my apologies ahead of time. if this is too long, feel free to skim down to the questions.
I took a year to do research and planning. got one of the top 2 builders, california pools and have already had hiccups but i'm wondering how many of them are to be expected with pool builders and due to the nature of the work... i don't plan on changing pbs as i did lots of research and picked them for a reason; better warranties, better ratings (BBB, ROC, Angies list...). no pb was shown to be without faults. i think they'll make a few of the things right money-wise, but i have overall confidence they should build a good product. (I hope).
i am very disappointed, though, so far, that the build is delayed already and the salesperson missed the ball when he said our elevation issue wasn't a big deal and we'd be able to deal with it by grading the yard. the first pb thought we'd have to do a retainer wall and by his computer program, it seemed accurate. then his "engineer" came out and said that with grading we'd be fine. i don't recall him saying we'd need a birm and the birm is now an issue. we never planned a design with a birm. it effects an entryway where the gate would be, the small decking area (140 square feet) that was to be under an arbor and attached to an existing arbor. i'm trying to not raise the decking to not block part of the neighbor's view of the mountain. i'd hate it if someone did it to me and want to be a good neighbor. neighbor seemed to say she doesn't like that i'm planning on building another arbor and feels it won't make sense in that corner, but that it's not going to get in the way of us being neighborly
i don't like the idea of a raised pool in the small area and with kids. the least amount they could raise it would be 6 inches so although it may sound minor, it's an inconvenience for various reasons and i need extra time to wrap my head around it while also possibly moving things in one direction and have the ground repainted, possibly a couple week delay on the dig and by the looks of it and we signed the contract a good month ago as it is.
the pb said the difference between one end of the pool (or pool to patio, i got confused) and the other is 13 inches so the minimum they could get away with raising the pool would be 6 inches due to not wanting to lower it lower than the foundation of the block walls/fences. if there are any grading and raised pool thoughts or encouragement that'd be great. i'm trying to look at it positively like that it'll add a bit of dimension in the yard and have a more unique look than most of the flat pools in flat yards (not criticizing anyone's flat pool/yard! flat was really my preference).
i plan on seeing if they will split the cost to face the 2 sides of the pool (if i go that route-at least need to face one side) since they didn't bring this up to me before and it's delaying the build. trying to give them the benefit of the doubt, although pb knew i was going to do a small deck he didn't know where since i never drew him a map earlier. i never even got a good 3-d drawing from him btw.
some other irritations/questions:
1. i try to give people the benefit of the doubt but a couple of my friends think they're up to something. they originally told that marbella stone in 16 x 24" pavers for the coping only came bullnosed so i couldn't get what i wanted. then the next day they said they could get it. pb tries to brush things over and not get into too many details and said it was due to a "miscommunication".
2. we were ordering 24 x 16" coping from the beginning. they said there was a coping only surcharge so i told them we want that amount of pavers/ deck for that cost instead of coping only charge. ofcourse then we went over another 30 feet, which is fine. he said they'd be 24 x 16" pavers and now he changed it saying that'd be way too $ and i have to get one of 2 choices. on the change order he didn't even give me a choice. small pavers it is unless i decide to fight this.
3. i have called about the pavers issue, emailed about various issues, and i don't always get responses. seems the pb really likes to do things verbally. i hate that. i try to email something to back it up later when i can but it's just me confirming a convo with him, not him replying for the most part.
4. i also am detail oriented and have wanted lots of details in writing, esp in the contract and double checking and pushing for things i want like the PV3 in-floor SySTEM, not just heads and calling the manufacturer to make sure they r doing things correctly with having only one drain and things like that. they are nice but i can tell it bothers them and once said "out of all due respect we r the pool builders and u have to decide if u r going to trust us." no big deal but i wish they had the approach of helping me feel confident by explaining verses me having to ask the questions they haven't came up with and pushing for things i want because they must get more perks if they sell certain products...
the raised pool changes some things and i'm hoping i wont' regret not having hired a designer but i thought i had it handled until this changed things a bit.
any words of wisdom or comfort would be great. i want to be fair to both them and myself.
this was a prior post and changed the post in this message as told to do by moderators:
I originally had my heart set on using a precast concrete coping for my coping-only pool and it seemed that there were possibly going to be too many probs with trying to get things right seeing how calpools hasn't done much with precast cement and they mentioned salts (or something white) coming up through the coping to where it could look messy and stained. with the heat and possible slipperiness along with someone saying it wasn't a good option, we decided to play it "safe" and go with Travertine. now that i have to choose and went to see some pallets most of the travertines were really different from what they had in the showrooms and I brought a few samples home and they are seeming too "yellow" or varied in colors.
I like greys and AZ flagstone sounds like it's out of the question due to swg and i was told that marbella is too soft, too.
any other thoughts? maybe i should just go back to my first love, concrete, and hope it'll work fine in phoenix. i got a sale price on travertine when i signed the contract, though. not sure how much more concrete would be.
pluses/negatives with any of these stones and SWGs? any thoughts on travertine having too much variation for some folks and how to get around that... (I guess buy a good 10% extra and make sure i'm there on the day of coping installation while i drive the installers nuts as i pick which paver i want on the coping...
anyone do marbella with SWG? the look seemed uniform when i saw it. i liked the color a lot.