it if you want a spa and not a second body of water to worry about.
    There are advantages/disadvantages of getting a pool/spa combination or a separate hot tub.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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