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Thread: Is there a Problem with My Pool Builder?

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    Join Date
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    Is there a Problem with My Pool Builder?

    Here's the background. We signed a contract at the beginning of February with a local pool builder thinking we would get more personalized attention from a local pool company compared to a national one. At the time of negotiation, we indicated our interest in having the pool in by June 1st so the builder indicated that time was of the essence. Thus, we signed. The topo was not completed for six weeks later. Understandably, the weather has been horrible in the mid-atlantic this year, so the topographical survey was held up although there were several windows of opportunity to have it completed. The pool permits were just filed with our town last monday the 24th of March. It takes 3 to 4 weeks for permits to be approved.

    We gave our pool builder $10K. We had hoped to undertake site clearing and fencing construction with him as he is a full service landscaper. We are installing upwards of an 800 SF pool with spa, salt system, upgraded plaster, etc.

    Here's my issue--I feel like I'm the one attempting to make a sale by constantly prompting the builder to offer fencing and clearing estimates. I gave up and just went with another tree service to have my site cleared. I was hoping to go with him for fencing, all things being equal, but he inconsistently returns emails and texts about pricing. For instance, he'll indicate that he never received my emails and then state that he'll get the estimates to me later that day when he returns to the office. I prompt him the next day via text and he just ignores the text. I already indicated that communication is important--just indicate that you're busy and will get to it is X days. Don't ignore.

    Frankly, we are uncertain of how to proceed and aren't getting much guidance with shape, landscaping, etc which we thought we'd get by going local and with a landscaping specialist too. Now I am having huge regrets because he is quite frankly a flake (or too busy or whatever).

    Any suggestions?

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    Willi's Avatar
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    Re: Is there a Problem with My Pool Builder?

    Quote Originally Posted by Species 8472 View Post

    We gave our pool builder $10K.
    You paid before the work was done?
    18' x 36' IG Vinyl 30K gallon, Hayward 1 1/2 HP pump and DE Filter hardpiped, Aqua Pro 1300 Electric Heat Pump.
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    Commercial Popcorn machine, sno cone machine and cotton candy machine, lost my red nose.

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Is there a Problem with My Pool Builder?

    Quote Originally Posted by Willi View Post
    You paid before the work was done?
    Some builders require a down payment to start Willi. They are usually broken into payments during the build.

    Species, I don't know what to tell you. Unfortunately, you've signed a contract and put up money and usually, that means you're in it for the long haul. I hope you can get this figured out.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: Is there a Problem with My Pool Builder?

    I wouldn't contract with them for any additional work.


    18x36 Vinyl, sports depth, 8' Roman steps at each end. Hayward 1.5hp 2speed pump, catridge filter, 2 skimmers, no main drain, 3 SR Smith Treo LED lights

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    Re: Is there a Problem with My Pool Builder?

    We put $1000 down on the contract (might have been $2000), but the first payment wasn't due until the day of the dig. I'd be very skeptical of moving forward with your pool builder. I'd give him the benefit of the doubt and go into the office and have a heart to heart in person about your misgivings. No more money until he starts working! Do you have a release of lien in your contract? I wonder if he used your money to pay a contractor for another project and can't start your work until he sells another pool.

    I might be way off, but it's strange that there is no work done in two months. I was swimming in my pool by 9 weeks.
    17,000 inground gunite pool finished June 2013. Pentair variable speed something or another. Polaris cleaner, inline rainbow chlorinator. Using trichlor until CYA reaches 50-60.

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    Re: Is there a Problem with My Pool Builder?

    I constructed our pool as an owner builder and took the pool drawing down to the city office myself and received my permits in about 15 minutes. Your city or county may be totally different but that is a long wait.

    Most pool builders in California don't require the first payment until the rebar stage.

    We were swimming in our pool April 6th of last year and we started construction on March 5th. It can be done but it sounds like you will have to do a lot of pushing. This is what I had to do but I was running the project. I am sure you are paying a premium not to have to do this.
    36 x 20, 3-1/2 to 8ft depth, 100 per. 20k gallon IG pool. Jandy Flopro 2hp vsp,
    Jandy 460 sq ft cartridge filter, Jandy Purelink SWC, Jandy Iaqualink control panel, Barracuda MX8
    Irish Mint Pebblesheen, Dive Rock, (2) 24" cascading water falls, LED pool light.
    36" Gas firepit with 1/4" Azuria and Cobalt Blue reflective glass. Our Pool

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    Re: Is there a Problem with My Pool Builder?

    My building permit was approved in 3 weeks. Are you dealing with the owner??? I would absolutely want a payment schedule and would NOT give him any more money. My PB only required 2500 down.
    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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    Administrator Leebo's Avatar
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    Re: Is there a Problem with My Pool Builder?

    It's hard for us to side with either party, as we don't know the full details of the contract. Each builder works on a different payment plan, and each set of permits takes a different amount of time to get approved. The best thing to do is schedule a personal appointment and express your concerns.

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    Re: Is there a Problem with My Pool Builder?

    Species, I had to reread your post several times to convince myself I hadn't written it! We have experienced almost an identical timeline and I have the same concerns. I am giving my PB the benefit of the doubt as they are local and on the small side. I contacted them after several people recommended them.

    I feel like I am constantly "checking in" and asking for an update on where things stand - sometimes I get a reply; sometimes I don't.

    I have read several "new construction" threads where there were delays or problems with communication and things dragged on so I don't think it is unusual to have these issues. But, I know that's little comfort when it is happening to you.

    I'm actually following Dreampool's advice and scheduling a heart-to-heart in person. I want to understand my PB's perspective on everything and to also share my misgivings.

    Good luck!
    Swimming!: 19x32 IG rectangular pool, 22,500 gallons; 3' - 6.5'; open spa w/ 6 jets; raised wall w/ 1 sheer descent and 2 minijets, 2 color-changing LED pool lights, 1 spa light; Jandy 2 1/2 HP 2 speed Pump, Jandy cartridge filter (320 SQFT), Diamondbrite Cool Blue

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    In the Industry

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    Re: Is there a Problem with My Pool Builder?

    Every state dictates how legal language is written into a contract, alot of it is very similar but every state is different. Goes for the permit stage also, I have a couple local ciities where I am that I don't even have to see p&z for approval. Your builder may be busy or he may be a flae. He may have other projects that he is trying to finish to be able to devote his attention to you. As for the topo not getting done, if that had to be contracted out the people doing it may not of been able to get to you because of backlogs in their work due to the weather.
    Over 30 years in the pool business
    We build vinyl, fiberglass, stainless steel pools
    Certified in Hydraulics

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    midtngal's Avatar
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    Re: Is there a Problem with My Pool Builder?

    If you haven't been doing so...START...DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT DOCUMENT!! You may get to the end of your build and not need it but better to have it and not need it then to not have if you need it! I had a slow, unresponsive builder as well. It saved me my last 2K payment to him! Just my 2 cents.....
    10,700 gal IG vinyl
    Pentair Triton II TR50 sand filter
    Hayward SharkVac XL cleaner; Emerson 1HP pump
    Bioguard Mineral Springs SWG
    2 skimmers

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