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Thread: Being scammed or is this a legitimate issue?

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    Being scammed or is this a legitimate issue?

    Hello and thanks in advance for any assistance.

    My wife and I recently signed with a pool builder in upstate NY.

    They began excavating last Friday. This morning, they gave us the bad news that our yard had been "filled" and had non-virgin soil. As such, they have to install something called a Pool "lift" and it's going to cost us another $10,000.

    I inspected the hole that they began digging, and I saw none of the problems that they had told me about in the contract: no tree-stumps, dead bodies, no rusting automobiles, no nuclear waste, bones of the dead, tombstones, Shangri-La, oil bins, Jimmy Hoffa, nothing. There were like...2 tree branches that they kept referring to as "organics".

    Am I being scammed or what?

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    Re: Being scammed or is this a legitimate issue?

    Sounds suspect to me and would be cause for concern. Tough to say for sure without seeing the hole, etc. I have seen threads on here where people have encountered a tree burial ground under the pool site and don't recall it costing 10k to deal with...

    You are just now getting started and trust issues are already coming up, which may be reason to pull the plug (only you can make that determination though as it's your money ).
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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Being scammed or is this a legitimate issue?

    The only way to know for sure is to hire a Geotechnical engineering service and have them survey and evaluate the soil.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Being scammed or is this a legitimate issue?

    How old is the house? Tha sounds very suspect. How long have you lived in the house?
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    Re: Being scammed or is this a legitimate issue?

    I'd call BS. So Joe Blow excavator goes into your yard, punches a few holes in the ground and says...'lordie! its a tragedy...you've got non virgin soil!' Bullsheetz. Did he take night classes as a soil engineer to determine a consumer needs to cut him a check for 10k to make soil conditions right for a pool?

    I'd hire a civil engineer to come do a core sample to see if compaction will allow for a pool, IF you're concerned about it. I'd then ask PB to give me in writing what analysis he used to determine that your soil is sub standard for a pool. I'd then ask PB to give me in writing a detailed description, based upon all info given, what costs and construction processes would be used to alleviate non virgin soil issues. And that also you are involving a civil and structural engineer to review his findings. (Whether you do or not is your choice, but its the bluff that counts)

    My guess, after you inform him of your intentions, this virgin soil problem will vanish.

    What kind of pool is it and how much of your money does he already have?
    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: Being scammed or is this a legitimate issue?

    WOW! Did you do a reference check on this pool builder? Sorry you're already having issues.
    17K Kidney Shaped Pool Concrete (Diamond Bright) Pool, 3/4 hp 2 speed 115V Sta-rite Duraglas PEA5D-180L/P2R5D-181L (Impeller C105-92PS Diffuser C1-216P), 1.5 piping, Pentair CC100 Filter , Heat Siphon 100K BTU Heat Pump Pool Heater, Flow meter Blue White Flowmeter Model No. F-30150P, Hayward Astrolight SP0581N, SWCG CalimarTitanium Edition TE45 , Dolphin Nautilus Plus with CleverClean, Lakeland Florida

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    CUTiger78's Avatar
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    Re: Being scammed or is this a legitimate issue?

    ​What's a pool "lift," anyway?
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    Re: Being scammed or is this a legitimate issue?

    What is the age of the house? If it is older, how big are the branches, does it show signs of rotting? If there is no rot, how did they get there?
    50' by 20' geo/free form
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    Re: Being scammed or is this a legitimate issue?

    Thanks for all your responses, guys. To answer your questions.

    1. The house is brand new. We built 2 years ago and have lived in it since it was built.
    2. The pool builder is considered a reputable builder in our area Edit. Butterfly Even though they were more expensive than competition, we went with them specifically because they had such a good reputation.
    3. I have no idea what a "pool lift" is. Those are their words. Apparently though it will involve 16 tri-axel truckloads (about 320 tons) of crush-run stone.
    4. jjwalker: thanks. I might do just that.
    Last edited by Butterfly; 09-16-2014 at 11:54 AM. Reason: Removed link

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    Re: Being scammed or is this a legitimate issue?

    Quote Originally Posted by CUTiger78 View Post
    ​What's a pool "lift," anyway?
    Did a google search and the only thing I can find is a lift that sets handicapped folks into the pool.

    I would tell your PB to immediately halt. Whether he's honest or not, he's forced you to take action and it's obvious you don't believe him because you've posted here(good call on that).

    Now don't post and run. Keep us updated, this is very curious. If you can prove he's lying, you need to post reviews on every outlet available because those crooks shouldn't be in business.

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    CUTiger78's Avatar
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    Re: Being scammed or is this a legitimate issue?

    Quote Originally Posted by Corleone View Post
    Did a google search and the only thing I can find is a lift that sets handicapped folks into the pool.
    Thanks, Corleone. That's what I was familiar with. Maybe the PB was talking about soil compaction - add layers or "lifts" of fill, compacting each lift as you go.
    36K gallon 42X22 gunite/plaster kidney-shaped IG;
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    Hayward S244T sand filter w/ Zeosand (both new in 2009);
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    Re: Being scammed or is this a legitimate issue?

    Quote Originally Posted by CUTiger78 View Post
    Thanks, Corleone. That's what I was familiar with. Maybe the PB was talking about soil compaction - add layers or "lifts" of fill, compacting each lift as you go.
    Ok guys thanks for your help. To give you guys some answers, here you go:

    1. The home is 2 years old, we just built and have occupied it since it was finished.
    2. The branches were not big at all. Most of them are as thick as your thumb, maybe a bit bigger. A couple as thick as your wrist. They are also very sparse. The going theory from the pool company is that the home builder "filled" the backyard by just plowing dirt around to make it more even.
    3. I have no idea what a pool 'lift' is. Apparently though it involves 16 tri-axel truck loads (320 tons) of crush-run stone to fill.
    4. The pool company is Concord Pools they are considered one of the best in our area. It was more expensive to build with them, but they are supposed to be the best in our area which is why we went with them.
    5. We are strongly considering an independent engineer to assess the backyard. Thanks for the tips.

    I'll keep everyone posted. Thanks again for your quick and sincere responses. Nice to see a forum (so far) devoid of trolls.
    Last edited by jblizzle; 09-16-2014 at 11:25 AM. Reason: removed link in violation of forum rules

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    CUTiger78's Avatar
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    Re: Being scammed or is this a legitimate issue?

    Good luck to ya, Rocmistro. 320 tons sounds like quite the earthmoving project. I'll keep watching to see how this story plays out.

    Cheers!
    36K gallon 42X22 gunite/plaster kidney-shaped IG;
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    Hayward S244T sand filter w/ Zeosand (both new in 2009);
    175K BTU LAARS Lite2 LG natural gas heater; Polaris 380;
    TF-100 test kit.

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    Re: Being scammed or is this a legitimate issue?

    What I would do then, is hire an independent engineer, and then if needed, hire a company to fill, compact and grade for you. If the PB is charging you 10k, you can probably do it for less subbing it out yourself, if that is the situation, and your engineer might have some less expensive options, if the PB was being truthful.

    At the minimum you need to explore your options, sounds like that's what you're doing right now, so keep us informed.

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    Re: Being scammed or is this a legitimate issue?

    Soil compaction is obviously a real problem. If the soil surrounding your pool is not properly compacted, you can risk a cave in during excavating or, worse, after your pool is finished and you have a major rain storm AND THEN the pool collapses.

    If the PB said the home builder used a lot of fill soil without compaction, then you need to go back to your home builder and request that they provide you with whatever environmental and structural engineering reports they have for your property. Since your property is newly built and less than 2 years old, that information should be readily obtainable with one phone call. If your home builder can provide proof that they properly graded and filled your lot, then the PB should go on that basis. However, don't be surprised if the PB makes you sign a release of liability amendment to your contrtact if you refuse to use their fill procedure.

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    Re: Being scammed or is this a legitimate issue?

    Take a look at your topography around your town, and then in your neighborhood. Is the area flat? is your neighborhood flat? If so, i would really question this builder. What reason would the home developer have for leveling ground that is already level. If its not flat, then i would dive deeper into hiring some soil engineers. In fact since this has come about, i would look at their services anyway.
    This way you have all your bases covered and know in the end that you have the very best product you can have.
    Also in the event that there come to be some defects in workmanship, you have tests prior to the work to back up your side.
    The pool builder may well be the best in the country, and from what he is charging you for soil stabalization he should be.
    Randy H.

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    Re: Being scammed or is this a legitimate issue?

    Any of your neighbors have pools?
    -Jimbo- My pool was full of dirt and trees. Now it's full of water and children!
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    Re: Being scammed or is this a legitimate issue?

    This is wild!
    16,000 gallons, IG
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    Under construnction 8-1-14
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  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Being scammed or is this a legitimate issue?

    Sounds very fishy to me. How was your home built? Is it concrete slab foundation? Do you have a basement? At any rate, with a newly built home, I would suspect your home builder would have to have done a soil report prior to construction that you could easily get a copy of. That is generally required of new home construction in most places that I am aware.
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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Being scammed or is this a legitimate issue?

    Having worked in countless housing developments doing the site development, the only part of the lot if it was filled, that needs to be compacted is the building envelope. That is the place where the house will be built. The size of the envelope is determined by the size of the house to be built. It's usually big enough where the builder can shift around where the house will be built. The areas outside of the envelope can be filled and not compacted. I've seen where those areas are filled with top soil.
    What could be going on here is the PB dug down and didn't hit virgin ground or the material used to fill is unsuitable to build on. What he probably wants to do is dig down some more and bring it back up to grade " the bottom of the pool " with the crush and run, and put it in lifts and compact each lift to get something suitable to build on.
    At any rate you can get a soils engineer to take a look at the site and he can determine if the fill is suitable to build on. I would do this if you don't trust what the PB is telling you.
    Just my 0.02. 😎
    Jeff
    24'x54" AG Morada RTR (by wilbar) 13'500 gal. Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1hp 2 speed. Hayward Perflex EC65 DE filter.

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