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Thread: forget the deck, i have bigger problems now... help please??

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    Laenini's Avatar
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    forget the deck, i have bigger problems now... help please??

    At the end of the summer last year, my husband and I put in a 24' round above ground pool. Because it was so late in the season, we didn't finish off the project and now intend to finish things off this spring.
    We have 4 major tasks yet to complete:
    1) install GFI outlet for pump/filter system
    2) run natural gas line out to pool to hook up to heater
    3) build deck
    4) landscape

    We had a couple electricians out last fall and bids at that time were in the $350 - $450 range to run the line out from our garage to the pool equipment and mount the needed outlet on a post as required by our city code. So that is all fine and dandy, and I have that much set aside in this spring's budget.

    Now regarding the gas line. The line needs to hook in to the gas supply at our furnace in the basement, come up from there and out of the house, then run out to the pool. That is about 20 feet inside the house, and about 30 feet outside the house to get to the pool. The pool installers last fall told us to budget about $300 per 50 feet of gas line needed. So I tripled that, and then rounded up my budget up to $1000 to have someone run that line and then hook the heater (its a Hayward H100 already bought and paid for outside of this $1000 budget). I thought that way giving myself lots of wiggle room.

    Now spring has come and a old friend of mine's husband just so happens to be a plumber. He knows we need this project done and he offered to take good care of us if we hired him and his friend (who is an electrician) do projects #1 and #2 for us. We thought that sounded great, and he came out yesterday to look the whole project over. Tonight he called with his official estimate and I just about died when he told me $2700. That is almost twice what I have budgeted! Now I am really between a rock and a hard place and I need some quick advice as he's coming out on Saturday to start the work. What do you guys think of this whole situation? Do you guys think I underbudgeted for the project or do you think this friend's husband isn't taking quite so good care of me as I thought he would? I don't know what to think as I have no experience with this kind of work to compare to. Ideally now that this estimate came in so much higher than expected, it would be nice to get other estimates to compare. But there is no way to get that done before Saturday now. If I put him off at this point I am afraid of offending his wife to be honest.

    Does anyone have a gut feeling about this situation? Some of you must have needed gas lines run to your pools. Was my budget unrealistic? If I miscalculated by that much, I am willing to take my lumps and pay it to get the job done. Really, it just means that my deck and landscaping gets pushed off, maybe until next year. Or do you guys think this guy is seriously overcharging me? The friend involved I have known for 35 years (we grew up next door to each other,) but I really don't know her husband that well. I don't know what I should think? What do you guys think?
    Leanne
    Pool: 24' round by 48" deep AGP
    Waterway 1HP-2 speed pump, H100 Heater, sand filter, skimmer, using BBB (love it!)
    Hot tub: 2008 CalSpas, 8x8, 8 seats, 60+ jets, ozonator
    3 step bromine sanitation

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    frankthailand's Avatar
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    Re: forget the deck, i have bigger problems now... help please??

    friend or not it always a good plan to get a few quotes, [3 or 4 in my book] they are free after all. And you get a better idea of where you stand, and later you won't wonder if you got ripped off or not.

    my 2cts
    Happy swims
    Frank
    Hello all from the land of smiles. Thailand. 5mx9mx1.5 63000L 16300 gall, pebbletex,
    pentair 1hp whisperflow, tagelus TA60 SF, swg monarch esc24 {a bit small for the tropics} 3 returns, 1 skimmer, 2 astral 100watt lights. Planned and built by me
    an AUSSIE expat living thailand for 18 years.

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    TizMe's Avatar
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    Re: forget the deck, i have bigger problems now... help please??

    I agree with Frank, get a few more estimates. Im sure you would if a friend was not involved. Its nice to help friends out but if he is a friend I would think he would understand.

    Does his estimate include material or did you have to supply it ?

    If it were , I would put them off a week and get more estimates.
    Les
    Don't have a pool right now. Just sharing what I have learned over the years!
    Helpful Links:
    Pool School,Pool Calculator,Cl/CYA Shock Chart,TF Test Kit
    Doing BBB and loving it!

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: forget the deck, i have bigger problems now... help please??

    8 years ago I paid for 42 feet at $4.50 a foot. (Found my receipt in my file). Ours was a pretty simple install, a straight shot from the equip pad to the outside meter. I'm not sure- have gas line prices gone thru the roof?

    Is there no way to hook it up outside? No meter?

    I had a friend who paid over $1,200 for her gas hookup that same summer, but her pool was on the opposite side of the house from the meter and in the back of the yard, probably 4 times the distance, plus they used a different installer.

    I agree get some other estimates and call your friend and postpone. I would think the pool installers would have a pretty good round number for these things, they would at least be close. If the other estimates are in the same ballpark, you could always hold off awhile till you have more money, or you could sell the heater and consider solar? Sorry that's a real bummer.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Laenini's Avatar
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    Re: forget the deck, i have bigger problems now... help please??

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    8 years ago I paid for 42 feet at $4.50 a foot. (Found my receipt in my file). Ours was a pretty simple install, a straight shot from the equip pad to the outside meter. I'm not sure- have gas line prices gone thru the roof?

    Is there no way to hook it up outside? No meter?

    I had a friend who paid over $1,200 for her gas hookup that same summer, but her pool was on the opposite side of the house from the meter and in the back of the yard, probably 4 times the distance, plus they used a different installer.

    I agree get some other estimates and call your friend and postpone. I would think the pool installers would have a pretty good round number for these things, they would at least be close. If the other estimates are in the same ballpark, you could always hold off awhile till you have more money, or you could sell the heater and consider solar? Sorry that's a real bummer.
    Our meter is on the opposite side of the house from the pool equipment, and its right off the front of the house, where as the pool of course is around back. It would be over 100' to run straight from the meter, so that is where I got the idea to triple the $300/50' ball park figure the pool installers had suggested. I figured it was my worse case sceanario and thought I had planned for it.

    The $2700 figure does include any needed supplies, but we already have all of the actual equipment like the heater, and the pump/filter system of course. He did include pouring a 4' x 4' concrete pad to put all of the pool equipment on, and I hadn't thought of that. I have no idea of the value of that part of the job?

    Thanks for the figures, pool mom. That really does help me have some sort of reference point when deciding what to do now.
    Leanne
    Pool: 24' round by 48" deep AGP
    Waterway 1HP-2 speed pump, H100 Heater, sand filter, skimmer, using BBB (love it!)
    Hot tub: 2008 CalSpas, 8x8, 8 seats, 60+ jets, ozonator
    3 step bromine sanitation

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    Re: forget the deck, i have bigger problems now... help please??

    ask to see the bid, last year we were putting in a new kitchen tile floor and i got a bid from a guy. I ask to see the bid and he would not let me see it... Then i thought i better get another bid, I did and it came in 3500.00 cheaper then him... so yes get more then one bid,, Friend or not, its your money and know one like to just give it away..
    good luck
    live in eastern washington state
    18x36, Vinyl inground 24k
    Hayward 1 hp filter pump
    1 skimmer/2 returns
    24" sand filter, polaris 280 with booster pump.

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    DaveNJ's Avatar
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    Re: forget the deck, i have bigger problems now... help please??

    When my gas line was run they would only hook it up at the meter. The line is 70' and 1 1/4". Line size depends on heater size and length of run. The longer and bigger it gets the more expensive. My was around $1500.
    IG 18x36 oval vinyl, Spill over spa, Northstar 2hp-2spd, 2.5" piping, S310T 500lb Sand filter, 400k gas heater, AutoPilot SWCG
    http://www.tftestkits.net/

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: forget the deck, i have bigger problems now... help please??

    does this also include trenching for the electrical and gas line? Not sure if you can use the same trench for both...my guess is not, but I'm not sure Anyways...my trenching cost me $5/ft for 120 ft = $600 Honestly, it was the best $600 ever spent...Last year we took down over 20 trees that were at least 75-80ft tall and you can't imagine all the roots they had to chop up...they actually broke the trencher they had rented and took 2guys a day and a half with trencher, axes, picks etc to get 120ft trench dug 18" deep.

    Anyways...sorry for my story, but if this includes trenching it may not be that bad of a deal...definately get some more quotes.
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

    Pool School, TFTestKits, Pool Calculator

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    Re: forget the deck, i have bigger problems now... help please??

    I agree that you should put him off and get some other bids.. That certainly doesn't sound like "friend pricing" to me...

    I'm not saying it's necessarily a bad deal, but given the economy and how desperate all contractors are for work right now, I'm betting you can find a better deal.

    After you've got other bids, ask him if he'll match the lowest one.. After all, that's what a friend would do, right?


    As for your worries about offending your friend.. I wouldn't worry too much about that. If she doesn't understand that you have to ensure you're not getting taken to the cleaners, then at least you'll know never to mix business with that friendship again.

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: forget the deck, i have bigger problems now... help please??

    Quote Originally Posted by dmanb2b
    does this also include trenching for the electrical and gas line? Not sure if you can use the same trench for both...my guess is not, but I'm not sure Anyways...my trenching cost me $5/ft for 120 ft = $600 Honestly, it was the best $600 ever spent...Last year we took down over 20 trees that were at least 75-80ft tall and you can't imagine all the roots they had to chop up...they actually broke the trencher they had rented and took 2guys a day and a half with trencher, axes, picks etc to get 120ft trench dug 18" deep.

    Anyways...sorry for my story, but if this includes trenching it may not be that bad of a deal...definately get some more quotes.
    LOL.. I can totally relate to this story.. A couple years ago I did sprinklers, and did the trenching myself... my ground was so hard packed that it took me 3 days, and just the rental on the trencher ended up costing almost as much as if I had hired it out.

    I will NEVER do my own trenching again.. It's fairly cheap to hire someone, and it's absolutely backbreaking work.

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    Laenini's Avatar
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    Re: forget the deck, i have bigger problems now... help please??

    Quote Originally Posted by badutahboy
    I agree that you should put him off and get some other bids.. That certainly doesn't sound like "friend pricing" to me...

    I'm not saying it's necessarily a bad deal, but given the economy and how desperate all contractors are for work right now, I'm betting you can find a better deal.

    After you've got other bids, ask him if he'll match the lowest one.. After all, that's what a friend would do, right?


    As for your worries about offending your friend.. I wouldn't worry too much about that. If she doesn't understand that you have to ensure you're not getting taken to the cleaners, then at least you'll know never to mix business with that friendship again.
    This was exactly what I needed to hear. I called the "plumber hubby" and told him that after further consideration we needed to hold off on the job. I explained that his bid was much higher than I had been expecting. He asked what I had been expecting and I explained first that I expected the electrical portion of the bid to come to about $350 and he said "yep, that is what I had figured it at too." That then means of course that he was wanting $2350 for the gas line/heater install part of the job. So I went on to explain that the rough estimate the pool installers had given me was $300 per 50' of gas line installed (and yes, that included the trenching) and I explained that the pool installers had intended to run the line all the way from the meter, not up from my basement and out my garage as he planned to do (and I am thinking now that a big part of his reason for that plan was to use the same trench for the electrical and the gas line). He pointed out that it would take 100' to do that. So I pointed right back out to him that would only come to $600 then, not the $2350 that his bid was wanting from us. He then went on to make a bizzare suggestion. He suggested that I have the pool installer guys come out and lay a gas line from the pool to my garage, then he could come and run the line the rest of the way into the house and down to the basement to hook up with the main gas line coming to the furnace. I have no idea why he thinks I would want to do that? The pool installers said they would run the line outside directly from the meter and that seems just fine to me. Anyway, at this point I just told him that I needed to get a couple more bids and that if I had been wrong and the bids came in high I would let him know.

    After tonight's conversation with him I have no doubts he was overcharging me. He never did explain why his bid was so much higher either. Thank you all for giving me the nerve to halt the project with him! It was a hard thing for me to do, but I am glad that I did it. And if my friend is offended, oh well. She can't be half as offended at this point as I would have been if her hubby did the job and I found out afterwards that he had badly overcharged me, right?

    Thanks again all!
    Leanne
    Leanne
    Pool: 24' round by 48" deep AGP
    Waterway 1HP-2 speed pump, H100 Heater, sand filter, skimmer, using BBB (love it!)
    Hot tub: 2008 CalSpas, 8x8, 8 seats, 60+ jets, ozonator
    3 step bromine sanitation

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: forget the deck, i have bigger problems now... help please??

    Well good for you Leanne. Please keep us posted on the final result.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    cubbybeave08's Avatar
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    Re: forget the deck, i have bigger problems now... help please??

    For $2700 dollars...maybe you should look at solar heating. Probably half the cost to set up and you never have to pay for it after that. If that guy wants $2700 he is crazy I don't care what part of the country you are in...that is expensive. Last summer my pool was installed as part of the purchase deal. I had to run electric from my house to my pool...It had to be on a dedicated circuit. This means that I had to put in a new circuit panel. Between that and running the electric it only cost me $1000.00 I paid the pool builder $300 for sand and blocks and that was it. You being asked to pay a lot of money for this installation I don't care what the guy says. Look around...there are plenty of liscensed electicians or plumbers who will do this on the side for much much less.
    Beave
    Aqua Leader 24ft Round AG Wil-Bar Influence w/54 inch walls 13,500 gallons
    Swimline J-Blue Opal Liner, 1 4X20 Fafco Solar Bear Solar Heater
    Hayward 2 HP Swim Pro Voyager Pump Micro 150 with 4 way timer
    Swim Pro Voyager Filtration System with Hayward ABS Pearl wide mouth skimmer

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    Re: forget the deck, i have bigger problems now... help please??

    Quote Originally Posted by Laenini
    After tonight's conversation with him I have no doubts he was overcharging me. He never did explain why his bid was so much higher either. Thank you all for giving me the nerve to halt the project with him! It was a hard thing for me to do, but I am glad that I did it. And if my friend is offended, oh well. She can't be half as offended at this point as I would have been if her hubby did the job and I found out afterwards that he had badly overcharged me, right?
    Thanks again all!
    Leanne
    That's the most important sentence in this entire thread.. Take care of yourself first, and let the other chips fall where they fall.


    Good for you for standing up for yourself. Let us know how everything plays out.

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    TizMe's Avatar
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    Re: forget the deck, i have bigger problems now... help please??

    Keep us posted on how this turns out .......

    Good for you looking out for yourself !!
    Les
    Don't have a pool right now. Just sharing what I have learned over the years!
    Helpful Links:
    Pool School,Pool Calculator,Cl/CYA Shock Chart,TF Test Kit
    Doing BBB and loving it!

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