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Thread: What is 'standard' prep for replastering?

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    Jen_TX's Avatar
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    What is 'standard' prep for replastering?

    We are replastering our pool... the guys came to do the prep work today. We were expecting to see a pool with the old plaster scraped off. They scraped it off down about 6 inches from the coping tile, and 'roughed up' the rest of the surface and then put on the bonding agent. They went over the top of the plaster they had roughed up, even including the decorative tiles on our steps and sun deck, with the bonding agent. I guess we were expecting to see more plaster removed. Can you all help us with what is typical for a replaster? Do they typically scrape off all plaster? Thanks in advance. We don't know a lot about pools and are wondering if we are getting ripped off here.
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: What is 'standard' prep for replastering?

    IF the original plaster is still solid and not delaminating, then what you describe seems to be pretty common. I would prefer it to all be chipped out down to the gunite, and in fact that is what they did when mine was resurfaced.
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    Re: What is 'standard' prep for replastering?

    We would too, especially considering that there are a couple surface cracks at the bottom that we wanted out - and we were told that they would scrape down to the bottom of them to be sure there was nothing going on underneath. The pool isn't losing water so I don't think they're anything, but we are more comfortable having those scraped out completely.
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    elwood58's Avatar
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    Re: What is 'standard' prep for replastering?

    Mine got taken down to mostly gunite.
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    Re: What is 'standard' prep for replastering?

    this is what it looks like right now.
    poolprepped.jpg
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    Re: What is 'standard' prep for replastering?

    Don't know if this helps, but we are involved in a similar renovation on a 20 year old pool that has never been resurfaced and suffered plenty of abuse from previous home owners. Our pool had not been feeling the love for a while, so we replaced the tile also. They scrapped our pool surface down to a certain point, but not all the way to the gunite. Sand blasted late today, cleaned up, then grout the new tile, built new entry steps, and replaced the mastic in the expansion joints. The sides and bottom of our pool are a mess. It is my understanding the PB munchkins are coming back tomorrow for some additional repair to steps, and will be spraying the bonding agent tomorrow after lunch. We had new steps put in because ours were at a steep exponential decline, and each step was 14 inches down and it just felt odd and a little dangerous. Your surface actually appears in the picture as if your pool surface is in better shape. I wonder if that would be the reason to not have to go as deep. If you are resurfacing with a pebble surface, I'll be following your thread closely since we are at a similar time-frame. Heck, may stalk your thread anyway! Can you please post your choice in re-surface material and other plans? We have had two weeks of weather delays in North TX.

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    Re: What is 'standard' prep for replastering?

    It varies from job to job, but it is common for them not to remove it all the way down to the cement. They should have laid that out in the job scope either way I think, but that doesnt help you much, I know. If, as Jason said, there aren't hollow spots (lamination) between the original shell and old plaster it should be fine. On jobs they find these spots, they will remove plaster in various sized patches until they reach out to well bonded areas.
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    Re: What is 'standard' prep for replastering?

    Thanks for all the replies. Patrick_B, you're right, this should have been very clearly spelled out in the bid. When the sales guy was here, he told us verbally they would scrape off all plaster, although not necessarily to the gunite unless it was necessary (per the cracks on the bottom). When we discussed the possibility of total delamination, that would have cost us another $1,000. My husband had to physically go out there and ask about the cracks, as the crew was just going to go right over them - the only reason they chipped them out was because he was standing there and asked them to. Now, we have asked for a total delam, and we are being told since they already prepped it, it's now $1,700. NOT impressed with this so far. I suggested they stick to the total delam for $1,000 since this has not gone the way we were told it would go.

    Golderdog, our pool is 14 years old and considering its age, it is not in bad shape (it has been hardly used until we bought the house). The steps and sundeck were chipping on the edges and the plaster everywhere else was wearing off and had discolored. We are doing plaster bottom. We considered a pebble bottom but we have a lot of other work to do in our backyard. I should post photos in another thread for you... when the house and pool was built, someone thought it was a good idea to plant a bunch of crape myrtles around the pool. Those have been removed, the very minimal pool decking has been expanded into a beautiful stone patio, and we have yet to fill said patio with high quality furniture, build an outdoor kitchen, add outdoor speakers and shade, and landscape the backyard. It's literally a blank slate.

    Here in Austin we had weather delays too... but nothing like MN, where I came from. I'll take winters and their related delays here any day!
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    Re: What is 'standard' prep for replastering?

    Good luck with this remodel, and humor us with the work progress. I bet your yard will look terrific when you are at completion. I sure understand budgets and priorities. Can’t wait to watch your reno. I can see the potential in that picture. If you need help with landscaping suggestions, I can offer those. Austin is a great area for landscapes and outdoor living.

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    Re: What is 'standard' prep for replastering?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jen_TX View Post
    Thanks for all the replies. Patrick_B, you're right, this should have been very clearly spelled out in the bid. When the sales guy was here, he told us verbally they would scrape off all plaster, although not necessarily to the gunite unless it was necessary (per the cracks on the bottom). When we discussed the possibility of total delamination, that would have cost us another $1,000. My husband had to physically go out there and ask about the cracks, as the crew was just going to go right over them - the only reason they chipped them out was because he was standing there and asked them to. Now, we have asked for a total delam, and we are being told since they already prepped it, it's now $1,700. NOT impressed with this so far. I suggested they stick to the total delam for $1,000 since this has not gone the way we were told it would go.

    Golderdog, our pool is 14 years old and considering its age, it is not in bad shape (it has been hardly used until we bought the house). The steps and sundeck were chipping on the edges and the plaster everywhere else was wearing off and had discolored. We are doing plaster bottom. We considered a pebble bottom but we have a lot of other work to do in our backyard. I should post photos in another thread for you... when the house and pool was built, someone thought it was a good idea to plant a bunch of crape myrtles around the pool. Those have been removed, the very minimal pool decking has been expanded into a beautiful stone patio, and we have yet to fill said patio with high quality furniture, build an outdoor kitchen, add outdoor speakers and shade, and landscape the backyard. It's literally a blank slate.

    Here in Austin we had weather delays too... but nothing like MN, where I came from. I'll take winters and their related delays here any day!
    Unfortunately, that is also very common. It's ridiculous that PB's don't watch over crews, but if they aren't around pushing the crew, they will skip, or just not know what they are actually supposed to be doing. Either way, you have to watch them.

    Lastly, are you going to manage the Pool Chemistry yourselves? If so, you landed in a good place here and I'll encourage you to dig into Pool School as much as you can from here out. Either way, good luck on your project, and let us know how it goes.
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    Re: What is 'standard' prep for replastering?

    *sigh*

    well, the replastering is done. i thought y'all would like to see what our work crew considered good craftsmanship when it came to replacing our accent tiles. The plastering itself looks great - but this is such a disappointment. This is a shot of two of the accent tile groupings on the warming deck. The stairs are not quite this bad but they aren't good either. Our guy offered either his wholesale price on it (which would bring the cost of the replaster down to a steal of a deal) or have these redone with the same tile at our agreed upon price (only I insisted that the replastering company pay for the water bill due to a second drain and fill) or we can choose an upgraded tile that we would pay for, and they would still pay the water bill.

    For now, I just need to go make a drink.

    tiles1.jpg
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    Re: What is 'standard' prep for replastering?

    I like quality work as much as the next guy, but a financial guy too. I'd take the money and run. Get the water moving and you won't see the problems that much.

    I can see too where it would bug some people to no end though and therefore require it to be redone.
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    Re: What is 'standard' prep for replastering?

    I think that's what we're going to do. Live with it for now and replace these tiles the next time we drain. I am one of those who can't stand to look at it, haha.
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    Re: What is 'standard' prep for replastering?

    Golderdog - would love to hear your landscaping suggestions! I'll post photos of the yard and patio we just built. Great potential - but pricey!
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    Re: What is 'standard' prep for replastering?

    Patrick_B, yes I will be managing the chemicals myself. This forum saved me when we first moved in and I had no clue about pool chemistry. Our pool guy is babysitting it for now while the plaster is releasing pH, once it is totally cured and ready to go, I'll take over. He has been fantastic and really helpful through the process and worked really hard to make this right. I feel bad for him, its been a struggle in dealing with the plastering crew.
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    Re: What is 'standard' prep for replastering?

    Sure. We just moved to our house almost 2 yrs ago, so I can relate. It was a foreclosure, and there was very little that was in "great" shape. It's taken us the two seasons to start working on the outside. We are in the middle of landscaping an acre of yard that is just choke full of weeds. I've had to work out a plan for this in phases to help with the expense. I worked for a landscaper during college, so may be able to help out a little from afar as you move along toward a goal.

    Landscaping is not as hard as everyone thinks. Just takes some sweat equity, modifications/prepping of soil, and scouring the garden centers for the fun stuff. If you don't have one, invest in a good heavy duty Garden Fork. My first word of advise is never just buy 1 or 2 of anything. Always buy groups. If planting perenials, always plant in grouped areas in your plan. If you have to plant a fence line, and on a budget the first year, plant shrubs in three’s, then repeat down the line. You can do it with colored or flowering larger plants to get a bigger appearance and bang for the buck and a way to get a good start. It creates interest. Do you by chance have a www.gardenweb.com account or a pinterest.com account? Gardenweb.com has a Texas Gardening forum that I use occasionally. There are a lot of members on both from the Austin area. There are some plant swaps coming up. Also, bookmark www.davesgarden.com. He has a good site and forum. Either of those can also be helpful for ideas of what appeals to you and your family.

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    Re: What is 'standard' prep for replastering?

    Thanks for the links! I will dig around there. Pardon the pun.

    Here are some photos. This first one is the house when we moved in. I don't know who thought Crape Myrtles around a pool was a good idea.


    Here are a few photos of the backyard as it is now.


    This is a shot of the back of the house now, trees and shrubs removed, patio just built.


    This is one half of the backyard looking away from the house towards the fence. Completely plain.


    And a shot of the other side of the backyard. Fantastic huge live oak in the back corner.

    What we have decided so far is that we want a little shade patio under the oak, and border gardens around the fence, and my husband is putting a 7 x 7 shed somewhere back here. I've sketched out the backyard on paper and we've done some research on what to plant that will be heat and drought tolerant and fairly low maintenance, but also hopefully will provide some color. I like your idea of planting things in groupings - I would think otherwise each individual item might disappear. We were considering fruit trees... any experience? Too messy? Not worth it?
    The fencing also runs along the sides of the house so I'd like to plant the border garden ALLLL the way around. Expensive, I know, but we just saved a bunch of money on our replaster!
    If you know of any southern shrubs/plants that would work, I'd love to know. I'm new to this area so I'm trying to learn what the best, easiest choices are.
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    Re: What is 'standard' prep for replastering?

    I have fruit trees in Austin and personally they aren't for me. I have to prune them every year and then I don't get any fruit. I don't know if it is the drought or what. I have 2 peach and 2 plum. They don't really in my mind make my yard look that pretty. I will probably tear them out and put in something else.
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    Re: What is 'standard' prep for replastering?

    Jen:

    Fruit Trees would NOT be my first choice either. They are too susceptible to disease and bore worms here, and I think are truly high maintenance. I actually think they are messier than Crepes. You are write about the crepes are not a good idea right up against a pool due to their shedding of blooms. Nothing that sheds would be. Those were some nice tall crepes though. If you buy them at that maturity they are worth well over $600+ each balled up.

    However Crepes do bloom from May-Dec in TX. They are showy, come in many shades of dark red, pink, purple, and white, and are cheap to maintain. The only disease they get is from Texas humidity (sticky black scale tends to blow in and will attach to trunks ) Everyone gets it at least once, but it can be controlled with a spray bottle of Neem. You probably know about the pros/cons of crepes already. I love them regardless. They have their place in Texas landscapes.

    Your home has a traditional exterior and I think this will be easy and fun to accomplish the interest and balance for outdoor living. You have a very attractive backyard elevation to begin that planning process. Can you tell me your Garden style? Traditional, Tropical, Modern, Cottage Butterfly Type? Favorite Colors? Blues, Reds, Purples, Yellows, Greens, et al etc? For lack of a better term, how much of a digger are you? (I started out digging to take out my frustrations on red clay and dirt at age 8. It just sort of grew on me because if there is good dirt, I want to stick something in it.) Some people like the therapy and wonder of it, others just want to install a landscape with as little maintenance as possible which is what builders often put in yards. One or two trees, some small shrugs, and cedar mulch, and call it done. Some gardeners look at the pool scape yard and while they are floating about, they are dreaming their vision of next phase of their yard with a good margarita in one hand and notepad in the other. I’m asking only do to knowledge that it will make a difference in how you spend your landscaping dollars. It's a good idea to determine your garden personality at the beginning of this project.

    I need to send you another link. I have a lady friend who lived behind us for 15 years. She is a master gardener and has a website. She always has some good ideas too. You may like to read through her newsletters when you have some quiet time as part of your research of your "likes".

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    Re: What is 'standard' prep for replastering?

    Great thoughts and that's me with the mental notepad always at the ready. I would never consider landscaping finished...what's the fun in that!
    Planting the wrong garden for your preferred maintenance level can be a nightmare.
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