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Thread: New pool - trim tiles scratched by builder

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    New pool - trim tiles scratched by builder

    Hello,

    I'm completely new to the forum but have already learned a lot via Pool School. This is a great community, with tons of useful information for pool newbies like myself.

    My story is that my wife and I started to build a pool in our backyard in May 2014. It was just completed a week ago. We're in Sunnyvale, CA. We chose our builder because the company is Diamond-rated, and with good online reviews. They have been in business for a very, very long time.

    Anyway up to recently everything went smoothly except for delays, caused by us as we were remodeling our yard at the same time as the pool was being built. About 2 weeks ago a crew of 2 guys came to do an acid wash and polish of our freshly-plastered pool; we used the Pebble Plus finish, in Sapphire Blue. These cretins ruined it for us. They thought it was a good idea to scrub our beautiful glass trim tiles with stiff (metal?) brushes and scratched every single one of them. In addition, they left water pool up in the shallow end once they were done with the acid wash. This created sort of a lighter ring in the plaster that we noticed after the fact, one evening just after sunset. It was very visible then. I'm attaching pictures of both issues.

    Of course we're mad as **** and had someone from the company (high-ranking) come to check the problems immediately after the mess up. This person, unlike the rest of the company's staff, was very agressive and condescendent. It's almost like we were bothering him with things that his company messed up. It took him 30 minutes to apologize. After asking us if we'd ever made mistakes in our lives, he agreed to redo the trim tiles but as expected the result it not up to par with our expectations. You can see blue grout along the exterior edges of the tile strips, to fill in the tiny gap between the plaster and the new tiles. A gap that wasn't there before, since the old tiles had to be cut out. It now looks like the tiles were installed after the plastering, which is of course exactly what happened. It doesn't look "integrated" like with the old tiles, if I may say. According to another person working for the company, over time the blue will soften up a bit but I'm not buying it. It's like what they said wit the ring in the shallow end: "you won't see it with the pool full of water". We're indeed not seeing much of it now but I bet the first time I go underwater I'll notice it. I don't see why not? It's there.

    The "agressive" guy is coming back tomorrow since we asked him to check on the repair in person, with the pool full of water. Surely he's going to tell us that we'll enjoy our pool no matter what, and that this is the best he can do.

    My question: what are we supposed to do? To us, a complete replaster is necessary. They'll have redo the trim tiles, too. The fact the company sent an inexperienced crew (that's what they told us - business is good so they have lots of new hires!) to do the acid wash and in the process destroy our trim tiles is not our problem. We paid almost $100k for this, and it's not a new pool. It's a patched-up pool. We'd accept the repair if we had damaged the tiles ourselves over a period of years, but here it's a different issue. We're getting an ugly look right from the start. And it's not our fault.

    I'd love to get opinions as to what we could ask for. Is replastering a realisitic option, since it might create other problems? Will the blue grout soften up? Should we accept to "live" with this? Ask for some money back? Honestly we don't want any money back. We just want the pool we paid in full for, and that's not it.

    Thanks for your help.

    NJ






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    Azgirl71's Avatar
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    Re: New pool - trim tiles scratched by builder

    I don't like thier tile job at all! I would make then fix it. If that means re plastering and everything else, they owe you the pool you paid for. I would report them to the Better Business Bureau if they don't make it right.
    Lisa
    Intex AG vinyl 15' x 48" 4,300 gallons due to skimmer install, Krystal Clear SF pump combo 2800 GPH, Krystal Clear SWG, Pool Blaster Max vacuum, Hayward thru the wall skimmer, TF 100 test kit with speed stir, K 1766 Taylor salt test, My SLAM Process

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    Re: New pool - trim tiles scratched by builder

    Thanks for your reply Azgirl71. We feel the same... This looks horrific. It's so sad to see a new pool look like it was patched up by a 4-year old with a box of Crayolas.



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    Re: New pool - trim tiles scratched by builder

    It's not like you did not pay good money and I would be highly ticked off to put it nicely.
    Lisa
    Intex AG vinyl 15' x 48" 4,300 gallons due to skimmer install, Krystal Clear SF pump combo 2800 GPH, Krystal Clear SWG, Pool Blaster Max vacuum, Hayward thru the wall skimmer, TF 100 test kit with speed stir, K 1766 Taylor salt test, My SLAM Process

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    Re: New pool - trim tiles scratched by builder

    That is our second-highest purchase after our house, indeed!



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    Re: New pool - trim tiles scratched by builder

    I am going to play "devils advicate" (my wife hates it also) This is almost exactly what they are going to tell you...

    1. You did not tell us it was glass tile, looked like regular tile to us..

    2. You did not tell us not to use metal on your pool to do an acid wash, thats what we always use unless the customer tells us not to.

    3. We replaced the tile in good faith and did the best we could. (this is what they will tell BBB)

    On your side

    1. I dont acid wash pools for a living, that is your job and you failed, miserably!

    2. Correct, you did replace the tile but it looks like poo..

    3. I should not have to tell you not to use a metal brush, again not my job, yours.

    When it comes down to it, your are seeing it in a microscope right now. its like that first scratch on your brand new 80 thousand dollar car, in a year when there are 20 scratches, you wont even notice them...

    get a deal out of it, make them give you 50% off all acid wash or pool maintenance for as long as you own the pool, or get 50% off resurfacing when it comes time to get new plaster ( in writing of course)

    trust me, you will be the only one to notice it, none of your friends will ever see it
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    Re: New pool - trim tiles scratched by builder

    Quote Originally Posted by cowboycasey View Post
    I am going to play "devils advicate" (my wife hates it also) This is almost exactly what they are going to tell you...

    1. You did not tell us it was glass tile, looked like regular tile to us..

    2. You did not tell us not to use metal on your pool to do an acid wash, thats what we always use unless the customer tells us not to.

    3. We replaced the tile in good faith and did the best we could. (this is what they will tell BBB)

    On your side

    1. I dont acid wash pools for a living, that is your job and you failed, miserably!

    2. Correct, you did replace the tile but it looks like poo..

    3. I should not have to tell you not to use a metal brush, again not my job, yours.

    When it comes down to it, your are seeing it in a microscope right now. its like that first scratch on your brand new 80 thousand dollar car, in a year when there are 20 scratches, you wont even notice them...

    get a deal out of it, make them give you 50% off all acid wash or pool maintenance for as long as you own the pool, or get 50% off resurfacing when it comes time to get new plaster ( in writing of course)

    trust me, you will be the only one to notice it, none of your friends will ever see it

    Hi cowboycasey,

    thanks for your reply. It's true we are heavily focusing on this issue but it's kind of normal, we feel they messed up big time. Had the acid wash crew been more careful we would not be here today. Right now we're not complaining about scratches on the tiles because there aren't any. They are brand new. We're talking about the poor job they did to replace the scratched tiles and the fact our pool will never look like a new one. Every area with tiles is ugly, and we have lots of them: in the hot tub, all the steps, "shamu shelf", corner bench, etc. On my side I'm veryt particular when it comes to construction, unfortunately, and there are things that were done wrong (nothing major though) in our house during a remodel 6 years that still bother me. So I'm sure I'll see this tile ugliness forever. And the idea of these people walking away after doing such a horrible repair, and me having to see this every day I swim in my pool, bugs me. Simply because it should not be that way!

    I'm sure the guy will tell us they did all they could to fix the problem, however they should have known we had glass tiles because they installed them. They did the entire pool. This error on their part was completely uncalled for. Never in a million years would we have imagined they would screw the very last part of the pool building process, and anyway we should not have to babysit builders while trying to anticipate their mistakes...

    Thanks again for your feedback.

    NJ

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    Re: New pool - trim tiles scratched by builder

    Do you owe them a significant amount of money?
    1200 Sq Ft 41,000 Gal. Gunite, JANDY SVRS VS pump, JANDY JXI 400,000 BTU, Polaris 280 w/ 3/4 BP, Rockwall and Grotto (w/6 jets and blower), 2 JANDY Lam Jets, 2 LED Bubblers, 5 Ledlights, AQUALINK P16 RS, 90% Quartz, SWF 185 GMP BP, SWF 125 BP, Levelor K1100 Autofill, AP Digital SWG, 2 skim and 5 returns, and mostly 3 inch piping

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    Re: New pool - trim tiles scratched by builder

    Quote Originally Posted by grottoguy View Post
    Do you owe them a significant amount of money?
    Unfortunately no. They did the plastering and took their last check on the same day. We realized there was an issue the next day, after the acid wash...



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    Re: New pool - trim tiles scratched by builder

    Wow, I would be p-d off big time!! There is no excuse for sending inexperienced folks to service a pool of that magnitude. Or any pool for that matter. You paid top dollar to get a top job, and I would expect no less. The tile looks absurd. Not only does it look like an after thought, but it's not even spaced/aligned properly.

    If I were in your shoes, I would spend the money to hire a lawyer to draft a demand letter to the pool builder explaining how these defects are non-conforming with industry standards for new plaster/tile. Also, if you don't like the guy they are sending out, call and insist to speak to the owner and/or have him come out to your house. You don't need to deal with a jerk.

    On the plus side, from my own experience, some of the color variations can equalize in time. There's no guarantee that will be the case with yours, but it is a possibility.

    Good luck to you, sorry this is what had to bring you here.
    Replastered 2015: Sunstone Quartz Midnight Blue 16x32 rectangular gunite with in-pool spa....18,000 gallons. Autopilot Total Control System with SWG and acid pump. Pentair Clean & Clear 420. Auto cover. TF-100.

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    Re: New pool - trim tiles scratched by builder

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolESQ View Post
    Wow, I would be p-d off big time!! There is no excuse for sending inexperienced folks to service a pool of that magnitude. Or any pool for that matter. You paid top dollar to get a top job, and I would expect no less. The tile looks absurd. Not only does it look like an after thought, but it's not even spaced/aligned properly.

    If I were in your shoes, I would spend the money to hire a lawyer to draft a demand letter to the pool builder explaining how these defects are non-conforming with industry standards for new plaster/tile. Also, if you don't like the guy they are sending out, call and insist to speak to the owner and/or have him come out to your house. You don't need to deal with a jerk.

    On the plus side, from my own experience, some of the color variations can equalize in time. There's no guarantee that will be the case with yours, but it is a possibility.

    Good luck to you, sorry this is what had to bring you here.
    Hi PoolESQ,

    thanks for your valuable feedback. We're very annoyed at the builder. Bad guy was back on Friday and admitted the acid wash/polish crew used diamond pads/blades to polish the pool interior. He said that's pretty much the only thing that can scratch glass, and had they used some other type of pads (forgot what he said) nothing would have happened. He told us that right in our face! Well then, why didn't they use that other type of product? Because it's more expensive. So now we have a builder who's telling me not only they sent an incompetent crew to polish our pool, and with the wrong tools to save a few bucks. I'm not sure why the guy admitted to that, but he did. So they entire messed up that last phase of the pool building process, basically. They are 100% responsible for putting us through this ordeal.

    On Monday they are sending a diver to remove the blue grout spillover with acid, not sure how that will turn out. Again, they are just patching a brand new pool.

    Do you think replastering would be the way to go? Obviously we have to empty the pool and something else can go wrong. However, in my opinion that's what it will have to come down to if the diver doesn't manage to make the blue grout lines look better. We're even ready to pay for half of the replastering, at this point we just want the pool we designed and paid for, and start enjoying it.

    If they say no to the replastering then I will go the lawyer way. We have one on standby...

    Thanks again for your help,

    NJ.

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