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Thread: New Pool Build South Louisiana Feedback

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    New Pool Build South Louisiana Feedback

    Finally took the dive and decided to build 500 sqf free form inground gunite pool. We picked this contractor he has A rating on BBB and two references provided checked out but the process have been a nightmare. We Paid close to 50% back in May 1st and we are still no gunite as of today. Rain water messed up the wall and he he hires helpers no experience that did the form and steel and he did the initial plumbing Monday. I am attaching pictures if anything stand out or feedback that you may recommend before the gunite if It will ever happen. He is been not responsive and not returning calls. I am concerned about the height of the forms not even around and steel far away from walls. Not sure if the plumbing he did is right. Can you please look at the attached pictures and provide any suggestions and what to request from your experience.
    Looks like 4 returns one skimmer and one pipe for the booster? 2 main drains for both spa and pool and 6 jets.
    Thank you so much

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    Re: New Pool Build South Louisiana Feedback

    I am in the middle of my first build too, so I am not an expert. I will tell you that having the steel far away from the wall should translate into thicker gunite since they will need three inches of gunite on top of the steel. Thicker gunite seems good. I had some rain before gunite as well and as a result have a very thick pool. Not sure that is always the case, but it worked for me.
    Good luck and stay patient. Or should I say good luck staying patient. It's all going to be worth it. I know things felt much better for me once the gunite was in.
    George
    30K gal (estimated ), IG, Pebble Sheen, Jandy Aqualink RS, 2.5 HP Jandy SHPM2.5 pump, 580 sqft Jandy CV580 cartridge filter, 399K BTUJandy LXI400N heater, Polaris 280 pressure cleaner - under construction

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    Re: New Pool Build South Louisiana Feedback

    Glad you're taking the dive and glad to see a fellow S. La building another pool. Why is he using wire mesh in the shell and not rebar? ETA: I see some rebar now that I'm on my desktop....but it still looks like he has a bunch of mesh in there...is that all rebar? or are my eyes getting that bad?


    And, don't mean to be so forward and direct...but why anyone would pay so much up front....he only has maybe, maybe 2k in that pool so far. If you don't mind, exactly how much did you front him?

    If I were you I'd find out where he lived or what bar he's laid up in and physically carry him to my backyard. Good luck!

    J
    18x36 vinyl / sport pool 5.5' deep / 1.5hp Tri-Star 2spd / Hayward c3030 325 sqft cartridge / ~15k gal / TF100

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    Re: New Pool Build South Louisiana Feedback

    I am not qualified to say if there are any problem with what I see in your pictures. What I can tell you is that the work looks sloppy compared to the same work that was completed on my pool. My light buckets were securely attached in position before gunite. My skimmers were formed out, level and had rebar cages. I don't think you are ready for gunite yet. I will say that gunite can hide a lot of sins. If your gunite is shot by a highly regarded company with a good crew, they will make things right or force your builder to fix it before they shoot. In talking with my gunite crew, if anything looks bad after gunite, everyone blames the gunite crew so they are very careful to make sure everything is right. I thought my pool was a mess until the gunite went in. After gunite, it is different stress and frustration. Good luck.

    Bob

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    Re: New Pool Build South Louisiana Feedback

    Thanks. I do not mind being patient. It is the poor communication and not returning calls that is frustrating and being kept in the dark about progress...

    - - - Updated - - -

    He used rebar throughout. Contract 10% down and 35% at the start of the work next payment is due after tile and coping.

    Quote Originally Posted by jjwalker View Post
    Glad you're taking the dive and glad to see a fellow S. La building another pool. Why is he using wire mesh in the shell and not rebar? ETA: I see some rebar now that I'm on my desktop....but it still looks like he has a bunch of mesh in there...is that all rebar? or are my eyes getting that bad?


    And, don't mean to be so forward and direct...but why anyone would pay so much up front....he only has maybe, maybe 2k in that pool so far. If you don't mind, exactly how much did you front him?

    If I were you I'd find out where he lived or what bar he's laid up in and physically carry him to my backyard. Good luck!

    J
    - - - Updated - - -

    Thanks. What about the plumbing? I am looking if anything I need to fix now before gunite and It is too late.

    Quote Originally Posted by RangerBob View Post
    I am not qualified to say if there are any problem with what I see in your pictures. What I can tell you is that the work looks sloppy compared to the same work that was completed on my pool. My light buckets were securely attached in position before gunite. My skimmers were formed out, level and had rebar cages. I don't think you are ready for gunite yet. I will say that gunite can hide a lot of sins. If your gunite is shot by a highly regarded company with a good crew, they will make things right or force your builder to fix it before they shoot. In talking with my gunite crew, if anything looks bad after gunite, everyone blames the gunite crew so they are very careful to make sure everything is right. I thought my pool was a mess until the gunite went in. After gunite, it is different stress and frustration. Good luck.

    Bob

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    Re: New Pool Build South Louisiana Feedback

    What size rebar is that? In my mind he needs more rebar in your bond beam and I would prefer a solid band of heavy rebar around the bond beam . Do you have plans and engineering specs? He appears below specs in California.
    Your rebar needs to be lifted off the ground by spacers commonly called dobies.

    Second I have may doubts if your drains in the spa are Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act compliant, they need to be 3 feet apart. I can't see the pool drains.

    I agree the skimmer and light Niche should be framed in rebar.

    All plumbing in the shell should be pressure tested. I hire labor off the street that does better plumbing work than here. It just looks bad. Can't really tell what is going on in the spa.

    I see no bonding wires at all connecting to the shell. He needs at least 4 bonding connections to the shell.

    I generally don't like plumbing the shell first and then the runs to the pad after the shell is done. I like all the plumbing in at the time the rebar is done and the pressure test.

    Oh why is that light on the side of the pool facing the house? The light should be facing away from the house. Otherwise all you will see is glare. Your spa is on that side, but the vast majority of the time you would want the lights on the other side of the pool.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Re: New Pool Build South Louisiana Feedback

    WOW! I just do not know what to say....................To my untrained eye that does NOT look ready for anything other than more work to get it ready.

    You poor thing. Do you have ANY idea where he lives or hangs at so you can talk to him? Although with what I am seeing I think I would try to find someone else to fix and finish. Yes it will cost you BUT in the long run it may cost you less.

    HUGS! Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: New Pool Build South Louisiana Feedback

    Thanks I figured I am dealing with an incompetent contractor. I will fire him after gunite but need to document his lack of qualityand see what I can fix before.
    He said 40-rebar tied 9'' on the center. Is there a way to check it? I do not have any plans or engineering specs. Are these required to be provided? The pool drains are below water since there is water that the pump does not get mixed with mud. Thanks for the suggestion on the light I will change that to face away. I have a tanning ledge on the other side . The other light he has is on deep side facing 3'oclock. I can take more picture of the spa if that helps. Thanks again

    Quote Originally Posted by gwegan View Post
    What size rebar is that? In my mind he needs more rebar in your bond beam and I would prefer a solid band of heavy rebar around the bond beam . Do you have plans and engineering specs? He appears below specs in California.
    Your rebar needs to be lifted off the ground by spacers commonly called dobies.

    Second I have may doubts if your drains in the spa are Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act compliant, they need to be 3 feet apart. I can't see the pool drains.

    I agree the skimmer and light Niche should be framed in rebar.

    All plumbing in the shell should be pressure tested. I hire labor off the street that does better plumbing work than here. It just looks bad. Can't really tell what is going on in the spa.

    I see no bonding wires at all connecting to the shell. He needs at least 4 bonding connections to the shell.

    I generally don't like plumbing the shell first and then the runs to the pad after the shell is done. I like all the plumbing in at the time the rebar is done and the pressure test.

    Oh why is that light on the side of the pool facing the house? The light should be facing away from the house. Otherwise all you will see is glare. Your spa is on that side, but the vast majority of the time you would want the lights on the other side of the pool.

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    Re: New Pool Build South Louisiana Feedback

    Quote Originally Posted by Smarino View Post
    Thanks I figured I am dealing with an incompetent contractor. I will fire him after gunite but need to document his lack of qualityand see what I can fix before.
    He said 40-rebar tied 9'' on the center. Is there a way to check it? I do not have any plans or engineering specs. Are these required to be provided? The pool drains are below water since there is water that the pump does not get mixed with mud. Thanks for the suggestion on the light I will change that to face away. I have a tanning ledge on the other side . The other light he has is on deep side facing 3'oclock. I can take more picture of the spa if that helps. Thanks again


    grade 40 just refers to the yield strength, 40k lbs which is the most common in light construction. if he came and did the plumbing and elec himself (if I read correctly from your first post) he probably owes his electrician and/or plumber $$ and he's trying to catch up on you and other jobs (if he's paying them at all) and they won't come out to do this job???

    that would be my guess. now, we could be unfairly bashing the guy for no reason, but I've been contracting in S.LA for over 20 yrs and I could write a book on the s%*! I've seen.

    i can give you my opinion, if you want it on what to do from here on out, that's only if you want it...PM me. i can tell you where to start and who to call to see if this guy is legit or not. first place would be to the LA State Licensing Board...they are there in BR...phone number 225-765-2301. PM me and i'll tell you who to talk to and what questions to ask.

    BBB is the WORST place for the consumer to check on or verify the validity of a contractor.

    hope this helps. J
    18x36 vinyl / sport pool 5.5' deep / 1.5hp Tri-Star 2spd / Hayward c3030 325 sqft cartridge / ~15k gal / TF100

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    Re: New Pool Build South Louisiana Feedback

    That sounds like an offer that shouldn't be refused.
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
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    Re: New Pool Build South Louisiana Feedback

    I PMed you. At this point I just want fix what been done so far. He does not do gunite so after gunite I will fire him. Are this pictures enough to prove poor quality or do I need to get someone to inspect it and put in writing?

    Quote Originally Posted by jjwalker View Post
    grade 40 just refers to the yield strength, 40k lbs which is the most common in light construction. if he came and did the plumbing and elec himself (if I read correctly from your first post) he probably owes his electrician and/or plumber $$ and he's trying to catch up on you and other jobs (if he's paying them at all) and they won't come out to do this job???

    that would be my guess. now, we could be unfairly bashing the guy for no reason, but I've been contracting in S.LA for over 20 yrs and I could write a book on the s%*! I've seen.

    i can give you my opinion, if you want it on what to do from here on out, that's only if you want it...PM me. i can tell you where to start and who to call to see if this guy is legit or not. first place would be to the LA State Licensing Board...they are there in BR...phone number 225-765-2301. PM me and i'll tell you who to talk to and what questions to ask.

    BBB is the WORST place for the consumer to check on or verify the validity of a contractor.

    hope this helps. J

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    Re: New Pool Build South Louisiana Feedback

    I strongly recommend that you do not put in the gunite with steel in that condition. If you do, make sure take lots of pictures and videos before and during gunite as you will need it to show incompetence. Most of your rebar are flushed to the ground. You need dobies all over so that the steel will be 3" up, that way it will be right in the middle of your 6" gunite pool wall to properly reinforce your walls. If you are going to fire your PB after gunite, at least make sure he fixes the rebar so that your walls will be structurally sound. I just finished rebar of my pool a couple days ago, these are the pics:
    As you can see, I have dobies all along the walls. Also notice at the forms, the rebar is 3" up there also and not on the ground like yours is.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Rebar frame for my light niche:


    - - - Updated - - -

    Rebar frame for my skimmer:

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    Re: New Pool Build South Louisiana Feedback

    Thank you for sharing the pictures. What a difference day and night! I will take all the advice received and ask him via letter to fix this.

    So far light niches and skimmer needs rebar frame
    dobies all over so steel be up 3'' throughout
    bond beams rebar


    [QUOTE=vudoo222;677554]I strongly recommend that you do not put in the gunite with steel in that condition. If you do, make sure take lots of pictures and videos before and during gunite as you will need it to show incompetence. Most of your rebar are flushed to the ground. You need dobies all over so that the steel will be 3" up, that way it will be right in the middle of your 6" gunite pool wall to properly reinforce your walls. If you are going to fire your PB after gunite, at least make sure he fixes the rebar so that your walls will be structurally sound. I just finished rebar of my pool a couple days ago, these are the pics:
    As you can see, I have dobies all along the walls. Also notice at the forms, the rebar is 3" up there also and not on the ground like yours is.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Rebar frame for my light niche:

    - - - Updated - - -

    Rebar frame for my skimmer:

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    Re: New Pool Build South Louisiana Feedback

    Do you have any other pics of your plumbing or equipment pad?

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    Re: New Pool Build South Louisiana Feedback

    There is no other plumbing or equipment pad. That's all he put in there you see in the pic Spa and pool. Do you see anything ?

    Quote Originally Posted by vudoo222 View Post
    Do you have any other pics of your plumbing or equipment pad?

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    Re: New Pool Build South Louisiana Feedback

    As mentioned earlier, wound be helpful if you can post a pool plan or diagram of your pool and list of your pool equipment. Most of my plumbing went in first before rebar. Had a lot more plumbing than yours and it only took two days. Need to have your pump, filter, heater in and pressure tested. If you are putting gas, make sure you have gas permit. You would also need inspection before gunite. I have a feeling that he is dragging his feet because this will not pass inspection. My dig started 8 days ago and we should be ready for first inspection next week after electric is in. I would be very concerned that he continues to drag this out, plumbing for your sized pool should not take a whole week and counting. Follow jjwalker's advise on checking the PB with the LA Licensing Board. I check all my contractors in Arizona on Arizona Registrar of Contractors(ROC).

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    Re: New Pool Build South Louisiana Feedback

    This picture shows the top of the bond beam and bonding for lights and rebarlight.jpg Your light niche must be bonded.


    image(6).jpgThis shows the skimmer and top of bond beam. Note the double band of rebar.

    Vudoo: Inspection and or plans are probably not required here.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Re: New Pool Build South Louisiana Feedback

    Smarino, equipment pad is where your pumps, filter, and heater should be.

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    Re: New Pool Build South Louisiana Feedback

    Gwegan, It would be scary to think inspection is not required in LA. Here in Phoenix, I have gas inspection on Tuesday, pre-gunite inspection for the plumbing, steel, and electric, and then final inspection.
    Jjwalker, could you tell us what inspections are needed in LA?

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    Re: New Pool Build South Louisiana Feedback

    I know but what I am saying there is no location decided for it yet. So I think It will be on either side of the house. Why?

    Quote Originally Posted by vudoo222 View Post
    Smarino, equipment pad is where your pumps, filter, and heater should be.
    - - - Updated - - -

    There is inspection for electrical and plumbing (test pressure) and final pool inspection. Nothing for the steel.

    Quote Originally Posted by vudoo222 View Post
    Gwegan, It would be scary to think inspection is not required in LA. Here in Phoenix, I have gas inspection on Tuesday, pre-gunite inspection for the plumbing, steel, and electric, and then final inspection.
    Jjwalker, could you tell us what inspections are needed in LA?

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