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Thread: Questions about contractor responsibilty

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    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Questions about contractor responsibilty

    Hello everyone. I've gotten some great tips and information going into having a pool built. We are about 3/4 of the way into our build here in North Texas and a question and concern came up. Last week during the layout and forming of the pool deck the crew I guess expressed concerns to their boss regarding the grade of the ground at the rear of my pool. The next day I received a call from the PB project manager that he was meeting the concrete deck contractor out at my house. They discussed putting in more drains and such and talked about putting a footer all along the back of the pool. At that point the project manager discussed with me having a wall built and what my responsibility regarding cost was. Now just to clarify when they came out to my house to form a plan to bid to build my pool they surveyed the land and knew what the grade was. Never was their any discussion regarding a need to have a retaining wall built. Also during the design part we had originally discussed a grotto but changed it to a waterfall/weeping wall instead. Our pool builder used those exact words when describing it as a weeping wall/waterfall. On the contract of course it said weeping wall. So they built a weeping wall and not a waterfall. I had expressed concern to the project manager from day one when I saw the amount of stone but he said it would be enough. After the stone guys finished it was not what we had wanted. We discussed this with both the project manager and with the salesman/owner. After some discussion it was agreed to complete the waterfall. No more stone was bought but they probably had 2 guys for the better part of an afternoon here to finish this. They did pour the deck and added drains and a sloppy footer along part of the rear but not what they had discussed with me. In the meantime I got 2 bids to build a retaining wall of roughly $800-$900 depending on my choice of stone. I got a call yesterday from the project manager giving me a timeframe for finishing out the pool next week. He also mentioned that I now owed $500 extra for their guys to finish the waterfall. My thought is if I owe for the waterfall completion then he should own up and either build a retaining wall on the back of pool or I'm deducting the $500 they say I owe and $300 from their bill. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Questions about contractor responsibilty

    The only things that a legally binding are what is written in the contract.

    Your best bet is to continue to keep open communication with them and try to come to an agreement.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: Questions about contractor responsibilty

    Yes your right I painfully did not follow one of the golden rules that people on here warned me about. Make sure it's in the contract. But I also read in their contract that if I didn't sign for it then I'm not legally obligated to pay for it. I really don't want to get into a battle with them. I just want my pool finished. I'm happy with the quality of the work but not with the way the project is managed. For that reason I can't say I would recommend them. Fortunately I have been able to be here for most days while the work was done. Your right I'm going to try to come to some sort of agreement with them.

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    Mar 2011
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    Re: Questions about contractor responsibilty

    It sounds like you are dealing with a PB that is a significant operation. Many PB's, like mine before I fired him, are nothing more than a guy in a pick up truck. There really is no responsibility because if they walk away there's really no remedy. I have a judgment against my PB for about $12k but it's likely I'll never see a dime of it.

    The lessons are to make sure everything is in the contract (my contract was fine) AND make sure the PB has been around a long time and has a steady book of business. You don't want him to spend all of your money finishing up someone else's pool and then needing another job to finish yours. In Texas they are supposed to segregate your funds for your project, but I'm sure not many actually do that.
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    Re: Questions about contractor responsibilty

    These guys are not the largest of builders but not a small run out of their house operation either. I would guess they on a good year build between 50 and 100 pools. My problem with them is they contract out everything. None of these guys are their employees. And many of the days I have had to clarify and raise concerns when things didn't seem right? Like I'm the general contractor when that's what their job is. Maybe I'm expecting too much. I've worked with them when they didn't exactly follow the plan. It's just the laissez fare attitude about it that has me disappointed. If we call it even over their supposed additional cost for a waterfall I asked for in the beginning then I'll build the retaining wall myself. I guess we will see.

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    Re: Questions about contractor responsibilty

    Stand firm. If you didn't sign for it and it's not in the contract the you don't owe it. The issue is these guys like to make changes and not talk about cost till after it's done. I'm in a bit of a fight with my builder but since I stopped writing checks he's started to listen.
    16,000 gallons, IG
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    dumbcluck's Avatar
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    Re: Questions about contractor responsibilty

    I feel your pain. my pb is a great guy and builds beautiful pools but there is a serious lack of communication and planning. it drives me crazy. I like to have a plan and follow it for the most part. I never know how things are really going because in my eyes they don't finish everything and then tell me they're done. I just hope it all comes together in the end. i was watching them and asking questions a lot and now he sort of avoids conversation. he tells me were gonna work together on it and hes available 24/7 if I have any questions or concerns but I still don't get the info im looking for. im trying real hard to relax and let them do the job but its pretty tough. I don't want anything overlooked until its too late to change. stories like yours scare me.
    good luck with your build and make sure you get what you pay for.
    im a cub fan too. I used to live across the street from Wrigley field.
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    Re: Questions about contractor responsibilty

    Definitely sucks!

    Agree that best option is to negotiate while withholding final payment. If equitable agreement can't be achieve, then you'll have to fight it out further

    I hate it when contractors pull that BS about finishing a step and then informing you that you owe them more money on it....



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