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Thread: contract hold back

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    contract hold back

    Met with a good builder today but they want the final 5% once plaster is started? Shouldn't a hold back be paid once filled and operating?

    The schedule is 30% upon completion of excavation and installation of steel

    40% upon completion of concrete pool she.

    25% upon completion of tile and coping

    5% upon pool plastering.

    I think I need a lawyer to review this contract. Normal
    33x19, 3'4"-5'6", 7ft spa, baja reef, 14'x9', 18" deep, 10,668 Gal. Quartzite coping, Stonescape Tropics Blue mini-pebble, abalone & glass beads. Jandy Equip.(JXi heater, 2.7HPVS pump, PLC1400 SWG, CV580 filter, Aqualink, LEDs)
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    Re: contract hold back

    I personally would feel more comfortable when the last payment (however small) is only paid when the pool is up and running. I am signing a contract now as well as the payment schedule is:

    - 10% deposit at signing
    - 30% when form and steel work completed
    - 30% when gunite is completed
    - 20% when tile, deck, electrical/equipment completion
    - 10% at completion

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    Re: contract hold back

    Agreed, we paid our final payment after the pool was all set to go. This was the way they structured the payment schedule luckily.
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    Re: contract hold back

    My pool builder in Houston also required the last 5% at plaster (i.e. before completion). The schedule was:

    30% at excavation
    35% at gunite
    30% at deck forming
    5% prior to plaster
    15' x 34' free-form gunite pool with Dove Gray plaster, 12,550 gallons, 81' perimeter, Hayward C4030 filter, Hayward 1.5HP TriStar VS pump, Polaris 280, LED lighting, 3' scupper, bubbler. Completed Labor Day Weekend 2014.

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    Re: contract hold back

    Mine had a final payment due before plaster, I do not remember the % as we had made some other changes so it was less than originally agreed to. I can tell you if I had realized that I would have requested it be changed to after plaster and preferably after start up, dumb oversight on my part. For your sanity I suggest that you work on getting that final payment push to start up.
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    Re: contract hold back

    I think a lot of pool builders want final payment prior to plaster. I really pushed mine to move it and he wouldn't. I did force him to add it to my contract that I would not pay until preplaster AND final city inspection. So whatever comes last is when I am paying. My pool builder is big and they have a really nice swank office right next to my house so if I have issues I'll hang out in their lobby while they are entertaining potential clients until they get what I want done. I even told the sales guy prior to signing this is one of the reasons I chose them is I have a place to go raise a stink.
    Pool is done! Only took 17 months! - Natural shape in-ground pool: 37x23, 505sq ft, 96ft perimeter, 7ft deep end, 18,950 gallons, tanning ledge, blue surf pebble sheen/luminous blue blend, Belgard coping, 910 sqft paver deck/walkways, retaining walls out the yinyang. Jandy SWG, 2 LED Color lights, VS 2HP Pump, 460sqft cartridge filter, PDA RS P8 controller. My build

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    Re: contract hold back

    Thanks, ok I don't feel so bad. The builder I am considering have been around for 40-50 years in So. CA. They do a lot of commercial and residential pools so their contract is big and covers them well. I understand you have to have some level of trust with your builder and contracts are for worst case issue, but I think I will try to get them to amend a few items. They are pretty flexible, they basically build in a budget for the pool and we add or delete items as we go if needed. I asked about the Pebble Tec vs Pebble Sheen cost, they told me $4,850 for either product any color. For coping and tile they have a family of product I can choose from but did not seem to concerned about nailing it down now, I do. What I thought was odd was they give me 4 days to make payment at each stage, for every day I am late they delay completion by 2 days WTH???? Never saw that before, of course there is no performance cause for delays on their end. Lifetime warrenty on the pool shell, 3 years on everything else.

    Again, they have great reviews, my friend used them 5 years ago without issue, it's just reading the fine print that really get worked up, there has to be some trust. I will try to get them to have a 20% then 10% final and final due at start up. If they will not what's my option, looks like most builders are doing it this way.
    33x19, 3'4"-5'6", 7ft spa, baja reef, 14'x9', 18" deep, 10,668 Gal. Quartzite coping, Stonescape Tropics Blue mini-pebble, abalone & glass beads. Jandy Equip.(JXi heater, 2.7HPVS pump, PLC1400 SWG, CV580 filter, Aqualink, LEDs)
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    Re: contract hold back

    Well, they will not budge on their contract working. I get the trust thing but I have never seen a contract where the contractor is paid before final inspections and the job is done. I get that the plaster is going to be put in that day but to pay in full before the water is in and I know the equipment is working and the pebble tec was done correctly just seems very odd. So everyone else just takes that leap of faith, right? This builder has been in business 55 years in So Ca, perhaps I am just being paranoid?
    33x19, 3'4"-5'6", 7ft spa, baja reef, 14'x9', 18" deep, 10,668 Gal. Quartzite coping, Stonescape Tropics Blue mini-pebble, abalone & glass beads. Jandy Equip.(JXi heater, 2.7HPVS pump, PLC1400 SWG, CV580 filter, Aqualink, LEDs)
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    Re: contract hold back

    Quote Originally Posted by Titan7 View Post
    I am just being paranoid?
    My pool came with the house, but I would be uncomfortable paying before the water was in and the pump was running.
    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: contract hold back

    Quote Originally Posted by Titan7 View Post
    This builder has been in business 55 years in So Ca, perhaps I am just being paranoid?
    It's normal not to want to prepay a contractor. We've all heard horror stories about a contractor disappearing with a homeowner's money. However, it's completely the norm in pool construction. With a 55 year old reputation, it should be a heck of a lot easier to get yourself to prepay them than some fly-by-night pool builder!
    15' x 34' free-form gunite pool with Dove Gray plaster, 12,550 gallons, 81' perimeter, Hayward C4030 filter, Hayward 1.5HP TriStar VS pump, Polaris 280, LED lighting, 3' scupper, bubbler. Completed Labor Day Weekend 2014.

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    Re: contract hold back

    Quote Originally Posted by Titan7 View Post
    Well, they will not budge on their contract working. I get the trust thing but I have never seen a contract where the contractor is paid before final inspections and the job is done. I get that the plaster is going to be put in that day but to pay in full before the water is in and I know the equipment is working and the pebble tec was done correctly just seems very odd. So everyone else just takes that leap of faith, right? This builder has been in business 55 years in So Ca, perhaps I am just being paranoid?
    I don't think you're being paranoid, I think you're being smart. Whether you decide to go with them anyway, there's nothing wrong with having hesitation over signing a contract over something as expensive as a new pool build. What's to protect you if the plaster turns out bad? What happens if the pool fails final inspection? Are you supposed to trust that they will handle everything diligently after getting final payment? They may expect that, but there's nothing wrong with you having an issue with it.
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    Re: contract hold back

    Quote Originally Posted by SugarLandGuy View Post
    It's normal not to want to prepay a contractor. We've all heard horror stories about a contractor disappearing with a homeowner's money. However, it's completely the norm in pool construction. With a 55 year old reputation, it should be a heck of a lot easier to get yourself to prepay them than some fly-by-night pool builder!
    I hear you, but **** just trying to get a drawing correct drawing from them is proving hard. **** I did a drawing of the pool and spa and emailed it to the designer 2 wks ago, he showed up at the house last wed. with his laptop and showed me a rendering with the spa on the opposite side????? Said he would flip it and get it us in a few days. Left a msg this morning, still have not heard anything. Not getting a "Warm Fuzzy" on this. They have a promo for the salt system $1780 off for all contracts completed by 5-31. So there is some urgency, but we don't even have a freaking rendering of what the pool looks like.

    It crazy that there is no feedback on their Orange County, CA office. There are good reviews on the San Diego office, and a couple no so good. If they are doing 25-30 pools per year out of OC you figure they either all went in perfectly or nobody in OC writes reviews or stumbles across this site, AL, YELP, or Houzz.

    I don't think I am breaking any rules but Mission Pools is who is in the #1 slot. I am meeting with California Pool later in the week. They have been around since 1952.

    Perhaps I will just move and purchase a house with a pool, lol.
    33x19, 3'4"-5'6", 7ft spa, baja reef, 14'x9', 18" deep, 10,668 Gal. Quartzite coping, Stonescape Tropics Blue mini-pebble, abalone & glass beads. Jandy Equip.(JXi heater, 2.7HPVS pump, PLC1400 SWG, CV580 filter, Aqualink, LEDs)
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    Re: contract hold back

    I'm much more in the other camp. I would ever accept a contract that had less than 15% as a final draw and it would not be paid until everything was up and running. My PB stated in his contract the final draw was 25%, due when the customer was satisfied with the build and completion. Some PBs will walk out on 5%, so it's too risky IMO.
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    Re: contract hold back

    Quote Originally Posted by Titan7 View Post
    They have a promo for the salt system $1780 off for all contracts completed by 5-31. So there is some urgency, but we don't even have a freaking rendering of what the pool looks like.
    I'm sure these companies have promos all the time, but on our bid from almost a year ago with them we were quoted "Salt Sanitizer Free Promo $1628." I don't know if it's the same one as the one you were quoted on.... but we were never told a "if you sign by" date at the time.

    I, too, thought it was odd about their lack of feedback. Then again, you can only trust those companies so much with the reviews they post (or do not post.)

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    Re: contract hold back

    Well just found out California pool also is paid in full prior to plastering, but the break the payment schedule out into more sections and do a preinspection walk through before plaster. I find it odd that this is the only trade I have dealt with that requires full payment before completion. Must be too many customers burning them for 5-10% at the end. I get trust, but who has more to lose, the homeowner, or the multi million dollars pool builder.

    I am still going to meet with ca pool on Friday, still never got a response back from mission not a good way to convince my to sign a $105k contract with them. This much lack of communication before signing a contract is not a good sign.

    May also look into owner builder. I played general contractor on our kitchen/ downstairs remodel. It was a pain, but it was my way on my schedule, reading some of these nightmare stories, can't be any worse.
    33x19, 3'4"-5'6", 7ft spa, baja reef, 14'x9', 18" deep, 10,668 Gal. Quartzite coping, Stonescape Tropics Blue mini-pebble, abalone & glass beads. Jandy Equip.(JXi heater, 2.7HPVS pump, PLC1400 SWG, CV580 filter, Aqualink, LEDs)
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    Re: contract hold back

    Quote Originally Posted by Titan7 View Post
    I hear you, but **** just trying to get a drawing correct drawing from them is proving hard. **** I did a drawing of the pool and spa and emailed it to the designer 2 wks ago, he showed up at the house last wed. with his laptop and showed me a rendering with the spa on the opposite side????? Said he would flip it and get it us in a few days. Left a msg this morning, still have not heard anything. Not getting a "Warm Fuzzy" on this. They have a promo for the salt system $1780 off for all contracts completed by 5-31. So there is some urgency, but we don't even have a freaking rendering of what the pool looks like.

    It crazy that there is no feedback on their Orange County, CA office. There are good reviews on the San Diego office, and a couple no so good. If they are doing 25-30 pools per year out of OC you figure they either all went in perfectly or nobody in OC writes reviews or stumbles across this site, AL, YELP, or Houzz.

    I don't think I am breaking any rules but Mission Pools is who is in the #1 slot. I am meeting with California Pool later in the week. They have been around since 1952.

    Perhaps I will just move and purchase a house with a pool, lol.

    Too many red flags for me, and I tend to be gullible or far too trusting. Here's a list of what you wrote:
    1. proving hard to get a correct drawing from them
    2. took them 2 weeks to get back to you
    3. what he did bring had the spa on the opposite side
    4. you had to call him and leave a message when you didn't hear back after a few days
    5. still have not heard back from him since you left a message
    6. your gut instincts are telling you it isn't good; no "Warm Fuzzies" on this
    7. there's a deadline on a promo (I hate those pressure tactics; he wants your business but only by a deadline, then why haven't they been on the ball? Besides that, you aren't buying 2 for 1 burgers.)
    8. you should be allowed time to make adjustments and additions to your design before you sign a contact
    9. way too quiet on the review fronts

    One or two of these alone might not be so bad, but NINE issues???? So long, smell ya' later!

    It's tempting to get the interview phase behind you, I know. But be patient. I was between two PB's. One was young, new, a local Cy-Fair HS graduate, triplet daughters (HAS to be good, right - little old lady thinking), enthusiastic, strongly recommended by my paver/landscaper guy. The other had years of experience in many phases of pool building and tons of people and pool repair men giving him great reviews on the internet. And I was able to read years of his posts, advice and philosophy regarding the pool industry.

    Now it seems like a no brainer, but at the time, my emotions were getting the best of me. I finally asked myself, with which builder would I worry less. Then the answer was instant.

    I wouldn't feel good about your situation at all. And like I said, I tend to trust, at least in some situations, too easily.

    Find another Pool Builder. Good luck. Suz.
    Suz~Cypress area~ 2015 pool build. 23K gallons. IG swcg system. 35'x18'; 573sf; 104' perim; depth 4'-7'. Bubblers, sheer descents, 7' spa. Jandy: color LEDs; 2HP 2sp pump; 1HP 2sp pump; spa pump; 580 cartridge; 400K BTU; Dolphin M500; PS8; Inline chlorinator not used; Aqua Pure 1400. Blue Granite Sheen. Travertine deck. Lightstreams Peacock Blue TF-100, K-1766, SpeedStir

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    Re: contract hold back

    I think it is typical to have to pay before the job is done. On my contract the amount I paid was always way more than the amount of work they had completed. I am guessing that becsuse there are so many subjective issues with a pool build (eg plaster) that a contractor is not willing to take the risk that the customer will refuse to pay some of the amount owed. I drafted a four page Rider to my contract but I didn't address the payment schedule because I was satisfied (based on references from people I personally knew) the PB would fix any legitimate issues. However, absent such personal reviews you are taking a huge leap of faith and I would be reluctant to do so in that situation.
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    Re: contract hold back

    Quote Originally Posted by grottoguy View Post
    I think it is typical to have to pay before the job is done. On my contract the amount I paid was always way more than the amount of work they had completed. I am guessing that becsuse there are so many subjective issues with a pool build (eg plaster) that a contractor is not willing to take the risk that the customer will refuse to pay some of the amount owed. I drafted a four page Rider to my contract but I didn't address the payment schedule because I was satisfied (based on references from people I personally knew) the PB would fix any legitimate issues. However, absent such personal reviews you are taking a huge leap of faith and I would be reluctant to do so in that situation.
    Thanks, I asked to add a rider to the contract and allow their payment schedule, no dice, their way or the highway. So isn't the plaster/pebble tec application critical? I have read a ton of reviews about issue with the application. So you either get lucky and have no issues or you are stuck chasing a subcontractor and the PB to fix it with zero leverage. Just very odd.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thank all for the feedback, don't know what I would do without this forum.
    33x19, 3'4"-5'6", 7ft spa, baja reef, 14'x9', 18" deep, 10,668 Gal. Quartzite coping, Stonescape Tropics Blue mini-pebble, abalone & glass beads. Jandy Equip.(JXi heater, 2.7HPVS pump, PLC1400 SWG, CV580 filter, Aqualink, LEDs)
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    Re: contract hold back

    Hi!

    Who did you go with for your pool builder and were you happy? I'm in the the same area as you and would like your thoughts. Thanks, Adam

    Quote Originally Posted by Titan7 View Post
    Thanks, I asked to add a rider to the contract and allow their payment schedule, no dice, their way or the highway. So isn't the plaster/pebble tec application critical? I have read a ton of reviews about issue with the application. So you either get lucky and have no issues or you are stuck chasing a subcontractor and the PB to fix it with zero leverage. Just very odd.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thank all for the feedback, don't know what I would do without this forum.

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