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Thread: New Pool Build - Austin, TX

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    Mod Squad Texas Splash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    South-Central Texas, Marion/San Antonio

    Re: New Pool Build - Austin, TX

    Hello and welcome! Perhaps your best advantage to negotiating is knowledge. You can use this site's search feature to look at other threads for new builds. Knowing things like, electrical requirements, pump size, preferred filter (sand, cartridge, etc) type chlorination (SWG or liquid chlorine), decking type/size .... it goes on & on. If you have some specific parameters you would like to share with us for feedback, by all means please do so. Forum members will gladly give you their 2-cents worth, then you can take that back to the contractor(s) for consideration. Welcome to TFP!
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Tallahassee, FL

    Re: New Pool Build - Austin, TX

    What fun! Post your pool details and equipment stats and we can help you with it.

    Do NOT post the names of anyone. Better safe than sorry.

    See about the pay schedule. You want it to favor YOU. The big one that has always stood out to me is the last payment made AT the plaster. Not when the pool is done but when they do the plaster even if the electric, plumbing, etc is not done. I would not agree to that.

    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Austin Tx

    Re: New Pool Build - Austin, TX

    Hi Smartypants1000, We just went through the same process here in the Austin area. It can be complicated comparing bids as there are a lot of what seem to be small details that can add up quickly. I found a lot of small details such as number of skimmers, inlets, pipe size, plaster type and especially equipment that can add up very quickly. We received a bid from one of the national brands also but decided to go with another builder.
    Gunite Phase || 16500 gal FreeForm 33'x18' IG, 89 perim, 491 sq ft. || Blue Surf Pebble Sheen || Pentair Intelliflo VS || Pentail C&C 520 || 2 Pentair Intellibrite 5G
    Previous Pool || 13500 gal. FreeForm 31'x19' IG, 87' perim, 481 sq ft.|| Pebble Sheen || Pentair IntelliFlo VS || Pentair C&C 420 || Pentair Intellibrite 5G

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    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Dallas. TX

    Re: New Pool Build - Austin, TX

    This is probably your best bargaining tool. Undersell your budget, if it is $70k, tell them its $60k. Be prepared to "go over your budget" but don't immediately settle for the "best price" they can give usually isn't the best price.

    My husband and I are, we believe, good at negotiating on our personal items. It helps that he works in project managing and I work in legal, so we negotiate all day for work giving us a certain level of "comfort" when negotiating. I know that a lot of people find it awkward. When we bought our car, a friend that works for the warranty dept. ran across our contract and told us he couldn't believe what a good deal we got. We were pretty excited to hear that

    (1) Know what you want and what the market rate is. If PB is already lower than everyone else, that's a great start! Also, it is always good to get a gauge of their profit. If you look into the features you want, plus tack on 100% for profit (pretty standard in construction industry), it gives you bargaining power to let them know, you aren't trying to have them work for free but you also expect a reasonable profit margin.

    (2) Know your budget and most times the contractor will try very hard to meet you. They would rather cut a few thousand off their profit than lose an entire job! However, that being need to have a "range" so you are flexible too. You can't say, for instance, $40k is my budget and I'm sticking to it and every PB quotes you at $60k. It is unrealistic to expect them to knock that much off!

    (3) Decide what is a must have and what is flexible. Start with the "I want it all" quote and then start knocking things off or "downgrading" if you need to make up a few thousand.

    (4) Don't insult them!! As I stated earlier, they don't work for bread crumbs and we all need to make profit, within reason. Don't get so hung up on nickel and diming that it turns them off. It may result in (a) them deciding the job isn't worth their time and/or (b) them cutting corners because they are annoyed at their profit margin to begin with.

    (5) If you can, pay cash! Cash talks! We always negotiate as much as possible, get someone down to their lowest point and then hit them with "if we pay cash, can you do it for $XX". 2 out of 3 times it works!

    (6) Finally, don't be afraid to ask! If you are friendly and non-demanding, always ask! The worst they could say is "no" and you can negotiate off of that.

    Also, remember price isn't EVERYTHING. It is very important obviously but don't go with someone only based on price. If you get a bad vibe from the company or sales man, it isn't worth a few thousand bucks! If something feels probably is!

    Lastly, the actual moolah isn't the only way to negotiate. Your PB might not be to knock $5k extra off but maybe they can upgrade items for no charge (i.e. more allowance on stone, led lights vs standard, etc.)
    No pool yet...will update once we sign the dotted line and begin construction :)

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