My pool is on day 6 of the dig. I've been too busy to put something together, I'll try to play catch-up.
I initially got bids from 5 PBs in early March: Texas Pools and Patios, OceanQuest, New Wave, Master Pools and Innovative. Danielle from Texas Pools was first, she was really laid back and easy to work with, but also extremely professional.
Next was Dan from Innovative pools. He immediately looked at my big oak tree and told me there was no way the CoA would allow a pool in my backyard. I told him that was strange, since when he had came out 4 years earlier, he thought the tree was no problem to work around, sketched a quick design and gave me an estimate. He said maybe I was confused and it was some other guy. I remember him distinctly, because he was the only PB that never followed up with a call back the last time I did this. He mumbled that maybe the tree rules were different back then (they weren't) and he must have been busy. I had only called him this time around because he did a friends pool for a fairly low price that looked ok. I believe in giving people 2nd chances but I was glad to get him out of my yard.
Next was Mark from New Wave pools. Decent guy, professional. Then we had OceanQuest. Two guys came out and I really liked both of them. We talked about designs for an hour and I thought I would probably use them. They convinced me that putting a pool with a deep end/diving board in my back yard was nearly impossible and sold me on a sport pool. The last guy was from Master pool. I had to follow up after he came out because I think he probably considered a pool my size not worth their time. To his credit, he apologized, said they had been very busy and agreed to mail me some designs, even though he said it was their policy to have me drive up for that.
That "you absolutely must visit our office no matter how far away it is in order to view our top secret designs we made for you" policy is infuriating. I flat out told every single PB that if they tried to force me to do that, they could DIAF. They all eventually capitulated, though OceanQuest would only show me their designs by driving to my house and letting me view it on their laptop. Ridiculous. OcenQuest probably would have been a very close 2nd choice, but since I couldn't remember exactly what all the designs looked like, they lost serious points.
After viewing all the design proposals, Danielle from Texas Pools was the only one who tried to design a deep end/diving board pool. Her design was something I had never considered, but it works. She was also at least 15% less than all the other PBs, so I went with her. I signed a contract on 4/3/15 and she applied for a CoA permit a few days later. (Don't get me wrong, Mark at New Wave and Patrick/OceanQuest guys hustled hard to get my business, but I felt like I was paying a premium for a PB name. Incidentally, New Wave was the next cheapest quote).
My yard has a bunch of complications, including a large oak tree that can't be built anywhere close to. I had another tree, an ugly elm that I paid to cut down right after I signed the contract, since it was in the way. Because we have to stay so far away from the oak, they had to cut 2 feet off of my patio to make room. My backyard backs up to the greenbelt, so you have to stay 10 feet away from the back fence. My impervious coverage was maxed out, another reason the patio deck was chopped. I also had to pay to have my patio roof torn down (I have to get a new one anyway, it was in bad shape). I had to get my neighbors permission for them to run a Bobcat on part of his yard so they could get in to my backyard. They also had to take down two sections of his fence. He wasn't happy about signing and made me add a codicil saying I would pay for all yard repairs. As you'll see from the pics, that will cost me. Danielle told me this was easily top 1 or 2 hardest pool constructions they've ever had.
Digging started last Tuesday and went smooth until they hit limestone bedrock at 3 feet. Now every day has been 90% jackhammering from 8am to 7pm. I am so ready for this to be done.
Anyway, hope you like the thread and pics. Feel free to give me feedback on my equipment, there may be better/cheaper alternatives.
See the bobcat tracks down the left side? They have completely destroyed me and my neighbors side yards/my front yard (colorado river rock over weed barrier). I get to pay to fix all that.
Bobcat Digging Video
Yard Walkthrough Video