We are in the research stage of trying to do a DIY vinyl pool in the Dallas area. Our maximum budget is $20K so we are trying to look at all of the facets of the project to get a realistic idea if that budget is even doable.
We have a friend who used to work in the industry, installing vinyl inground pools, who has offered to do much of the work for us, installing the pool and doing the plumbing and electrical. Of course we want it done right, and we are confident he can do it. We live outside the city limits, so the only "official" involvement we need is a $75 building permit to ensure we comply with proper distances from the septic tank and sprinklers. That shouldn't be a problem.
So it seems we need to find someone to excavate and do the deck. Our neighborhood has a lot of white rock and in talking to the neighbors, and from our own experience, it is fairly certain we will hit rock on the dig. We were hoping for an 8' deep end in either a rectangular pool or true-L. With the uncertainty of how the dig would go, I'm not sure how to best go about pricing the excavation part of the project. I have read that you should "use the subcontractors that the pool builders use," but how do you go about doing that? Will they just tell you if you ask them?
I am willing to just look for excavators in the yellow pages, but do I need to find someone specifically experienced in digging pools? Considering the rock issue, how do you think I can get the most accurate quote ahead of time?
Also, we are not looking for anything fancy for decking. With the simplest layout (poured and brushed concrete?) does anyone know a ballpark price for our area? Should this be done by someone experienced with pool decking, or can any concrete person do the job? What's the best way to find a good subcontractor?
Thanks for any help you can give us! I'm sure I'll have more questions as my husband and I research further.