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Thread: Building a New Pool in Dallas Suburb Advice Needed Please!

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    Building a New Pool in Dallas Suburb Advice Needed Please!

    Hey everyone! We are currently looking to build a new in ground pool. We are first time pool builders and would love any advice. We are building a diving pool with a spa approximately 40x19 (free form). We are going with pebble sheen interior, in floor cleaning system by Paramount, and travertine decking (approx. 1100 sq. ft.) along with an outdoor living space with a fireplace and kitchen. We have looked at three different builders Southernwind, Gold Medal and Hauk. We loved Southernwind but they were almost 10% more than anyone else and we couldn't justify it. If money had been no object they were an easy pick. But since it was, we are going with Hauk. If anyone has any comments on this I would love to hear it. The contract won't be signed until tomorrow!

    Also, the builder has said that they usually don't do auto fill features on pools. He also said that our town doesn't allow them but if we wanted it, he would do it. What do I need to ask for with an auto fill feature?

    We are going to go over the contract today and look at it over night. Is there anything I need to look for or lookout for in the contract?

    I look forward to hearing any advice! Thanks so much for your help!

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    Re: Building a New Pool in Dallas Suburb Advice Needed Please!

    Make sure you understand who is responsible for utility reroutes. It can get very expensive. My sewer reroute added $3000 to my pool build.

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    Re: Building a New Pool in Dallas Suburb Advice Needed Please!

    Here are some recommendations for what pool contracts should cover:


    1. ENGAGEMENT AND DESCRIPTION OF THE WORK
    2. SCHEDULE AND TIME OF PERFORMANCE
    3. PAYMENT SCHEDULE
    4. COMPLETION
    5. CHANGES TO THE WORK
    6. DELAYS
    7. RIGHT TO STOP WORK
    8. ACCESS AND CONDITION OF PREMISES
    9. WORK PERFORMANCE AND WORK QUALITY
    10. WARRANTY
    11. INDEMNIFICATION AND LIMITATIONS ON LIABILITY
    12. INSURANCE
    13. LICENSES AND PERMITS
    14. FINES
    15. GENERAL/MISCELLANEOUS INCLUDING NOTICES
    16. THREE DAY RIGHT TO CANCEL


    -Karen
    New in 2017, will update

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    Re: Building a New Pool in Dallas Suburb Advice Needed Please!

    Is there anything in the contracts usually about a release of lien from subcontractors? How is the payment schedule usually worked out? Right now we have talked to the builder and they want final payment when they fill the pool. Does that sound right?

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    Re: Building a New Pool in Dallas Suburb Advice Needed Please!

    You would want to have language in the contract related to the release of lien from subcontractors. Your payment schedule is going to be the strongest (potential) leverage you have. You want that to be as favorable to you as you can make it. If you have read some of the threads here - you will see they range widely. Many of the posters reflect that a large payment after gunite usually means your PB slows down the build after that. They rush to get gunite done because a payment is due, some people pay up to a third then (would recommend less) and then the rest of the build becomes a slow process because the PB has seen a third of his money already. Also, many posters reflected that when their last payment was made at fill (fairly common) that they never get the PB to respond to any of the punch list items. Ideally, you would want an equal payment due after all punch list items are complete. Just my .02 cents. - Karen
    New in 2017, will update

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    Re: Building a New Pool in Dallas Suburb Advice Needed Please!

    Quote Originally Posted by RangerBob View Post
    You would want to have language in the contract related to the release of lien from subcontractors. Your payment schedule is going to be the strongest (potential) leverage you have. You want that to be as favorable to you as you can make it. If you have read some of the threads here - you will see they range widely. Many of the posters reflect that a large payment after gunite usually means your PB slows down the build after that. They rush to get gunite done because a payment is due, some people pay up to a third then (would recommend less) and then the rest of the build becomes a slow process because the PB has seen a third of his money already. Also, many posters reflected that when their last payment was made at fill (fairly common) that they never get the PB to respond to any of the punch list items. Ideally, you would want an equal payment due after all punch list items are complete. Just my .02 cents. - Karen
    What she said! Final payment when final work done.

    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: Building a New Pool in Dallas Suburb Advice Needed Please!

    If any PB actually agrees to final payment AFTER punch list I'll eat my shorts. The only thing in my contract about quality of work is that there is a 5% variance allowance in the construction of the depth and perimeter of the pool shell. These pool contracts are all pretty much based off the same template around here. But I am living proof that after PB receives a large payment, things can become difficult.
    14K Freeform Gunite w/60% Blue Quartz plaster, Quad DE filter, Intelliflo VS Pump + Booster for Cleaner, Aquacal Heat Pump

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    Re: Building a New Pool in Dallas Suburb Advice Needed Please!

    Unfortunately I agree with zetha on the contract thing. My PB held all the cards in our particular build because he's the only one around that could do what we wanted, and so he wouldn't move off of the 5% at plaster (which was 100% paid). However, to their credit, we're mostly pleased with them. They just have a few punch list things to come back and fix and I don't think I'll have a hard time getting them back out. They've been fairly responsive even after being 100% paid.

    I've heard nothing but good things about Southernwind, even though I know they are expensive.
    Done! Pool build thread here
    38 x 18 free form, IG gunite with all gunite waterfall/slide/grotto
    18" raised spa, waterfall into pool
    Hayward 3hp Tri Star Pump x 3, 525sqft Swimclear filter, Polaris 280 cleaner
    Hayward LED pool lights, Hayward LED accent lights, 400K BTU Heater

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    Re: Building a New Pool in Dallas Suburb Advice Needed Please!

    My PB gets the final payment after plaster, which is 5%. I think that is pretty standard.

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    Re: Building a New Pool in Dallas Suburb Advice Needed Please!

    Quote Originally Posted by zethacat View Post
    If any PB actually agrees to final payment AFTER punch list I'll eat my shorts. The only thing in my contract about quality of work is that there is a 5% variance allowance in the construction of the depth and perimeter of the pool shell. These pool contracts are all pretty much based off the same template around here. But I am living proof that after PB receives a large payment, things can become difficult.
    Well Zetha - you'll have to eat your shorts. My PB doesn't get paid until final punch list / project is complete. That doesn't mean he works any faster though.... - Karen
    New in 2017, will update

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    Re: Building a New Pool in Dallas Suburb Advice Needed Please!

    Quote Originally Posted by Twolabs View Post

    I've heard nothing but good things about Southernwind, even though I know they are expensive.
    We talked to John at Southernwind several times, they were incredibly responsive to our questions during our research phase - unfortunately they don't build in my area and I couldn't get him to budge....
    New in 2017, will update

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    Re: Building a New Pool in Dallas Suburb Advice Needed Please!

    Quote Originally Posted by RangerBob View Post
    Well Zetha - you'll have to eat your shorts. My PB doesn't get paid until final punch list / project is complete. That doesn't mean he works any faster though.... - Karen
    Hope they are clean shorts.

    Quote Originally Posted by RangerBob View Post
    We talked to John at Southernwind several times, they were incredibly responsive to our questions during our research phase - unfortunately they don't build in my area and I couldn't get him to budge....
    Same with us Karen. The owner of the company actually helped answer a couple of questions I had about soil stability, and was super nice. But they didn't build out as far as us and were sticking to that.

    Another one I'd look into is Claffey Pools out of Southlake. They have some jaw dropping designs but they didn't build as far out as us either.
    Done! Pool build thread here
    38 x 18 free form, IG gunite with all gunite waterfall/slide/grotto
    18" raised spa, waterfall into pool
    Hayward 3hp Tri Star Pump x 3, 525sqft Swimclear filter, Polaris 280 cleaner
    Hayward LED pool lights, Hayward LED accent lights, 400K BTU Heater

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    Re: Building a New Pool in Dallas Suburb Advice Needed Please!

    Good thing I was wearing edible underpants. Wow, that's amazing Karen. I have no idea how you pulled that off. I will say that based on my research on this forum, that is a rarity. I sincerely hope that your PB follows through on all punch list items. Mine kept promising for months and never actually did them.
    14K Freeform Gunite w/60% Blue Quartz plaster, Quad DE filter, Intelliflo VS Pump + Booster for Cleaner, Aquacal Heat Pump

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    Re: Building a New Pool in Dallas Suburb Advice Needed Please!

    Quote Originally Posted by zethacat View Post
    Good thing I was wearing edible underpants. Wow, that's amazing Karen. I have no idea how you pulled that off. I will say that based on my research on this forum, that is a rarity. I sincerely hope that your PB follows through on all punch list items. Mine kept promising for months and never actually did them.
    I pretty much wrote my own contract. And all my installments are equal payments. I should have back loaded it though just to encourage the pace (maybe). One thing to keep in mind with my project (and similar to Sahm) is that there was more than a pool as part of the project, it included the fireplace, outdoor kitchen and outdoor living area. So there was no way I wanted to be exposed at pool plaster / fill without the entire project being completed. I think Sahm can leverage the same points in his negotiations. -Karen
    New in 2017, will update

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    Re: Building a New Pool in Dallas Suburb Advice Needed Please!

    I like the way Karen thinks! Write something to make the PB and PO on equal footing. PB does a good job on job A = getting paid for THAT. Does a good job on job B=getting paid, etc!

    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: Building a New Pool in Dallas Suburb Advice Needed Please!

    Keep in mind that my project took 11 months to complete, but I had 55 pay points in my agreement. I had the project broken down into clear objectives that both the pool builder and I could agree with. So the conversation went something like this every week or two: "It looks like you have the travertine installed on the top section, here's a check for $xxxx", "looks like you have the foundation rebar in for the retaining walls, here's a check for $xxxx". "looks like the mosaic is done, here's a check for $xxx" Or, nothing really completed this week, see you next week". They were good to work with and there was no ambiguity on what work they had completed. They had never done a schedule like this for anyone before. I set the cadence for the payments. Good luck.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Building a New Pool in Dallas Suburb Advice Needed Please!

    Quote Originally Posted by martinkennedy View Post
    Keep in mind that my project took 11 months to complete, but I had 55 pay points in my agreement. I had the project broken down into clear objectives that both the pool builder and I could agree with. So the conversation went something like this every week or two: "It looks like you have the travertine installed on the top section, here's a check for $xxxx", "looks like you have the foundation rebar in for the retaining walls, here's a check for $xxxx". "looks like the mosaic is done, here's a check for $xxx" Or, nothing really completed this week, see you next week". They were good to work with and there was no ambiguity on what work they had completed. They had never done a schedule like this for anyone before. I set the cadence for the payments. Good luck.
    THIS is how it should be. If they will not play ball take your ball to another game!

    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: Building a New Pool in Dallas Suburb Advice Needed Please!

    Finding a PB that is willing to do that could take forever and nobody wants to wait forever to build their pool. I envy you both , Karen and Martin.
    14K Freeform Gunite w/60% Blue Quartz plaster, Quad DE filter, Intelliflo VS Pump + Booster for Cleaner, Aquacal Heat Pump

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    Re: Building a New Pool in Dallas Suburb Advice Needed Please!

    I know 2 people that built with Hauk. Both had great experiences. Unfortunately for us, they were over our budget.

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    Re: Building a New Pool in Dallas Suburb Advice Needed Please!

    We signed our contract yesterday. We asked for and received some changes in the payout structure. Our last payment is now once EVERYTHING is done, not when they plaster/pebble sheen the pool. I'm starting to get excited!

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